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THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Twilight of the UN
The Daily Telegraph ^ | March 8, 2003 | The Daily Telegraph

Posted on 03/07/2003 5:17:03 PM PST by MadIvan

Before Hans Blix made his third report to the United Nations yesterday, the foreign ministers and diplomats were glad-handing each other as usual. But their cordiality could not dispel the impression that we were witnessing the twilight of the Security Council. Members have been wrestling with Saddam Hussein's defiance of their resolutions for 12 years. Yet still he co-operates only under duress - in this case, the presence of American and British troops on his doorstep.

At the present rate of progress, the task of destroying his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could last indefinitely. That does not seem to bother many members of the council, who are more attached to process than effective outcome. The UN Charter confers on the council "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security". America and Britain have been trying to use that forum to deal with a regime that poses a threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. Yet they have been accused of rushing to war for pointing out that Iraq is failing to afford the immediate, unconditional and active co-operation that Resolution 1441, passed unanimously last November, enjoined; and that it should now face the "serious consequences" that the same resolution threatened for non-compliance.

Three of the permanent members of the council, China, France and Russia, have declared their opposition to a sequel to 1441 that would authorise the use of force. They will welcome Mr Blix's assurances yesterday that Iraq has begun to destroy its proscribed al-Samoud missiles, an action that the chief UN weapons inspector described as the first substantial measure of disarmament by Saddam since the mid-1990s; that to them is proof that the inspections are proving effective. They will have also been pleased to hear Mr Blix conclude that, with Iraqi co-operation, it would take months rather than weeks to complete the key remaining tasks; that coincides with their proposal to extend inspections well into the summer before deciding on military action.

They have, however, been overtaken by events. American and British forces in the Gulf are now poised to invade Iraq. On Thursday, George W Bush said that he would force a vote seeking UN support for such a campaign within days, while making clear that rejection would not alter his determination to disarm Saddam. "If we need to act, we will act and we really don't need the UN's approval to do so," he said. "When it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission to do so." Last September, Mr Bush warned the UN that failure to enforce its will would condemn it to irrelevance. On Thursday, he signalled that his patience with the world body was running out. With the notable exceptions of Britain and Spain, the Security Council has failed to appreciate the devastating effect of September 11 on the world's remaining superpower. Jacques Chirac has opted for a debased form of Gaullist anti-Americanism, and Gerhard Schröder has espoused pacifism for domestic electoral advantage. Vladimir Putin, having boldly reached out to America after 9/11, has, unwisely if probably temporarily, allied himself with "old Europe".

The opponents of Washington and its allies set great store by the United Nations. Yet their penchant for procrastination could render that body weaker than ever. Yesterday, America, Britain and Spain presented a revised draft sequel to 1441, giving Iraq until March 17 to disarm, that is, to hand over all existing WMD and all documents regarding past destruction of such weapons. It is now up to the Security Council to show that it can fulfil the purpose for which it was created.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: blair; bush; chirac; devillepin; france; iraq; saddam; securitycouncil; uk; un; us
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The greatest newspaper in the world gets it right again: it is all over for the UN if they vote against war with Iraq. We may as well return to the 19th century system of a balance of power, which was the only thing that worked for an extended period (30 years) anyway.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 03/07/2003 5:17:03 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Otta B Sleepin; Mr. Mulliner; Semper911; Bubbette; Kip Lange; dixiechick2000; UofORepublican; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 03/07/2003 5:17:16 PM PST by MadIvan (Learn the power of the Dark Side, www.thedarkside.net)
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To: MadIvan
At this point, most intelligent people realize that France, and its minions, would never vote for military action. Never. Certainly not one led by the Americans and British.

Consequently, the Brits and Americans will proceed to do the job without them.

My question is whether, after the UN and France are thoroughly disgraced, France will start throwing a temper tantrum to get noticed like Kim Jung Mentally-Il of North Korea.

3 posted on 03/07/2003 5:23:43 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: MadIvan
I was dissapointed that Powell did not specifically put the Security Council on notice that if they refuse to act they will be irrelevent. Something to the effect that we will no longer invest our time, energy and money in an institution that refuses to take itself seriously. He should have bluntly told them that this is not just Saddam's last chance, it is theirs as well.
4 posted on 03/07/2003 5:24:18 PM PST by Hugin
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To: MadIvan
The UN is well on the road to oblivion... thankfully. maybe they can move the mess to Brussels or Paris so the pretensious and irrelevant can pretend they're important.
5 posted on 03/07/2003 5:25:17 PM PST by Leto
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To: MadIvan
The UN is well on the road to oblivion... thankfully. Maybe they can move the mess to Brussels or Paris.
6 posted on 03/07/2003 5:26:13 PM PST by Leto
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To: MadIvan
"...it is all over for the UN if they vote against war with Iraq."

In that case, I hope they vote with a resounding "NO!". Then -once and for all- we can say good riddence to the UN.

7 posted on 03/07/2003 5:26:30 PM PST by Paulie
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Paulie
I think we need to make the French and Germans look at the horrors we find like Ike did to the Germans in WW2
9 posted on 03/07/2003 5:29:11 PM PST by scooby321
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To: Hugin
I was dissapointed that Powell did not specifically put the Security Council on notice that if they refuse to act they will be irrelevent.

President Bush emphatically gave them notice in a Helen-Thomasless press conference last night. Powell didn't have to repeat it.

10 posted on 03/07/2003 5:29:17 PM PST by Ole Okie (Goodbye Helen. You won't be missed.)
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To: MadIvan
I will reiterate a comment I made earlier in another thread. To all appearances, these opposing nations view the current standoff as a choice between: (a) the UN can limit American ‘hyperpower’; (b) the UN can enhance American ‘hyperpower’; (c) the UN may become irrelevant. If the option of (a) proves unattainable, I think all these nations would without hesitation prefer (c) rather than (b). I suspect that’s a point which may have been lost on many people who advance the UN's prospective irrelevance as if it's the key factor which will swing France or Russia in our favor. The Bush administration has framed the options as: (a) the UN can be relevant; (b) the UN can be irrelevant. That's not how these other nations view the situation. Now, one can argue with the wisdom of their viewpoint, which is another subject altogether.

Otherwise, mark my words, if the United Nations Security Council is consigned to the dustbin of history, the greatest ultimate loser will not be France, but rather Britain followed by Russia. The greatest ultimate winner will be China, then followed by the Franco-German axis... Cheers.
11 posted on 03/07/2003 5:29:50 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: MadIvan
With the notable exceptions of Britain and Spain, the Security Council has failed to appreciate the devastating effect of September 11 on the world's remaining superpower

Thanks Ivan, they got the picture

12 posted on 03/07/2003 5:29:55 PM PST by Mister Baredog ((God Bless GW Bush))
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To: Ole Okie
Still, it would have been nice if he said it to their face.
13 posted on 03/07/2003 5:30:40 PM PST by Hugin
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To: MadIvan
Ivan, I thought it was kind of a joke, but I did a google search, and Ataturk really was a Greek.

http://www.ataturk.com/life.htm

Regards.

14 posted on 03/07/2003 5:33:15 PM PST by Mark17
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To: MadIvan
George Will called it (in a recent column), "permission from the powerless". And it's just that. If the UN wants to pretend to be relevent, they better just play along.
15 posted on 03/07/2003 5:33:57 PM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: MadIvan
Hey Ivan, have you seen a tracscipt of Jack Straw's speech today at the UN .. I've been looking and can't find it yet
16 posted on 03/07/2003 5:35:06 PM PST by Mo1 (RALLY FOR AMERICA - VALLEY FORGE,PA MARCH 16, 2003 1:00 PM)
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To: Dog Gone
At this point, most intelligent people realize that France, and its minions, would never vote for military action. Never. Certainly not one led by the Americans and British.

Read the new Brit resolution carefully. It does not specifically authorize military force. The French could vote in favor of it, or even abstain, and not break a pledge.

The U.S. and Britain have set a very, very neat trap. All the new resolution does is set a deadline without specifying consequences. Whoever votes against it could legitimately be accused of favoring indefinite inspections. And they can't defend the vote on the grounds that it authorizes force because it does not.

But once they vote it down, they've given the U.S. and Britain a great excuse to say that the S.C. has been unreasonable, and won't set deadlines.

17 posted on 03/07/2003 5:35:21 PM PST by XJarhead
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To: MadIvan
The U.S. pays $4 billion annually to the U.N.

Maybe that $4 billion could be better spent by giving men and women in the Armed Forces a pay raise. That's where our security comes from, not from an association with France, Germany, or Communist China.

18 posted on 03/07/2003 5:35:39 PM PST by honway
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To: MadIvan
"The greatest newspaper in the world gets it right again: it is all over for the UN"

They must be reading Freerepublic.com...we've all been talking this up for weeks.
19 posted on 03/07/2003 5:36:01 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: MadIvan
The UN is simply a gathering of bureaucrats for the bureaucrats by the bureaucrats; enabling murderers, thieves and dictators all over the world.
20 posted on 03/07/2003 5:37:17 PM PST by alrea
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