Re the Security Council:
Did Chirac just make Bush's job easier? By promising to veto the 18th Iraq resolution come hell or high water, Chirac has guaranteed that it will not pass. He has therefore freed all of the non-veto UNSC members of any responsibility for voting against it. The resolution will fail to pass anyway, so why take the chance of seriously antagonizing the US by casting a useless "No" vote? The flip side is that a "Yes" vote is also useless, but who, exactly, is going to be angered by such a vote? France, Saddam (not even Iraq, just Saddam), and the Islamic theocratic fascists (which, I suppose would include Iran, the Saudis and various terrorist NGOs).
Regardless of the UNSC vote, the war will happen anyway. Therefore, in the relatively near future, all of the people angered by a yes vote other than France will either be gone or emasculated.
And France won't be in tip top form, either, I would imagine.