February 25, 2003


U.S. Officials Say U.N. Future At Stake in Vote: Bush Message Is That a War Is Inevitable, Diplomats Say (Karen DeYoung, February 25, 2003, Washington Post)
As it launches an all-out lobbying campaign to gain United Nations approval, the Bush administration has begun to characterize the decision facing the Security Council not as whether there will be war against Iraq, but whether council members are willing to irrevocably destroy the world body's legitimacy by failing to follow the U.S. lead, senior U.S. and diplomatic sources said.

In meetings yesterday with senior officials in Moscow, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton told the Russian government that "we're going ahead," whether the council agrees or not, a senior administration official said. "The council's unity is at stake here."

A senior diplomat from another council member said his government had heard a similar message and was told not to anguish over whether to vote for war.

"You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not," the diplomat said U.S. officials told him. "That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the council will go along with it or not."

There's an amusing phrase that's starting to pop up in reporters' pieces on George W. Bush and, on the radio anyway, it's accompanied by a tone of near shock: "This president actually means what he says". If they'd been paying attention from the beginning they'd have had no doubt about how this diplomatic dance ends. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2003 7:08 PM
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