Skip to comments.Dueling Vetoes
Posted on 02/18/2003 3:31:33 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Veto is Latin for I forbid. Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States each may forbid any United Nations action. Now, countervailing vetoes loom.
That is another way of saying the United Nations is at long last well on its way to the ash heap of history.
Which is another way of saying all of this is good news, not calamity, for the United States, for the entire Free World and for those peoples struggling under the yokes of dictatorships to become members of the Free World.
Enforce or Ignore?
The present veto issue is over whether the U.N. Security Council will adopt yet another resolution requiring once and for all time Iraqs forthwith compliance with a long string of 17 previous resolutions demanding full disclosure and destruction of weapons of mass destruction.
As it is now shaping up, the United States, in close cooperation with the United Kingdom, is expected to sponsor such a resolution within the 15-member Security Council, whose five permanent members enjoy the power of veto.
One of those five, France, with the connivance of non-veto-toting Germany, is poised to sponsor a resolution aimed at preventing just such a compliance resolution. Those two will have the support of recently communist Russia and currently communist China, both of which have veto power.
Greed and Aggrandizement They are that determined, for their own reasons of selfish economic and political enhancement, to keep the regime of Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq.
A historic collision is about to occur. Consider the implications:
*If the Security Council takes up the U.S.-U.K. resolution first, the factotums of France and Germany with those of Russia and China dog-trotting alongside are confronted with three options:
(a) Go along with a yes vote, which would cause them to have to execute a hairpin reversal of course with all the attendant embarrassing consequences domestically and internationally;
(b) Abstain, which would cost them equivalent humiliation at home and elsewhere, since even the bumfuzzled value a certain degree of constancy in their leadership, or
(c) Veto the U.S.-U.K. resolution, which would place them irreconcilably at odds with America and its allies, who far outnumber them.
*On the other hand, if the French and Germans are the first to offer their resolution, which would litter the Iraqi landscape with U.N. inspections bureaucracies and dot the sky over Iraq with French and Russian surveillance aircraft, here are the options confronting the United States and the United Kingdom:
(a) President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair could approve its adoption, about as likely as either one resigning from office, which is what a complete reversal of their positions would honorably call for;
(b) Abstain, a posture leaving those two as emasculated impotents adrift on the world scene, at the whim of the likes of France, Germany, Russia, China, Syria and on and on, or
(c) Exercise the veto, which would cut the American alliance free of the baleful influence of Old Europe, but also thrust it face to face with the loonies of radical Islam and the always-sinister and rapidly developing People's Republic of China an inevitable confrontation incalculably more expensive later on.
Those consequences range far beyond the immediate issue of how to treat with Iraqs malevolent tyrant. They will cast the mold for the reconfiguration of economic relationships, political alignments and military deployments of world powers for decades to come.
This a most-sobering reality. Either way the cat jumps, it constitutes nothing less than the most fundamental upheaval since the onset of the Cold War in the wake of World War II.
Nothing like this has come along since the now-defunct Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin gambled on possible nuclear annihilation to subjugate the United States and all it represents.
The Threat Was Well Known
That came at a time when the United States was victorious in World War II and there was widespread appreciation among the American people of the mortal danger the Soviet Union represented.
The greatest peril implicit in this present crisis which neatly fits the Japanese dual ideogram for danger combined with opportunity is that millions of Americans still dont get it.
Much of that disconnect from reality can be laid at the door of American elitist, leftist mass communications and eight years of unethical leadership and neglect by the Clinton administration that those media so gleefully celebrated and now so vengefully mourn.
A staggering number of Americans remain, even post-Sept. 11, in a combination state of denial of the horrific danger pressing upon them and smug preoccupation with personal pleasures and distractions.
That is many times more unsettling than whether the latest surveys of opinions purport to show that most of the rest of the worlds population is not on Americas side in this time of peril.
The courageous leadership of Bush and Blair, who have not allowed opinion polls to blind their perception of their duty, will go down in history alongside that of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
Train Wreck Ahead
So what happens if, as seems likely, the two headlong opposing resolutions work their way up to a vote in the Security Council after every other U.N. member state has been given face time on world television to do its posturing?
Despite strenuous efforts now being made to mush together some sort of face-saving compromise resolution, it seems humanly impossible that, in the end, the two opposing camps can avoid having to split. Each side has gone too far to double back on itself.
As Bush has promised, should the Security Council chicken out on its responsibility, the United States will lead a Coalition of the Willing impressive in number and strength to liberate the people of Iraq and destroy Saddams weapons of mass destruction.
Taking the Time to Ramp Up
Any passage of days between now and then will be occasioned not by the grant of more time for U.N. inspectors but by the arrival on station of that fourth U.S. carrier battle group and the ominous thud of the final platoons boots hitting the ground.
At that point, there goes the United Nations. Why is that?
The answer lies in the history behind the founding of the United Nations as World War II was coming to a close.
That awful conflict was won by the wartime unity of the Big Three as Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States were known then. The concept was that post-war peace could be maintained only if the Big Three remained in effective unanimity.
The veto was grafted into the U.N. Charter to make that expression of Big Three unity possible, by ensuring the impotence of the United Nations if any one of the Big Three was willing to precipitate its collapse through exercise of the veto.
That made sense only if Big Three unity persisted, which of course it didnt. Even before World War II ended, even before the United Nations came into being, Big Three unity was falling apart.
In actuality, the United Nations as an effective instrument of international cooperation and peacekeeping was stillborn.
Disunited From the Get-Go
What did emerge and has hung on by a thread ever since is not a United Nations, but a hopelessly Disunited Nations as illustrated by the numerous vetoes cast by the Soviet Union.
An effective, relevant United Nations has been flat-line brain-dead these nearly 60 years, and what the world is now witnessing are the terminal twitchings of its prolonged state of artificially suspended animation.
The very idea of the United States, or any country, thinking it had to go to such a United Nations with hat in hand and obtain approval to do what has to be done to protect its own peoples vital national interests has been a dirty joke all these long years.
So now, in the impending Shootout at the East River Glass Corral, two principals on the misnamed Security Council are about to fire veto bullets at each other. The current world economic, political and military realities are such that America and its allies will win that duel.
A Demise to Celebrate
The United States and the United Kingdom will walk away. France and Germany will not perish, although they will be grievously wounded, lingering as cripples for generations.
But lying lifeless on New Yorks East Side, in form as well as in substance, will be what once had the presumption to call itself the United Nations.
No need for grieving over that. The Free World will be the better for it.
No debate, no vetoes, just bombs.
I suspect that the US plan has been for a long time to rapidly lay seige to Baghdad and then seek an 18th resolution. At that point all politics are local (inside Baghdad) and many of the objecting nations selfinterests have been eviserated.
They won't be able to put the their cash cow back together again.