authority of the United Nations," 29 a step, he argued, that might be necessary to make the world safe for American values.
The watershed event in George Bush's development of the new moralism and his use of the United Nations was the Gulf War. Prior to the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 there were signs that President Bush was willing to use American power on behalf of moralist values. In the same month that he met with Gorbachev in Malta, he had unilaterally ordered military action in the Philippines to protect the democratically elected Aquino government from yet another attempted coup, and he had sent troops into Panama to overthrow and arrest General Noriega, who was reputedly deeply involved in drug trafficking. The war against Saddam Hussein, however, provided the opportunity to mobilize a partnership with the permanent members of the Security Council and to use the UN in the service of the new world order.
The occupation of Kuwait directly threatened American interests in the Gulf region, it endangered a significant proportion of the world's oil supply, and it placed several of the United States' allies under immediate threat. Saudi Arabia, in particular, faced the possibility of Iraqi aggression. That the president would have to respond went without question. That Bush decided on a massive reversal of the Iraqi's action by any means necessary came as a surprise to many, including the leadership in Baghdad.
The president immediately attempted to mobilize the United Nations. In the early hours of August 2, he ordered Ambassador Thomas Pickering to request an emergency meeting of the Security Council and to obtain a resolution of condemnation, demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces. Over the next three months the administration sought and obtained ten Security Council resolutions directed at the isolation of Iraq and at preparing the legal groundwork for military action.
Bush's efforts had two significant institutional consequences. The focus of action, which had been largely centered in the General Assembly during the cold war, now shifted to the Security Council. While the founders might have believed that the Council would have____________________