by John Hawkins | April 7, 2004 11:59 pm
One thing you frequently hear from the left — John Kerry included — is that we should let the UN handle Iraq. Kerry isn’t suggesting that we pull out the troops at this point, but other people, Dennis Kucinich among others, have.
But, here’s what people who favor this idea either don’t understand or don’t want to tell you: the UN and/or the international community is not capable of handling Iraq without America still doing all the heavy lifting.
Here’s why I say that….
When it comes to projecting force around the world, there’s the United States, then there’s Britain, and then there’s the rest of the world. That’s not to say that other nations can’t help out or contribute, because they can. Australia, Poland, Spain, Italy, and plenty of other nations have put blood and treasure on the line to support us in Afghanistan and Iraq and that’s certainly appreciated.
But still, if we’re talking about any military operation that doesn’t involve a bunch of blue helmets standing around picking their noses and trying to stay in the shade, then the US is going to be the core of the force, the Brits are going to make a large contribution, and then we’ll round out the coalition with Australia and whoever else we can talk into coming along. It was that way in the Gulf War, in Kosovo, and it was that way in the war in Iraq.
Again, that’s not to disparage the nations sending men into harms way to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, but the majority of the world has let their militaries atrophy down to almost Canada…ehr, I mean almost nothing. For example, the current numbers I’m finding vary, but there seems to be roughly 130,000 US troops in Iraq and 25,000 Coalition troops from other nations, about 10,000 of which are British.
Now the idea that the nations that aren’t currently participating in Iraq like Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, etc, could replace 130,000 of the finest, best trained troops in the world is laughable. So anyone trying to tell you that the US should pull out and let someone else handle it is for all intents and purposes saying “Let Iraq collapse into civil war, it’s not our problem”.
On the other hand, if you take the comparably moderate “turn things over to the UN” position, what are you really accomplishing? The rest of the world just doesn’t have THAT MANY troops they’re going to contribute. And since we — and the Brits of course — will still have the best militaries in Iraq by far, we will still end up doing almost all of the dirty work that no one else wants / is capable of doing. Meanwhile, Kofi Annan and the rest of the corrupt bureaucrats at the UN, the same guys who ran from Iraq like scalded dogs after they got bombed, would be at the center of the decision making process.
Knowing all this, it makes no sense to go the UN or the “international community” with our hat in our hands asking for help. To be honest, if we’re not capable of pulling this off, then the UN hasn’t got a hope in hell of doing it. Ultimately, the Coalition we have is best able to help the Iraqi people move towards Democracy and despite the problems we’re having in Iraq right now, we’re still slowly, but surely, moving in the right direction…
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