- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2004

The United States stood by for years as supposed allies helped its enemies obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons, reveals Bill Gertz, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times, in the new book “Treachery” (Crown Forum).

Last of three excerpts

Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s new foreign minister, delivered a memorable address to the United Nations Security Council in New York on Dec. 16, 2003.

Zebari, an Iraqi Kurd, began his remarks by noting the historic capture, three days earlier, of Saddam Hussein. Then, after laying out a plan for Iraq to become a democracy, the foreign minister lowered the boom on the assembled diplomats.

“One year ago,” Zebari said, “this Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wantedto 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.

“The United Nations must not fail the Iraqi people again,” he said.

It was clear to whom Zebari was referring: France, Germany, Russia and China, among others in the world body, fought U.S.-led efforts to end Saddam’s bloody dictatorship.

But the organization’s failure was far more significant than failing the Iraqi people. The United Nations had failed in its founding purpose: to preserve peace and international security.

It appeased Saddam for years before the United States called for decisive action.

And Saddam’s Iraq is just one of many rogue regimes that the United Nations has failed to keep in check. Again and again, dangerous states have built up their militaries and weapons programs right under the world body’s nose, despite sanctions and anti-proliferation agreements.

Sleeping watchdog

Three times, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency missed the covert nuclear-arms programs of rogue regimes, allowing those states to build deadly weapons capability under the guise of generating nuclear power.

Disclosures of the nuclear progress of North Korea, Libya and Iran came in rapid succession, within the space of about a year. If the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detect these programs, one must wonder what purpose the U.N. branch serves.

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