September 23, 2003


There's nothing like the Giardian to get my blood up:

George Bush was increasingly isolated on the global stage yesterday as he defied intense criticism from a litany of world leaders at the United Nations over the war on Iraq. Showing no contrition for defying the world body in March or the declining security situation in Iraq, the US president called for the world to set aside past differences and help rebuild the country: "Now the nation of Iraq needs and deserves our aid - and all nations of goodwill should step forward and provide that support," he said.

But the French president, Jacques Chirac, who spoke after Mr Bush, blamed the US-led war for sparking one of the most severe crises in the history of the UN and argued that Mr Bush's unilateral actions could lead to anarchy. "No one can act alone in the name of all and no one can accept the anarchy of a society without rules," he said. "The war, launched without the authorisation of the security council, shook the multilateral system. The UN has just been through one of the most grave crises in its history."

Earlier the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, condemned the doctrine of preemptive military intervention, arguing that it could lead to the unjustified "lawless use of force" and posed a "fundamental challenge" to world peace and stability. "My concern is that, if it were to be adopted, it could set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, with or without credible justification," said Mr Annan. "This logic represents a fundamental challenge to the principles on which, however imperfectly, world peace and stability have rested for the last 58 years."

The Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who also spoke before Mr Bush, said: "A war can perhaps be won single-handedly. But peace - lasting peace - cannot be secured without the support of all."

Mr Bush's speech was received with polite applause from the 191-member states, while his critics were given a far warmer reception.

This whole charade reminds me more and more of the scene in The Godfather where all the bosses are gathered around a table to work out a peace settlement between the families where they effectively all agree to get along at the expense of the Corleone family -- almost exclusively at the expense of the Corleone family. I'm not trying to draw any allusions to President Bush or the USA being the Corleones, but noting that the behavior of everyone else at the UN is almost exactly like that of the Barzini, Tattaglia, and the other bosses.

I wish President Bush had said, "I want the UN to be successful. I'd also like to think that the UN wants the US to be successful on behalf of the people of Iraq."


Posted by Charles Austin at September 23, 2003 11:25 PM