George W. Bush will ask the UN for assistance but with a huge number of stipulations
It could hardly be expected at the beginning that Iraq would remain in focus of the international politics for such a long period. This is quite understandable that much attention was devoted to this country having only a couple of objects of interest - the Babylon ruins and Saddam Hussein - during preparation and realization of the military operation. However, it was expected that after overthrowing of the dictator the interest of politicians and journalists in Iraq would fade away. For some time the interest in Iraq was declining to naught while the situation in the country remained quiet. Indeed, neither local population nor foreigners expected that the regime of Saddam Hussein would fall that quickly and ingloriously. But the embarrassment was gone very quickly as people realized they wouldn't be able to put Iraq out of their heads and take up other problems.
A regular session of the UN General Assembly opens in New York today. Participants of the event will be outstanding figures. US president intends to deliver a speech. Leaders of the countries that were against the Iraqi operation - Russia, France and Germany - will be also present at the session.
Several days before opening of the session, the aspects upon which President Bush intended to touch upon in the speech were published. The speech will touch upon Iraq and the role of the UN in this Mideast country. It's hardly likely that George W. Bush personally was so much eager to deliver this kind of speech. He rather had to prepare the speech because of the appeals of the congressmen and recommendations of his advisers saying he shouldn't try to solve Iraqi problems alone.
In an interview with FOX News George W. Bush said that the US Administration expected the UN would issue a new resolution on Iraq that would help increase the number of the operation participants. At the same time, nothing is still said about replacement of the command. In fact, the White House doesn't plan to hand at least some of the political authorities over the UN. According to President Bush, representatives of the organization will have a chance to participate in development of a new Iraqi Constitution and may also send observers to the elections. This, George W. Bush thinks, will be a more important role of the UN in post-war restoration of Iraq.
France President Jacque Chirac however disagrees with this opinion. In an interview with The New York Times the France president suggested a two-phase plan according to which Iraq is to be given sovereignty. Main idea of the plan is as follows: the first stage of the plan will be symbolic transfer of the Iraqi sovereignty from the USA to 25 members of the provisional ruling council. The second phase may last from 6 to 9 months; within this period Iraqi ministers would be given actual authorities. According to Jacque Chirac, France will support a new resolution on Iraq if these terms are observed.
The French plan was suggested on Sunday; but it was already on Monday that US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said the plan was unfeasible. Washington thinks that elections should be held first to further discuss transfer of the authorities. George W. Bush supports this opinion as well; he says he met with two representatives of the Iraqi Government Council who told him that it was too early to grant self-government to the Iraqis. Thus, it is said that Iraqi people themselves ask to delay granting of the authorities to them.
So, although George W. Bush intends to come out at the UN session and even to ask for assistance, this will be done with a huge number of stipulations. This in its turn will mean that any serious changes in the Iraqi situation are out of the question. Still, this doesn't mean that the new resolution on Iraq is doomed to failure. This resolution may be passed if France doesn't veto it. Will France attempt to veto the resolution? It seems that Paris has grown tired of quarrelling with Washington. It is unlikely to start another confrontation. Otherwise the USA may accuse France of the reluctance to stabilize the Iraqi situation. For France to save the reputation it will be quite enough to abstain from voting concerning the new resolution.