Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Was getting the UN involved worth it?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | 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 say no.

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 Newsweek.

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 danger.

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?
01/02/03: Ostriches
12/26/02: Learning from Canada's economic suicide
12/24/02: A moral dilemma: Support a vicious fascist dictator or the poor and downtrodden?
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 Majority Leader than his desperate efforts to cling to it
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
12/02/02: Conscription, like the horse cavalry, is an artifact of a bygone time
11/27/02: What Saddam faces
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
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
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
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
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
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
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?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
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
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
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