April 22, 2004


Kerry's UN fetish (Jeff Jacoby, April 22, 2004, Boston Globe)

On "Meet the Press" this week, NBC's Tim Russert pressed Kerry to spell out just what it is he hopes to accomplish in Iraq. Among his questions: Do you believe the war in Iraq was a mistake? Do you have a plan to deal with Iraq? If you are elected, will there be 100,000 US troops in Iraq a year from now? Why do you say the UN and NATO should take over when they don't have the troops or the desire to do so?

Here are some representative excerpts from Kerry's replies:

"We need a new president . . . to reestablish credibility with the rest of the world. . . . Here is the bottom line: Number one, you cannot bring other nations to the table through the back door. You cannot have America run the occupation, make all the reconstruction decisions, make the decisions of the kind of government that will emerge, and pretend to bring other nations to the table.

"Now, finally, George Bush is doing what I . . . have recommended. . . In effect, he's transferred to the UN the decision about what government we'll turn it over to. But he won't transfer to the UN the real authority for determining how the government emerges, how we will do the reconstruction of Iraq. . . .

"If I'm president, I will not only personally go to the UN, I will go to other capitals. . . . I will immediately reach out to other nations in a very different way from this administration. Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the UN and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world."

Oil-for-food 'made Saddam $10bn' (BBC, 4/22/04)
Saddam Hussein's regime made billions of dollars more than previously thought from the United Nations oil-for-food programme, US officials have said.

Established to help ordinary Iraqis during 12 years of sanctions, the programme was the highest-spending project ever undertaken by the UN.

But the US Treasury estimates $10bn of illicit gains were made between 1997 and 2002 from the scheme, up from $6bn. [...]

There are also allegations that UN staff reaped money from the programme, and that oil money was used to bribe UN employees to back Saddam Hussein, according to reports.

Who besides Bob Shrum thinks that pledging that you'll crawl to the UN and grovel before them is good politics in America?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2004 2:40 PM

Dennis Kucinich, Noam Chomsky, and Katrina van den Heuval. Jacques Chirac. Now Zapatero. Maybe Al Gore. Nice list of folks there.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 22, 2004 10:59 PM

And once done, the world will applaud gratefully and all join hands to build global peace and prosperity under American leadership. France will be particlarly accommodating.

Posted by: Peter B at April 23, 2004 7:02 AM