Sir, The United Nations has been badly damaged by the
invasion of Iraq. Having to deal in a high-profile way
with the American Government’s determination to control
the Middle East, its attention has been drawn away from
the terrible war in the Congo, where earlier attention
might have saved many hundreds of thousands.
Nothing in the UN Charter supported the attack on Iraq.
However, the US and UK Governments now have control of
Iraq and its resources though a new UN resolution (report,
May 23). This turns them from an illegal "occupying force"
into the "Authority", operated by the US and the UK "until
an internationally recognised, representative government
is established by the people of Iraq and assumes the
responsibilities of the Authority".
The German, French and Russian Governments have avoided
a continued, damaging rift. They have chosen, this time at
least, to accept the concept that one superpower makes the
big decisions about war and peace, and it is better to be
onside than outside.
The best outcome for the people of Iraq was the
cancellation of sanctions, which have killed hundreds of
thousands of Iraqi people and denied them food and
medicine and materials required to rebuild their
infrastructure. We must hope that the UN will recover from
this and go on to strengthen the rule of international law
and observance of the Charter.