Friday, November 03, 2006

Impotence revealed

It is a partisan piece written by Philadelphia-based Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, and published in The Jerusalem Post, but my guess is that, even a few years ago, you would never have seen an article entitled: "The UN and EU are irrelevant".

Such is a measure of their waning power and influence, however, that Pipes is able to make a coherent case to support his title, writing about the UN Security Council bickering over a "feeble" European draft resolution. That is what it has all come down to – for "soft" as in soft power, read "feeble".

Meanwhile, in what is obviously a deliberate provocation, Iran has test fired a long-range Shahab-3 missile as part of its Revolutionary Guards military manoeuvres, along with dozens of short-range weapons of various types.

The Shahab-3, which has a chequered history, can in theory carry a nuclear warhead and is capable of travelling almost 2,000 kilometres. That capacity puts it in range of Israel and US forces stationed in the Middle East, which therefore – rather predictably – has the regional actors nervous.

And now, to underline both EU and UN impotence, Russia and China have indicated that they will not support the EU's draft UN resolution. "We cannot support measures that in essence are aimed at isolating Iran from the outside world, including isolating people who are called upon to conduct negotiations on the nuclear program," the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying.

In the final analysis though – as Daniel Pipe remarks – it will be down to the US president to decide what to do. And if he wants to turn Tehran into a glass-coated car-park, at least he has the capability (and the authority) to do so. That must be why the EU and UN tranzies so dislike the United States – revealing as it does their own impotence.


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