Saturday, February 12, 2005

UN and Iraq

I'm not a basher of the United Nations, for I think that it does more good than harm, but I also think that it does not do as much good as it could. And after the oil-for-food scandal, it owes the people of Iraq. Thus, I welcome this from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The success of the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq has created an exciting moment of opportunity. It matters greatly that Iraq's transition is a success. I am determined to make certain that the United Nations will play its full part in helping the Iraqi people achieve that end.

But it also matters that the international community, which has been angrily divided over Iraq, now recognizes that we all share a common agenda: to move Iraq from the starting point -- its successfully completed elections -- to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future. . .

Let's not pretend that it will be easy. Iraq is in a complicated region of the world, and has had a tortured recent history. It also has a diverse society, and some groups are determined to prevent a democratic outcome on any terms. But I believe that with international help, such a society can use democratic institutions to build itself a stable and prosperous future. That hope and that vision offer us in the outside world a real opportunity to start again -- together -- and support the Iraqi people in their great experiment.