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Will the US play with the UN ?

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  • Will the US play with the UN ?

    Some authorities say that the US may wait for an attack on Iraq given certain conditions.

    First, there would have to be a strict deadline on full cooperation by Iraq.
    Second , the UNSC, in full,(or at least the veto members) must agree to military action should the deadline not be met.

    Of course, I haven't seen anywhere as to who would decide whether Iraq has complied or not. You would have to assume Blix and elBaradei. The problem with this is that it puts an incredible amount of pressure on these two men.
    I'm not so sure they are up to it.Do they say no and plunge the Middle East into war ? I can't blame them for any hesitancy.

    Blix in particular seems to try play the middle ground. He comments and reports on Powell's speech to the UNSC. This is NOT his mandate.
    His mandate is simply to report on the cooperation and aquiesence given him by the Iraqi government and the status of the inspections. That's it, that's all!

    One of the big problems with this scenario for the US would be the present deployment of troops in the Middle East.

    Does the US keep the troops there twidling their thumbs?
    Yeah, they would keep the UN happy and still (possibly) relevant for the future; but in the process, degrade the morale and fighting spirit of the units presently stationed in the Middle East.

    Or, does the US go ahead and invade Iraq ?
    Yeah, they would win the war and gain a primary geo-political goal, but at the cost of possibly sundering the UN and maybe even NATO.

    Bush has some very difficult decisions to make. As the President of the most powerful nation on earth, we can only hope he makes the right one.
    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

  • #2
    I think the decision is obvious. We should go without the U.N.

    This way we could kill 2 birds with one stone. We would be getting rid of Saddam, and thereby cleaning up the mess that was created by getting duped into fighting a half war the first time in 1991.

    More importantly, we would prove once and for all that the U.N. is just an irrelevant debating society and ruin its ambitions to become a "world government". No more "global tax" proposals and no more nonsense with regard to the inmates running the asylum (iraq chairing the disarmament committee, Syria on human rights etc).

    Blix is a joke. He actually praised Iraq for "passing legislation to ban weapons of mass destruction". Give me a break. Next thing you know the "Iraqi Parliament" will be passing a law banning dictatorships.

    I think Barry Goldwater said it best:

    "The time has come to recognize the United Nations for the anti-American, anti-freedom organization that it has become. The time has come for us to cut off all financial help, withdraw as a member, and ask the United Nations to find a headquarters location outside the United States that is more in keeping with the philosophy of the majority of voting members, someplace like Moscow or Peking."
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

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    • #3
      I think that would be immoral, illegal and selfish on a global scale. It will be the US that will undermining the UN, not the UN being undecided. The UN have made clear that the inspections should be given time to work. The US and UK should listen to the UN, and if people say that France, Rusia and China disagree for national reasons then so what ? The US wants to attack solely for national reasons.

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      • #4
        We should let the UN drama play out as long as we can. However, H-hour should not be delayed to allow the UN more time to debate.

        Markoy, if the UN was decided, there would be little negotiations going on. The reality is all the tough talk you are watching on television is an illusion designed to cover some politician's *sses. I don't see conviction among the UN members. All I see are politicians who want to ensure their own interest. The US should not compromise our wider strategic interest to appease some allies. We have a job to do, and we should complete it no matter what the international view is. No country is obligated to compromise it's security for the interest of others. Everyone has their own agenda. We need to worry about ours first.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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        • #5
          It is a difficult time for American diplomacy.

          Indeed, at some point the U.S. may have to make a tough decision and decide to go alone with Britain, and even then, the support of Britain seems less firm than it has been. Blair is so much contested in his own country that he will have to listen at some point to what his own population is saying and tone down his support. Contrary to Americans, Britons are overwhelmingly against war. Yesterday's anti-war demonstration was the largest ever in London it seems.

          The U.S. has the military and logistical capacity to go without UN support for sure, but nobody should underestimate the negative impact of such a move on America's influence abroad. There will be a price to pay in the short to medium term, and this price will be a decreasing influence of America in world affairs. Some Americans may view the UN as an irrelevant organization because the U.S. has trouble getting the UN aligned behind its interests, but no mistake should be made about it: UN has a lot of prestige and credibility elsewhere the world and it is not viewed as irrelevant.

          America has been a founding member of the UN, and whatever the shortcomings and weaknesses of this organization, and the frustrations Washington has in dealing with it, moving away from it will not solidify America's strategic position in any way. America could find itself more isolated, and this could pave the way for other countries such as Russia, China, Germany or France to gain more worldwide influence at America's expense. I am sure the Bush administration understands this, and they know they need to be careful.

          I still believe the U.S. can come to an agreement with France that will satisfy France's interests. At the moment, pretty much all the other countries of the Security Council are following France's leadership, so if Washington manages to meet France's requirements, perhaps the other countries will follow suit. But it's getting difficult for everybody because both Washington and Paris have painted themselves into a corner with their strong pro-war and pro-peace rhetoric. Saving public face won't be easy.

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          • #6
            Given the number of protestors yesterday in London and how the opinion polls in the UK are skewing heavily against war without at least UN approval, I can't see how Prime Minister Blair can join the US in a war without a UN mandate.

            Would the US go alone? Who knows. President Bush has painted himself into a corner and if he wants the economy to recover in time for the 2004 elections he needs to wrap up the war soon so oil prices can return to saner levels.

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