September 23, 2007

UN To Return To Iraq, Security Much Improved

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes the security situation in Iraq has improved "a lot", and as a result, the UN will broaden its efforts throughout the country. After getting chased out of Iraq in 2003 when it chose its security personnel poorly and had its facility bombed, the UN has not done much to support Iraq or its elected government, but Nouri al-Maliki says he can guarantee their security:

Mr Ban described the talks, which he co-chaired with Mr Maliki, as "positive and supportive".

Mr Ban said: "There was a clear agreement that the international community cannot turn away from, or ignore Iraq. Its stability is our common concern."

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Mr Ban's tone was emphatic - the time for collective action had come.

The secretary general said there would be a new "regional support office" in Baghdad to foster dialogue between involved countries and an office in the southern city of Basra was also being considered.

Ban's action comes about four years late. The UN bailed out of Iraq after its envoy, Sergio Viero de Mello, and 21 of his staff got killed by a bomber after Kofi Annan and de Mello refused American security. Instead, they hired locals to provide security -- a group which had been infiltrated by insurgents. After the one attack, the UN abandoned Iraq, and refused to return.

Ban now believes that security has improved enough for the UN to return, and he's correct. However, the UN should have been in Iraq the entire time, helping to improve security by engaging as they plan to do now with the various sects, tribes, and ethnic groups. If the UN really thinks that it can provide peacekeeping roles, it has to work to bring peace as well. If it's not willing to do that, then it has no credibility in which to operate.

What happens if someone attacks the UN again? Will they run away? That would be tantamount to saying that they will help build peace only as long as it's peaceful, a rather circular and useless philosophy. The only hotspots that the UN will enter under those circumstances would be Tulsa, Oklahoma and Manchster, England. One wonders why they remain in Turtle Bay, so close to the fractious Bronx.

To Ban's credit, he just arrived at the UN. He seems to understand the damage done to the UN's credibility in its retreat from Iraq as well as the debacles of its peacekeeping missions around the world, which have mostly accomplished the prostitution of refugees. Ban wants to make the UN relevant again, and perhaps he can do it. We'll see what happens when the going gets tough.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference UN To Return To Iraq, Security Much Improved:

» Midweek Roundup from The Shield of Achilles
- Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, is planning to get the UN involved in Iraq again. It's about time. I remember distinctly when both the UN and the International Red Cross headquarters were suicide bombed in the Summer of 2003. Both pulled out... [Read More]

Comments (15)

Posted by Scott Malensek | September 23, 2007 10:51 AM

May 21, 2003

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Appeals to Member States and concerned organizations to assist the people of Iraq in their efforts to reform their institutions and rebuild their country, and to contribute to conditions of stability and security in Iraq in accordance with this resolution;

2. Calls upon all Member States in a position to do so to respond immediately to the humanitarian appeals of the United Nations and other international organizations for Iraq and to help meet the humanitarian and other needs of the Iraqi people by providing food, medical supplies, and resources necessary for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq’s economic infrastructure;

3. Appeals to Member States to deny safe haven to those members of the previous Iraqi regime who are alleged to be responsible for crimes and atrocities and to support actions to bring them to justice;

4. Calls upon the Authority, consistent with the Charter of the United Nations and other relevant international law, to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people through the effective administration of the territory, including in particular working towards the restoration of conditions of security and stability and the creation of conditions in which the Iraqi people can freely determine their own political future;

90 days after the UN mandated the US occupation, Al Queda bombed the UN in Iraq and successfully made the United Nations of the world runaway from thugs.

Posted by docjim505 | September 23, 2007 12:07 PM

Oh, joy... The UN, which has been useless regarding Iraq since 1991 (not that the UN has been especially useful anywhere else...), has finally decided that it's safe enough to come back. Hip-hip-f***ing-hurrah... Next they'll be trying to set US and Iraqi policy, criticizing US strategy, telling our men to wear those stupid blue helmets... Disgusting.

This is a case where it's better to have no help.

Posted by DubiousD | September 23, 2007 12:36 PM

Agree with Doc. I don't trust the UN. Their meddling likely will only hurt rebuilding efforts, since the UN and the Coalition appearing to be operating on separate agendas.

Posted by Noocyte | September 23, 2007 1:07 PM

Ah, but think of all those underaged Iraqi girls and boys who can now have hope of gainful employment...

Posted by Ken Oglesby | September 23, 2007 1:58 PM

When the going gets tough,the un runs.
The un hasn't been relevant for a long time.
They don't have to worry about their integrity and credibility.
They don't have any.
Perhaps in the beginning,the un was a good thing,but it has been hijacked by thugs(macmood im-in-a jihad)and goons(i want my own time zone chavez).
I believe it is way past time that the United States leaves the un and that the un leaves the United States.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 23, 2007 2:47 PM

No suprise.

And, no great joys for the Iraqis.

While the one consistent fact, remains: Iraq's got 20% of the world's oil; and it's not tapped at the current rate of the Saud's out put.

You're going to see boots on the ground for a very long time to come. Or until all the oil's out.

OR, something else gets invented that's about as safe to put into your gas tank.

OR, more than likely, the price per barrel goes to the point where it pays to extract oil from shale. NOT a product belonging to the arabs.

Until then? Money attracts all sorts. Including those types who diplomatically pants dip into the "shit."

Posted by Carol Herman | September 23, 2007 2:50 PM

Ah, so. "Much improved," to the korean means syria just went into the crapper. Taking iran down. And, hosing the north koreans.

Yes, it's safer! No overheads are gonna come in, landing full of mustard gas; or nuke-U-lar spreading calamities.

I take it diplomacy has as many "hard to read" hand-signals, as Larry Craig knows works for toilets.

Posted by Bennett | September 23, 2007 2:59 PM

The UN deciding to set up shop in Iraq doesn't mean it will muster a peace keeping force (which has to come from member states anyway) so I don't think we're going to see any blue helmets. I'm not exactly sure what they will do there. Maybe lend a hand to moving the "political process" forward and in that I think they've had some success in other places.

I can't really blame them for pulling out after the attack in 2003. I thought it was probably premature for the UN to establish a presence then anyway as the security situation was clearly too fluid and I figured that some spectacular attack would do exactly as it was intended --send the UN fleeing and minimize any international imprimatur on the occupation.

But Iraq has the right to invite whatever organization it wishes to take up space on its soil so if it wants the UN around then great.

Posted by KendraWilder | September 23, 2007 3:41 PM

The Captain wrote:

"To Ban's credit, he just arrived at the UN. He seems to understand the damage done to the UN's credibility in its retreat from Iraq as well as the debacles of its peacekeeping missions around the world, which have mostly accomplished the prostitution of refugees. Ban wants to make the UN relevant again, and perhaps he can do it. We'll see what happens when the going gets tough."

I'm afraid that Sec-Gen Ban has much more to overcome than just the negative public image of the UN's peacekeeping missions fostering prostitution of the very refugees it was charged with protecting.

The UN peacekeeping missions have long looked the other way when terrorists were running illegal activities in neutral zones, especially when it involved Hezbollah and Israel:

How Mr. Ban will overcome that daunting history, and steer the UN towards more positive and effective peacekeeping efforts, is the question. I wish him well. He seems to be a much less biased UN leader than his predecessor: one who truly believes in the global peacekeeping spirit the UN has espoused in the past.

Posted by Publius Hamilton | September 23, 2007 5:05 PM

Hey now Captain! It's actually pretty dicey out here in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the UN types might be afraid of my #4 Sooners. But, the PGA folks and Tiger Woods were braver than the UN and ventured out here to brave the 100+ degree temps at that insurgent infested province known as Southern Hills.

All kidding aside, it's too bad Kofi Annan exhibited such cowardice (and political machinations) when he allowed the UN to run away after de Mello and his staff were murdered. How do the intellegentsia fools expect the UN to be the deliberative body to run the world when they run in fear like that? The UN can't even run itself....

Posted by richard mcenroe | September 23, 2007 7:20 PM

Too late. Tell them to stay home. They bring nothing at this point.

Posted by Terry Gain | September 23, 2007 9:43 PM

I agree with the negative comments about the U.N. Their "help" is not really needed. But the story is nevertheless welcome news and provides more ammunition for the campaign.

The Democrats continued to be in denial about the improving security situation in Iraq even as the U.N.said it was safe enough for them to return to Iraq.

The Democrats preferred to believe a far left advocacy group, which had the effrontery to accuse General Petraeus of betraying America when he gave his accurate reports to Congress.

Of course all of this is premised on the situation in Iraq coninuing to improve -as it clearly will

Posted by thanos | September 24, 2007 8:50 AM

I missed this yesterday; thanks for the update. While it's popular to spit on the UN for their lack of spine and ability to actually resolve international conflict there is one thing they do sort of ok in. That's marshalling international aid and programs for relief - so it does make sense to use that function of the UN where we can. There is a lot of aid out there on hold from other contries so we want that working for the rebuilding of Iraq. This is actually very good news.

Posted by K | September 25, 2007 1:21 AM

On is tempted to say the UN had to return.

Things might be getting better w/o them.

But that isn't fair. UN aid programs vary widely in effectiveness. And sometimes they fail simply because local conflicts prevent any improvement.

Good sign.

Post a comment