(Click on the logo to return to the main blog.)

Quick and Spoons Have It Wrong... I Think
12/23/2002

The Spoons Experience recently seconded a premature (certainly prematurely vociferous) screed by Bill Quick. On Spoons' post, I left the following comment:

I entirely disagree with even the direction from which you're analyzing the situation.

My impression is that the precedent had already been established that the U.S. needed U.N. "permission" for actions (otherwise, why would all of the "unilateral" rhetoric have sounded so plausible to so many?). Watching all of the baldfaced attempts by the "international community" to scuttle the U.S.'s intentions over the past few months, I've come to think that when (OK, if) we attack and topple Saddam's regime, what we'll have actually proven is that even the best attempts of lawyers and diplomats will not deter our action.

In other words, we won't have proven that we need the U.N. to hold our hand as we cross the road, but that we can cross the road even with the U.N. pulling at our shirt tails. And when the hard work comes to an end, perhaps we'll be able to offload some of the cleanup.

I just spotted this on Drudge, and it seems to support at least the last part of my conclusion:

At an unpublicised meeting in Geneva on December 13, the UN appealed to more than ten donor nations, including Britain, to provide $37 million (£23 million) to fund preparations for a crisis.

The Rome-based World Food Programme said that it had started to put in place sufficient food for 900,000 people for a month. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has a stockpile of supplies for 250,000 people ready to move at 72 hours' notice, but has only enough tents and blankets for 100,000 people. It could take 12 weeks and $60 million to deliver enough supplies.

The UN Children's Fund, which has a warehouse in Denmark, has started moving supplies to Iraq and four neighbouring countries for 550,000 people inside Iraq and another 160,000 expected to spill into neighbouring states.

The entire situation may play out that the U.N. will not be proven obsolete but will come to be little more than the cleanup wing of the American military.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 08:45 AM EST