The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Last night, former US Permanent Representative to the UN Richard Holbrooke appeared on the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer. On the program Holbrooke described a potential post-Blix report scenario, featuring a Blair Government Security Council Resolution and Bush Administraion 48 hour timetable. Source: Former US Permanent Representative to the UN Richard Holbrooke, "Deepening Divide", PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, 10 February 2003 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june03/divisions_2-10.html Excerpt: [begin] Tony Blair needs the appearance of an effort to get a second resolution in order to solidify support for himself. So my guess is this: Blix will report on Friday, the British will then circulate a very short resolution saying that the Iraqis have violated 1441 or in material breach or something. If at any point in this process, and the U.S. will give a very short notice, I would think 48 hours, if at any point in those 48 hours the French, the Russians or anyone else says we're going to muster strong opposition, the U.S. and the British will pull that resolution and the war will start within a matter of days or a handful of weeks. [end] Holbrooke is a veteran diplomat who knows how the diplomatic process works. In particular, as a former US diplomat, he is surely familiar with how this process often functions in order to favor US officials' objectives. Note, e.g., in the full transcript his comment: "[SCR] 1441, one of the best resolutions ever crafted in the U. N.". Holbrooke's scenario seems rather plausible. Over the past few weeks, Blair has increasingly stated that it is very important for his Government to obtain Security Council authorization to use force against Iraq. But he also states that his Government will still use force if at least one permanent Security Council Member (likely to be France with or without Russia) exercise what Blair calls a "capricious veto". Even if no vote materializes within a Bush Administration timetable, or a vote features no vetoes but still denies the force authorization, Blair might still authorize the use of British force. In Holbrooke's scenario, perhaps the Resolution content and Bush Administration timetable would exist in order to pressure the Security Council, and in particular France and Russia, to actually authorize force. But the Bush and Blair Governments may undertake the exercise suspecting a veto is quite likely, given their terms. They may have reached a point where they wish to end the UNMOVIC/IAEA inspections regime once and for all, and attack Iraq. They might conclude that the more time elapses, the more likely it will be that France, Germany and Russia will more proactively oppose a Blair and Bush Government war. The objective in a Holbrook-like scenario may instead be to provide domestic political cover for both Bush and Blair Governments, especially for Blair's. Blair might tell the British public that he tried his best to work through the UN. But France and/or Russia were overly political, and either politically used their veto power or encouraged other Council members, along with Germany, to vote against force authorization. Therefore, in order to uphold UN Security Council Resolutions and indeed protect the "relevance" of the UN, and end the tremendous non-conventional weapons threat that the Government of Iraq poses to the UK and international peace and security, his Government will join the US and attack Iraq. Or so Blair may argue. There is already a very active British campaign to get the Blair Government to listen to the entire Labour Party, the British public (which seems to feature opposition to or at least incredulity toward Blair's "war is the only solution" Iraq policy) and much of the rest of the world, which favor alternatives to war on Iraq. Perhaps it might be useful to include in this British campaign advance notice that if the Blair Government conducts UN diplomacy (including a Security Council Resolution) aimed at politically covering pre-determined force, rather than pursuing diplomacy to peacefully resolve the issues at hand, then it will be known and unacceptable. Nathaniel Hurd NGO Consultant on United Nations Iraq policy Tel. (Mobile): 917-407-3389 Fax: 718-504-4224 Residential/Mailing Address: 90 7th Ave. Apt. #6 Brooklyn, NY 11217 _________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk