Wednesday, March 12, 2003
I totally agree with Steven Den Beste about the ridiculousness of the proposals circulating in the Security Council. Not a single one of these 'new' proposals gets us to a point where we are not already. Hussein's been given a deadline and failed to meet the conditions, what is there about yet another deadline or certain conditions in a new resolution that will lead to a single wavering country making up or changing its mind and getting on board? It just isn't going to happen. Nor are these proposals aimed at doing that. Every single one represents nothing more than the continued maneuvering on the part of countries who wouldn't vote yes for the use of force if their own capitals were exposed to Iraqi anthrax. They are desperately focused on putting off the day of a vote, assuming (correctly, I believe) that America won't act without such a vote.
Bush has only himself to blame for this. Last week in his press conference, he said he would get a vote. Not a resolution, just a vote. So, now the focus at the UN is to prevent this vote from taking place. Bush has got to step up and give the UN a deadline.
As for Blair, what's happening to him is too bad. He has been a good ally. He also has himself to blame: nobody forced him to rely on the British left for a political base. But, he did, and now he has to live with the results.
For Bush to refrain from using force without Blair being on board means needing the support of the British left. This is as likely to happen as the French giving us their support; the British left probably thinks more highly of the French than they do us. Bush has properly rejected the idea that we need French approval. He needs to state clearly that we don't need the support of the British left either (I thought it a good move on Rumsfeld's part yesterday, I was disheartened to see him backpeddle today). Failure to do so means giving support to those who argue that we need the support of the fill-in-the-blank country or institution, whether it be the French, the Germans, the UN Security Council or the British leftists. Paraphrasing Bush and an old movie, having determined that Iraq poses a threat to the security of the US, I'd say "Support? We don't need no stinking support!".
The goal has to be the removal of Hussein and the elimination of his WMD. Focusing on anything else, such as world opinion, not only isn't necessary for our military to achieve this goal, it's actually making our job harder. It's also mistaking a means (support) for the end (removal of Hussein). And, watching this whole dance play out makes me wonder whether Bush has got his act together....Of course, as I've alluded to in earlier posts, maybe we're just not giving the guy enough credit.....
UPDATE: James Tarantoseems to agree with my assessment of Rumsfeld's comments.