by John Hawkins | October 2, 2002 4:22 pm
What The ‘Real UN’ Is Like: Jonah Goldberg has an excellent column out today about the UN and Iraq. There are without a doubt people out there who think that getting UN approval for our invasion of Iraq somehow legitimizes it or at least gives it more moral authority. However, getting the approval of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council has absolutely nothing to do with ethics or morality and everything to do with economics. Here is what China, France, and Russia want in return for putting the precious UN stamp of approval on our Iraqi invasion….
“China’s vote -or abstention, same difference -is considered the cheapest since it has so few commercial interests in Iraq. All they want is for the United States to either support, or turn a blind eye to, a Chinese crackdown on Muslim minorities in Western China. The United States also tossed into the pot an agreement to soften its stance toward the Tibet issue; we’re leaning on the Dalai Lama to lighten up in his negotiations with the Chinese government.
Then there’s France, which has publicly carved out the most self-righteous position when it comes to American “imperialism” and a potential war with Iraq. Privately, the French are very much open to negotiations. France has huge oil and other commercial interests in Iraq (despite the sanctions). America is working hard to promise the French that if France goes along with its historic ally -I mean America, if you weren’t sure -they won’t be frozen out of the new Iraqi economic order. Now, the French may not end up supporting a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but if they do support us, money, not principle, will have won the argument.
And then there’s Russia. Russia’s interests in Iraq aren’t as big as France’s but they’re still considerable. First, Iraq owes the Russians $8 billion, and Russia wants its dough. A starting point of any conversation about Russian support is a promise that Russia will be paid back. Other chips in the deal include America’s support for Russia’s WTO bid and a quieter U.S. State Department when it comes to Russian human rights abuses in Chechnya and Georgia.”
Anyone who thinks there is some sort of principle involved here or that France, China, and Russia care one way or the other about how many Iraqis get killed or whether Saddam stays in power or not, is gravely mistaken. So if you are a “UN Believer” who thinks that the UN has some sort of moral superiority, ask yourself why you believe that? All we’re doing is negotiating a price for the invasion, who’s right or wrong isn’t even going to be factored into the equation. I already don’t care what the UN thinks, but why should anyone care what they think if the US, or any nation for that matter, can simply and openly buy them off? This my friends is what the ‘real UN’ is like and why no one but the ignorant and the hopelessly naive believe they have any sort of ‘moral authority.’
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