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Bush may turn to UN for help in Iraq

Bush Administration United Nations Iraq Assistance 2007

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#1 Spectacles

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 03:39 PM

Sounds logical to me, but I don't know how well this will set with Bush's base. It's certainly a change of tune from what Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were whistling back in 2003:

http://www.guardian....2085981,00.html

*If* the information in this article is accurate, it does look like the Bush Administration is finally--behind the scenes--looking for a way out of Iraq, or at least a way to share the burden.
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#2 Kosh

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 03:52 PM

I doubt the UN will step in now. They let it go for so long before the war that I can't see them getting involved now.
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#3 Cait

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:01 PM

They are looking around for people to blame later.  They are spreading the 'plausible deniablity around' so they can leave office and pretend it's not their fault.

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#4 Godeskian

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:19 PM

Petty maybe, but I could see the UN turning round and saying "Well, you went in without us, you can get out of it without us."

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#5 Spectacles

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:32 PM

Interesting....From the article:

Quote

Four years after bypassing a hostile security council, the Bush administration is expected to take the Iraq question back to the UN at the annual opening of the general assembly in September.

So...September is the deadline that's been floated a lot. Late August/early September is when Petraeus is to make his report to Congress. September is when moderate Republicans have warned Bush that they'll join forces with the Democrats if the surge isn't working. And now we hear that Bush is going to address the UN in September concerning Iraq.

The article also points out that a "second surge" is in the pipeline. But that Bush may "sweeten the pill" by rolling out this plan to internationalize the effort and step up diplomacy. In a way, it looks like Bush is going to implement the suggestions of the Iraq Study Group's report--the one that the propagandists like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck ridiculed as so much sissified "appeasement" back in December when it came out.

It could be that Bush is going to try to buy more time by saying, "hey. look, this isn't going so well, but now we REALLY have a plan and we're going to pursue diplomacy and recruit international efforts to stabilize Iraq."

Might work. As much as most Americans think this war was the biggest, damned-stupid thing our country has done, we also worry about leaving Iraq in a mess. Bush just might be able to keep the country on board--oddly enough by sounding like John Kerry, who wanted to internationalize the effort in Iraq in 2004.
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#6 Spectacles

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:34 PM

View PostGodeskian, on May 23 2007, 05:19 PM, said:

Petty maybe, but I could see the UN turning round and saying "Well, you went in without us, you can get out of it without us."

:D  Did you read what the French official said in the article?
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#7 ilexx

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:55 PM

European policy in general - and French policy in particular - is mostly rational. If the US goes to the UN and agrees to start acting in concordance with its allies in Europe, without fake arguments and on a realistic basis, they would of course get their cooperation. No one in Europe is interested in a Middle East in disarray. The reason why most Europeans were opposed to it was because, the way the plans looked like,  the present situation was clearly to be seen from the start.

#8 Godeskian

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:32 PM

View PostSpectacles, on May 23 2007, 10:34 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on May 23 2007, 05:19 PM, said:

Petty maybe, but I could see the UN turning round and saying "Well, you went in without us, you can get out of it without us."

:D  Did you read what the French official said in the article?

:D

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#9 Spectacles

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:39 PM

Quote

ilexx: No one in Europe is interested in a Middle East in disarray.

Makes perfect sense. It's in no one's interest for that region to go up in smoke. I'm glad to see there's some indication that the Bush Administration is beginning to rediscover the virtues of multilateralism. :)

Also, I just stumbled across this, which seems to be related. Petraeus and Crocker have devised a plan for us to negotiate with the insurgents in Iraq:

http://www.cnn.com/P...insurgents.html

Quote

U.S. may negotiate with Iraqi insurgents


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. officials said Wednesday that a "joint campaign plan redesign team" is preparing a new diplomatic and military strategy for Iraq, which is expected to be approved by the end of the month.

The team, led by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, is laying out a new course for how to proceed in the four-year-old war, the officials told CNN.

One element of the plan is to try to identify groups of people -- including possibly Sunni extremists and militia groups -- with whom U.S. officials feel they can do business, such as negotiating power-sharing and cease-fire agreements and granting economic aid, the sources said.

No suicide bombers need apply however.

Quote

"We have been focused too long on defeating the enemy," one official said. "We need to bring them to the negotiating table."

The announcement is an acknowledgment that the traditional war-fighting stance of trying to capture or kill all insurgents is failing, that the country may have devolved into a civil war, and that the only way to proceed is to use military force sparingly and attempt to bring many insurgents into the fold.

So it's looking like a lot of suggestions that the Bush Administration has rejected for four years--possibly because they don't play well to the hard right--may finally be implemented. I just hope something works....
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#10 ilexx

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:42 PM

^Amen to that! At least they're starting with something that looks like a strategy of some sort. Just hope that it's not too little too late.

#11 Godeskian

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:45 PM

You know, I actually find this whole concept amusing after having spent the last half decade hearing about how useless the UN is, to find Bush now wanting to go, hat in hand to the UN and ask for help.

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#12 ilexx

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:58 PM

^Yes, the irony isn't lost on me, either. Especially since I stated on various threads already that in the end this is what will happen - recieving mostly smirks. I know "Told ya'!" is a petty attitude on such a serious matter, but it sure feels good... :D

Anyway, that's beside the point. What matters really is to find an acceptable and more successful solution. We can return to the blame game later.

#13 Godeskian

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:02 PM

View Postilexx, on May 23 2007, 11:58 PM, said:

Anyway, that's beside the point. What matters really is to find an acceptable and more successful solution. We can return to the blame game later.

See that's the thing. Unlike you I'm not hopefull that such a thing can be found. An acceptable and more succesfull solution suggests that there is actually a way to affect a long term social, economic and govermental change to Iraq to make it a better place, and I"m just not sure we can do that given the resources turned towards making it happen.

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#14 ilexx

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:20 PM

I'm not hopeful. I just dread the alternatives.

#15 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:33 PM

I likewise dread the alternatives, but I don't see the UN letting Bush off too easily. He's going to have to eat a lot of humble pie before they agree to step in. the US (and to a lesser extent, the UK) burned a lot of bridges that will need to be rebuilt before we see blue and white tanks in Iraq.

That's if France, Russia and China don't veto it...
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#16 ilexx

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:52 PM

I also don't see the UN - well, really France, China and Russia - let them off the hook easily. But share the spoils and they'll come around.

#17 tennyson

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:56 PM

umm, there have been several attempts to negotiate with various Sunni and Shia insurgent groups since at least 2004. The fact of negotiations isn't in any way new . They're what led to Al-Sadr's group getting seats in the Iraqi Parliment for one thing. Maybe these will work better than those attempts did.
Bush already went to the UN back in 2005 I believe it was asking for peacekeepers from India for example and was refused by the member nations that would have provided them. I don't see this as fundamentally different from what was tried then with no success.
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#18 Spectacles

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:12 PM

We requested Indian peackeepers but we didn't go through the UN, which is why India refused:

http://news.bbc.co.u...sia/3063465.stm

As to negotiating with insurgent groups, yes, we've done it in the past, and Al Sadr is a good example. (Of course, the results haven't been so good.) But evidently, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker intend to renew and expand those efforts as part of their "joint campaign plan redesign team." Calling it a "campaign plan redesign" indicates that they're revising their tactics.

Granted, this may just be more window-dressing, but I tend to have some confidence in Petraeus. Counter-insurgency is his specialty, and I suspect that working out deals with insurgents to bring them on board is part of it.
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#19 Pallas

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:29 PM

I think the underlying assumption that the international community is falling over themselves to offer aid is hilarious and a bit pathetic. The Bush Administration (and a fair many numbers of Americans) have shown nothing but utter contempt for the United Nations and its practices but now in an desperate attempt to save itself, the Administration turns to the UN, which should have been the primary recourse in the first place.

I honestly have no idea how this would even pan out. Who would want to send troops to Iraq now given the circumstances, the bloodshed and general craziness? Of course, this is setting up for more future UN-bashings. Send troops in under a Chapter VI and people will complain that the UN does nothing. Do it under C. VII and the UN is too aggressive.

I also don't like the implicit threat against Ban Ki-Moon that he owes his job to the US--no Secretary-General should be beholden to any world leader like that, least of all George W. Bush.
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#20 G1223

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 10:22 PM

View PostGodeskian, on May 23 2007, 05:19 PM, said:

Petty maybe, but I could see the UN turning round and saying "Well, you went in without us, you can get out of it without us."

I would then say those gentle words of.

"By the way it was your resoultion we went in to defend. But hey if you are going to make up papers that do not mean anything we can just stop comming to you."

"Well then here are your parking tickets fines and warrents for breaking our laws. And a bill for back rent on the building you are squatting in."   Then look at them and say. "What did the door hit you in the ass on the way out."
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