Ambassador: Bush personally bullied UN diplomats into supporting Iraq war
Heraldo Muņoz, a personal friend of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chilean ambassador to the United Nations, details the Bush administration's persuasion tactics in the months leading up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq in his upcoming memoir, the Washington Post reports.
"A Solitary War: A Diplomat's Chronicle of the Iraq War and Its Lessons," to be released in April 2008, outlines bullying tactics exercised by President Bush in attempts to persuade United Nations diplomats to back a 2003 resolution to authorize military force against Iraq. Mocking of unsupportive allies, threats of trade reprisals and attempts to fire U.N. envoys were among actions taken by the Bush administration against those less than cooperative, Muņoz writes.
Ultimately, he continues, America's "rough-and-tumble" strategy backfired, with Bush later reaching out to Chile and Mexico, which he'd earlier spurned for preventing the war resolution, aggressively backed by the United States and Britain, from taking hold.
On March 14, 2003, less than one week before the eventual invasion, Chile hosted a meeting of diplomats from the six undecided governments to discuss its proposal. But U.S. ambassador John D. Negroponte and then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell moved quickly to quash the initiative, warning their governments that the effort was viewed as "an unfriendly act" designed to isolate the United States. The diplomats received calls from their governments ordering them to "leave the meeting immediately," Muņoz writes.
Muņoz said subsequent ties remained tense at the United Nations, where the United States sought support for resolutions authorizing the occupation of Iraq. He said that small countries met privately in a secure room at the German mission that was impervious to eavesdropping. "It reminded me of a submarine or a giant safe," Muņoz said in an interview.
The United States, he added, expressed "its displeasure" to the German government every time they held a meeting in the secure room. "They couldn't listen to what was going on."
The entire Washington Post article can be read HERE.