The overriding issue which Colin Powell presented to the U.N. Security Council this morning was this: Will the U.N. act with the same intent — to establish a rule of law — as the Security Council did in 1950 when it supported the war in Korea against Communist aggression and when it stood behind the U.S. in Adlai Stevenson’s expose of Soviet missiles in Cuba? If the U.N. fails in this regard, namely, if it stalls in the enforcement of U.N. Resolution 1441, it will go the way of the League of Nations. And deservedly so.
Secretary Powell’s documentary this morning was both superfluous and essential. Everybody, including France and Germany, knows what Saddam Hussein is up to now and what he has been up to since 1990. Why did Saddam force the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq and why did the Clinton administration and the Security Council acquiesce in that expulsion?
President Bush has given the U.N. its last chance. The Powell brief for the prosecution has left no wiggle-room for China, France, Germany, and Russia. Either you believe the U.S. or you believe Saddam. Either you accept a rule of law and with it you save the U.N. from an innocuous desuetude or you play Saddam’s game and thus risk the lives of millions of innocent people.
— Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for the Washington Times.