COLIN POWELL AND THE UN….Since Steven Den Beste, Glenn Reynolds, and William Safire all get to engage in weird conspiracy theorizing about the French, can I do the same for the Bush administration?

My question is this: why aren’t we at war yet? Bush’s contempt for the UN is patent, and yet we continue to make Herculean efforts to get Security Council authorization for a war. Why? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Despite his talk, Bush actually believes in the UN. I think we can safely dismiss this one.

  • It’s a sop to Tony Blair. This is the most common theory, and a pretty good one.

  • The loss of Turkish bases and flyover rights is more important than we’ve been lead to believe. This has caused an unavoidable delay in military planning, and as long as we’re delayed anyway there’s no harm in continuing the fight at the UN. This seems plausible, but not convincing. I suspect the military would rather go now even with incomplete planning rather than allow summer to draw ever closer.

  • Colin Powell has threatened to resign if we invade without UN approval.

Obviously I made this list just to get that last item in, because the thought has been bugging me for a while. But Cyrus Vance resigned as secretary of state prior to Jimmy Carter’s effort to rescue the hostages in Iran, so it’s not as if there’s no precedent for this kind of thing.

On the scale of weird ideas this ranks well below the possibility of nuclear war with France, but it’s still a bit out there. On the other hand, the normal explanations for our continuing efforts with the UN don’t quite sound convincing to me and I keep wondering if there’s something else going on behind the scenes.

Or maybe I’m just coming down with blog looniness too. An occupational hazard of spending too much time in front of a computer, perhaps.