If tomorrow at dawn US tanks rolled toward Baghdad what would the UN be able to do and what would they do realistically? Could the ICC sentence Bush in the Hague? Could sanctions be put on the US until Donald Rumsfeld went into exile? I am not trying to make a statement either for or against war, I just want to know if Kofi Annan would deploy French peacekeepers to DC to restore order.
If US tanks roll towards Baghdad right now this would probably cause the UN to become Null and Void. Or, failing that, it would cause the UN to loose some of the power it has carefully attempted to cultivate.
Kofi Annan doesn’t have the power to send French troops anywhere, only France does. This is an important point; the UN’s only power is in the will of member nations to enforce its will. No western democracy wants to piss off the US in a military manner. The US is a huge trading partner to almost everyone, and we have a really really big army.
Make faces at us.
The United States has declined to ratify the treaty creating the ICC partly out of fear of just such politicized attempts to prosecute American leaders. So if they did indict Bush, he’d be under no obligation to yield himself up.
The United States would use its Security Council veto to block sanctions.**
To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, “There are some sections of DC where I wouldn’t advise the French to deploy!”
It’s unlikely that anyone would propose sanctions, and impossible that the Security Council would approve a sanctions resolution. And its even more unlikely that any other state would be willing to try to enforce the sanctions.
A major illegal act by the US (and not I am not saying that military action against Iraq would be a major illegal act) against which the UN was effectively powerless would, as Marduk says, seriously damage the UN. Which is not necessarily in the best interests of the US.