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Here's a news flash... the Bush administration and the British are letting the U.N. back into Iraq.

Don't have heart palpitations. They're not letting much of the U.N. back in, just a bit.

In fact, Bush and Blair are treating the U.N. in the same way they treated Europe — not as one big thing, an E.U. or a U.N., but dealing only with the parts of the big organization with which they think they can deal.

Mohammad Elbaradei (search)'s  International Atomic Energy Agency (search— the U.N. nuclear inspectors — are apparenlty going to go back into Iraq to look over some sites to determine what is going on there, and if nuke material was indeed looted.

It's not a full mandate to go wandering around anywhere. Same with the U.N. in general...

A new proposal from Britain and Spain will allow the U.N. to go into Iraq in the form of a special representative, but the Americans and the British will be in charge. So the U.N. rep there will have to ask the Americans and the Brits for permission if he or she wants to do something.

That's the way it should be. Like it or not, France and Germany and the U.N. are on probation. We are going to see if they are going to go back to their reflexive anti-Americanism, or if they are going to be cooperative.

The U.N. should learn a lesson from all this. International cooperation is important, but if the U.S. is going to be the world's whipping boy, America will simply walk out and do what it sees fit.

So world, it's your choice. Sane multilaterialism or watch the U.S. go off on its own.

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