Saturday, February 15

Slate is full of UN failure stories today. Here's another good piece.
Maureen Dowd doesn’t really get it. The issue is not that the testosterone-laden Bushies need to “save face.” But, rather, that there is a legitimate problem with Saddam, that has resulted in the US (and the UN, for that matter) threatening consequences if certain conditions aren’t met. In the face of continued defiance, there are only two alternatives, whether the French like it or not: Iraq must comply, or they must be forced to comply. There really is no middle ground.

Further, there will be damage done, far greater than embarrassing the US administration, if Saddam wins this confrontation—something that Chatterbox noted in a recent Slate column.
Friedman’s Sunday column in the NYT’s makes a key point that many academics, pundits, and politicians seem to be missing: the fact that we have entered into a specific new era in world affairs that is as profound as the Cold War Era (although we still have no nifty name for it, as the “Era of Terror” sounds too much like a Don King-hyped boxing match). All levity aside, the newest “new world order” is currently being shaped by the behavior of key state actors, and the actions within multilateral organizations, many of whom seem oblivious to the consequences of their actions.

To quote Friedman:

Friends, with every great world war has come a new security system. World War I gave birth to the League of Nations and an attempt to recreate a balance of power in Europe, which proved unstable. World War II gave birth to the U.N., NATO, the I.M.F. and the bipolar American-Soviet power structure, which proved to be quite stable until the end of the cold war. Now, 9/11 has set off World War III, and it, too, is defining a new international order.

Indeed, his argument about a bipolar World of Order v. a World of Disorder has been an underlying theme in many recent columns, and is an accurate assessment of current circumstances.

His admonitions of the Chinese (the main point of his column) are well taken also.
I am, of course, shocked to hear that that members of al Queda have been spotted in Iran. Of course, one can now expect that some will now use this to disingenuously suggest that Iran is the bigger threat al Queda-wise, and opine that we are focusing on the wrong country (sort of a new twist on the North Korea argument that many of the Democrats have made of late).

Also, I guess that if I were bin Laden's son, I'd be Sad, too...