Friday, October 13, 2006

Footnote to Wednesday's Post

What passes for diplomacy in this Administration is repeated, categorical statements of what we think should happen, coupled with wildly overoptimisic estimates of how much support we have around the world. No one excels U. N. Ambassador John Bolton at these techniques, but he really outdid himself yesterday. According to this morning's New York Times, Bolton has been pushing (as the U.S. did in Lebanon) for a "chapter VII" resolution--the chapter of the UN Charter that involves authorizing the use of force. Russia and China oppose this. The Times continues:

"Sounding a note of exasperation, Mr. Bolton protested as 'simply incorrect' the interpretation that Chapter VII sets a precedent for military force, as many countries at the United Nations believe it did in Iraq.
'It would require a separate resolution, if one were needed, ot authorize force,' he said."

The U.S. government did, of course, propose a second resolution on Iraq in 2003--but it didn't wait for it to pass.

Later in the story, Mr. Bolton insists that he will not allow a vote on a new resolution to be delayed by endless discussions.

"We are going to continue to work on it," he said, "but we're not going to work on it at the cost of losing sending a swift and strong response."

That the response might lose its effect if the United States had to make it without majority support has, apparently, never occurred to him. The United States has the job of deciding what has to be done; the rest of the world has the job of agreeing, and if they don't, so much the worse for them. We shall pay dearly for this.

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