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[casi] POTENTIAL BLAIR GOV. UNSC TACTIC (Richard Holbrooke)

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

Source: Former US Permanent Representative to the UN Richard Holbrooke,
"Deepening Divide", PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, 10 February 2003



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.


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


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