February 23, 2003

By Michael Strickland


The antiwar sentiments grow ever more shrill. This past week saw continued publicity seeking by pacifist celebrities with no foreign policy experience. Their "Million Modem March" concept brilliantly illustrated activism for the twenty-first century: protests by-the-click, with little commitment of time or effort (or knowledge) needed. President Jacques Chirac brought French haughtiness to a new level by scolding Eastern European countries for not having "well brought-up behavior," since they dared side with the U.S. position on Iraq. And just yesterday, Mexico thumbed its nose at us, standing by its decision to oppose the U.S. on the U.N. Security Council.

"I want to reiterate that Mexico's position has been and will be very clear," said Mexican Interior Minister Santiago Creel. "It will exclusively serve our interests, the interests of the Mexicans and no-one else."

Creel claimed that Mexico's stance in the U.N./Iraq crisis symbolized the country's "peaceful vocation." In reality, the stance appears to be a strategic choice calculated to spurn the U.S. for not legalizing the status of millions of illegal alien Mexicans now living in the U.S.

More disturbing, however, is the vow to serve only "the interests of Mexicans" on the Security Council. Apparently Creel has confused the mandate of the U.N. Security Council with republicanism. Perhaps he believes that, as an elected member of the Council, Mexico is there to represent the interests of its citizens, as a Senator elected to Congress would represent his constituents. This could not be farther from the truth.

Summarizing the U.N. charter, the Web site of the Security Council states the following in its first paragraph: "The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security." The interests of Mexico or any other member nation do not enter the equation, unless those interests are a threat to "international peace and security." If action that runs contrary to Mexico's "peaceful vocation" is needed to protect international security, then Mexico has no choice but to support it.

Interestingly, all of this peacemongering appears to be having an unintended effect. As radio commentator Joe Crummey commented during my drive home last night, the worldwide antiwar protests of this past week just might induce war, not prevent it. Saddam Hussein's seeming capitulation after the last round of inspections staved off the threat of immediate invasion. But now, emboldened by recent antiwar protests and division amongst world leaders, he has backpedaled on some of his promises. If Iraqi cooperation continues to wane, the only result will be war.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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2/22: "Home" in the City of Angels
2/21: Capri Memories
2/20: A Man is a God in Ruins
2/19: No Man is an Island
2/18: Iraq's "Cooperation"
2/17: Failure to Communicate
2/16: Cold City
2/15: Man-Eaters of Tsavo
2/14: Valentine Gems
2/13: Grab Bag
2/12: The End is Near
2/11: And the Winner Is...
2/10: Exploration is Risky Business
2/9: Staphylococcus
2/8: Morning Cup of Kofi
2/7: Game Over
2/6: The Eagle Never Landed
2/5: Pope: Potter No Problem
2/4: Time for Another Rewrite
2/3: A Matter of Opinions
2/2: Suicidal Bravado
2/1: Godspeed, Columbia

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