The efficacy of the resolution 1441, adopted Nov. 8, certainly resides within the realization of the technical outcome sought through it, that is, the disarmament of Iraq. However, its efficacy should also be equally determined according to its impact on the world governments and notably the United States to regard multilateralism as a credible means to address and ultimately resolve any internati

By Gus Bode

To a certain degree, the resolution definitively strengthened the Security Council and stressed the critical and beneficial need for multilateral actions and by the same token provided peace with a chance.

However, a thorough analysis of the UN resolution and the manner in which it has been passed suggests to me in the strongest of terms that if one side won absolutely, it was not that of multilateralism. Several reasons support this position.

First and foremost, the resolution fails to specifically ban the unilateral use of force by the U.S. in case of non-compliance or the occurrence of a material breach by Iraq. Here, the U.S. has absolutely no right to unilaterally appoint itself as a possible sole enforcer of a UN resolution.


Although some might contend that an American attack against Iraq would be part of the global war on terror that has been approved by the UN member states, the United Nations, by virtue of its stature and the former violations of its resolutions, has precedence over the Iraq case.

Secondly, there was no clear monopoly assigned to the new inspection regime over all facets of the actual inspection program, especially regarding the ability to notify breaches and violations from Iraq. Indeed, the U.S., which is a partisan party in this case, can directly notify the Security Council about breaches and violations without consulting the new regime’s apparatus.

It is here sadly obvious that although the U.S. did express, at least implicitly, the will to re-engage in multilateral action, it still strongly retains its own judgment and course of action, the existence of which, I believe remedy was sought for through the Security Council resolution.

Thirdly, the agreement was reached through “inadequate diplomacy.” The tome was set on Sept. 12 during President Bush’s speech in New York where he told the United Nations that it must either go along with his prospective war against Iraq or “render itself irrelevant.” As a result, the Security Council permanent members dissents although motivated in some instances by their interest in Iraq, mainly arose out of concern for this untrammeled and blatant show of American power bestriding over the Lilliputians.

Another case in point is that of the initial concerns expressed by Russia and France about language specifically stipulating a second vote regarding the authorization and use of force in case of non-compliance or the occurrence of a material breach. Their legitimate concern was dismissed under heavy American pressure although consistent in a long-term perspective with the new desire of the US administration to engage in multilateral action concerning Iraq.

In addition, it was reported by the French newspaper “Le Mondae” that the U.S., in order to coerce Syria into approving its resolution, ironically accused it of seeking weapons of mass destruction and threatened Damascus over its nuclear research cooperation with Russia.

Besides, Washington reminded the Arab nation about the favor done by Bush of opposing the Syrian Accountability Act last September that would have banned American investment or trade with Syria until they severed ties with Lebanese and Palestinian terrorist organizations. Approximately two weeks after resolution 1441 was passed, Washington’s attempts to include the “No Fly Zone” as part of the resolution making Iraq in violation because of its recent firings upon American planes, which betrays the genuine American goal to go to war at all costs and expose the resolution as mere parody of a multilateral act and a clear reaffirmation of American power.


It also lays open the infect pusillanimity and lack of responsibility of the rest of the world that is knowingly authorizing the very fist preemptive war of post modern times by legitimizing it with its stamp of approval and establishing at the same time an extremely dangerous precedent.

Achieving security is a strategic issue and there exists a variety of strategies. In an ever interdependent and globalized world, concocting a strategy that aims to fulfill security based upon unilateral and preemptive action presupposed and erroneous view of the world that regard the rest of it as “others” that are fundamentally “not us” and assumes a world without sovereignties therefore reinforcing the existence of differences that undoubtedly will lead to war or the failure of security.

A multilateral strategy on the other hand, is coherent with collective security and lends states with credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the world and history. Peace and the outcome of this global war on terror are here dangerously at stake.