It's all to the good that the Bush regime is appealing to the U.N. to provide additional help in Iraq. It's also significant to read the subtle but crucial change in the language of what is being requested. In the past, all the Bushists asked from the international community was money and troops in support of an American-defined agenda. But yesterday Negroponte extended this request by asking for "whatever assistance is possible to the government and people of Iraq."
In other words, even the Bushists themselves on some level are recongizing the illegitimacy of their actions, which is why they're going back to the U.N. to ask for more than just troops. What they're asking for is legitimation. I don't think this is a cynical ploy, either: the Bush regime would love any help it can get in Iraq, both in practical physical terms, and in terms of legitimation.
With that said, conservatives aren't exactly wrong when they say that there's little chance that the U.N. will respond in any useful way to Negroponte's pleas. I say "not exactly wrong" because what they are wrong about is in the implication that garnering more international help is inherently impossible. Receiving such help is in fact, I believe, very possible -- but only if the Bushists are willing to concede political-diplomatic ground to the position of the international community on the original legitimacy of the war.
However, it is true that the international community will do nothing to help legitimate the initial decision to go to war, which so many of them opposed. In other words, as long as the Bushies insist that the war itself was legitimate in the first place, the international community will allow us to continue stewing in it alone.
If the Bushists really want help, I would suggest, what they ought to do is say, "We renounce the doctrine of preemption; we admit the war in Iraq was a mistake; we admit that we violated well-established and worthy international norms in going to war without the Security Council's approval; and we promise we won't do anything like this again." If the Bushies were to do something like this -- in other words, if they were to concede the diplomatic defeat of their hyperimperial ambitions -- then I believe the international community would be much more likely to provide significant material and moral support in the ongoing situation in Iraq.
Needless to say, the proposal is a nonstarter. These guys would rather have a dozen Americans get killed in the Mesopotamian sands every week for the indefinite future than concede a political point to those dastardly Old Europeans and their fellow travelling Third Worldistas.