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Iraqi Envoy Lashes Out
at Saddam Appeasers in U.N.

It must have been an awkward moment for many at the UN Security Council on December 16, 2003, as the new Iraqi representative shot to bits the presumption that the most beneficial path for the United Nations to follow was undeniably the French-led position of the so-called "peace camp", widely applauded as a looking-towards-a-bright-future move for world peace and harmony in the face of the deplorable Yankee tendency to go war-mongering.

Speaking in harsh language three days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari showed the position for what it really was — something close to myopic anti-Americanism if not outright myopic anti-Americanism — and described in no uncertain terms what the cost for that policy was, i.e., the cost for common Iraqi had been, that is.

One year ago, the Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wanted to hold him accountable. The United Nations as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure.

As to the international response to attempting to solve Iraq's problems and needs today, he hinted that it is based as much on the desire to challenge Washington as was the original opposition to the military intervention, a need that dominates all other considerations and continues to blind them to the results thereof, wanted or unwanted:

Settling scores with the United States-led coalition should not be at the cost of helping to bring stability to the Iraqi people

he declared.

Regarding the French-led charges concerning the legitimacy of the group governing Iraq today, Zebari put it as straight-forwardly as possible. Stating the obvious, the foreign minister said simply that

The Governing Council is the most representative and democratic body in the [entire] region.

Oh, because you didn't know that the French are concerned about how representative Iraq's current (temporary) government actually is? How wise and jolly humanistic of them, don't you think? Strange that Paris never seemed to worry much about Saddam Hussein's Stalinist government, or indeed any of the other authoritarian states in the neighborhood, being unrepresentative. (Here are some of the reasons; and here is a full accounting.)

And what were the reactions to Zebari's charges? The usual blarney. "Now is not the time to point fingers" Kofi Annan told reporters afterwards, saying that Zebari was "obviously entitled to his opinion." The secretary general felt the need to repeat this: "Quite honestly, now is not the time to hurl accusations and counteraccusations."

Obviously, when the finger-pointing is done at the expense of the United States, it is entirely defensible and appropriate and timely (e.g., "Americans are hysterical war-mongers, blind to the possibilities of dialogue", etc).

And for a more à propos comment, what was the reaction of France's ambassador to the United Nations? Turning aside the criticism, Jean-Marc de la Sablière said that "I don't want to comment on the past". Ah, but the French somehow always seem ready to comment on the past when it suits them, i.e., when they can (try to) browbeat the United States or discourse about how wise past experience is supposed to have made the current generation in France — i.e., made them familiar with the scourge of war or with the humiliation of foreign occupation, etc — but apparently the fact of living under a thug entirely willing to murder hundreds of thousands of one's countrymen does not fit among the unpleasant things learned from their in-depth experience and acute wisdom.

Nonsense. Again, comments by America's habitual critics, proffered in a subtle tone of voice or otherwise, turn out to be partial and entirely self-serving. …As always.

© Erik Svane

Read all the details
Read about some of the real reasons some UN members opposed the war
Listen to a Baghdad resident lament the anti-coalition pacifists' "ugly voices": "It hurts my ears to hear the stupid statements about the 'death of innocents' and the 'tragedies' that are happening now because … these are nothing comparable to the tragedies and losses we suffered in the past. …  Where were those paid off voices when we were murdered in thousands?"