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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

# Posted 11:38 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DID BUSH REALLY SAY THAT? The WaPo quotes the President as saying:
"There must be consequences if people thumb their nose at the United Nations Security Council, and we will work with people in the Security Council to achieve that objective."
Now that's chutzpah. I stand with the President on Iran and Iraq, but it really would be heard to come up with a statement more capable of inciting widespread laughter at Turtle Bay.

(And yes, Bush actually said it. Transcript here.)
(13) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
Didn't he say much the same when he spoke at the UN before the invasion of Iraq. Something about them becoming irrelevent if they can be ignored with impunity?
 
It doesn't take away from your post, David, but isn't there a qualitative difference between the two situations? Boiled down to the essence, in one instance the Security Council is saying "no", and in the other it was refraining from saying "yes".
 
My Yiddish is a little weak, but doesn't 'chutzpah' mean "shameless audacity; impudence?" Didn't you mean 'dense?'

The NYTimes kind of figured this out:

"That will not be easy, in part because the entire United Nations Security Council is supposed to vote on the sanctions package. While only the permanent members can veto, the rising fear, particularly among European diplomats, is that smaller countries on the Council are so angry over how the United States, and now France, have handled the Lebanon crisis that they will give Russia and China political cover to balk against imposing tough sanctions."

Let's put this into stark terms. If Iran can outmaneuver the United States at the Security Council, then we are in sad shape indeed.

Also, I think you meant 'hard' not 'heard.'
 
I agree that it's absurd that anyone would think there's any course of action that could make anyone afraid of consequences of any kind from ignoring the UN Security Council.
 
You're probably right that this assertion will be laugh inducing; however, since there's no reason to doubt its truthfulness, I don't know where "chutzpa" fits in.

For instance, Iraq thumbed its nose at the security council and, eventually, there were consequences. And Bush spent a lot of time and energy working with people in the security council to achieve that objective. It was only when a small number of veto-wielding countries determiend to render the Security Council toothless that he went forward and enforced the council's resolutions without that obstructionist minority.
 

For instance, Iraq thumbed its nose at the security council and, eventually, there were consequences. And Bush spent a lot of time and energy working with people in the security council to achieve that objective. It was only when a small number of veto-wielding countries determiend to render the Security Council toothless that he went forward and enforced the council's resolutions without that obstructionist minority.


Hmm. maybe some translation is necessary here:

Great Wisdom: When the US vetoes something.

"Obstructionist minority": When other countries veto something

"Small Minority of veto Wielding Countries": Any group of UNSC members that does not include the US even if its a majority -- France, Russia, and China (which was at best neutral on the idea).

"Iraq thumbed its nose at the security council": When a country agrees to allow inspectors into the country tand when the US decides to ask them to leave despite their plea for more time.
 
Many, including the New York Times (NYT Editorial 9 November 2002), thought security council resolution 1441 not only was brilliant diplomacy but that it also authorized war. The resolution passed 15-0 supported by countries such as Syria, Russia, China and France. Who again is laughing at President Bush?
 
tim - do you realize how ridiculous your comment is?

well...probably not.


The chutzpah is that Bush acts like the UN is the be-all-end-all when it suits his purpose, and acts like it's a pile of dung when it doesn't.

That's all fine and good. Bush does what he thinks is the right thing to do. But when he looks into the camera and tries to convince us that he's somehow operating on some high principle...that's the chutzpah. 'Principles' deserted him long ago. He eased his loneliness by taking up with that slut 'Political Expediency'.
 
"That's all fine and good. Bush does what he thinks is the right thing to do. But when he looks into the camera and tries to convince us that he's somehow operating on some high principle...that's the chutzpah."

Yeah, that really makes him unique, unlike US presidents whove gone before, or UK PMs, or just about anyone else.

Iran IS defying the council, and thats relevant to the councils next acts wrt to Iran, and so this is a perfectly natural thing to say.

That Bush thought he had a right to interprate UNSC 1441 the way he thought, esp in conjunction with a range of other issues regarding Iraq, is neither here nor there.

I do hope that when its President Rodham Clinton taking Iran to task for defying the Council, we wont here this sort of quibble, though
 
The chutzpah is that Bush acts like the UN is the be-all-end-all when it suits his purpose, and acts like it's a pile of dung when it doesn't

How so? The United States did everything it could to get the United Nations on board for the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, and a host of other conflicts around the world besides. We failed, especially in Iraq's case, but we certainly tried! Nor does the fact that we invaded without UN support mean that we were dissing the UN -- the UN never forbade us from toppling Hussein, it just refused to offer any assistance in doing so.

The UN did, however, forbid Iran and Iraq from doing a whole range of different things, and both nations went ahead and did those things anyway. That's why Iran and Iraq are/were guilty of "thumbing their nose at the UN", and the United States isn't.

I think you're making the common mistake of thinking that just because a lot of hawks (like myself) think the United Nations is utterly corrupt and worthless, all hawks (Bush included) must think that. But Bush, like his father before him, has always been a fan of getting the United Nations to play a real role in international peacekeeping.
 
"But Bush, like his father before him, has always been a fan of getting the United Nations to play a real role in international peacekeeping."

Gibberish. If this had been the case, and it isn't, Bush wouldn't have appointed Bolton in a recess appointment *over* the Senates refusal to ratify. This wasn't chutzpah; it was arrogance. Ineffective arrogance.

It was Bolton who said, "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Very diplomatic.
 
If this had been the case, and it isn't, Bush wouldn't have appointed Bolton in a recess appointment *over* the Senates refusal to ratify.

First of all, the Senate didn't refuse to ratify Bolton -- the Democrats in the Senate refused to allow a *vote* on ratifying Bolton. A majority of Senators wanted him confirmed.

Secondly, the one and only job of the UN Ambassador is to represent the will of the President of the United States to the United Nations.

Thirdly, Bolton has done a fine job at the UN, and none of the Democrats' ridiculously histrionic predictions regarding him have come to pass.

It was Bolton who said, "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Very diplomatic.

Also very true. You seem to think that recognizing that the United Nations is currently corrupt, bloated, and ineffective. Recognizing the simple fact that the UN is bloated, corrupt, and ineffective isn't the same as being anti-UN; it just means you realize that the UN needs to change significantly if it's going to be able to carry out its mission.

You also need to realize that it isn't Bolton's job to make the UN bureacracy happy. The UN bureacracy are servants of the member nations, not vice-versa. It is the UN bureacracy's job to make *us* happy. Bolton doesn't have to be "diplomatic" to UN bureacrats; he has to be diplomatic to the other diplomats, not to the pencil-pushers like Kofi.
 
I like what Christopher Dodd said of Bolton: "My objection isn’t that he’s a bully, but that he’s an ineffective bully."
 
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