Russia, France and other key Security Council members set the stage today for a new battle over Iraq, signaling that the United States must give the United Nations a broader role in reconstruction efforts before sanctions can be lifted….”This decision cannot be automatic,” [Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov] said. “For the Security Council to take this decision we need to be certain whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or not.” Russia and other council members maintain that it must be U.N. inspectors, not the U.S. military, who verify whether the country has been disarmed….The EU echoed that demand in a statement issued from the summit: “The U.N. must play a central role, including the process leading toward self-government for the Iraqi people, utilizing its unique capacity and experience in post-conflict nation-building.” [Washington Post, 4/17/03]

You mean its unique capacity and experience in destroying and impoverishing everything it touches? As exemplified, for example, by its threat to maintain sanctions on a defeated regime–to keep the Iraqis poor unless the UN can seize power over them?

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