Blogs > Cliopatria > Howard N. Meyer: On Iraq

Feb 7, 2007 9:24 pm

Howard N. Meyer: On Iraq

To the editor

Debates in Congress and on the media, print
electronic, video and blog seem to agree on the nature
of the choice we and our nation are must make.

For one side, in varying forms, the solution proposed is,
more force. Whatever the word used, there is no
denying that one side argues greater use of force
by United States weapons and warriors, will lead
to a devoutly wished-for conclusion.

The other side objects, also in a variety of modes,
and says in effect, NO. (They do not say use less
force. It can be argued that troop withdrawal means
"less" but it cannot be doubted a withdrawal now
would neither be unharassed nor peaceable.]
All this gives the proponents of force the rhetorical tool
offered by the needling question, WHAT WOULD YOU do?

That there is a third way, is suggested by the editorial today
on "Iraq's Refugees." It has been seen that the U.N.'s
refugee commissioner is actively working to help the
country's refugees in their plight.

It is safe to assume that the United Nations' new and
lively Secretary General would likely welcome an invitation
to intervene, to use his office and persuade the
Security Council to cease looking the other way
in the presence of a palpable threat to world peace
presented by the ongoing hostilities.

Such an invitation could be made successfully by joint
action of, say, the U.K. Egypt, Brazil and/or other such
supportive members of the United Nations. The U.N.'s
experience in peacekeeping and mediation among conflicting
tribes and minorities surely have a better chance of
success than bombing and shooting at two sects
and telling them to stop fighting.

The until now rejected idea of the Baker-Hamilton panel
to approach Syria and Iran for assistance in searching
for a peaceful solution would be of assistance to United
Nations peacemaking, if attempted.

Howard N Meyer 212 723 3235.

The writer is a retired attorney and arbitrator and
member since 1985 of American Society for
International Law.
375 West End Avenue N Y 10024

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