- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The United States should exclude the United Nations from any non-humanitarian nation-building role in post-liberated Iraq. We fought the war. We won the war. And only we hold both the capacity and incentive to fashion Iraq into a civilized nation unthreatening to neighbors.
The United Nations Security Council and Secretary General Kofi Annan moved heaven and earth to sabotage the Iraqi liberation. They bettered the appeasement instruction of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at Munich with Adolf Hitler in 1938.
It was said that disarmament business could be done with Saddam Hussein, despite more than a decade of noncooperation and noncompliance. It was said Saddam's disarmament lies were small lies that could be overcome by raising the number of United Nations inspectors, despite intelligence interceptions capturing his thugs chortling over successful evasions. It was said virtually anything was preferable to war, obtusely neglecting that the Iraqi president had been conducting a brutal war against the Iraqi people with casualties surging past the 1 million threshold for genocide. It was said international law condemned the emancipation of more than 20 million Iraqis from the subjugation of Saddam and the loathsome Ba'ath Party, thus inviting the memorable retort of Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist: "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass, a idiot."
President Jacques Chirac of France, holding a veto power in the Security Council, has scorned the idea of a United States-British civil administration to incubate democracy and a celebration of human rights in post-Saddam Iraq. He sermonized last Friday with all the moral authority French history could muster: "France will not accept a resolution of this nature tending to legitimize the military intervention and giving the American and British belligerents the right to administer Iraq. … Whatever the results of the military operation, [Iraq] must be rebuilt, and for that there is just one forum, the United Nations." And this from a country that effetely surrendered to Adolf Hitler, was liberated by the United States and Britain, yet insisted like a vulture on participating in the governing of defeated Germany as one of the "Big Three."
The United Nations thus has little or no motivation to see liberated Iraq succeed. Indeed, success would discredit all its hand-wringing and fulminations against the United States before the liberation.
In addition, neither legitimate Iraqi leaders nor the Iraqi people could trust the United Nations to act with the decisiveness and statesmanship which earmarked the post-World War II occupations of Germany and Japan by the United States. The Security Council's divisiveness and vacillations over Iraq's liberation would persist throughout the governing and rebuilding phase of Iraq. The petty envy and spite of France, Germany, Russia and China would paralyze and confound the interests of the Iraqi people and the United States in a unified, prosperous, and democratic country.
Is there any doubt that Iraqis in a plebiscite would choose the United States over the United Nations as a transitional governing power?
A muscular and authoritative United States presence is urgent to prevent the splintering of Iraq. The examples of Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan are instructive. Post-Slobodan Milosevic Bosnia and Kosovo remain ethnically poisonous and separated between Serbs, Muslims, and Croats, and Kosovar Albanian and Serbs, respectively, despite general United Nations and NATO unity in the administration of the two semi-nations.
Odds favor Kosovo independence from Serbia and a threefold partition of Bosnia. In post-Taliban Afghanistan with a tiny U.S. role in civilian governance, the nation is flecked with numerous local fiefdoms governed by backward tribal and ethnic lords reminiscent of the European Middle Ages.
Iraq will probably convulse if the United States declines to assume plenary control over a national and democratic flowering, whether the task requires two years or 20. It is unthinkable that Turkey, Iran or Syria would obey a United Nations decree to desist from intermeddling with Iraqi Kurds, Turkmen, or Shi'ites to advance their own national ambitions.
The three neighbors of Iraq have not forgotten Saddam's chronic contemptuousness with impunity of Security Council disarmament resolutions. Their machinations would likely rip Iraq asunder and prolong the scourge of war in the Middle East.
The United States should occupy and rule Iraq with no outside help, unless the British volunteer. Only we can extinguish the separatist ambitions of Kurds and Shi'ites. Only we can insure the safety and human rights of religious and ethnic minorities and women. Only we have a trustworthy history of nonaggrandizing aspirations after victory, as in the Philippines, Germany, Japan, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. That explains why Ivorians in the former French colony of Ivory Coast wracked by civil war are clamoring for United States military intervention in lieu of hated French forces.
Success breeds a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan. If we succeed by ourselves in post-liberation Iraq, all previous criticism will disappear faster than the Cheshire cat. If we fail, all previous praise will evaporate. We can walk away despairing of the magnitude of the nation-building challenge. But greatness and glory are made of sterner stuff.

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