Marginalization of the UN. Neocons hate the UN.
- It doesn’t do what neocons tell it to do.
- It is multilateral and neocons think only unilateral action by the US is effective.
- It does not opt for military force as a first resort.
So, of course, on August 1, 2005, Bush named UN hating neocon John Bolton as UN Ambassador in a recess appointment. Bolton famously stated in a 1994 speech that “If the U.N. building in New York lost its top 10 stories it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” The top floors are where highest ranking UN officials have their offices. His thinking has not moderated since.
Of course, the Administration has not hesitated to use the UN when it has suited its purposes. It cited Security Council resolutions from the First Gulf War in its AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Force against Iraq) (see item 128). It would have gone for a Chapter 7 UN resolution authorizing military force for the 2003 invasion of Iraq if it thought it could get one. That wasn’t in the cards. This explains why, despite the incongruity, resolutions from the First Gulf War were used to give a patina of international legitimacy to the Second Gulf War. Later on June 8, 2004 as the CPA was coming to a close, the Administration sought and obtained Security Council Resolution 1546 which sanctioned the presence of American forces in Iraq for a limited time subject to update. This permission was most recently updated in Resolution 1790 on December 18, 2006 which extends the American mandate in Iraq to December 31, 2008.