Dale is right, in their simplistic minds, the news anchors miss the real battle.
Finally, France appears favourably disposed to new U.S. proposals for a draft resolution that now drops any immediate authorisation for a military strike against Iraq unless Baghdad balks at U.N. weapons inspections.
Facing major opposition from everybody, except the trusty Brits who supported all the U.S. drafts, the United States radically changed key parts of its earlier draft resolution which authorised any U.N. member to “use all necessary means” if it decided Iraq violated a whole series of infractions. The new text also deletes earlier proposals explicitly threatening “serious consequences.”
It does sound pretty watered down, if you ask me, but after meeting chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix, the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said that a new resolution would not prevent Washington from undertaking a military strike against Iraq:
“The United States does not need any additional authority even now, if we thought it was necessary to take action to defend ourselves.”
The new U.S. compromise has been labelled as a “one-and-a-half step.” Instead of two resolutions – one that would give Iraq an opportunity to comply and a second that would authorise force – if the Security council does not do so after reports by Blix of any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, the United States could decide to strike Iraq anyway, and would probably get considerable support to do so.
What seems to be happening is that the French are backtracking whilst trying to preserve some diplomatic dignity. French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said France insisted on a “two-staged” approach but did not say if this meant a second resolution. Well, given that the U.S. envoys are going around making statements about the U.S. determination to use military force anyway, and in the light of recent terrorist attacks, the opposing Europeans are starting to look like complete twits. The only reason they can get away with it, is that they look quite reasonable next to the rest of the U.N. twits.
The Russian U.N. ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, sharply criticised any unilateral action and warned the United States not to use the Security Council as an excuse for a military strike or one that would lead to a “regime change.” I am surprised that the holier-than-thou Russian even understands the meaning of “regime change”!
Bangladesh Ambassador Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury opined:
“Every possible effort should be made to avert war. These views are evidently shared by a preponderant majority of the membership of the United Nations. They must be heard, listened to and heeded.”
Yes, and your delusions of relevance must be exposed, dispelled and shown for what they are. An empty rhetoric with potentially dire consequences, endangering lives and safety of millions of innocent citizens whose governments, for once, are trying to have a go at protecting them. It is not often you will hear me support Tony Blair or George Bush as representatives of the state that, in case you missed it, is not your friend…