The Bush Contradiction: U.N. Permission for America to Defend Itself?

by | Mar 16, 2003

France and Germany rejected Britain’s compromise proposal that listed six disarmament conditions for Iraq. Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister, said the proposals “do not respond to the questions the international community is asking.” Germany said the proposal still “basically gives an authorization for war.” [New York Sun, 3/14/03] It couldn’t be clearer that […]

France and Germany rejected Britain’s compromise proposal that listed six disarmament conditions for Iraq. Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister, said the proposals “do not respond to the questions the international community is asking.” Germany said the proposal still “basically gives an authorization for war.” [New York Sun, 3/14/03]

It couldn’t be clearer that France and Germany are opposed to war in any circumstances–which means they regard the UN resolutions calling for Iraq’s disarmament as meaningless. They are putting Saddam Hussein on notice that, as far as they are concerned, he can rearm without interference. It’s as if the police were to annouce that, although robbery remained illegal, they were no longer going to arrest anyone for it.

The Franco-German smoke about “coercive inspections” is simply a political maneuver to try to make it appear that something is being done to disarm Iraq, without doing anything meaningful.

Everyone knows that the weapons inspectors are not in Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, but to receive and evaluate Iraq’s evidence that those weapons have already been destroyed. Everyone knows that this evidence has not been forthcoming.

Everyone knows that asking the inspectors to find weapons that Iraq is deliberately hiding has zero chance of success. France and Germany are not making these proposals in good faith, but simply to look good for the Nobel Committee and others with such lack of judgment.

George W. Bush is actually the one responsible for having put us in this position. What does it mean to go asking the UN for permission to go to war and then say you’ll attack regardless? Either you respect the authority of the UN or you don’t (and we shouldn’t). If you don’t, why ask it for permission? If you do, you have to be prepared to accept its rulings. By announcing to the UN that we would refuse to accept any decision that didn’t go our way, we were practically begging it to say no. Go ahead, make my day.

If we go to war without UN approval, as I fervently hope, there will be a lot of finger-pointing about who destroyed the UN.

The Bush administration will say that Old Europe did so by refusing to uphold the UN’s resolutions. But we could have gone to war without asking UN approval, and that institution would have issued a few ritual denunciations and puttered along.

The Europeans are going to lay the blame with the Bush administration’s refusal to obey the UN–but again, if we had simply gone to war without asking, the UN would have survived. No, what happened is that Bush believed in the UN but refused to relinquish his responsibilities to the American people; he went to the UN because he “believed in it so much.” The result was that the UN was called to account and its corruption exposed to the world. As the saying goes, you can’t cheat an honest man; in the final analysis, the UN will have destroyed the UN.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE
Paul Blair is former editor of The Intellectual Activist.

Related articles

Slavery Did Not Benefit “Whites”

Slavery Did Not Benefit “Whites”

The truth is that, aside from the plantation owners (a tiny minority), the white population of the South was hurt by slavery—kept poor by it—rather than enriched.

Voice of Capitalism

Our weekly email newsletter.