Jewish World Review March 11, 2003 / 7 Adar II, 5763
Prez is ready to finish off
the Security Council, too
I have a feeling the sophisticated governments of the Old World have been set up by a Texas cowboy.
In a matter of days, the United States and its current allies will invade Iraq and capture Baghdad. It has been evident for some time
that this will likely happen without the blessing of the United Nations Security Council. But in his press conference Thursday,
President Bush pushed things a step further.
"No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote," he said of a new resolution that would green-light an invasion. "We
want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security
Why should Bush want to force a vote he could very well lose?
Some losses are victories in disguise. And Bush is getting ready to use this defeat to finish off the Security Council.
He set the trap in September. In a speech to the UN General Assembly, he challenged the body to remain "relevant" and avoid the
fate of the League of Nations. His implication was clear: No international body can survive without the approval and participation of
The Security Council responded to Bush's threat with Resolution 1441, which calls for the disarmament of Iraq. But a lot of the
hands raised on behalf of the measure, which passed 15 to 0, had crossed fingers. France, Russia, China and others were betting
that Bush would be mollified by a pro forma inspection regime in Iraq.
They were very wrong, because they didn't get what Bush is really after.
The President is serious about getting rid of Saddam - but only as a first strategic step in the creation of a 21st century
international order. He intends to make the world safe for the U.S. and its friends by imposing a Pax Americana that is based on
American values, promotes American interests and relies on American economic and military power.
Under the post-9/11 Bush Doctrine, the U.S. claims the right to defang - unilaterally, and by armed preemption, if necessary -
regimes and organizations that he regards as hostile and dangerous.
This is obviously an approach that can't live in harmony with an independent-minded and internationally empowered Security
If the lesser powers, including the permanent members of the council, were willing to go along, the UN could serve as a convenient
multilateral forum through which the U.S. would run the world by subcontracting spheres of influence and control to Russia, China,
France, Germany and others.
Instead, these powers - with the exception of Great Britain - are aghast at the Bush Doctrine. Only now, more than a decade after
the fall of the USSR, have they begun to internalize the meaning of the term "the world's only superpower." Their response is
clearly visible - an attempt to turn the Security Council into a rival collective superpower.
Bush saw this coming, and he gave his answer Thursday: "When it comes to our security, if we need to act, we will act. And we
really don't need United Nations approval to do so."
The President added that he wants the UN to be a "robust, capable body." By this he meant a body capable of following America's
robust lead. If the Security Council reassesses the situation and comes around, swell. If not, well, look what happened to the
League of Nations.
Governments that vote against America in the coming Security Council roll call are about to learn - if they haven't figured it out
already - that America's cowboy President has led them into a genuine Texas ambush. War is coming to Iraq, but the real
shootout is about to take place at the UN corral.
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JWR contributor Zev Chafets is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.
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