Skip to comments.Should Voters Trust the U.N. to Protect America's Security?
Posted on 02/16/2004 12:39:21 PM PST by OPS4
Fair Comment Should Voters Trust the U.N. to Protect America's Security? Posted Feb. 16, 2004 By Frank Gaffney Jr. Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2004 The 2004 presidential election is shaping up to be one of those extraordinary moments in the life of a democracy: Voters actually will have a real choice, not only between candidates but between two sharply divergent philosophies about how to protect America, her people and vital interests.
Reduced to its essence that choice comes down to this: Should we continue to entrust our security to an incumbent president who has, when he felt the chips were down, exercised American power - in combination with "coalitions of the willing," but without the permission of the United Nations? Or should we replace him with someone who condemns such a policy as "reckless" and "flawed" and deeply "ideological," someone who believes firmly that the United Nations is the best guarantor of our safety and who considers its blessing to be essential for our foreign policy and military actions to be "legitimate"?
At this writing, it appears that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will be the standard-bearer for the latter philosophy. But virtually any of his remaining, declared rivals for the Democratic nomination appear to subscribe to it, as do the former Clinton administration staff members now providing all of them with advice.
This stance is all the more remarkable since President Bill Clinton and Gen. Wesley Clark took the country to war in Kosovo a few years back without the blessing of the United Nations. To be sure, they did seek - and receive - a sort of international cover for this military operation from NATO. But because the war to end Slobodan Milosevic's oppression of the Kosovars was a humanitarian affair, not one of vital strategic interest to the United States, it evidently was legitimate to wage even without U.N. approval.
If President George W. Bush's recent interview on Meet the Press is any guide, the incumbent intends to mount a spirited defense of his decision to use force to effect what was indisputably a strategic interest of the United States - ending the menace posed by Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi people, to the people of the region and to us in America. The stakes are such, however, that he must root his re-election bid in a broader case for avoiding undue reliance on the United Nations.
As it happens, an excellent vehicle for such an important educational mission is at hand. It can be found in Muammar Qaddafi's recent decision to acknowledge having, among other active weapons-of-mass-destruction programs, a long-standing and aggressive covert effort to acquire nuclear arms. This disclosure, and the Libyan dictator's decision to make it to the United States and Britain, not to the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), makes the point nicely: The so-called "nuclear-watchdog" organization based in Vienna, like its parent on the East River in New York, simply is not up to the job of keeping us safe.
To the contrary, as often as not the IAEA has been part of the problem - most especially under the leadership of its present director general, Mohamed ElBaradei - not the solution to nuclear proliferation. It repeatedly has missed evidence that not only Libya, but countries such as North Korea, Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq, secretly were amassing the technology, know-how and raw materials to build nuclear arms. It was shocked (shocked!) to discover that the father of Pakistan's atomic program, AQ Khan, had been running an international Nukes-'R-Us for years, feeding the ambitions of who knows how many clients to get "the Bomb."
Worse yet, ElBaradei, an Egyptian national who scarcely has concealed his sympathies for Arab and Muslim states and his hostility toward American policy, routinely has acted in a way better calculated to thwart U.S. counterproliferation efforts than to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry.
For example, ElBaradei has gone to great lengths to prevent the Bush administration from bringing Iran's illegal nuclear-weapons program before the U.N. Security Council, a step mandated in the case of violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He also has slanted IAEA reports on Iran to make sure that the conclusions do not support a Security Council referral, often by inserting unjustified findings that ob-scure or downplay the actual evidence.
Incredibly, such behavior continued even after Iran issued a declaration last October to the IAEA that revealed an array of nuclear-weapons-related activities. These included: uranium enrichment, an advanced centrifuge initiative (involving, among other things, the introduction of uranium hexafloride into these devices), plutonium separation, laser enrichment, a heavy-water plant and efforts to perfect a nuclear-fuel cycle. Any one of these admissions would be a good indication of a nuclear-weapons research and development program. Together, they amount to a compelling case of a state determined to make significant numbers of nuclear bombs. Yet ElBaradei concluded that there was no clear evidence of weapons intent in Tehran.
President Bush has been under intense pressure from the State Department and allied governments to do what Sen. Kerry apparently would do - rely on the U.N. bureaucracy to safeguard us from nuclear-armed mullahs in Iran and lunatic despots in places such as Baghdad, Tripoli and Pyongyang. Fortunately, Bush has acted instead on his conviction that peace through American strength is a far better guarantee of our security than clueless - or worse, malfeasant - international organizations and officials.
In so doing, President Bush has offered the public a choice between effective, proactive stewardship in the war on terror and potentially very dangerous paralysis in that conflict, justified by the predictable lack of multilateral consensus. This is a choice we cannot afford to get wrong.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. Contact Gaffney at Info@centerforsecuritypolicy.org.
OPs4 God BLess America!
Certainly not! I believe that the President has lost his way in Iraq. That he has had extraordinarily bad advice on what to do, after the successful conquest of the Socialist dictatorship. But nothing in that assessment casts any doubt on what is the function of American foreign policy. It is, as it has always been, to protect the interests of the Americans. That is not remotely debatable.
From the beginning; from the Declaration and Constitution, on down to the present; there is nothing that is so distinctly and essentially American, as the concept of responsibility--the concept that we are responsible for our own lives, for the preservation of our values, both spiritual and material, and for the future of our families, down through the generations.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site