There’s an op-ed I found interesting in the Thursday, May 13 2004 edition of the Wall Street Journal. It’s by Jose Ramos-Horta, the 1996 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Ramos-Horta states that it’s bad news now that Spain, the Dominican Republic and Honduras have all pulled out of Iraq. He says that every Coalition member that drops the ball sends a message to the terrorists that we’re weak and they can win this if they just go the extra mile.
That’s a good point, and he makes several more. He favors the use of force to stop depraved dictators, for example. But he lost me when it came to the last few paragraphs.
“Now is the time for Washington to show leadership by ensuring that the UN plays the central role in building a new Iraq.” (snip) “The UN is the sum of our qualities and weaknesses, our selfish national interests and personal vanities. For all its shortcomings, it is the only international organization that we all feel part of: it should be cherished instead of weakened. While the US will continue to play a critical role in ensuring security in Iraq, a UN-led peacekeeping force would enable many Arab and Muslim nations to join in and help isolate the extremists.”
I’ve got a problem with all of this.
First off, unlike Mr. Ramos-Horta I figure that the UN is more the sum qualities of all of our weaknesses and none of our strengths. I also think that I speak for many Americans if I vehemently reject the idea that “it is the only international organization that we all feel part of..” Those guys aren’t any part of me, buddy! I’m an American, citizen of the country that does the heavy lifting while the UN tries to grab all the credit.
Instead of thinking that “it should be cherished instead of weakened,” I would vastly prefer it if the UN would simply fade away from lack of interest and funding. Keeping the Oil for Food scandal, and the way that UN aid workers would use the food they were distributing to set up sex slave rings, firmly in mind I’d have to say that they resemble nothing more than leeches that should dry up and blow away.
It’s also important to remember that it was US troops that bled and died to free Iraq. It’s fitting and proper that we try and ensure the formation of a government built to honor our values of equal rights, democracy and freedom. Not those of an organization that never saw a brutal dictator it didn’t want to lick.
Another point to consider is that we are at war on many fronts. One of the many reasons we’re in Iraq is to build a government that IS democratic, equal and free. This is something that I can’t seem to find in the Arab world. In fact, in all of the Middle East it would appear that the only real democracies are to be found in Turkey and Israel, and Turkey’s is rather flawed at that. One thing we don’t want is to “enable many Arab and Muslim nations to join in and help isolate the extremists.” I think it’s pretty clear which side those guys are one, and it would be stupid to rely on them for….well, anything at all. Let alone anything as vital as security for our troops.
So Mr. Ramos-Horta needs to get his head out of his Nobel Prize and look around.
To anyone who takes exception to the tone of this entry, I would like to ask forgiveness. I’ve only been able to get 1 hour of sleep a night for the past 4 days and it’s difficult to feel as much contempt as I should.