?Old Europe? has done virtually nothing to help Iraq, politically or financially. But it still expects to profit from the rebuilding effort. Its representatives howled when the Pentagon announced that only countries which took part in the coalition to oust Saddam could win contracts under an American-financed $18 billion Iraq rebuilding effort.
?This is a gratuitous and extremely unhelpful decision,? huffed European Union commissioner Chris Patten. What we need, he said, is ?for the international community to work together for stability and reconstruction in Iraq.?
That is indeed what we need. And the logical place for that cooperation to start would be at the U.N. As Zubari told the Security Council, today Iraq enjoys ?the most representative and democratic governing body in the Middle East.? That government, of course, was put in place by the U.S.-led coalition, over the objections of the U.N.
The United Nations again faces a choice: It can become involved in the critical process of rebuilding Iraq, or it can remain on the sidelines. If it does, it will be irrelevant, again. By choice.