The Guardian October 1, 2003

UN says to Bush: "You made the mess, you fix it!"

President Bush's plea to the United Nations General Assembly to come to 
the aid of the United States with money and troops was received coldly, 
even with hostility, by many other members of the UN General Assembly.

In what can only be regarded as yet another display of hypocrisy, double 
standards and outright lying Bush claimed that "The primary goal of our 
coalition (US, Britain and Australia) in Iraq is self-government for the 
people of Iraq, reached by orderly and democratic meansb&

"As in the aftermath of other conflicts, the UN should assist in developing 
a constitution, training civil servants and conducting free and fair 
elections", said Bush.

Some of the strongest criticisms of US actions were made by Kofi Annan, UN 
Secretary-General. He said, "My concern is that it could set precedents 
resulting in a proliferation of the unilateral and lawless use of force, 
with or without credible justification".

He continued: "No one should be able to accord himself the right to use 
force unilaterally and preventatively. In an open world, no one can isolate 

Bush warned, "This may be a moment no less decisive than 1945 itself, when 
the UN was foundedb& It is not enough to denounce unilateralism, unless we 
also face up squarely to the concerns that make some states feel uniquely 
vulnerable and thus drive them to take unilateral action."

French President, Jacques Chirac said, "The war, launched without the 
authorisation of the Security Council, shook the multilateral system. The 
UN has just been through one of the gravest crises in its history. No one 
can act alone in the name of all and no one can accept the anarchy of a 
society without rules."

Transfer of sovereignty

Chirac called for the early transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people, a 
call that was promptly rejected by the United States.

The President of Brazil, Lula da Silva said that "An everlasting peace 
cannot be built without the participation of all people". He said that the 
main task of the UN is to protect nations from wars and foster negotiations 
to avoid conflicts. He called for a fight, "which we can win", against 
poverty and hunger and urged the UN to act resolutely against starvation.

Resurgence of imperialism

The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamed declared that "Today we are 
seeing the resurgence of European imperialism. Today we are actually faced 
by the old physical occupation by foreign forces, puppet regimes are 
installed, dancing as puppets do".

He declared that the United Nations organs "have been cut out, dissected 
and reshaped so that they may perform the way the puppet masters want. This 
organisation is collapsing on its clay feet, helpless to protect the weak 
and the poor", said Dr Mahathir. The United Nations had become a tool of 
the colonisers he said.

In Middle Eastern countries, people were just as unimpressed by the Bush 

"Bush's words are just cover. America is looking for others to help pay for 
the occupation of Iraq's oil", said Yehya Mahmoud a seller of electronics 
on a Cairo street.

A Yemeni student said much the same: "The Americans just don't stop 
grudging any role for the rest of the world after they went to war without 
international legitimacy".

Sticky morass

The Lebanese newspaper Daily Star said, "The White House is still 
refusing to recognise the hopelessness of going it alone. It is waiting for 
the French and the Germans to start feeling guilty about not helping to 
extricate their old ally from the increasingly sticky morass."

The United Arab Emirate's al-lttihad wrote that "A US administration 
like this only knows military plans to invade this or that country using 
the pretext of freedom and democracy and other slogans that no one believes 
any more".

There were some voices that, not surprisingly, backed the US's plans. The 
chief of the International Monetary Fund, Horst Koehler said that "Leaders 
of the world should now really set aside their disputes".

Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments were also mild when compared 
with the denunciation that the US invasion of Iraq warranted. He failed to 
insist on a rapid timetable or that the UN should take on the major role. 
He did say: "To be a world power means to be together with the world 
community. To be a really strong and influential state means to be able to 
see and address the problems of small nations and economically weak 

As the meeting of the UN General Assembly continues the UN has announced a 
further withdrawal of its staff from Iraq following a second attack on the 
UN compound in Baghdad.

The team of selected British and US personnel who have been searching for 
the alleged weapons of mass destruction have come up with nothing. At the 
same time the British and US administrations keep up the pretence that 
there are such weapons. The evidence continues to mount that Bush, Blair 
and Howard were blatantly lying when using the pretext of weapons of mass 
destruction to invade Iraq. Despite this, they still peddle their lies.

Back to index page