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Monday, December 19, 2005

From the Independent:

'Mr Bush also admitted for the first time that the intelligence mistakes over Iraq's alleged WMD made it harder for him to argue that Iran's nuclear programme posed a threat. "People will say, 'Well, the intelligence failed in Iraq, therefore how can we trust the intelligence on Iran?'."'

'If Britain, France and Germany failed to negotiate a deal to end Tehran's nuclear ambitions, Iran would face sanctions at the United Nations, he warned.' [Source: The Independent]

Presidents come and go every four or eight (or, hopefully, six...) years, but the U.N. will always be there. We remember quite well a number of Iraqi war supporters who attacked the U.N. and the U.N. process, including our current ambassador to that institution. The Bush Administration itself has a number of U.N.-phobes among its members. All of these dismissed the U.N. inspections as "ineffective" (while trying to get as much intelligence from the inspectors as possible), arguing that the time for that grand old institution had passed. And now, here we have a somewhat humbled U.S. President warning of "sanctions at the United Nations" as Iran's possible reward for pursuing its nuclear program. The U.N. isn't going anywhere, and those who've called for its death must now rely on it to do what the U.S. can't -- keep Iran in check. This, to me, is yet another sign that the Bush Administration isn't terribly principled and plays as much politics as any other recent Presidency. The U.S. is in a tight spot, its forces tied down in Iraq and no domestic stomach for another invasion. Would we be in the same situation if we'd let the U.N. process play itself out? I tend to think we wouldn't, but it's too late for hypotheticals. Bush must live with the reality that his decisions have weakened America. The rest of the U.N. critics must deal with the truth that the U.N.'s intelligence on Iraq was better than the U.S.', and that the U.S. cannot operate in the world without the U.N.

Andrew 10:54 PM : |


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