Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, warned two weeks before the Iraq aggression that “The US will invade Iraq with a coalition of like-minded nations with or without the UN authorisation”. President Bush had previously received the Congress authorisation; consequently it had satisfied the legal requirements that may cause concern to him.
It had been a Bush administration policy to discredit in advance the fruits of an inspection that resolution 1441 (2002) had rightly toughened and to exert intolerable pressure on the chairmen of the UNMOVIC and IAEA and on the members of the SC. With arrogant manners, President Bush required from the Council “determination” to act. He called upon it to assume “its responsibilities” while warning at the same time that “time comes to an end”. It seems that Council’s relevance was linked to its willingness to give cover to US policies-as the Council had previously done. Zemanek is right when he claims that the manner in which the campaign against Iraq was conducted strengthens the suggestion of an imperial strategy. Iraq was subdued simply because the US considered it necessary. In the view of the US, France or Germany opposition to its draft resolutions was not the expression of a right as members of the SC but a disloyalty as allies of the US
The refusal of the SC to authorise the use of force already decided by the US reinforced its credibility before public opinion. The efforts of the US (and its satellites) to present their action as a legal one were so intensively refuted that to insist on them would not be compatible with good faith. However, aggression gave rise to a delicate situation. One could not expect that the action would be condemned, not even regretted; in either case the veto of the aggressors would be present. However, the fact that everyone wants to forget does not imply that one should accept the Anglo- American occupation. The Council longed to consider the facts as a fait accompli given that it could not satisfactorily examine them according to the legal order and at the same time it wanted to affirm the organisation’s role in the “reconstruction” of Iraq. Consequently, its objective had to be the recovery of its competences and to “be in charge of” the country; to manage the latter as it had done in Kosovo, until the country set up its own representative institutions. Only by this means could one limit the evil inflicted and could it be put into practice the Council’s commitment with the people’s of Iraq self-determination.
Nevertheless, this was unthinkable for the Bush Administration, which had decided that the Council had to recognise the Authority established by the occupying powers, to accept its measures and to transfer to the Authority the control of Iraq resources within and outside the country; it was also sought that the UN had a secondary role. Unfortunately, today one can affirm that the US has reached its objectives (resolutions 1483 and 1511-2003), beyond the rhetoric discourses that have allowed their opponents within the SC to justify their giving in.