Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II, 5763
Was getting the UN involved worth it?
The U.S. effort, which began last September, to get the United Nations
Security Council to enforce its 17 resolutions calling upon Saddam Hussein
to disarm has ended in failure. Was it worth the attempt? Two sets of folks
Those who oppose military action against Iraq revel in Bush's diplomatic
"defeat" and "humiliation." Bush's "arrogant" policy, they say, has
alienated our "friends and allies."
"America's unprecedented power scares the world, and the Bush administration
has only made it worse," writes Fareed Zakaria in the current issue of
Conservative hawks who have always regarded the UN as a collection of
duplicitous weenies say this outcome was to have been expected, and the U.S.
should have gone forward with its "Coalition of the Willing" last fall.
Valuable time, they say, has been lost, and so has some legitimacy.
"The U.S. now goes into the war without even a figleaf of UN support," wrote
David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter who coined the phrase "Axis of
Evil." "In November, we could have said we were going to war on the
authority of UN Security Council 1441 - or because Iraq had violated the
terms of its 1991 armistice. Now, we're going to war despite being told "no"
by the UN."
The argument of the doves can the more easily be dismissed. If war with Iraq
goes well, success on the battlefield will overcome temporary diplomatic
setbacks. If Iraqis cheer liberation, and weapons of mass destruction and
ties to al Qaeda are found, it will be those who opposed war who will be on
the diplomatic defensive, not Britain or the United States. If the war goes
badly, Bush and Blair are toast, even if Hans Blix and Jacques Chirac were
to bless a nuclear strike on Baghdad.
The hawks have a better argument. Saddam has had more time to prepare. North
Korea has had more time to make mischief. Uncertainty is roiling the
financial markets and suppressing economic growth. These costs are real. And
they are serious. Delay in war with Iraq has come at a heavy price, but, I
think, with a gain that justifies the cost.
"The public judgment of this great country forms slowly," said Sen. Robert
LaFollette of Wisconsin nearly a century ago. "It is intelligent. No body of
men in this country is superior to it."
The crawl to war has given the American people time to form three important
judgments: That Saddam must go. That the UN is worthless. That the French
stink. All three of these judgments are critical for providing Bush with the
public support he'll require for remaking the postwar world, which will be
its biggest makeover since the end of World War II.
Frum has noted that "nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has
passed." The United Nations and NATO are relics of bygone eras badly in need
of reform. The crawl to war has made that need apparent.
The UN was created chiefly by the United States to foster democracy and
human rights throughout the world. It has degenerated into the principal
instrument through which tinpot despots try to heap restraints upon the
United States. From our perspective, the UN is worse than useless. It is a
Our principal adversary in the UN is not Russia or China or any other former
foe. It is France, considered an "ally" only because we rescued the French
from the Germans twice.
When Baghdad falls, it is likely we will capture documents proving Saddam
has suborned UN weapons inspectors, and that France and Germany have
provided massive assistance to his arms programs. We should use that
evidence to force the UN to reform, and to punish France.
Once the war is over, the president should announced a temporary suspension
of U.S. participation in, and financial support for, the United Nations. The
United States should rejoin the UN only if India and Japan are added to the
Security Council, and France is dropped from it. We ought also to move NATO
headquarters from Belgium (France lite) to more hospitable quarters in
Prague or Budapest.
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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a
deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan
administration. Comment by clicking here.
03/18/03: South Koreans no longer behaving as if they were the French of Northeast Asia --- why?
03/11/03: Ultimatum's moment of truth
03/11/03: Thank you, Turkey, we needed that
03/07/03: The fight against Saddam isn't a distraction from the war on terror --- it's is the main event
03/04/03: Bioterror nightmare approaching --- how it could likely happen
02/27/03: Iranian student: Can America hurry up with Iraq already, so they can get on with attacking us?
02/25/03: Yahoos on both the Left and the Right are trying to prevent government from maximizing technology in protecting us
02/20/03: Anti-war group gets it right about great humanitarian tragedy in last Gulf War
02/18/03: Iraqis: Why are these people marching for tyranny?
02/07/03: French kiss(ed)-off
02/05/03: Does the FBI have the ability to protect us from terrorists already here?
02/03/03: The "Axis of Weasels"
01/29/03: A bit of the jitters
01/27/03: The world's mediocre intelligence agency
01/21/03: By reaffirming GOP opposition to racism, president demonstrates willingness to confront liars
01/16/03: Why the United States should withdraw all of its military forces from South Korea as rapidly as we reasonably can
01/14/03: Federal incompetence driven by political correctness, not trampling of civil liberties, is what we should fear
01/09/03: Bag this boondoggle: The V-22 Osprey would hurt our national defense
01/07/03: Another Korean war?
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12/20/02: Time to tell the truth: The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights
12/18/02: Nothing better illustrates Trent Lott's unfitness for the post of Senate
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12/16/02: Debunker mentality: It's hard work not seeing ties between Iraq and al-Qaida
12/12/02: GOP ideologues turning on Lott --- better sacrifice the leader than the party
12/06/02: Curing our democracy of afflictions
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11/25/02: Why war with Iraq can be averted
11/19/02: A draft would harm the military
11/12/02: The 2002 elections and Nixon
11/07/02: Democratic overreaction to our recent "cosmically important" election
10/30/02: Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam
10/22/02: The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
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09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
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07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
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06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
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05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
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05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
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05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
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04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
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04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
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03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same
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03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred" …
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
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01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
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01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections
© 2002, Jack Kelly