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Necessity for U.N. backing(8 posts)

Necessity for U.N. backingCaptain Morgan
Mar 7, 2003 12:18 PM
Last night I was watching a debate on FoxNews, and the following point was brought out: Why, all of the sudden, does the U.S. need U.N. backing for military confrontations? Reagan didn't need to consult with the U.N. before Grenada and Lybia, and Clinton didn't need it to bomb Kosovo or Afghanistan. Why does Bush have to subject himself (and the country) to that additional layer of potential ctiticism?
Because he's no dummyDale Brigham
Mar 7, 2003 2:39 PM
I think President Bush would like to have as much backing as possible for the upcoming invasion of Iraq, both within and outside of the U.S. Polling in the U.S. indicates that there is much more support for the war if U.N. support (and that of other allies) is included as a presumption in the question.

In other words, many fence-sitters are more supportive if we have friends and allies along, and if the U.N. approves. Of course, the case can be made that the previously approved U.N. resolution has already given him a green light.

Even if Pres. Bush says he does not pay attention to public opinion, I'm sure he actually does. He's no dummy.


P.S. Sorry about that lame parrot remark, Cap'n.
You sure?czardonic
Mar 7, 2003 3:27 PM
After all, public opinion has made a decided turn against Bush since he went to the UN. Judging by the speed with which the Administrations various pronouncements have been debunked, it seems unlikely that Bush ever hoped to win the support of the UN. (Even I don't think he is quite so lazy about doing his homework, even if Tony Blair is.) Rather, his efforts at the UN seem designed to fail. Seriously, how could anyone go up against Saddam Hussein in the court of world opinion and lose!?

It could be that this whole fiasco was masterfully devised do discredit the UN and remove it once and for all as an obstacle to US unilateralism. The Administration has repeatedly accused the UN of being a toothless debating society, yet the Administration has been fueling the debate with their own sloppy evidence and unsuportable assertions. You'd think they wanted to be voted down, or at the very least provoke and irrepairable schism.

The point? If the UN can be prodded into a stalemate over Iraq, a univerally recognized bad-actor, what more proof is needed that the UN can not fulfill its mission? Moreover, who could blame the Administration from ignoring the UN with Iraq and anything else they set their minds too.

Bush does care about public opinion (Rove briefs Bush on the latest focus groups so he can claim he doesn't listen to them). After all, he needs to get re-elected. But he clearly has little inclination to alter his policies. Rather, he focuses on altering public opinion. Most Americans support the war, but only with the UN's seal of approval. Rather than aiming to get the UN's blessing, which would set a dangerous precedent for US supra-soverignty, Bush seems to be aiming to discredit the UN and thus remove that condition from the public's support.
ThanksCaptain Morgan
Mar 8, 2003 9:41 AM
Apology accepted. The comment really wasn't that lame anyway!
They were different ...PdxMark
Mar 7, 2003 4:05 PM
Libya, Afghanistan, and to a lesser degree Grenada were all in self-defense or retaliation for attacks or military escalation.

Libya bombing was in response to a terrorist bombing of a Berlin disco frequented by US troops. The bombing was deemed to be Libya sponsored and followed exchanges of fire between Libya and US forces over the extent international waters in the Gulf of Sidra. Libya had fired SAMs at US aircraft, US sank a Libyan naval craft approaching US ships.

Afghanistan was fought in response to 9/11 attacks, and included the Taliban "government" because they allied themselves with Al Qaeda.

Grenada was in response to militarization of Grenada by Cuba and presumably to protect American students going to medical school(s?) there. Grenada seems to fit between Cold War escalation, protection of Americans to avoid hostages, and Monroe Doctrinal "It's my hemisphere and I'll do what I wanna..."

Kosovo was actually carried out by NATO, I think, under prodding by the US, to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe that occurred in Bosnia. Nothing in it for the US or NATO, just protecting innocent civilians from being ethnically purged.

I think Iraq is different from your 3 examples. There's no attack or increased militarization by Iraq. We're not doing it to protect Iraqi civilians. I think that's why Colin convinced GWB to try for UN approval. The legitmacy of our current action does not cleanly fall within the usual standards.
France, Russia and China holier than thou, but did they?IAM
Mar 8, 2003 8:32 AM
It seems funny to me that the three countries that vow to veto any resolution leading to attack when they all have their own dirty little secrets in their closets.
Did France get a resolution before invading the Ivory Coast? Did China get a resolution to invade Tibet? And how about the Russians, just one recent example, did they get UN approval through the security council to flatten Chechnya(sp)?
Just a couple of thoughts
Are you saying we'll be in China's & Russia's league?PdxMark
Mar 8, 2003 2:12 PM
USA in Iraq the same as China in Tibet & Russia in Chenya. Great company. Nice to see what moral standards you expect of the USA. Hell, at those levels, we'll be at about the same moral level as Iraq itself.

As for France in Ivory Coast, I think their "invasion" was an attempt to provide peacekeeping between civil warring parties. So I think France's actionas in Ivory Coast are not the same as USA/Iraq, China/Tibet, Russia/Chenya.
Are you saying we'll be in China's & Russia's league?IAM
Mar 10, 2003 4:16 PM
Sorry it took me so long to reply. I never thought my comment would be taken that way but I can see the connection that you are making. I wasn't trying to put the US at that moral level, I was trying to point out that the three countries vowing veto have done things on there own without UN approval. The whole going it alone thing in this case is a farce as I see it because it would be a coalition of many countries anyway.

I actually support an invasion of Iraq. The inspection process and disarmarment is a laughing stock. The original declaration was for unconditional compliance and disarmarmet not a big game of hide and seek, I see the serious need for the elimination of Iraq's WMD. I also support regime change and the freeing of the Iraqi people, no one deserves the treatment that this tyrant has inflicted on his own people. Although war is never wanted I think this would be a case of the end justifying the means.