March 18, 2003


I've obviously been away from the blog for a few days. Participated in a racquetball tournament over the weekend that beat up my body, and monopolized my time for three days, with mixed results (competitively, that is).

Not a whole lot to say on the onset of war this evening, other than the fact that I'm praying for a minimal loss of human life on both sides, and for wisdom for the people who will be putting a government back together in Iraq in the aftermath. Sounds like defections are ongoing. It would be a blessing if the leaflets, broadcasts and pre-invasion information encourage soldiers not to die for Saddam.

I think what Tom Daschle said today is despicable, that Bush had handled diplomacy "so miserably that he has brought us to war." (I missed his congratulations on Bush's stellar diplomacy when he got a 15-0 vote on 1441) Is nothing beneath the Democratic Party leadership when it comes to exploitation for partisan political purposes? I think not. Lieberman, on the other hand, showed class.

Two points to make in this regard. First, that Solomon himself could have been negotiating in the Security Council and would have been unable to pass a resolution that France had vowed to veto, no matter what the terms turned out to be!

Second, the end result would have been the same. We would be going to war one way or the other. Either with a resolution, or without one. Saddam wasn't going to budge either way. So, what's the practical difference? Nothing other than the self-perception of relevance for the U.N.

Now the U.N. can lie in the bed it has made, and live with the fact that they voted 15-0 for a resolution that they then refused to enforce. It joins the other 16 resolutions on Iraq in the scrap heap. Let's also remember, that of the 70 or so military conflicts contested in the half century of the U.N.'s existence, only TWO have gone forward with the "approval" of the Security Council.

The first Gulf War was one, and the other, (I was reminded by George Will), came about virtually by accident, when the Korean conflict in 1950 was approved only because the Soviets, who had walked out in protest of some other matter, weren't present for the vote, which they would surely have otherwise vetoed.

By my figuring, that leaves out France's recent "unilateral" military foray into the Ivory Coast. Chirac can't let this U.N. consultation thing get out of hand. As for Chirac and Saddam, I guess one man's mass murderer is another man's business partner. And besides, I'm betting there's a whole lot of business paperwork in Baghdad written in French. We'll see.

One might express the same sentiment for Chirac, that Gen. McNeill had for Saddam when he was interviewed today from his command in Afghanistan, on what will become of the dictator......."Whatever he reaps, he has sown"

So be it.

Posted by dan at March 18, 2003 12:11 AM