U.S.-U.K. alliance shows strains .
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|Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:53am|
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>"Informed observers say Blair shares other European leaders' distaste for a formula that installs a U.S. military administration because it makes the whole thing look more like occupation than liberation. "It is important... that the U.N. is involved, and that any post-conflict administration in Iraq is endorsed by it," Blair said in Washington.
But the Bush administration, still harboring resentment at the Security Council's failure to support the U.S.-led military action against Saddam, has no plans currently to give the United Nations a major role, beyond the humanitarian effort, in post-Saddam Iraq.
Compare Blair's view of how the reconstruction should proceed with Powell's testimony on the Hill last week. "We didn't take on the huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future," Powell declared. "(The United States) would not support handing everything over to the U.N., or someone designated by the U.N. to suddenly become in charge of the whole operation."
Blair would find it difficult to explain to his party why Britain was either a part of, or at least accepted, a de facto U.S. military occupation. The Downing Street view, as British commentators point out, is that a U.N.-governed reconstruction program, shared and under the authority of the United Nations would be a good way of healing differences in the international community. It would also make a start in repairing relations between the United States and Europe.
Can Blair use his special relationship with Bush to cobble up a compromise plan?"< (more)
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