Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Don’t expect UN to clean up Iraq (a sane German alert!)
JoongAng Daily ^ | 04/18/03 | Josef Joffe

Posted on 04/19/2003 11:52:02 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster

[OUTLOOK]Don’t expect UN to clean up Iraq

Now that the huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad has fallen, who shall govern Iraq?

Even before U.S. troops entered the Iraqi capital, the European Union demanded that the “UN must continue to play a central role” and “manage the whole process.” At their St. Petersburg summit this past weekend, French President Chirac, German Chancellor Schroeder and Russian President Putin strongly echoed these sentiments.

This is curious. As the British magazine The Economist put it: “Having failed to stop the Americans and British from launching this war, France, Russia and Germany, which led the anti-war diplomacy, are now intent on denying the victors a special say, let alone a free hand, in putting Iraq back together.” In effect, this trio is saying to America and Britain: “What you did was wrong and illegal, but now that you succeeded, we want to be partners in this wrong and illegal enterprise.” Why this sudden insistence on making common cause with those two nations who only yesterday were condemned by Paris, Berlin and Moscow as breakers of international law? Logic has little to do with it.

The real issue is again power. If the UN takes over in Iraq, those who tried to contain and constrain American power in the run-up to the war will have another chance to do so in the UN Security Council, where France and Russia can wield their vetoes against Britain and the United States.

No wonder that the Bush administration is not amused. If things go wrong in postwar Iraq, Washington will be blamed, with or without the UN. Why then give up one’s freedom to act -- especially since the main purpose of the Paris-Berlin-Moscow “axis” is once more to hobble and not to help America?

But quite apart from this great-power game, there is the critical issue of ability: Can the UN actually manage the task of reconstruction, which is not just a humanitarian, but also a political and economic problem? Is the UN strong and wise enough to build a functioning system on the ruins of 30 years of totalitarian rule? The experience in Kosovo, after the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, suggests that the UN is not well equipped to handle the task of “nation building.”

Together with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the UN has been in charge of reconstruction in Kosovo. But in the past four years, little if any “reconstruction” has taken place.

Least of all where it comes to “democratization.” Writes the UN scholar Roland Paris in his forthcoming book, “At War’s End: Building Peace After Civil Conflicts”: “The powers of Kosovo’s elected assembly were limited and subject to the oversight of the Special Representative of the [UN] Secretary-General, who retain-ed the right to dissolve the assembly, call for new elections, and veto any measure passed by the assembly that violated the purposes of the operation.” This is not a good way to build democracy.

Nor has the UN acted as an agent of economic development. “After NATO’s intervention,” writes Stephen Schwartz of the U.S.-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, “the UN did everything possible to maintain or restore the position of former socialist bureaucrats.”

When the UN presented a regulation on privatization, “Kosovo experts objected that its principal effect would be to reaffirm state ownership of nationalized property rather than to restore private property rights.”

Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi dissident who wrote the standard book on Iraq under Saddam, “Republic of Fear,” is also skeptical. “Arab governments would much rather have a UN administrator in Iraq. And if [the administrator] is a member of one of those governments, Iraq will simply be governed by the lowest common denominator of Arab politics, which is certainly not democracy.”

Above all, the UN is singularly ill-equipped to deal with the security of postwar Iraq. The UN is not a power in its own right; it will always have to depend on the forces of its member states.

Who then will dispatch his soldiers to keep Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis from going after each other? Who will root out the remnants of Saddam’s murderous regime? The Germans will not send any troops, and neither will the French or the Russians. The only two nations capable of restoring and maintaining order are Britain and the United States, whose troops are already in Iraq and who were willing to make the sacrifice of fighting in the first place.

Postwar security is simply the most crucial issue. The best example in history is not Kosovo, but South Korea and Taiwan. In those two countries, the United States took care of security and then allowed not foreign UN bureaucrats, but local entrepreneurs to put their nations on a breathtaking course of economic growth. To be sure, rampant economic modernization did not generate democracy right away; instead there were Chiang Kai-shek and Syngman Rhee, dictators both.

But one generation later, democracy did sink roots in Taiwan and South Korea, fertilized by sustained prosperity and the growth of a strong middle class. A similar development took place in defeated Germany and Japan, where democracy was stabilized by their fabled “economic miracles.”

All of these countries flourished because of their security umbrella -- “Made in U.S.A.” It could happen again in Iraq, but not under the watch of the United Nations.

* The writer is editor of Die Zeit, a German weekly, and an associate of the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University.

by Josef Joffe

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: balkans; iraq; irrelevant; kosovo; postwariraq; reconstruction; skorea; taiwan; un; us
Obviously, Herr Joffe's opinion differs a lot from a majority of his fellow Germans.
1 posted on 04/19/2003 11:52:03 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
A "The UN is 100% corrupted by world communists" bump...
2 posted on 04/20/2003 12:10:52 AM PDT by ApesForEvolution ("The only way evil triumphs is if good men do nothing" E. Burke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
Kosovo isn't the only UN-"built" nation; there is an Arab example.
You may have heard of the Palestinians . . . half a century of "progress."
3 posted on 04/20/2003 12:29:47 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: eabinga
4 posted on 04/20/2003 12:49:19 AM PDT by agitator (Ok, mic check...line one...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
What the world needs is a gathering of leaders that are legitimately elected by their people. The U.N. that we see today has become a gathering of opportunistic third world nations looking to shackle the United States of America then it is a body of Nations looking to keep the peace.

No longer can we subscribe to a world body like the U.N. that gives equal standing to Nations that have absolutely no regard to the basic human rights of the people they represent.

For the U.N. to recognize Lybia as a nation fit to serve as the chair on the Human Rights committee as well as Iraq as the chair of the World Disarmement Committee!!! flies in the face of everything we stand for as a nation that was founded on the principles of freedom and self governance.

If the world should find a need to replace the failed United Nations, there must be standards each nation must meet to qualify. We need a world body of leaders that model themselves in the traditions of "Liberty and justice for All" and not Leaders who rule by oppression & brutality

5 posted on 04/20/2003 12:57:23 AM PDT by MJY1288 (Freedom is Ringing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MJY1288
That is the step in the right direction. However, even that won't prevent Clintons and Schroeders of the world from dominating U.N. We can get rid of autocrats but we still have to deal with freely-elected socialists.
6 posted on 04/20/2003 1:10:20 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
I would much rather deal with freely elected socialist than self imposed dictators. Socialist are either failing Communist or failing Democracy's, some will end up in the ash heap of history and the other will end up making their mark in history by adopting democratic principles. Freedom will always prevail, it's just a matter of what speed in which it happens
7 posted on 04/20/2003 1:25:26 AM PDT by MJY1288 (Freedom is Ringing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
I think Joffe's opinion is not too dissimilar to those of the German business class who have steadfastly argued against Scrhoeder's opposition to America. They recognize that America has done a lot of good and probably know that Iraq will be a much better customer for them and Europe if it is under American management for a while.
8 posted on 04/20/2003 3:43:31 AM PDT by George W. Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MJY1288
Freedom will always prevail, it's just a matter of what speed in which it happens

I'm not so sure. The record of democracies of Europe does not support your opinion over the last century or so. It seems to me that Anglo democracy is what makes freedom prevail. The rest seem feeble and would appease or fall to dictators and totalitarians without us in the world.

It's the Anglosphere that makes freedom ring.
9 posted on 04/20/2003 3:47:32 AM PDT by George W. Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ApesForEvolution

UN deal leaves Iraq Kurds at Baghdad's mercy

Oil, Food and a Whole Lot of Questions

The Oil-for-U.N.-Jobs Program

Kofi Annandersen: Enron-style accounting at the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program

10 posted on 04/20/2003 5:05:01 AM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
There is, at least, some hope for the Germans. I am reminded of the General George Patton Quote:

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me."

11 posted on 04/20/2003 5:50:14 AM PDT by capt. norm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
The politics of the U.N. is run by the French. THIS is the only avenue for the French to wield influence and control internationally. The French will use the U.N. (and the E.U.) as the vehicle for her never-ending search for world power. She hates America only because we outstrip her and stand in her way.

Don't think the Bush administration doesn't know this perfectly well. And they aren't about to allow the French to usurp the liberation of the Iraqis, bought with American blood.
12 posted on 04/20/2003 7:34:26 AM PDT by WaterDragon (Only America has the moral authority and the resolve to lead the world in tClhe 21st Century.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigerLikesRooster
Another democratization of a Third World nation that is being overlooked is India under the British. Niall Ferguson's book "Empire" delineates this very well. America improved on the methods later in Japan, Germany, Taiwan and South Korea.
13 posted on 04/20/2003 7:40:46 AM PDT by WaterDragon (Only America has the moral authority and the resolve to lead the world in tClhe 21st Century.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson