Okay, now we want help

July 21st, 2003 – 8:51 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

There was an excellent piece in The Guardian this past Friday, which talked about how the U.S. is now coming to the realization that it needs help in Iraq, but is faced with the reality that the Bush administration’s policy of unilateralism has made much of the rest of the world reluctant to provide that help.

The disconnection between the American view of reality and that of other countries can be amazing. Reports speak of “calls” from congressional committees – shocked by rising estimates of occupation – for “more international sharing” of those costs. Such calls are made as if international help was available on tap whenever the US should choose to turn the faucet. There seems to be scant understanding, despite everything, of the way in which American resistance to cooperation with others, not only on Iraq, might induce in them a reluctance to cooperate with America. Senator Edward Kennedy would not make this mistake, and yet even he can speak of the “best trained troops in the world” tied down in policing in Iraq as if it was self-evident, first, that they are in fact well trained, and, second, that others, not so well trained and more disposable, should take their place. As for Donald Rumsfeld, he is reduced to bizarre musings that the US, which recently closed its peacekeeping centre, might take the lead in training and gathering together an international corps of peacekeepers for use in emergencies.

This is exactly what critics of the Bush way of doing things said was going to end up happening, and it’ll be interesting to see if the current administration is able to see past their ideological blinders long enough to actually get the help they need. So far the answer is looking like it’s going to be no, and deeper into the mire we’ll go.

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