Monday, April 07, 2003

French duplicity rules UN out of rebuilding Iraq

William Rees-Mogg has an article in the Times today which reflects my own views on the subject of United Nations involvement in Iraq.

If you do not fight the war, you will not control the peace ... Some people imagine that President Bush will turn to the United Nations, which spent 12 years failing to disarm Iraq, from 1991 to 2003, and politely ask it to take over responsibility for the reconstruction ... Handing Iraq over to the UN would mean bringing back into high influence Saddam Hussein�s closest international allies, France and Russia, the two countries which invested in the Saddam regime on the largest scale, supplied him with weapons and lent him money ... If the United Nations were responsible for reconstructing Iraq, France and Russia would be well placed to protect their financial interests ... The American Administration would prefer to spend the money on the redevelopment of Iraq rather than on meeting the bills incurred by Saddam�s weapons programme ... France torpedoed American efforts to deal with the problems of Iraq�s disarmament. The result was that America has had to fight another Gulf war, costing about $100 billion (�65 billion) and some casualties, when they thought that they had dealt with the matter 12 years ago. Americans feel that M Chirac stabbed them in the back. They are not going to ask him to do so again. That is not the American way ... For the present, that is just as well. Having failed to disarm Iraq for 12 years, ending with the fiasco of the volte-face over Resolution 1441, the UN does not have the capacity, the self-confidence or the unity to take the decisions that will soon be required.