Kathryn Lopez

Were it not for men like Aznar, Blair and Bush, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. What did the United Nations do about Iraq? American Enterprise Institute fellow Michael Rubin, who spent extensive time in Iraq, painted a good picture of the attitude Kofi "I Can Do Business With Saddam Hussein" Annan's United Nations had toward that regime. In 2004, Rubin wrote: "On Jan. 25, 2003, 29-year-old Adnan Abdul Karim Enad jumped into a U.N. inspector's jeep, screaming 'Save me! Save me!' As television cameras rolled, U.N. security guards dragged him from the vehicle and handed him to Iraqi soldiers. The same day, an Iraqi government worker forced his way into the U.N. compound, pleading for protection. U.N. guards evicted him. Hans Blix, then chief weapons inspector in Iraq, criticized the Iraqi asylum-seekers, saying they should find 'more elegant ways' of approaching U.N. staff."

But there we were, going through meaningless resolution after resolution, until finally some member states -- one in particular -- took it upon themselves to act. Speaking to the United Nations in September 2002, President Bush said: "The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?"

Tony Blair understands how important it is that the United States play a key leadership role in the world. He recently wrote, pushing back against rampant European anti-Americanism, that "the danger with America today is not that they are too much involved. We want them engaged. The reality is that none of the problems that press in on us can be resolved or even contemplated without them."

As we face the continued threat of Islamic fascism, nuke-developing madmen in Iran and North Korea, and atrocities in Darfur, the corrupt U.N. bureaucracy needs a voice that will challenge it, one who knows there are good guys and bad and which ones are which. The United Nations could do worse than Tony Blair, and probably will.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.