Skip to comments.The Lowdown on the Showdown
Posted on 03/14/2003 5:47:33 PM PST by GLDNGUN
While most are aware by now that President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will confer Sunday in the Azores, it seems just as many do not realize the weight of this meeting. This truly is a war council...
While, the situation is still fluid here is some background and likely summit scenario. Its being reported that topping the agenda will be strategies for salvaging the trio's troubled war resolution at the United Nations. Actually, the UN aspect is for all intents and purposes DEAD. As most are aware, it was Blair, and to a lesser extent, Aznar, that wanted another UN resolution so desperately. Bush agreed in order to assist his friends, both foreign (UK, Spain) and domestic (doves like Powell). To show just how far he was willing to go for them, Bush made his press conference statement that there would be a UN vote, period. The problem was that Blair had underestimated the French resolve to undermine the coalition of the willing. It finally became apparent to him that Chirac would oppose ANY reasonable resolution. This has angered Blair to no end, and he believes that Chirac is trying to end his political career in order to become the the voice of the EU and elevate Frances stature. Chirac believes he has Blair trapped, thinking Tony cant or wont go to war without another UN resolution. On the other hand, Chirac simply will not agree to any reasonable resolution, while trying to appear that they are open to new proposals. They are not, so he believes he has Blair in a box.
The one thing worse for Blair than going to war without another UN resolution would be going to war after a UN resolution failed to pass, thus the same man who urged Bush to back another resolution is now urging him to abandon his call for a vote. Blair, however, feels he still needs to bring some international legitimacy to going to war. A comment made by Bushs press secretary a few days ago was passed over by the press, but the words were loaded. Ari said an international coalition WILL disarm Iraq. It may not be the UN, but there will be an international coalition that acts. What was missed there by the press is that those are more than mere words. Expect those words to become official policy at the Sunday meeting. Again, barring some dramatic developments, this coalition will be made official. It will likely be given a name and have the signatures of the Big 3 and may be co-signed by several other countries either at the same time, or in the next few days/weeks. This is all to give this alliance as much legitimacy as possible, mostly for Blairs sake. Now, at the same time this new organization is being given legitimacy, it is equally as important for them to discredit the UN. The latter will be given as the reason why another resolution will not be ultimately pursued in the UN. This is an end-around Chirac and his little game, and will be a mighty blow to the UN, at least to the Security Council.
At the end of the summit, these announcements will be made and the Big 3 will each give statements. The concerted message will be: Iraq has missed its last chance to be disarmed peacefully, the UN, especially the SC, has been so poisoned by the charade (look for Bush and Blair to both use that word for obvious reasons) that it is has NO legitimate role, a new organization has been formed of those that will participate in some fashion or another in the liberation and rebuilding of Iraq. They will then give a deadline of 3-7 days for Saddam to surrender, leave the country, or prepare to be disarmed by the coalition. This will also be the signal for all non-Iraqis to get out of the country.
This will be the closest thing to a declaration of war as we are going to see. The Big 3 will make this announcement jointly, then return to their respective nations to speak to their countries. Bush will likely address the nation on Monday evening saying something to the effect of this is the day we had hoped to have a unified UN live up to their previous obligations, but they have failed to do so, and we have been left with no choice but to act in concert with a new organization that is determined to finish this
Of course there will be many questions about whether these countries are pulling out of the UN. No, they wont be pulling out, but the company line will be the UN failed to act this time. Hopefully, next time they will be up to the task. In reality, the UN may simply wither on the vine and eventually die. None of the countries wants to be seen as the one who put the stake into the heart of the UN. They would rather have history record that the UN Security Council, corrupted by nations such as France and Russia only interested in preserving illegal agreements with Iraq, ultimately killed the monster through their actions or lack thereof.
The press is billing this as a diplomatic summit, and that leaders will not discuss battlefield tactics and detailed military strategies. This is true, in that most of the diplomacy will be among the coalition of the willing and the crafting of this new organization. No, there wont be much battlefield talk as those preparations are done for the most part, minus the finetuning.
Another important reason for this summit is to give the big 3 equal billing. Blair and Aznar did not want to be put in a situation where Bush, sitting in the Oval Office, addressed the nation and the world announcing the ultimatum to Iraq, making it look like he was pulling all the strings and that they were just along for the ride. This way, they make the major announcement jointly and then return to their homelands to address their respective countries. Again, I stress this is a fluid situation that is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, but barring some dramatic move by France or Iraq this is the likely scenario from where I sit.
How the war is likely to play out is another story entirely, but it is expected to surprise most people due to its shortness of duration and relative little bloodshed. Most of the dirty work may actually be done BY the Iraqi military as they take care of Saddam themselves
Condie, is that you?
I like the vibes this has for the present situation, but I hope Blair also has a plan for Europe since he has to "live" there. That's an ugly situation.
this is a fluid situation that is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, but barring some dramatic move by France or Iraq this is the likely scenario
The only move out of Iraq that should satisfy us is Saddam's head on a stick.
To long winded to be quidam.
Of course! Chirac thinks he's going to beat Bush at his own American game of Poker and stare down the Sherrif. Meanwhile, the posse has left the saloon, leaving Chirac with no one to play with but himself. Then again, what else would we expect from the French! ;-)
Of course, many conservatives agree that we should not be in the UN now. It would just be too much for Bush to pull out AND go to war at the same time, plus the other 2 of the "big 3" aren't ready for such a move, and right now we want a unified front. Bush could well use our exit from the UN as a campaign issue. He could say he would lead our removal from the UN in his second term. This could be VERY popular if it plays out right. That will leave the demo opponent with agreeing to leave the UN (can you imagine a demo even having such a thought pass their head? LOL) OR to oppose a very popular idea.
When this is over, Blair will likely be more popular than ever, and Chirac will be put in his place. Just as Americans are rallying now behind the prez against the UN and France, the same is/will happen in UK, especially after France's dirty work is exposed (i.e., back alley deals with Saddam).
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