Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Russian Veto?

You already know that the news stories are all over the map regarding who will or will not veto another Security Council resolution on Iraq. One day it is said that France, Russia, maybe even China will, and the next day the opposite. Here is the latest. I think this is much to do about nothing. I think these countries are using the threat of veto for diplomatic purposes; to try to get others to do their dirty work (to try to persuade non-permanent members on the Security Council, e.g., Chile, Mexico, to vote against the resolution because if the U.S. can be made to think that it can’t get nine votes the resolution will not come up). In the end, I do not think that any of them will veto because one, it is not in their interest (although France has the strongest--long range--political interest to veto) and two, they don’t have the courage. It would be a huge thing, with massive political repercussions (the Bush administration would not be amused and relations between those countries that vetoed and the U.S. would take a beating, to the disadvantage of the others). They can’t afford it, politically or economically. Still, it’s an engaging game of poker.

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