UN and Trying Bush
More on my UN Option for Iraq. By the way, someone over at the Kos discussion (scroll down) said that there “was no civil war” when the US withdrew from Vietnam. But mainland southeast Asia from the mid-70s is a pretty stark cautionary tale. Khmer Rouge take-over of Cambodia, genocide (one million killed out of a population of 6 million); North Vietnamese victory in the south and imposition of reeducation and Communism; exodus of Chinese Vietnamese as refugees; Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia and decade-long occupation; Communist takeover of Laos; hostilities between Vietnam and China. If all *that* is awaiting the Oil Gulf after a US withdrawal, it will be a world-class catastrophe. Southeast Asia wasn’t central to the world economy.
Nabil Tikriti writes from Istanbul:
“Unfortunately, I’m not sure that your UN idea would actually work in practice. I was in Somalia in the spring of 1993 with Medecins sans Frontieres /Doctors Without Borders, and I saw how Somali militias cut to pieces armed and fully engagement-authorized Pakistani peacekeepers in Modadishu — the precedent to the infamous “Blackhawk Down” incident several weeks later that summer.
Iraqis have long been furiously anti-UN, due to the UN’s role in the sanctions regime in the 90’s — especially when they contrasted the international community’s enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions demanding Iraq’s withdrawal from occupied Kuwaiti land vs. the international community’s inaction concerning Israeli occupation of formerly Jordanian, Egyptian, and Syrian territory following the 1967 war.
Iraqis also compared their entire economy being strangled by the UN due to their pre-1990 WMD programs (which, in retrospect, apparently ceased to be a going concern by 1995) while the state of Israel had well over 200 nuclear missiles ready to strike Iraq or any other regional society whenever deemed necessary. In a nutshell, no Iraqis seemed surprised — or saddened — by the August 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad.
In addition, there is something of a superiority complex in the Arab World vis-a-vis Africans and South Asians, and I’d pity the poor “Southern” troops who might find themselves in the Iraq meat grinder with insufficient weaponry, logistics, and backup.
While I’m glad that someone out there is actually trying to float an idea for US withdrawal, I don’t see the UN idea working either.
Perhaps the US should just depart and write a compensation check for damages rendered to whatever Iraqi government eventually emerges. Considering the tens of thousands of deaths, the complete destruction of all state structures, and the 13 years of UN sanctions which preceded the 2003 invasion, I’d guess about 600 billion USD might begin to compensate for the torts involved.
2) Tonight the “World Tribunal on Iraq” opened in Istanbul, which appears to be a continuation of an initiative started by Ramsey Clark et al to put Bush and others on a mock trial (www.worldtribunal.org).
It will feature Arundhati Roy, Fred Halliday, Samir Amin and several other scholars.”