Why the U.S. Can't Ask the U.N. For Help in Iraq

Sen. Ted Kennedy says President Bush is getting U.S. soldiers killed because of his arrogance — his refusal to go to the United Nations to get help for American troops in Iraq.

Here's what he was really saying: It's time to give Iraq to the French.

There is a reason the president hasn't gone to the U.N. and that reason is France. It is the one nation that not only has a veto in the Security Council (search), but has declared its intention to use its veto to block U.S. plans.

So for all practical purposes, France runs the United Nations. And by going to the U.N., the U.S. would be turning the running of Iraq over to France.

Before the war, France spent a year promising Saddam Hussein there would not be a war. Jacques Chirac (search) and Dominique de Villepin (search) were planning to rehabilitate Saddam, launder the Baath Party (search) to be acceptable to the world, put on some sham elections to placate world leaders, and get the sanctions lifted so France and Russia would control Iraq's oil business.

France sent a special emissary named Pierre Duval, who tried to negotiate with Saddam. Duval was reported to be working an exile plan for the ousted Iraqi leader, but the truth was that he was setting France up to be Iraq's oil middleman.

President Bush ruined Chirac's plans by going around the U.N. Now Kennedy is suggesting we let Chirac win by giving him Iraq. This after a few hundred Americans died liberating the country from both Saddam and France.

The fact that our troops are under attack in Iraq is a very big deal, and Kennedy is right to complain about that. But handing Iraq over to France is not the answer.

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