Wednesday, October 02, 2002

UN Authority

Would I be out of line in asking just what UN resolution authorized the French to go into Ivory Coast? Sure, I know American forces are there too but hey, we’re unilateralists. What does the world expect? But what the heck are the French doing? Aren’t they major proponents of UN authority? Shouldn’t they be letting those poor people in Ivory Coast sort out their own lives without heavily armed Western soldiers adding to their misery? Sure, they rescued thousands of Westerners but were any actually hurt before the intervention? I don’t think so. It seems the French anticipated harm to foreign civilians and acted to preempt any hostile move. Hmm, shouldn’t the world be denouncing the French or something? Shouldn’t the African street be enraged? Sure, the French undoubtedly have some treaty or agreement with their former colony but does that erase the need for the UN to decide what violence is appropriate? Surely, a bilateral agreement doesn’t trump the pureness of the UN in deciding what the response must be? Shouldn’t we have waited for the massacre first, if indeed it happened at all, so we can all light candles for the French and declare "we are all French" in solemn speeches? I’m almost feeling sorry for losing the chance to shed a tear for the French (just a little bitter, wouldn't actually wish any harm to any French).

Don’t get me wrong, I thank the French for their actions. They protected a lot of Americans, too. The French did the right thing. But don’t we have the right to keep hundreds of thousands of our citizens safe without waiting for the first strike? The stakes are higher for us and we will act—just as the French acted.