Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 11, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE UN IN IRAQ....I didn't see Face the Nation this morning, but one of my readers did and emailed this summary, which I thought was interesting enough to post in its entirety:

On Face the Nation today Joe Biden said he spoke with the President of France, who offered to commit troops to Iraq if the US would get the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council to agree to a plan to put the UN in charge of the political handover in Iraq (something the Bush admin is begging the UN to do anyway) and maintain control until it happens. That last bit is something the Bushies don't want. They want Bremer and then our new as-yet-unnamed ambassador to remain in charge.

Biden's plan would get us anywhere from 2,000 to 25,000 more foreign troops in Iraq, and more importantly, directly give the rest of the world a stake in the effort. Pat Roberts, the Republican chair of his Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was stunned by this announcement.

Only last week Powell was in Europe trying to work something out to get 1,500 troops to protect the UN commissioner in Baghdad. He came back with a lot of "we'll get back to you" and from the French "our plate is pretty full in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, etc."

This is too big to get lost in the cacophony. Please write this up and give it some legs. The Germans, Russians and French need to be brought into his effort. They have as much responsibility for the Iraq mess over the years as we do. Let's put Bush's feet to the fire to get them on board.

Consider it written up.

It seems to me that there's come kind of Logan Act problem with Biden talking to the president of France about the UN taking over in Iraq, but I guess we can put that off to the side for the moment. If it's real, this proposal is genuinely interesting, not least because it might take Iraq off Bush's plate before the election, something he seems desperate to do.

Would it actually work, though? Beats me. Comments are open.

Kevin Drum 1:29 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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