US-UK-Spain UNSC Draft on Iraq 2003.03.07

❄ US-UK-Spain UNSC Draft on Iraq. 2003.03.07

The New York Times reported on 8 March that the UK, US and Spain had circulated a new, altered draft resolution on Iraq. [Note 1] What’s important about the draft is that it embodies a trick to shift the power of veto from those who wish to prevent military action to those who seek to be unencumbered in undertaking war against Iraq. Please look at the language:

The Security Council, . . .

ACTING under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. REAFFIRMS the need for full implementation of Resolution 1441;

2. CALLS ON Iraq immediately to take the decisions necessary in the interests of its people and the region;

3. DECIDES that Iraq will have failed to take the final opportunity afforded by Resolution 1441 unless, on or before March 17, 2003, the Council concludes that Iraq has demonstrated full, unconditional, immediate and active cooperation in accordance with its disarmament obligations under Resolution 1441 and previous relevant resolutions, and is yielding possession to Unmovic and the I.A.E.A. of all weapons, weapon delivery and support systems and structures, prohibited by Resolution 687 (1991) and all subsequent relevant resolutions, and all information regarding prior destruction of such items.

The key word is ‘concludes’. The UNSC ‘concludes’ something by resolution: a formal proposition which is subject to a permanent member’s withholding consent [“exercising the veto”] and so defeating it, even if alone. Today, France can veto a US call for war. If the proposed text were adopted—it will not be—the United States could veto any measure to maintain inspections.

Who does the Cheney-Rumsfeld group believe they can trick? If not the sophisticated UN delegations of Security Council members, who could it be? Is this maneuver aimed to deceive the US and British publics?


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