Monday, March 24, 2003
The Interlocking Wheels of Diplomacy and War - 25th March 2003, 22.46

As the coalition forces tighten their grip on the Faw peninsula and open up the Iraqi coast to humanitarian aid, the United Nations Security Council was discussing adjustments in the 'oil for food' program which would continue to be administered by Kofi Annan and the UN infrastructure. Both the United States and the United Kingdom did not contribute to these discussions or draw up a resolution in order to facilitate the short-term disbursement of aid from the escrow accounts and lighten their own financial burden. These actions on the part of the United nations did not indicate any acceptance on their part of a dominant US role in a postwar Iraq.

UPI states that this move may also be seen as anti-French and anti-Russian, for Annan will be given the power to approve applications, renegotiate contracts and disburse aid. The losers in this streamlined and efficient aid process would be French and Russian middlemen who enjoyed kickbacks from the authorities. In a quote from Stratfor,

Stratfor, the strategic forecasting consultancy, explains why this stratagem is anti-Russian and, more so, anti-French: "The process would greatly speed up the aid disbursement process and cut out the middlemen who profit from the contractual go-betweens ... (which) have been almost exclusively French and Russian companies ... French and Russian banks usually have channeled the funds to the appropriate places ... The contracts were bribes to Paris and Moscow to secure French and Russian support for Iraq within the United Nations."

The United States has no compunction about using the organisational ability of the United Nations where it complements and enhances its war effort. This suits their interests, the need for Kofi Annan to maintain a credible role in a postwar Iraq and a British government that can demonstrate to its left wing that it has softened the neo-conservatism of the Bush adminstration. Those who write about fundamental differences between Blair and Bush on this issue are again overtaken by the compromises of realtime diplomacy.


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