Little to say for myself

Tuesday, March 18, 2003  

Bugger... bugger... bugger

Oh well - so much for optimism.

A guy at work made a (now redundant) suggestion this morning. It seems clear that the US and UK pulled out of proposing their further resolution because it wouldn't have received majority support in the UNSC - covering their real motive by blaming their action on the French universal veto. They are now planning to go to war bolstered by contentious legal argument that tries to say they didn't need the resolution (that they spent weeks sweating blood to get accepted) in the first place.

Just so we can get a proper idea of how much support there would have been for the new resolution, my friend suggested that either France or Russia could table the exact same resolution - or, even better (thinking about it now), a completely unambiguous and clear statement along the lines of:

"Because of Saddam's failure to comply with previous resolutions, the UN now supports the US proposal for military action to disarm him."

and put it to the vote. They can do that safely, knowing that their partner (either Russia or France) could veto it if need be. Then if it failed to win a majority, as it probably would, there would be no doubt that military action would be unlawful.

OK, so that would be too cynical. But why doesn't France at least put its money where its mouth is, and write a resolution proposing a different course of action from the one the US/UK are taking - and put that to the vote? So far the French have behaved as if they were in parliamentary opposition - blocking proposals put by others. If they want to be seen as diplomatic heavyweights, playing a leading role in the UN, it's about time they offered something more constructive than vetos.

Maybe that's the problem - the only people with the balls to do anything are the ones doing the wrong thing.

posted by Plig | 00:16 |

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Forget the sentimental notion that foreign policy is a struggle between virtue and vice, with virtue bound to win.
Forget the utopian notion that a brave new world without power politics will follow the unconditional surrender of wicked nations.
Forget the crusading notion that any nation, however virtuous and powerful, can have the mission to make the world in its own image.
Remember that diplomacy without power is feeble, and power without diplomacy is destructive and blind.
Remember that no nation's power is without limits, and hence that its policies must respect the power and interests of others.
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