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2003-10-03 International
U.S. Meets Continued Resistance on U.N. Iraq Plan
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Posted by Steve White 2003-10-03 12:27:20 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6460 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 However, he said the best solution would be to quickly install a provisional Iraqi government because that would enable the world body to directly help Iraqis with drafting a constitution and preparing for elections, the diplomats said.

Translation: Everybody else will have their fingers in Iraq, even those that weren't willing to put their necks on the line when it counted.

Annan said he recommended quickly setting up an interim Iraqi government, which would assume power in a few months with the aim of hopefully changing "the dynamics on the ground," improving the security situation and sending a message to the Iraqi people and the region. The international community would not walk away, he said.

WHAT in the hell is this IDIOT talking about? The Iraqis barely have a working police force in place in Baghdad. There isn't a bona fide armed forces present yet. There are still Saddam sympathisers roaming the countryside wreaking their havoc that would, once coalition forces were scaled back, attempt to reestablish their former authority. How would the government effectively police the REST of the country? How does a government improve security without the ability to bring sufficient force to bear wherever it might be needed to maintain order?

Annan has said handing over sovereignty quickly would enable the Iraqis to take more time to write a constitution, noting that the United Nations has found that the process has taken up to two years in other countries, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. "Obviously, it’s not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan said Thursday.

What?? What's keeping them from drafting a constitution now? Why is it necessary to "hand over sovereignty" to do this??? Are the people that will be entrusted in drafting an Iraqi constitution union workers that won't do anything unless they have official job descriptions posted on their walls? WTF???

This democracy thing is something new to Iraq. They are NOT going to get the hang of it overnight, and NO ONE in their right mind would believe otherwise. Annan, as usual, is talking OUT OF HIS ASS.
Posted by Bomb-a-rama 2003-10-3 1:10:50 AM||   2003-10-3 1:10:50 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 The Iraqis barely have a working police force in place in Baghdad. There isn't a bona fide armed forces present yet.

Well, I don't know about that. Problem is, they are disorganized and working under a new paradigm. Whereas before the police were top dogs ruling with an iron fist, now they are being trained to deal with parking enforcement and other boring crime stuff.
Posted by Rafael 2003-10-3 2:20:55 AM||   2003-10-3 2:20:55 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 That's a nice variation on "you are a young and stupid country who needs guidance from your elders" that I don't recall hearing before. Still patronizing as hell, so I guess some things never change.
So, I guess Kosovo has a model constitution, now that they are under UN "guidance", right, Kofi? I mean, damn, look at how good the Palestinians have it under decades of UN "guidance"!
Posted by Baba Yaga 2003-10-3 2:32:59 AM||   2003-10-3 2:32:59 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 The idea that the UN could help anybody draft a constitution is downright Kafkaesque. Oh, right, the Dictators and Autocrats Boys Club is gonna get right on the job, you bet.

We may need the UN for something in future (though I can't think what...) seems to be the attitude in Washington and London. That, or sheer inertia (another notable attribute of the UN) is in play.
Posted by mojo  2003-10-3 2:51:02 AM||   2003-10-3 2:51:02 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 Steve den Beste has a very good (and long) post on how much longer he thinks we will be engaged in Iraq ( His position is based on the observation of successful and unsuccessful post-conflict strategies. If he is right, all of the UN wrangling are attempts to ensure that we effectively lose in Iraq, if not the actual combat phase (too late for that), then certainly the pacification and reconstruction phases. Viewed in the light of his essay, the objectives of all of the other players are made clear, and their role as active allies or active enemies defined. The UN has effectively sent sent its own Zimmerman telegraph, whether it knows it or not.
Posted by Whiskey Mike 2003-10-3 7:39:26 AM||   2003-10-3 7:39:26 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 "France raised similar questions and called for greater "transparency" in the handling of money for Iraq’s reconstruction, the French diplomat said"

If I recall there is something like $47 Blillion of Iraqi money sitting in a French bank.
What's up with that?

Why is that money still sitting there?
Why hasn't Jacque turned the money over to the IGC yet?
Come on Jacque,give me an answer!
Posted by Raptor  2003-10-3 8:16:01 AM||   2003-10-3 8:16:01 AM|| Front Page Top

#7 More great thought by the UN! A jiffy-pop constitution...Sounds more like "our allies" are worried about outstanding contracts w/the old regime. The quicker we turn it over to that cluster f*ck of a world dis-organization the quicker they can try to weasel their money back. We need to keep the ball in our court. Keep trying to bring them in on our terms and in incremental measures if possible.
Posted by Jarhead 2003-10-3 8:40:57 AM||   2003-10-3 8:40:57 AM|| Front Page Top

#8 cool down guys.

recognizing a govt before a constitution and having the UN deeply involved is just what we did in Afghanistan.

Im not saying we should do it in Iraq, though. In Afghanistan there was no likelihood that the UN would try to bring back the Taliban. Russia was old pal of the Northern Alliance, Germany was strongly pro-karzai, and the French really didnt care. In iraq, OTOH, there is the real chance that a UN admin might be pushed by France and Russia to bring "reformed" Baathists back into senior positions. And in Afghan a quick govt on the ground was necessary, since there were hardly any Coalition ground forces there. If no Karzai govt, then the Northern Alliance would have taken over. In Iraq temporary Coalition rule is a real alternative.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-3 9:05:22 AM||   2003-10-3 9:05:22 AM|| Front Page Top

#9 What I still can't figure out is why Russia, er I actually mean Prez Putty, is still treated as some favored friend. He and his FM are anything but our friends. Ticking off just a few items to illustrate:

1. Support for Saddam, especially the WMD's and their "disappearance" as outlined by the ex-Romanian Spy Chief in 2 articles - you haven't forgotten that already, have you? I'll dig up the link from right here on Rantburg if you need it.

2. Joining the Axis of Weasels - a Charter Member, in fact, and sticking it out through the whole program of shenanigans.

3. As a major independent producer, they have supported OPEC pricing - which is a serious impediment to the return of the US economy to health -- and the crux of the biscuit: jobs growth.

4. Selling nuke tech to the fucking Black Hats. Does this require any ribbons and bows to get someone's attention?

Look, thinking that Putty and that virulent anti-Israel FM of his (Ivanov? Can't recall with certainty at the moment) are merely mercenary (or whatever) and, therefore, predictable and controllable is foolish and dangerous. Putty & Co. have been just as big a hindrance as France or Germany, just as hypocritical, just as duplicitious, and just as guilty of trying to sabotage the US effort in Iraq. Add to it their actions in Iran, selling a nuke plant which can be used for a weapons program, and the laxity with which they control their own WMD's (and the component parts / raw materials) and that SHOULD make them our largest concern.

Chirac is finished - and he's dragging France down with him, though it is so internally fucked that it will be dead before it hits the ground.

Shroeder is on his way into oblivion, and Germany has far more internal ills than the US.

Why is Russia being given a pass here and at the Whitehouse? Are we that gullible? This just amazes me.
Posted by .com 2003-10-3 9:08:58 AM||   2003-10-3 9:08:58 AM|| Front Page Top

#10 Note to Kofi: Get your own house in order before sticking your damn nose in other people's business. (via Instapundit)
Posted by Bomb-a-rama 2003-10-3 10:21:17 AM||   2003-10-3 10:21:17 AM|| Front Page Top

#11 I don't know why we should be asking the UN for help. France, Germany, and Russia cannot afford to significantly help out economically. Only Russia could send a significant number of troops.

They want a setup with the UN and Iraq in which they can rake off money, not contribute.

A new constitution for Iraq could be done very quickly. Translate ours into Arabic and say here it is. Follow the path we took in Japan to a degree. We wrote Japan's constitution for them.

Encourage the new government to not pay any of the debts incurred under the previous regiem and watch the howling start.
Posted by Michael  2003-10-3 10:30:02 AM||   2003-10-3 10:30:02 AM|| Front Page Top

#12 why does vlad the impaler get a pass?

Well if i wanted to be nasty, id say it was cause he's the NOT-Yeltsin, and Yeltsin was Clinton's guy. And he winked at Ballistic Missile Defense, thereby undercutting opposition to it, and that was the Bushies number 1 foreign policy priority pre-9/11.

If i wanted to be kinder to the Bushies, Id say it was cause theyve been pretty enthusiastic fighers against the islamic fundies, cooperated in our getting bases in central asia, and were far less nasty than the french about Iraq. They at least didnt lobby hard against it, and have regulary winked that given enough bribes they might take our side. Even now theyre language is softer than the French - they wont go out on a limb either way.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-3 11:14:50 AM||   2003-10-3 11:14:50 AM|| Front Page Top

#13 From today's Moscow Times (sorry I don't have the link):
"President Vladimir Putin told top military commanders Thursday that Russia will put dozens of multi-warhead SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles on combat duty.

In a separate development, a Defense Ministry paper released ahead of Putin's comments warned that Russia might have to revise its plans for military reform and nuclear defense strategy if NATO did not drop what it termed its "anti-Russian orientation."

Putin explained the move was to prevent further aging of the country's land-based strategic nuclear arsenal, and maintain its capacity to overcome any missile defense system.

"I am speaking here about the most menacing missiles, of which we have dozens, with hundreds of warheads," Putin told a gathering of top commanders and Kremlin officials at Defense Ministry headquarters. "Their capability to overcome any anti-missile defense is unrivaled." "

This doesn't sound like a friend to me, I agree with .com on this one.
Posted by Dakotah 2003-10-3 12:32:51 PM||   2003-10-3 12:32:51 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 Russia is treated as a friend because the whole world is composed of bloody idiots.

Putin, a bloody KGB official, who has populated half the offices in his country with other KGB guys (equivalent to filling Iraq's new government with top-level Baathists), constantly pressing down on individual and press freedoms, having his whole country slide back into autocracy, being best pals with last-remaining-dictatorship-in-Europe, Belarus, having an iron grip on the Caucasus countries, destabilising Moldavia, having a somewhat-less-than-iron-but-still-pretty-strong grip in Ukraine, the butcher of Chechenya...

But because's Russia is smart enough to never be *vocal* about it, because it's smart enough to always play the center, it never really earns the ire of other countries.

No, you won't hear Putin rant against the US the same way Chirac or Shroeder did. You won't hear Putin insult Europe as Rumsfeld did. Because he's smart, while Chirac and Shroeder and Rumsfeld are bloody idiots.

You will just see him sell weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran. You will just see him expand the iron grip he has on his own nation's media, and reconstituted KGB's grip on the whole of the country so that it's unlikely he'll ever be removed from his position as president.

Because Putin is smart he's free to turn his country back into a smaller version of the Soviet Union with as ill an influence on neighbouring or third world nations... and neither the US nor Western Europe seem to give a damn.

One of the reasons I welcome the entry of Baltic and the other Eastern European nation into the EU is because I believe they have a healthy fear of what Russia may yet become.
Posted by Aris Katsaris  2003-10-3 2:33:11 PM||   2003-10-3 2:33:11 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Aris, you are wrong on all accounts. A Russian friend of mine once told me that what Russia needed was not democracy, but a czar-like leader. Putin is that leader. Next elections, he will be overwhelmingly re-elected.. just wait and see. And I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Would you prefer Zhirinovsky at the helm?
As for the military stuff, you can't expect a once-superpower to suddenly drop their weapons. Even if they do move nukes around, or develop other weapons, I wouldn't see it as a threat necessarily. The true test of this relationship will come if Russia decides to actively support regimes like Iran.
Posted by Rafael 2003-10-3 4:42:02 PM||   2003-10-3 4:42:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 "A Russian friend of mine once told me that what Russia needed was not democracy, but a czar-like leader. Putin is that leader. "

And an Iraqi friend of yours might have thought Iraq needed a leader like Saddam Hussein. What does that prove?

Telling me that Russia doesn't "need" democracy but an autarch instead... oh my. And yet you supported Saddam's removal from Iraq?

No, I wouldn't prefer Zhirinofski at the helm of Russia. Do you think that the only choice is between him and Putin? I'd much prefer someone like the liberal Yushenkov, a vocal critic of Putin, supporter of human rights, opponent of the war in Chechenya.

But he was assassinated in April. It doesn't seem very healthy to object to Putin's policies in Russia anymore.

And, yes, next elections Putin will definitely be overwhelmingly re-elected. Kinda like Saddam was overwhelmingly re-elected. No truly free media exist anymore in Russia.

So in what account am I wrong?
Posted by Aris Katsaris  2003-10-3 7:32:44 PM||   2003-10-3 7:32:44 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 Rafael,

Aris is right about Putin, he's definitely a (not so) stealth totalitarian. Whether or not the Baltic countries will profit from EU "security" is a different story and will require France to act like a grown-up on the international scene, lest a repeat of its treachery to its "Little Entente" allies pre-WWII be repeated.
Posted by Ernest Brown 2003-10-3 10:48:25 PM|| []  2003-10-3 10:48:25 PM|| Front Page Top

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