Ever since the Soviet Union disintegrated, the
United Nations and its enforcement agency – the Security Council – has more
often than not thwarted what the neo-crazies wanted to do.
In particular, in 2002 the Security Council refused to sanction Bush's preemptive
invasion of Iraq.
The Security Council had been told Bush had "intelligence" that Saddam Hussein
had renewed his attempt to achieve a uranium-enrichment capability for producing
nuclear weapons with which to nuke us and "our allies."
But the Council knew that intrusive go-anywhere, see-anything inspections in
Iraq by its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had failed to find any
indication of such a renewal.
Well, Bush defied the Security Council and invaded Iraq anyway. Then Bush had
Undersecretary of State John Bolton announce the establishment of the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI), a "coalition of the willing," willing to act – as
in Iraq – even in defiance of the Security Council, the UN Charter, and international
According to Bolton, the PSI posse had to be established because "proliferators
and those facilitating the procurement of deadly capabilities are circumventing
existing laws, treaties, and controls against WMD proliferation."
Here are excerpts from Bolton's
explication [.pdf] – made about the time Bush had been proven wrong about
Iraq – of the PSI's necessity before the House International Relations Committee.
"We aim ultimately not just to prevent the spread of WMD, but also
to eliminate or 'roll back' such weapons from rogue states and terrorist groups
that already possess them or are close to doing so. While we stress peaceful
and diplomatic solutions to the proliferation threat, as President Bush has
said repeatedly, we rule out no options. …
"While we pursue diplomatic dialogue wherever possible, the United
States and its allies must be willing to employ more robust techniques, such
as (1) economic sanctions; (2) interdiction and seizure; and (3) as the case
of Iraq demonstrates, preemptive military force where required. …
"The hard lessons learned by Iraq must resonate with other proliferating
countries. Those countries should heed that thwarting international obligations
and standards – by seeking weapons of mass destruction – is not in their national
interests and will not be tolerated by the international community."
Which "proliferating countries" does Bolton have in mind?
"We now know that Iran is developing a uranium mine, a uranium
conversion facility, a massive uranium-enrichment facility designed to house
tens of thousands of centrifuges, and a heavy-water production plant."
All of them subject – of course – to Iran's IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
"This costly infrastructure would support the production of
both highly enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons."
Notice that Bolton said "would" – not "could."
"While Iran claims that its nuclear program is peaceful and
transparent, we are convinced it is otherwise."
So when Bush made Bolton – by "recess appointment" – our UN ambassador last
year, Bolton (surprise, surprise!) immediately began to demand that the Security
Council apply the "robust techniques" of the PSI to "proliferators" (such as
Iran) and to those "facilitating the procurement of deadly capabilities" (such
as Russia and China).
Then, this year, Bush-Rice-Bolton strong-armed the IAEA Board of Governors
into "reporting" the "Iranian dossier" – which contained mostly IAEA reports
certifying Iran to be in total compliance with its Safeguards Agreement – to
the Security Council, with the expectation that the Security Council could somehow
be strong-armed by Bolton into determining under Article 39 of the UN Charter
that Iran's safeguarded programs constituted a "threat to the peace."
"This is a real test for the Security Council. There's just no doubt
that for close to 20 years, the Iranians have been pursuing nuclear weapons
through a clandestine program that we've uncovered.
"If the UN Security Council can't deal with the proliferation of nuclear
weapons, can't deal with the greatest threat we have with a country like Iran
– that's one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism – if the Security Council
can't deal with that, you have a real question of what it can deal with."
On Bolton's first try, the Council essentially remanded the "Iranian dossier"
to the IAEA Board. On his second, the Council was strong-armed into passing
UNSC Resolution 1696, but, as of this writing the Council has yet to determine
under Article 39 that Iran's safeguarded activities constitute a" threat to
No Article 39 determination, no UN-sanctioned "robust techniques."
So what's a poor neo-crazy recess-appointee – whose Senate confirmation hearing
has just been postponed, indefinitely – to do?
Well, look for Bolton and his PSI posse to saddle up and ride.