The United Nations and Iraq
The United Nations and Iraq
I support the demand of the peace movement, â€œBring the Troops Home Now!â€ I also support the demand, â€œDemocracy and Self-Determination for the Iraqi People.â€ Itâ€™s very easy to take such positions.
The hard part is, what next? Is that it? Is that the extent to which we should go? Should we have nothing to say about how to go from the current
Some on the political Left say yes. They oppose any call for the United Nations or anyone elseâ€”like, say, the Arab League--to replace the
But there are several problems with this position.
In addition, there is at least one rift within the Shiite population between more moderate and more radical Shiites that led to the attempted assassination last week of a leading moderate cleric.
And who knows how well organized the members of the former Hussein regime still are and will be in the future.
It is reasonable to expect that an
And then thereâ€™s
These are some of the reasons why others on the Left have called for the
Note that this is not and cannot be misunderstood as what is now being pushed by some elements of the Bush Administration: U.N. participation on the ground in
The opposition to the position of the U.N. replacing the
So what are we to do? Stay quiet? Not take a position beyond â€œU.S. Outâ€ and â€œ
One thing that makes sense to me is to be very specific about what needs to be done differently in
This is an improvement over a general demand for the UN to just replace the
We could demand that any interim peacekeeping troops be predominantly Arab or Arab-speaking.
We could demand that any transitional authorityâ€”perhaps a joint UN/Arab League force, without any US or
We could demand that a transitional authority prioritize the organizing of popular assemblies at local levels to choose representatives to local Iraqi governing bodies and that those popularly-chosen representatives would be responsible for choosing delegates to participate in the development of a new Iraqi constitution.
We could demand that reparations be paid by the
Of course, we are still left with the conundrum of there being no, repeat no, institutional entity with the clean hands and the track record we would all like there to be. The United Nations is a reflection of the reality of an unjust and bleeding world dominated by a brutal and rapacious corporate elite. The Arab League, on the surface a more logical alternative, is a relatively toothless body where kings and oil potentates have major influence.
So where do I come down on this question? Reluctantly, it seems to me the best of a series of bad options is a UN/Arab League transitional administration with a specific timetable and specific mandates, as listed above, as to what it should be doing.
After all, when we were trying to stop the war last fall and winter, we were marching on the Capitol in
And what if we and the Iraqi resistance and the rest of the world are successful in driving the
It is rare that the people win complete victories. Theyâ€™re usually partial. But partial victories can help to build towards that new future, that world based upon social justice and environmental sustainability, so desperately needed.
Forcing the demented warmongers now in power out of
Ted Glick is the National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network (www.ippn.org), although these ideas are solely his own. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com or