TITLE

The U.N.'s Revenge

PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
New Republic;5/10/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 17, p9
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Editorial
ABSTRACT
The war in Iraq has become an epic of unanticipated (and some anticipated) consequences, and one of the most unanticipated of all is certainly the emergence of the United Nations as the new demiurge of Iraq's political future. How did the Bush administration, which was so boastful about its disdain for the ideas and the instruments of the United Nations, end up on Kofi Annan's doorstep in a posture of supplication? The administration's contempt for the United Nations was not lacking a basis in reality. The United States did not win the cold war for nothing. The outcome of the contest with Soviet principles and Soviet power was a vindication of American principles and American power; and it is not presumptuous of the Bush administration to insist upon this point. [W]hether or not the prospect of a significant U.N. role in Iraq is appetizing, it appears to be inevitable; and it owes its inevitability in large measure to the doctrinaire bungling of the Bush administration. Militarily, it is obvious that the United States can go it alone in Iraq, if "it" means destroying the regime of Saddam Hussein. Our army really is that good. But there are things that our forces cannot do because they cannot be done by force. Politically, cruise missiles are useless. The United States can assert that its aim in Iraq is morally right, but only the people of Iraq can assert that it is politically right. [A]s a consequence of the administration's dogma that the United States needs no help and no blessing, the United Nations is now contributing plans without contributing troops: a brilliant outcome.
ACCESSION #
12969768

 

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