From the Times:
Administration officials said that in spite of the difficult security situation in Iraq, there was a consensus in the administration that it would be better to work with these countries than to involve the United Nations or countries that opposed the war and are now eager to exercise influence in a postwar Iraq.
“The administration is not willing to confront going to the Security Council and saying, ‘We really need to make Iraq an international operation,’ ” said an administration official. “You can make a case that it would be better to do that, but right now the situation in Iraq is not that dire.”
So in other words, we’re going to wait until the situation is really dire before we ask for help? And how many dead American soldiers constitute a “dire” situation anyway?
And then there’s this bit:
The administration’s position could complicate its hopes of bringing a large number of American troops home in short order. The length of the American occupation depends on how quickly the country can be stabilized and the attacks and uprisings brought under control.
This is what is known as “supporting the troops” in conservative circles: pursuing policies which leave them stuck in the desert in the middle of a guerilla war for an indefinite period of time.
The Bush administration has been reluctant to give the United Nations more than minimal authority in the reconstruction of Iraq. Many administration members say that France, Germany, Russia and other countries demanding such a role are actually doing so to try to get more contracts and economic benefits for themselves.
Unlike, say, Halliburton which has such a lock on Iraq contracts right now that even Bechtel has given up on trying to suckle any further at this particular teat. (Yes, that’s right Bush administration cronyism has evolved to the stage that even Bechtel is complaining about it. They received a $680 million contract for non-oil-related reconstruction back in April, but have been unable to get a piece of the lucrative oil reconstruction. Thanks to Major Barbara for the link.)
Mr. Rumsfeld, according to administration officials, vehemently opposes any dilution of military authority over Iraq by involving the United Nations, either through United Nations peacekeepers or indirectly in any United Nations authorization of forces from other countries.
American military officials say they fear that involving the United Nations, even indirectly, will hamper the latitude the United States must have in overseeing Iraqi security and pursuing anti-American guerrilla forces or terrorist actions.
Because, um, that’s our objective in Iraq, right? Not to get a democracy running and get our people the hell out but to “pursue anti-American guerilla forces.” And that darned UN would just get in the way. Support the troops!