Monday, March 17, 2003
another UN vote..... to which all I can say is it's about time and 'thanks a lot, Tony!'....
Look at where we were last fall. The UN Security Council had unanimously approved 1441. Bush was being praised for his diplomatic and tactical efforts, for his dealings both with Congress and the UN. His ratings were high. Nobody really thought the Hussein would disarm. It would take a few weeks, at the most, to show this. There was no provision in Resolution 1441 that called for another vote for authorizing force - everybody knew what was meant by 'serious consequences'. The anti-war groups had yet to get mobilized. Dissent in Congress was muted, with the Democrats licking their wounds from the fall elections. Bush would order the troops to move.
Instead, Blair, just not able to free himself from the Labor Party bias for knee-jerk opposition to policies supported by conservative American Presidents, decides to offer up and push for yet another resolution. Bush decides to go along, rather than isolate his friend. To give plausible denial to the claim that war was a foregone conclusion, troop movements to the region are staggered and do not take place as fast as possible - is there any other explanation for why it took until just last week for the Navy to redeploy ships out of the Mediterranean? Were they needed there to threaten the south of France? For the same reason, other issues, such as basing troops in Turkey, were allowed to drag out. The anti-war groups got their (relative) acts together, the critics in Congress found their voices. France, Germany and Russia, but primarily France, took this delay as an opportunity to pursue their twisted goals. Other countries on the Security Council started holding out their hands, seeking bribes, oops, I mean 'support'. American support for Bush, and his policies, have dropped. The weather in the region got worse. Hussein has had a couple of extra months to prepare his defenses and, possibly, to disperse his WMDs for usage against US/UK troops and neighboring countries.
And, now Bush and Blair have apparently decided to say 'never mind' to the need for a second resolution.....
As a result, they're worse off - politically and militarily - than if they had never pursued the effort of getting a second resolution. Their gains? Hard to say. Having France look bad - priceless, but not worth the fuss and the problems. After all, France didn't really look that good to a lot of us in the first place Rod Dreher's views notwithstanding.
It looks like the Bush White House forgot that, in the final analysis, what mattered was (1) how long and costly was the war, and (2) were we able to show, after the fighting had stopped, that Hussein did in fact have the weapons we accused him of having. If the fighting were quick and relatively casualty free and we produced the evidence, then it wouldn't matter if we had gotten UN approval. And, heavens forbid, things go bad, having UN approval wouldn't be enough to save the Bush presidency.