I have to quote this Moscow Times column at some length to do it justice:
The Iraqi problem is out of the hands of the diplomats, as generals, servicemen and women take over the show. Considering the total mess the diplomats have made, any change may be for the better.
Russia and France, supported by China and Germany, deadlocked the UN Security Council by threatening to veto any ultimatum to Saddam Hussein. This may have postponed by a week or two the U.S.-led occupation and regime change in Iraq, but it will not save Hussein or his one-party totalitarian state.
All that Russia and France really accomplished was to seriously undermine the authority of the UN and cripple existing international law.
As the United States this week finally and firmly assumed its role as undisputed world hegemon, the old world order created in 1945 began to fold. It was France and Russia that gave the existing system the kiss of death by exposing its emptiness and fundamental immorality.
These words are from Pavel Felgenhauer, an “independent defense analyst,” based in Moscow. Read on, because here’s where it gets interesting:
After the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty was formulated proclaiming the right of the Soviet Union to invade satellite states in order to support pro-Moscow “socialist” regimes. Now a new Bush-Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty may become the basis of international law. The United States now claims a sovereign right to invade any other country to change a nasty regime, if the president and Congress agree to it. The UN, France, Russia and other “veto holders” can go and get stuffed if they do not like this new emerging world order.
On Monday, after Bush handed Hussein a 48-hour ultimatum, oil prices went down and stocks went up in apparent anticipation of a coming world economic recovery after a successful occupation of Iraq. It’s clear that if the wrangling in the UN and the arms inspections had continued, markets would have stayed depressed. It would seem that global market forces have acknowledged the assumption by the United States of undisputed world leadership and accepted with enthusiasm the new hegemon.
Felgenhauer never really says whether he thinks this development is good or bad, but he does know who to blame for it:
This week, to signal its disapproval of U.S. actions, the State Duma decided under instructions from the Kremlin and Foreign Ministry to postpone the ratification of the Moscow Treaty limiting strategic nuclear weapons that was signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin last May.
Putin begged Bush to sign this “legally binding” agreement, while many in Washington argued no treaty was needed. Not many in Washington will cry if the treaty is never ratified.
The move to stop a ratification that Moscow needs more than Washington reflects the confusion of our elite as we see the old world order, in which we were an important player, collapse as a result of our own — together with France’s — diplomatic insanity.
Heady, interesting stuff.
I don’t like the idea of the US — sigh, I have to use the phrase — acting as the world’s policemen. I don’t like our having to combat so-called friends like France and Russia for permission to do the right thing. That doesn’t mean I won’t support these things as they become necessary.
Made necessary, it seems, by the likes of Putin and Chirac.