DUPING THE UN?….UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi apparently isn’t very happy with the interim Iraqi government he was supposedly in charge of choosing:

Asked how big a role the American administration had in forming the government and selecting the prime minister and president, Brahimi reminded reporters that American Ambassador L. Paul Bremer runs things in Iraq.

“Bremer is the dictator of Iraq,” he said. “He has the money. He has the signature.”

He later added: “I will not say who was my first choice, and who was not my first choice … I will remind you that the Americans are governing this country.”

Sadoun al Dulame, the head of a Baghdad research organization and polling center, said he spoke with Brahimi last week and that the diplomat was discouraged.

“He was very disappointed, very frustrated,” al Dulame said. “I asked him why he didn’t say that publicly (and) he said, ‘I am the U.N. envoy to Iraq, how can I admit to failure?’”

It seems fair to say that in the end, Bush and Bremer managed to use the United Nations as little more than a respectable cover for their own choices. They got exactly the government they wanted but made it look like it was the work of the UN.

If this is what really happened, it’s a clever piece of work. I wonder, though, if it will hurt us in the long run. After all, having the UN ? and through them the rest of the world ? feeling like they’ve been duped might cause problems down the road.

Not that Bush is likely to care about something like that. In fact, duping the UN would probably tickle him no end. Maybe that’s why he was in such a good mood on Tuesday.

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