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]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] US, UK, ensure failure of UN: Canadian general

The Ottawa Citizen Thursday, February 27, 2003

U.S., Britain ensure failure of UN: Dallaire

Lack of support for inspectors makes war a virtual certainty, retired
general says

Mike Blanchfield

Retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire slammed the U.S. and Britain
yesterday for making a war against Iraq all but inevitable by ensuring the
failure of United Nations weapons inspections.

The UN should have "saturated Iraq with inspectors" so they would be able to
say definitively whether it is complying with resolutions requiring it to
rid itself of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, said the man who
commanded the ill-fated UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda. By giving only
half-hearted support to the inspectors, the U.S. and Britain are setting up
the UN for failure, leaving the two countries to wage war without its
approval, said Lt.-Gen. Dallaire.

"You can't on one side, say the UN is screwing it up and we're going to go
to war, and on other side not give the UN the resources," the retired
lieutenant-general told the Citizen in an exclusive interview yesterday.
"They did not give the UN what it needed to beef it up so it would do a good

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire's support of the UN, which has been criticized as a
toothless world body, is particularly striking given the UN ignored his
pleas for more troops to prevent the Rwanda genocide that claimed 800,000
lives nine years ago.

But Lt.-Gen. Dallaire said he has never blamed the UN for Rwanda, nor does
he fault it for failing to resolve the current Iraq crisis.

He said the UN is only as strong as the support it receives from the five
permanent members of the Security Council. If the U.S. and Britain were ever
serious about backing successful weapons inspections, he said, they would
have supported sending thousands, not hundreds, of inspectors to Iraq.

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire drew a parallel with Rwanda, where he blamed individual
Security Council members for thwarting his request for more troops.

"That's exactly what happened in Rwanda. It is not the UN that failed. But
it is the permanent five in particular. If they don't want the UN to be
effective, it won't be," he said.

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire conceded the UN has many problems, but it remains the best
world body to solve crises such as the one that has pushed the U.S. and
Britain toward the brink of war with Iraq.

If the Security Council does not authorize the use of force, then the two
countries have no right to attack Baghdad without a resolution, he said.

"Nobody should be playing outside of that UN body. Any single-nation-led
coalition must be viewed with a jaundiced eye."

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire praised Canada for continuing to back the UN, and said the
government should be willing to stand by the Security Council's decision:
"If the UN says go, we go. If the UN says no, it's no."

Nonetheless, Lt.-Gen. Dallaire acknowledged that Canada could not afford to
alienate the U.S. and Britain, its two main allies.

If there is no UN approval, he said Canada should still provide indirect
support by sending ships and aircraft to the Persian Gulf region to bolster
current operations such as the war on terrorism and the embargo against

"You do participate, but you participate in a fashion that you're not a
main-stage player," he said.

"But if this exercise is not fully sanctioned by the UN, you don't send in
the army."

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire also criticized the American media for beating the drums
of war with biased reporting.

"You get the feeling they're preparing for a war and their moving the
information towards that," he said.

"Instead of viewing the UN as an instrument of possible reason and advancing
new ideas, they pooh-pooh the UN."

Lt.-Gen. Dallaire is to discuss the role of the media in covering tragedies
such as the Rwanda genocide in a speech next Wednesday at Carleton

Next month, he submits the first draft of his long-awaited book on Rwanda,
expected to be published in October.

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]