Friday, August 10, 2007

The UN Returns To Iraq ... Maybe Not

The United Nations Security Council voted today to expand its' role in Iraq. The UN had pulled most of their personnel out of Iraq in October of 2003, after two bombings of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad killed ton UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 others. The UN allowed 35 staffers to return in August of 2004, but the numbers remain small because of security concerns.

The role that the UN will play is in promoting talks among ethnic and religious rivals and winning support from Iraq's neighbors. The UN is tasked with promoting political talks among Iraqis and a regional dialogue on issues such as border security, energy and refugees. This is a role that the UN is actually well equipped to play. The UN is seen by most of the world as a neutral entity and at the very least will be given the chance to present its' case. The resolution expands the UN's involvement in Iraq in three ways:

  • Providing assistance and expertise to the Iraqi people and government on domestic reconciliation leading to a national compact.
  • Promoting regional understanding that promotes Iraqi reconciliation.
  • Marshaling resources to help Iraqis affected by the humanitarian crisis.

Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynne Pascoe stated that UN staff in Iraq will be raised to 95 by October ... Just a couple hours later, the UN Staff Council called on the Secretary-General to pull all UN personnel out of Iraq until security improves.

Talk about mixed signals.

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Anonymous said...


UN to IRAQ? Not yet. You know the routine. Let the United Nations take care of anything and a few months or few years later we have to go to their rescue. Now on the bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in IRAQ, for me that was the TURNING point of the war in IRAQ. It was at that point that I realized that we had a huge problem. However, for the Alice in Wonderland Team the bombing was just an isolated incident. Have a fine TEXAS evening.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I don't trust the UN... not one bit.

Paul Champagne said...

tlrb & terri ... there are some things the UN does well. As long as it doesn't involve the handling of currency or any actual fighting, they are capable of distributing aid and knowledge. But no, I wouldn't trust them too much either.

Anonymous said...

Paul and Terri

Good entry by Terri, only 8 words to tell us the way the large majority of Americans feel about the UN.

Have a fine TEXAS and VEGAS evening!

Anonymous said...

better not to go :)

buffalodickdy said...

Too many self serving agendas in the U.N. Trust them in health and welfare issues, not peace keeping..

Paul Champagne said...

tlrb ... you are right on target, terri expressed what most Americans feel. I do think that the UN has a purpose in this world. But it must be limited to things like facilitating talks between rivals, administering aid monitoring elections. What they should never be allowed to engage in is anything involving the transfer of money, and any kind of military (peacekeeping) action. I hate seeing baby blue helmets on our troops.

niki ... someone has to fix the mess in Iraq, if we leave the power vacuum will be filled with people that the world would be better off without.

Paul Champagne said...

buffalo ... agreed ... in toto

David said...

Did you know that when I was young I actually had some respect for the UN. My, how times have changed!

Paul Champagne said...

david ... when I was young, I too had respect for the UN ... I think everyone did. It seems that with each Secretary-General, the whole concept keeps getting more and more corrupted.

Sunni Kay said...

Correct me if I am wrong please. Although I lack true faith in the UN to follow anything through, and they really have no strength in terms of true power, is it not, in a way, good for the US that they are showing an interest in Iraq? If the UN sanctions the struggles in Iraq, does that not lend legitimacy and assist the country in following through with the endeavor of having a democratically functioning government?

On another note, if the UN want US forces in Iraq, have we not always made that available to them? Can this help the United States survive a possible Democratic surrender in 2008?