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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/16/2003 4:18:38 PM EST

Iraqi Minister Scolds U.N. for Inaction Regarding Hussein

Published: December 16, 2003

NITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 — Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, accused the United Nations Security Council today of having failed to help rescue his country from Saddam Hussein, and he chided member states for bickering over his beleaguered country's future.

"Settling scores with the United States-led coalition should not be at the cost of helping to bring stability to the Iraqi people," Mr. Zebari said in language unusually scolding for an occupant of the guest seat at the end of the curving Security Council table.


"Squabbling over political differences takes a back seat to the daily struggle for security, jobs, basic freedoms and all the rights the U.N. is chartered to uphold," he said.

Taking a harsh view of the inability of quarreling members of the Security Council to endorse military action in Iraq, Mr. Zebari said, "One year ago, the Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wanted to hold him accountable.

"The United Nations as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure."

He declared, "The U.N. must not fail the Iraqi people again."

It was not immediately clear how the accusatory tone of Mr. Zebari's speech affected the closed-door discussion over the United Nations' role in Iraq that followed, but Secretary General Kofi Annan, the first to emerge from the hall, appeared taken aback.

"Now is not the time to pin blame and point fingers," he told reporters. Saying that Mr. Zebari was "obviously entitled to his opinion," Mr. Annan said that the United Nations had done as much for Iraq as it could under the circumstances and was prepared to do more.

"Quite honestly," he said, "now is not the time to hurl accusations and counter-accusations."

Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of Britain, the United States' principal ally in Iraq, said there had been pointed questioning by colleagues but that he detected "strong support" from them for the new timetable for the American-led coalition to hand over power to Iraqis by July — and for drawing up a constitution and holding elections in the years following that Mr. Zebari had laid out.

Today's session of the 15-member council was called to discuss the speeded-up plan for the United States-led coalition to hand over power to Iraqis by the end of June under an agreement reached a month ago between the coalition and the Iraqi Governing Council.

Mr. Annan led off the open session of the council with a speech drawing from his report last week that ruled out a swift return of the United Nations to Iraq because of the bombing of its Baghdad headquarters in August and continuing attacks on diplomats and relief workers.

He also said the United Nations needed more "clarity" over what it would be asked to do in Iraq before he could fully recommit the world organization and its international staff. He has assigned 40 of them to staff Iraq aid offices in Nicosia, Cyprus and Amman, Jordan. An estimated 2000 Iraqi United Nations workers are still at their posts in the country.

Mr. Zebari took issue with these steps, saying that Iraq could guarantee the United Nations whatever security it needed to return sooner and noting the importance of having the organization back in Baghdad.

"Your help and expertise cannot be effectively delivered from Cyprus or Amman," he said.

He also took on countries like France that have expressed doubts about the current governing group. "As Iraqis," he said, "we strongly disagree with those of you that question the legitimacy of the present Iraqi authorities."

He continued: "I'd like to remind you that the governing council is the most representative and democratic governing body in the region."

He said, "The members of the Security Council should be reaching out and encouraging this nascent democracy in a region well known for its authoritarian rule."

Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere of France, a critic of the war, turned aside the criticism of the Security Council dissenters, saying, "I don't want to comment on the past." He said he had questioned Mr. Zebari about France's interest in seeing Iraq increase the "inclusiveness" of the government so it would be one that would be viewed as "totally legitimate."

Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:32:13 PM EST
just for the record, has the UN actually made a REAL difference anywhere? mike
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:06:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 5:07:09 PM EST by Leisure_Shoot]
Yes. They tie up traffic all over New York with their caravans and take all the good seats at the best restaurants. That's what they do.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:15:55 PM EST
P.S. Who gives a d@mn what opinion France holds on anyhing?
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 5:48:32 PM EST
He, he, Kofi getting a tounglashing by one of his victims for a change. Wish I had been there to see it live. The media though, is ignoring this naturally.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:07:09 PM EST
Websters dictionary: Kofi Annan: ko-fee a-nan: noun, proper. useless, irrelevant, worthless, unimportant, comical, waste of space, dork, idiot, pinhead, laughable, et al. See: United Nations.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:25:17 PM EST
The UN has only been effective when the USA took the lead and kicked butts and the UN follows to mop things up. I bet they, the UN couldn't find it's way out of a paper bag.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:44:09 PM EST
Now if somebody from Rwanda will just dump a bag of heads and arms on that spineless cockbite's desk, I'll consider this a great week for geopolitics.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:44:17 PM EST
I love the way no-one wants to talk about "the past" or "point the finger of blame" - might it not have to do with the fact that the fickle finger of blame would fall on them? and that the past is coming back to haunt them? hmmmm?!? Piss on them - piss on them all. we need to pack their bags for them and kick them out of the country.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 8:55:39 PM EST
"The United Nations as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure." He declared, "The U.N. must not fail the Iraqi people again."
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I like this guy's spunk, but he's obviously smoking doobies if he thinks the UN could "rescue" Iraq from anything...
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 8:57:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: He, he, Kofi getting a tounglashing by one of his victims for a change ...
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... ain't it kewl
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