President Bush has been catching hell over Iraq policy from both sides of the political spectrum, in some cases justified. His apparent first choice to bypass the UN was the first of many mistakes the Administration has made. It was only after intense lobbying by Sec. of State Powell and mounting International pressure did he relent and seek an authorizing UN resolution. That choice has done nothing, in hindsight, except give critics a brush to paint Bush as a unilateralist. To this day critics call the assembled coalition ”fraudulent.”
The G-7 comprises the world’s major industrial democracies. Aside from America, there are six other countries. The United Kingdom, Italy and Japan, have troops in Iraq. Three, France, Germany and Canada, do not. A 4 to 3 majority of G-7 nations are members of this so called ”fraudulent coalition.” Eleven of 19 NATO members have contributed troops. Thirteen of 25 members of the European Union have forces serving inside Iraq. Granted some units are small but the term fraudulent hardly fits unless one is driven by blind ideology or political expediency.
A look at the UN’s past record in protecting human rights and “nation building” may give some insight why Bush was reluctant to ask for UN backing. Considering the facts on the ground in the Caribbean nation of Haiti in recent days, its obvious the UN is again taking the path of least resistance rather than a pro-active stance.
The death of an unarmed United Nations military observer last week (12 Jan.) mirrors the United Nations peacekeeping mission a year ago.
Last May, the mission headquarters came under fire from the latest ethnic militia to seize control of this town. Around the same time, the bodies of two unarmed military observers, stationed in the Mongbwalu gold- mining area, north of here, were found. They had been murdered. A third was killed by a land mine.
The incidents highlighted the peacekeeping mission’s inability to stanch the bloodshed. Across Ituri, massacres followed massacres. The streets of Bunia were littered with mutilated bodies.
The United Nations Security Council responded by fortifying the peacekeepers’ mandate and authorizing additional troops, raising the total to 10,000 peacekeepers in a country larger than Western Europe. In June, a French-led intervention force took control of Bunia for three months, effectively sweeping gunmen off the streets and bringing a semblance of security to the town.
Since martial law was declared after peace talks between the insurgent Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the government collapsed on May 19, 2003, the Indonesian military (TNI) and police officers have locked horns with the rebels on the resource-rich westernmost tip of Sumatra. Reports of violence against civilians