Sunday, October 19, 2003

A Pyrrhic Victory at the UN: "The Bush administration did finally get their resolution, but the question is, what can they do with it? The short answer is 'not a lot.' The White House did not seek this resolution because they felt a need for moral and legal absolution and approbation from the United Nations. It wanted it as a means to four specific goals: to coax more troop contributions from reluctant governments; to coax more cash for Iraqi reconstruction; to coax Kofi Annan to return UN civilian staff to Iraq; and perhaps most of all, reinforced by the previous three, to persuade the bulk of Iraqis that they weren't really occupied at all. It is highly unlikely to secure any of those goals."

And, as Phyllis Bennis has said, there is a downside with this UN resolution: it reinforces an impression among the Iraqi and Muslim worlds that the UN 'approves' the occupation, which could make it more difficult for the UN when the occupation fails and genuine UN involvement is needed.

No comments: