The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, April 19, 2004

For so many people the United Nations is the best institution that mankind has too offer. The UN's incompetence, corruption, and tolerance for evil has been demonstrated time and time again, yet the internationalist will always insist that only through the United Nations can we achieve peace. I imagine the same forces are at work that led people in the Middle Ages to respect an obviously corrupt and vile Papacy.

Here is an example of a political observer who cannot, will not, consider even the possibility that the UN might be in error. I bring you Daniel Sneider, foreign affairs columnist for the San Jose Mercury News:

President Bush has been accused of not having a clear plan for the transfer of power to a sovereign Iraqi government. Instead, critics say, Bush offers little more than a determination to ``stay the course'' in Iraq.

That is unfair and untrue. The president does have a plan. He is just too proud to tell the American people what it is.

The reality is that the White House has now ceded authority in Iraq to the United Nations -- and, to a lesser but significant extent, to Iran. Why? Because both the United Nations and the Islamic leadership of Iran have the legitimacy and the ability to provide political stability that the United States so obviously lacks.

That's a good one. The UN aided and abetted Saddam Hussein's vile regime by allowing him to sell oil and pocket the proceeds to run his secret police and his army. This was dignified under the rubric of "Oil for Food." Iran has so much authority and legitimacy that they're shooting student protestors in the street.

(But the UN said Oil for Food was a charity program, and that's all the evidence that Sneider needs to cite the UN's "legitimacy" -- much like a devout medieval Christian accepted that donating money to the local bishop would absolve him of all sin.)

Sure, the United States still has the guns. But stability in Iraq cannot be established by military means anymore. Force is necessary, especially when American troops are under constant attack. Ultimately, however, this is a political problem that needs political answers.

For those answers, the place to go these days is U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

A rather recent development, considering that the UN's first presence in post-war Baghdad was evacuated the minute it came under attack.


Only elections in January 2005 will create a truly legitimate, representative Iraqi government, Brahimi concluded.

This is my favorite line. Why specifically January 2005 and not earlier or later? No explanation is needed; the UN is infallible.

The United States retains responsibility for security in this plan, although implicitly the security role could be broadened after June 30 to include troops from a much wider range of nations. But Brahimi sharply condemned the harsh use of military force in recent weeks against Sunni insurgents in Falluja and Shiite radicals.

``The excessive use of force makes matters worse and does not solve the problem,'' he said.

It was some very excessive use of force that led to Brahimi being able to strut around Iraq in the first place. And let's be honest here: The only way you can talk about "excessive use of force" is when you hold the West to a higher standard than Arab countries. If some rebels had hung four of Saddam's functionaries and burned the bodies, would there be anything left of their town when he got done with it?

Which brings us to the curious acceptance of Iran to broker a deal with the radical Shiite militia. The occupation authority continues to threaten to use troops to capture radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and dismantle his militia now defiantly occupying the holy city of Najaf. But according to reports in the Arab press, a face-saving agreement is in the works for Sadr to accept a clerical fatwa dissolving his militia and head into temporary exile in Iran until the new Iraqi government is formed.

Well that makes a lot of sense: The threat of American military action is empty, so hollow in fact that al-Sadr has to dissolve his militia and scamper out of the country.

The administration deserves credit for recognizing reality and backing this path to political stability. Unfortunately this was precisely what the administration rejected last summer when many nations urged it to hand over real authority to the U.N. At that time countries such as India were prepared to provide significant numbers of troops if the U.N.'s role had been expanded. ...

Uh huh. And countries like India, and Spain, and Portugal, are prepared to haul significants amount of ass if occupation duty in Iraq proves any tougher than directing traffic.



Post a Comment