Saturday, October 18, 2003

UN SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON U.S. OCCUPATION: "The resolution calls only for a new deadline for the U.S.-selected Iraqi Governing Council to announce its timeline for drafting a constitution and holding elections; it does not set a timeframe for turning Iraqi sovereignty back to Iraq. It does not allow any central or even significant role for the United Nations, despite the cosmetic reference to the secretary-general. The Council opposition, led by France, Germany and Russia, largely collapsed in the face of relentless U.S. pressure. But the U.S. 'victory' will be a pyrrhic one. The new resolution may provide enough political cover for governments such as Turkey, eager to prove their loyalty to Washington, but it will almost certainly not result in other countries sending significant new troop deployments or funds to bolster Washington's occupation."

"The U.S. will certainly use the resolution to claim that the war and its occupation of Iraq were sanctioned by the United Nations. The perception that the UN agreed with the U.S. occupation will of course weaken the UN. Many will not recognize the intensity of U.S. pressure and threats that forced the decision, and the position will increase hostility to the global organization in Iraq and elsewhere, making it difficult later (when the U.S. occupation is acknowledged a failure) for the UN to work in Iraq. Further, the Council decision was a slap to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who had, in the wake of the horrific bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad, shown more willingness to challenge the U.S."

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