Commits – But Only If He’s Not Obligated
By Alan Nathan
Published June 22, 2004
Sen. John Kerry's quest for accountability seems
like a vampire's search for a sunny day -- not truly
desired. Whenever asked why he refused to support
President Bush's requested $87 billion in order to
fund the very war resolution for which he voted,
he repeatedly argues that war should be waged" only
as a last resort" or "only after exhausting
all diplomatic means."
contends that Mr. Bush was first expected to achieve
these points of criteria before taking us into conflict
against Iraq. Sounds reasonable up to where he stops.
Unfortunately, he has never said when it becomes
a last resort or when diplomatic means are exhausted.
If there is no point of finality attached to a last
chance given, it then becomes just another chance
resulting in no opposition of consequence against
the enemy. Instead, we have ensured that no matter
how frequent or egregious the violation, permanently
locked into place is our excuse never to hold the
enemy to account. They commit an infraction -- "it's
cool, have another resort"; they inflict again
-- "no sweat, help yourself to some more diplomatic
means." These arguments are bottomless wells
of escape hatches designed to ensure indefinite avoidance
from said point of finality. While this is very much
in keeping with the U.N. posture of inertia, it's
sadly not very presidential. In short, while leaders
must allow themselves options, among them should
never be the right to abandon tough choices linked
Mr. Kerry irresponsibly recommends that we rely more
on the United Nations for help; Mr. Bush also seems
devoid of logic on this issue -- though dramatically
less than Mr. Kerry. Why should either of these gentlemen
wish to invest trust with an organization whose leadership
has so recently and unabashedly lied on record? Following
the bombshell news story that Saddam Hussein had
been bribing national leaders and U.N. officials
with $10 billion stolen from the Oil for Food program
meant to aid the Iraqis by counterbalancing harm
caused from sanctions, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan promised on NBC's " Meet the Press" that
all involved with this program would submit to the
interviews of Paul Volker, former chair of the Federal
Reserve Board. Mr. Volker was to investigate U.N.
personnel and those with whom they interacted so
as to track all forms of corruption and influence
peddling -- regardless of any nation's representatives
who might prove culpable. The following day, Mr.
Annan violated that promise and said the company
contractors were off limits to Mr. Volker. Outgoing
Assistant U.N. Secretary-General Benon Sevan instructed
many contractors not to speak with Mr. Volker's team
unless given permission by the United Nations.
us be candid; we have all that's necessary to categorically
discredit the United Nations beyond repair, and we're
holding back. Why? I can understand Mr. Kerry's motive.
He always has sponsored policies that subordinate
our nation's interest to the will of other countries
in exchange for their approval.
why would Mr. Bush support a U.N. role in Iraq's
governmental transition? Global legitimacy? What
legitimacy is there to be gained from the saliently
proven illegitimate? For example, newspapers, television
and radio networks have announced that the U.N. Human
Rights Commission has a report coming out on the
human rights record of the Coalition Forces -- specifically
on the United States.
know all of us eagerly await its assessment, especially
since the commission is comprised mostly of human
rights violating dictatorships that surely know something
about this subject. It will be intriguing to witness
greater U.N. indignation over American abuse of prisoners
than there is over Muslim support of atrocities.
Overt double standards are so easily picked apart.
It's sad really, because in the 1960s it was such
a great institution. When exactly did the United
Nations start believing that claims to sovereignty
and religion were licenses for practicing mass rape,
mass torture of children, prisoner dismemberment,
ethnic cleansing and genocide? Well, at least we'll
be given an intimate opportunity to hear from one
of Mr. Kerry's most ardent constituencies. Just for
clarity's sake, these are not the musings of a "right
a centrist who supported Bill Clinton both terms -- and would again.
However, when it comes to the donkey and elephant choice of this election
cycle, please pass the pachyderm.
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