View Full Version : UN takes over Tsunami relief
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 4:08pm
I couldn't agree more.
Way to go GW! Just when the UN was about to disappear into complete irrelevance, Bush comes to the rescue. :rolleyes:
Oh well, I am sure that most of the denizens here are probably dancing a jig over this news anyway, irregardless that even if the UN manages to keep its corrupt hands out of the till, another level of bureaucracy was just added which will mean less money for the victims of the tsunami. Good to know that politics yet again wins out over the best interests of the people. :eek:
I am glad I was able to steer my donations right around UNICEF, put a big smile on my face when I unchecked that box, leaving the money I donated and the 3X matching from my employer to go exclusively to the Red Cross.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 4:46pm
Over $350 million that was seized from the American people through confiscatory taxes will now be spent by an agency that is dedicated to the destruction of American sovereignty. How do you read this crap?
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 4:49pm
Ah, I had a momentary blank and couldn't work out where the sarcasm was placed. Soon cleared up by the article.
Has to be said my immediate thoughts when I heard it on the radio this morning were that Bush had learnt from Iraq, and decided to wash his hands of this particular mess.
Very amusing article, never knew the UN was dedicated to destroying American sovereignty, learn something new everyday. To be honest, given the way the Iraq re-building contracts went (Donald Rumsfeld, Bechtel, Cheney, Halliburton - anyone spot the link?) its rather amusing that someone thinks the UN can be called more corrupt than the American government.
Our donations went through the British Disasters Emergency Committee. No idea if it will be routed via the UN, but the major charity groups such as Oxfam and the British Red Cross are member agencies.
[ January 06, 2005, 17:05: Message edited by: Carcaroth ]
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 5:28pm
Nice US bashing! The US gov't is no worse than any other gov't, and a hell of a lot less corrupt than most.
What irks me the most is that we get bashed for not caring about the rest of the world, and not doing enough, and yet when we lead the charge to help a part of the world we have no vested interest in, (it is our military that is there doing the grunt work, too bad the cost of that doesn't get included in our "contributions", and without them all the aid in the world wouldn't mean squat because there would be no one to hand it out or organize it), and in swoops the UN to take over and put everything under powder blue beanies, undermining the image of what we are doing there. Seems we do good and someone else takes credit for it, and we do something wrong and we are condemned for it, even though the groups condemning us are often guilty of doing far worse on a regular basis.
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 5:45pm
we lead the charge to help a part of the world we have no vested interest in On come now, DW, the U.S. has a very real vested interest in a lot of those areas. I'll use Indonesia as an example, as they were the hardest hit. Indonesia is a fledgling democracy, and also supports the largest muslim population in the world. While the populace is very skeptical of the U.S.'s intentions, the government itself is very supportive of the U.S., and their role in Iraq. Considering part of Bush's plan is to "win the hearts and minds" of Muslims around the globe, you can say it is very much in the U.S.'s interest to keep up good relations with Indonesia. The same applies to India to a large extent.
As far as the vested part goes, we're currently spending over 5 billion a month (which comes out to around 8 million dollars an hour) to "win the hearts and minds" so I don't know how much more vested you can get than that.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 5:54pm
The implication was supposed to be that they don't have some natural resource that we can steal, as we are often accused of. Using your logic we have a vested interest in the whole world. Perhaps I should have said we don't stand to make a huge financial gain instead of vested interest.
I don't want to get way off topic, but nothing is ever done without some kind of return, even if it is just a "feel good" return. If there is absolutely no reward for a specific behavior, that behavior will never be exhibited.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 6:01pm
Not bashing the US as a whole, just the current government. I saw it as fair game considering the article was bashing the UN and basically implying the US would do a better job. Do you deny that the current American government has rather strong ties to the corporations that got awarded the multi-million dollar contracts?
I fully accept that a lot of other goverments are just as corrupt as the American one, ours included. I personally believe the offer of American military help (obviously in a non-military capacity) for the disaster was well intended and should not have been rejected. I would much prefer to see soldiers providing aid than shooting people. However help should be much better co-ordinated from a central source - though yes, I think all the countries giving aid should get the credit. The US has enough on it's plate dealing with Iraq and the upcoming elections.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 6:04pm
Seeing as the UN has mostly been pushed to the corner when it comes to politics and been told to focus on humanitarian questions and organising aid for disasters I find it almost amusing to see it being bashed for doing just that, well I would find it amusing if it were not so sad and scary.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 6:53pm
I have no real issues with the Bush admin and its ties to Halliburton. The Clinton admin used this same corporation in no-bid arrangements as well.
I am more troubled by the close ties of the trial lawyers to the Democratic Party than I am any of the trumped up and or overblown accusations in regards to Halliburton and Enron.
I might feel a little sorry for the UN if it wasn't for the fact that it keeps demonstrating its desire to have legislative and judicial oversight in regards to the internal affairs of sovereign nations. Put that together with the fact that the UN seems to want the right to be able to levy taxes on the citizens of said nations, cannot police itself, and will not allow anyone to question or meaningfully investigate it, even when it is plainly evident that it has committed fraud, and I have no pity on this organization as it has destroyed its own credibility and relevance.
It is time to give up on it, tear it down, and start building the next League of Nations or United Nations.
Personally, I think this new organization should be called BOB. :banana:
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 7:58pm
What desire is that? Where has it showed that and when? What affairs of sovereign nations? The only thing I can think of is when the UN whines about human rights violation in various parts of the world, I reckon that could be seen as meddling with the judical system of sovereign nations. When and where has anyone from the UN said that they want to levy taxes?
The main point is that any critique against the UN should be better aimed at the member states and not the UN itself as the UN has *no* power on its, no say whatsoever, everything is run by its members. It doesnt even really have much of a staff on its own but borrow people for various assignments. Guess which memberstate who has the greatest say in the UN, France? Guess again, Russia? Again, ok, I will tell you, the US. Most of the criticque towards the UN is indirectly aimed at the US, the funny thing is that it is mostly Americans who complain about the UN and thus they complain about policies set mostly by Americans and executed mostly by Americans.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 9:31pm
I could sit down and Goggle an unlimited number of instances of the UN meddling in the US political system or our education system, but why should I bother, you wouldn't be swayed anyway.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 10:16pm
I wonder if I'll ever see the day when Darkwolf actually produces an unbiased source. :rolleyes:
Well I have not read much about this global taxation thing and I am not very interested in it either since it will never go through. Global taxation would hurt a lot more nations than just the US so I really can't figure how this is messing with the US political system.
Well anyway I do feel the disaster aid should be organized by a global organisation and the only global organisation that has the resources and the expertise to do that is the United Nations.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 10:24pm
I wonder if I will ever see the day when there is such a thing as an "unbiased source", or the day when people quit copping out and take the material to task rather than taking the lame easy way out and just dismissing the source.
Why don't you try taking on the material and discrediting it rather than taking the easy way out and discrediting the source?
Additionally, you are demonstrating your lack of understanding of the UN. As an organization, the UN has practically no "expertise" or organization to handle such an issue. It will still be the US military and the Red Cross, + a few experts from various nations (again mostly US, but I don't doubt that the French will stand up and brag about how the 2 people they sent were invaluable) who get the job done, but it will be under a powder blue flag, so the UN will take credit, fooling more people like you into believing that the world would be a worse place without them.
[ January 06, 2005, 22:47: Message edited by: Darkwolf ]
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 10:44pm
The article was about one official who was about to launch an *enquire* as to whether there might be any merit in getting funds for things which mostly go through the UN and which it spends a lot of its budget on, such as all the international treaties which are in effect to make international airplane travel efficient and global pollution issues.
All large organisations and governments launch studies and enquires into matters far more controversial than this every month, very few of them ever pass that state. It is like the contingency plans the US has for invading Canada, never hurts to look into the matter but from there to making it reality there is a long long way to go.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 11:11pm
That is one way of looking at it, but given the fact that there is a large group of people who believe that the US does not have high enough taxes and should raise them to provide more international support (based on recent statements I believe that you fit in this demographic), I will take seriously any research that the UN does in regards to trying to put the US under UN authority for taxation, legislation, or judicial purposes.
It is kind of like if someone leaked our plans to invade Canada... I don't think the Canadians would be too happy with us!
It isn't so much what the UN can or can't do, or does or doesn't plan, it has to do with the fact that the UN is not an organization that is interested in freedom (spare me the link to their charter and I will spare you the arguments about who they appoint as committee heads), and that has demonstrated ambition to become more than it was ever intended. I have no issue with what the UN was originally intended as, and believe that it was a good concept, but it has grown so overbloated that it is rotting from the inside out, much like the US Federal Gov't, who it sees as its primary rival (unjustifiably) in its quest to take over rulership of the world.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 11:16pm
Meh, the UN had problems from day 1. You can't give five voting groups in an assembly the ability to veto anything--and not be overriden--and expect it work out well.
Thu, 6th Jan '05, 11:45pm
DW, an American fearing the UN is just outright silly, the UN can *never* do anything the US doesnt want it to do. There is a reason that the UN is viewed as the US's lapdog in many parts of the world. The UN was created by the US and has been a tool for the US more than it have been anything else. This is why I find the American dislike for the UN so strange, is it because it, as according to its charter, does not support aggresive warfare? Oh, and I would like to say that it is the US federal government who sees the UN as an obstacle in its quest for strenghtening its world domination more than it is the other way around. As have been stated many many many many times before, the UN has basically *no* power on its own, none at all.
I am all for a world government, I dont see why we differentiate between one chunk of land with people on with other chunks of land with people on them, land is land and people is people. If we dont get rid of this silliness called borders we will never get past the state of tribal feuding we have been in since the dawn of humanity.
As for the Canada thing I actually think the plans or something of the kind were leaked a while ago. I remember seeing a thread over at civfanatics about it which is why I used it as an example.
AMaster, that is the main problem with the UN but do you have a solution do it? I dont think I have. Removing the vetoes and having straight majority votes in the security council might help a little, as is reforming the security council by kicking out France and the UK and putting in the EU and India. How to remove power from someone who has a veto though?
Sat, 8th Jan '05, 8:22am
You can't. Unless you scrap what you have, and start over.
As is, the UN is ineffective. It needs massive change, up to and including dissolution.
Sat, 8th Jan '05, 2:28pm
Of course it's ineffective, when on the other side there's US which can and will do whatever the hell it pleases... the only way the UN could ever beat that would be to amass an army larger and better equipped than that of the US, and be willing to send it wherever in the world the UN thought could use a "regime change" at the moment. Or to prevent one the US wanted to make, and risk war.
There's nothing wrong with the UN, it's the US that makes the whole concept keel over. It's simply amazing how many Americans are completely oblivious to this little fact. The only thing you ARE right about, however, is that at this point, you might as well dissolve the UN, because the US will never comply with any UN resolution that it doesn't like, so, indeed, the UN will be ineffective.
Sat, 8th Jan '05, 10:56pm
The reflexive :bs: UN paranoia :bs: of the US right will remain an eternal mystery for me. As Joa expressed so well, an American fearing the UN is just outright silly.
The UN (and their sub-agencies, like UNICEF, WHO, etc.) handle the aid because their professionals are competent, because they are experienced, because they have in-country-expertise, because they know the language, because they have the professional expertise and they are trusted in the receiving nations (Just imagine that).
But that doesn't matter I take it :eek: Oil-for-food ... UN evil ... oil-for-food ... UN irrelevant ... oil-for-food ... UN loves Saddam ... UN loves terrorists ... US good ... black helicopters ... UN morally corrupt ... UN antichrist (http://www.rosesfromheaven.com/UN_Masked.html) ... UN evil ... US good ... UN baaaaad - and of course, the evergreen: :eek: Booh! :eek:
So when the US/ UK controlled sanctions office screws up oil-for-food - that is, the US and the UK watching the sanctions and not noticing anything fraudulent or abusive for a decade, or pretending not notice because business is so great - then the UN and the secretary general solely are to blame, and not the two nations, who were actually overseeing the sanctions on behalf of the UN security council, too?
Did the US/ UK know and let go, or were they so incompetent not to notice? Everything going to Iraq went over their desks and was under their veto. And all that over a decade. Weird, huh?
But don't fear - I got a faithful solution: They must have been fooled by corrupt, greedy and evil UN officials (who didn't have any say or access on the sanctions and export and import licensing, but nevermind)! The US officials in the sanctions office must have been ignorant puppets of the scheming evil masterminds in the UN and in Baghdad!
Ain't life simple? How was that line from George Orwell's "1984" again? 'Ignorance is Strength'
Thanks for reminding me :thumb:
[ January 08, 2005, 23:40: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Sun, 9th Jan '05, 2:53am
The anti-US paranoia of many European nations is just as mystifying to me as the anti-UN paranoia here. The UN can't hurt the US in a military or political way, and the US has the same inabilitiy in relation to Europe. And I don't see anyone calling for China or Britain to lose their veto powers.
Sun, 9th Jan '05, 3:06am
The UN can't hurt the US in a military or political way, and the US has the same inabilitiy in relation to Europe.That must be either a very bad joke, or, excuse me saying, total ignorance. The political impact of every major foreign policy or military decision outside the US has VERY tengible consequences for the majority of the world, especially Europe.
Sun, 9th Jan '05, 9:46am
There's nothing wrong with the UN, it's the US that makes the whole concept keel over. It's simply amazing how many Americans are completely oblivious to this little fact. The only thing you ARE right about, however, is that at this point, you might as well dissolve the UN, because the US will never comply with any UN resolution that it doesn't like, so, indeed, the UN will be ineffective.This is simply absurd. The US is solely responsible for the UN's problems? I'd be tempted to call that statement satire, but...
Look at how it's organized: five member nations have veto power. They can veto whatever they like, whenever they like, and cannot be overriden. Does that seem like a good structure for governance to you?
Look at how it "enforces" its resolutions.
The UN, as I see it, is less strong than the US's central government was under the Articles of Confederation, pre-Constitution. And that's weak.
You can't expect to govern effectively if all you can do is to ask people--nicely--to do what you want them to do.
Sun, 9th Jan '05, 10:40am
Slith, The UN can't hurt the US in a military or political way, and the US has the same inabilitiy in relation to Europe.I dissent, and agree with Tal. US decisions have a fundamental impact on Europe. Take the war in Iraq and this example: German security says iraqi Ansar al-Islam militants behind Allawi assassination plot are sending fighters from Iraq to Europe (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20050108-0842-terror-fighterstoeurope.html).
You underestimate the substantial impact of US power and US policies worldwide. There is a substantial blowback from mislead US policies.
It isn't anti-US paranoia but bitter reality that atm in Washington there again is a president who has blundered but for the sake of consistency won't revoke failed policies and who doesn't talk to anyone but his balls, what he thinks is god and his inner circle.
A lot of the beef Europe has with the US over Middle East policy is that the Bush administration made :nuts: 'bold' :nuts: decisions that are still harming and affecting Europe - without consulting Europe first, or heeding european advice and concerns (btw, one of the concerns by Chriac, who has served in Algeria and so knew a bit about fighting in Arab countries, was that he saw the risk of an insurgency destabilising Iraq and the Middle East - :rolleyes: preposterous :rolleyes: if you consult pre-war editorials in the US media :rolleyes: ) - we get hit by the 'fallout' first, the Middle East is just across the Mediterranean from here, three hours by plane.
AMaster, There's nothing wrong with the UN, it's the US that makes the whole concept keel over. It's simply amazing how many Americans are completely oblivious to this little fact.The point is that the UN wouldn't be irrelevant for US policies if they had enough military power to stop the US, and when the US wouldn't be in the privileged position of a veto wielding power.
The UN's proclaimed 'irrelevance' to the US has much to do with the fact that the UN couldn't prevent the the veto-wielding power America from her invasion of Iraq. Ordinary Iraq, outside the elite veto club of WW-II winners, was unable to do anything about the sanctions - therefor the UN was highly relevant for them.
The problem isn't so much the US. It's that the US are so powerful atm - coupled with their silly self-perception of being exceptional. The problem would be similar with China and Russia and their ordinary nationalism as well if they held a comparable position of unrivalled military power.
It's about the fox guarding the henhouse, a rogueish veto-wielding power.
The proponents of neocon policy think the US is only restrained by the UN and international law and that inherent US goodness and inherent US virtues and US leadership can transcend the current world order to something better for the greater good of all other countries.
America doesn't do harm and can't be wrong. It's a force of good.
That children prayer is the simple foundation of neocon foreign policy and their rejection of human rights and international law - they think America can do better and change the world to something better - because America is better.
To give the neocons some credit: They do have, despite all their biases and hardcore power politics, a deep moralistic streak.
To them, and many Americans, America is special, the exception from the rule that power corrupts - America doesn't need to be restrained, because America as a moral nation is immune to the cathastrophic side-effects of unrestrained power.
A pity that their big moralistic experiment ended with a hooded man on a battery with electrodes on his testicles (to be activated when he falls down from fatigue) and all the other unpleasant pics from US detention camps and prisons.
I imagine it is hard to accept this as fact when you have deep faith in your nations moral infallibility and America's semi-religious nationalism and messianic sense of mission.
Maybe, in the end, human rights and international law DO make sense - as America had to find out, or rather still has to: Even she can fail.
[ January 09, 2005, 11:26: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Sun, 9th Jan '05, 10:48pm
Originally posted by ArtEChoke:
How do you read this crap?I agree with about 90% of what he's saying, so I read it pretty well. Or understand it pretty well. I guess it depends on your perspective.
I've mentioned, in the past, that I'm done with the UN. At least for awhile...
The Great Snook
Tue, 11th Jan '05, 3:23am
I'll pipe in with my theories on the U.N.
American's are terrified of the U.N./World government for a very simple reason. We do not think it could in any way improve our lives and in all probability would make our lives worse. You have to remember the American mind set. We believe that we are the greatest nation on earth, we believe that our way of life is the best there is, and lastly we believe that we are the most successful nation-state in the history of the planet.
Now I know that those statements are blasphemy to people who oppose patriotism or national pride, but we don't care.
We firmly believe that a vast majority of the planet is a hell-hole and no reasonable American would ever want to visit nevermind to live there.
Now combine these beliefs with another belief that people who believe in the U.N. tend to be socialists, or even that if the world was democratic (one vote per person) we would be vastly out-voted. I think this would translate into whatever the Chinese voted would happen. To Americans giving up our soverignity to the U.N. would be a kin to giving up everything we hold dear. We fear that our wealth would be stripped away to help other parts of the world, that our lives, laws, and freedoms could be changed in ways we do not want them to be.
Overall, it paints a pretty dim picture. If you have the best house on the street, the last thing you want to have happen is the government take all of the land and pay everyone on the street the same price.
True Americans still live by the American dream. We firmly believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. We also still have a little of the Jamestown in us, "You don't work, you don't eat."
Lastly, we don't like being told what to do. We have enough trouble fighting amongst ourselves (politically that is) that the last thing we need is other people getting involved.
Obviously, replace we for Snookie's opinion. I'm sure there are plenty of Americans who do not feel this way. I just happen to be one that does.
Hopefully, this clears up the issue. :)
Tue, 11th Jan '05, 7:04pm
That's all fine and dandy, but where does the idea that the UN in its present state could in any shape or form make the US give up even a bit of sovereignty? That's like jumping on a chair, screaming, over a toothless mouse running around on the floor. Irrational (or ignorant) fear?
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Tue, 11th Jan '05, 7:46pm
That's all fine and dandy, but where does the idea that the UN in its present state could in any shape or form make the US give up even a bit of sovereignty? Is that the arguement here? Obviously, the answer is it can't. But that's no different than the UN's ability to do the same to any other country in the world. The UN can't make ANY country give up it's soverieignty (sp?). The US is certianly not unique in this regard.
Tue, 11th Jan '05, 11:14pm
You know that and I know that, but it keeps coming up in this forum how the UN is the Great Devil intent on underminding the US and somehow plotting to take away the US's self-appointed right to do whatever the hell it pleases through its unmatched strength of arms. I guess the sheer notion that a functional UN could actually keep the US in check is such a horrific idea that loathing the UN even in its present form is a given for all the more, ah, patriotic Americans.
Tue, 11th Jan '05, 11:27pm
A functional UN could not keep the US in check because, according to the very rules that make up the UN, the US can flip everyone off and say NYET (or veto, or whatever) to anything that the UN resolves to do.
The UN is valueless as a regulator of international interactions. It should be reformed or retired.
Wed, 12th Jan '05, 12:13am
Actually, I would consider a functional UN to be one that could prevent the US from attacking Iraq without the consent of the majority of the other members (or at least severely punish such an act), for example. The US's right to veto doesn't come into play here, it'd be the rights of the others to be respected by the US.
As for international interactions in general, agreed... But there really isn't any hope of the UN being able to do anything to control the US in any shape or form, considering such control could only be accepted voluntarily by the US, but this is never going to happen. We've seen how it works. The US goes along with the UN for as long as it serves their purposes. As soon as it doesn't, they show the UN the finger and do it their own way. An organization that isn't able to severly punish a member for doing something like that has no hope of being able to enforce any major decisions which go against the will of the countries which can afford to do that.
The Great Snook
Wed, 12th Jan '05, 3:37am
And that is exactly the way we want it. We are not willing to give the U.N. any small victories that we consider dangerous. Some good parables would be the abortion debate or gun control. The Pro-choice crowd vehemently defend any and all restrictions on abortion and the 2nd amendment crowd goes bezerk over any type of gun regulation. The rationale is you never want your opponent to get a foot in the door.
People have had way too much experience with government to trust it. Have you ever heard of a "temporary" increase in taxes? Of course not, they say they are temporary, but we all know they become permament.
Since Tal mentioned Iraq lets think about it. If the U.S. had "buckled" to the U.N. and decided to give sanctions another ten to fifteen years to work, who knows what we would have been forced into next?
No retreat, No surrender
Wed, 12th Jan '05, 11:18am
So it is better to dive into the known disaster than to maybe suffer suffer a disaster in the future?
Wed, 12th Jan '05, 11:49am
dmc, The UN is valueless as a regulator of international interactions. It should be reformed or retired. Well, the UN includes dozens of sub-agenciey that are highly successful - just take the WHO that excelled in quelling SARS worldwide - there is no replacement for it.
Same for the international court (highly successful where countries agreed to use it - pretty frequent actually), other agencies regulating international telecommunications, air travel etc.
There is no alternative to the UN as a coordiator of international affairs.
The only organ that regularly fails is the most political one - the security council where forteign policy interests collide. The US veto-status here, and that of other permanent members, is a problem. It also doesn't anymore reflect the actual power situation in the world.
Problem here: The decision to reform the UN security council requires an unanimous vote of the permanent members ... you get the idea.
More, the reform decision would be made in the general assembly by majority vote, without any US veto privilege.
A reform would likely bring Japan, Germany (both for economic power), Indonesia (largest muslim country), India and Brazil (for population), as well as likely south Africa or Nigeria (economic power/ population) in the security council - because the continents want to be represanted by their major powers.
Some six more veto-powers would unavoidably result in a loss of US influence. The US, while it's right decries the irrelevance of the UN, profits very well from it's unchallenged position in the security council. It's an open questions if US interests are served with a reform.
And for all those decrying the UN's 'bloated' buereaucracy. The UN is responsible to coordinate affairs all over the world. Unavoidable in a multinational organisation, all members want their share of positions, too.
However, the size of the actual UN bueraucracy compares well to the buereaucracy of the state of Vermont. So think again.
Reform is said and demanded easier than made.
The anti-UN polemists pick the easiest part of the game. They don't even need to be realistic.
But one for them :shake: The New World Government by the Communist UN, controlled by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission (http://www.apfn.net/ememies1.htm) :shake: Anyone played Deus Ex? :shake:
[ January 12, 2005, 23:07: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Chandos the Red
Wed, 12th Jan '05, 9:18pm
Since Tal mentioned Iraq lets think about it. Yes, let's do that, and a lot of people are thinking that it was a poor idea. And that may be an understatement.
Let's thank the neocons:
In 1998, a neoconservative think tank called the Project for the New American Century wrote to President Clinton, “The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to ‘undertake military action.’”
The hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq has come to an end nearly two years after President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein. The top CIA weapons hunter is home, and analysts are back at Langley. Four months after Charles A. Duelfer, who led the weapons hunt in 2004, submitted an interim report to Congress that contradicted nearly every prewar assertion about Iraq made by top Bush administration officials, a senior intelligence official said the findings will stand as the ISG's final conclusions and will be published this spring.
Thu, 13th Jan '05, 12:06am
Heh, not that it'll make any difference whatsoever...
Thu, 13th Jan '05, 12:45am
Ragusa - either I wasn't particularly clear (very likely) or you missed my point (not so likely). When I talk about the UN as a regulator of international interactions, I mean politically. I think the aid that the UN gives and even, to a degree, the international court are both fine things. However, I was not talking about that nor did I mean to deal with the UN as an international coordinator -- obviously, there's no present alternative.
However, the way the UN is being discussed on the Boards is pretty much exclusively as a political regulator. In that capacity, it fails miserably because it never had a real chance to succeed. The veto power of the 5 permanent security council members guarantees that the UN can never have authority over them (or, to a large degree, their allies and satellites).
Look, for example, at Israel. The UN has voted countless times to sanction Israel for numerous things. Is it a security counsel member? No. Has it ever given a rat's ass about what the UN said about it? No. Why? Because the US has its back.
This is not to imply that I think that the UN was right with regard to Israel (I don't) or that the UN should have the authority (I don't). I just think that anyone who actually thinks that the UN has a snowball's chance in hell of accomplishing real political goals is a bit naive.
If you think about it, no one really liked Iraq all that much and Iraq still managed to thumb its nose at the UN, which led to the un-sanctioned US invasion (oh, sorry, multinational invasion led primarily by the US and the Brits). If the UN couldn't politically smack down Iraq (note the controversial interests of certain security council members alleged as part of the whole sanctions debate), then how can anyone outside of the US expect the UN to make the US toe the line? Equally ridiculous, how can anyone in the US have the slightest worry about the UN as it is presently constituted?
[ January 13, 2005, 03:18: Message edited by: dmc ]
Thu, 13th Jan '05, 7:27am
dmc, If the UN couldn't politically smack down Iraq (note the controversial interests of certain security council members alleged as part of the whole sanctions debate), then how can anyone outside of the US expect the UN to make the US toe the line?Well, the UN didn't push the issue of Iraq after the lost war for Kuwait because of the interests of the security council members.
It was because the Arabs would have no longer supported anything further, regime change especially - that was because the US under Bush I then didn't pursue Iraq further - the status quo ante was reinstituted, Iraq beaten and there were very very harsh sanctions and it's economy strangled.
To make my counterpoint: The UN didn't smack down Iraq politically but economically. That disarmed him just as good.
Like it or not, the subjects of the US liberation effort probably suffered more under the liberation and sanctions than under Saddams rule in a decade. The welfare of the subjects of an effort is a thing that can't be left out in a calulation. When the US think it was worth it, the Iraqis who do the bleeding and dieing may well disagree wholeheartedly.
It would have been nice to push Saddam to exile, with his sons, but the result at that time was the best the US and the world could possibly achieve under the circumstances.
Ironically the US eventiually fell for their own distorted propaganda image of :evil: Saddam, the omnipotent super villain :evil: .
The reason why America eventually attacked Iraq under Bush II was not a sort of danger Saddam posed, but the somewhat understandable desire to kick someone's ass for 911 (plenty of Americans still have faith in the ridiculous idea Saddam had anything to do with 911) and the grandiose neocon concept (it seems an american tendency to think big, even in folly) of spreading democracy by force.
That didn't work out all that well, actually it looks as if short of disposing off Saddam the US will achieve none of their original war goals</font> no wave of democracy because the US have discredited the idea with their occupation of Iraq and their heavy handed israeliesque tactics (which may perhaps serve the Israelis who have long ago given up on winning Arabs) no solution to the problem of terror (which is perceived way out of proportion to the risks and dangers it actually poses) - to the contrary the very low likelyness that any sovereign Iraqi gvt worth the name will tolerate US bases after what the US did to Iraq no substantial oil output from devastated Iraq to the worlds markets and finally a country not in prosperity and as a beacon of a good democratic civil society and an example to the rest of the Arab world but a devastated country on the edge of civil war.Yes, the opposite of 'well done' is 'well meant'.
It now looks as if some of the worst blunderers qietly seek private sector employment. Not as good as the trials they deserve but good news anyway.
The importance of having international support is especially perceivable today for the US, when they wonder about fiercely critical public opinion all over the world. Bush's father was aware of that factor, much unlike his son or his neocon advisors who thought that if the US leads boldly, the world would naturally foillow. Oh contraire.
To be followed, global leadership would require not only a president charismatic and persuasive to the world but especially legitimacy - a my-way-or-the-highway approach is unavoidably destined to fail. Bush persuaded the US of the necessity of attacking Iraq, but no one else.
I understand your point however. And I share your second point that it is ridiculous how can anyone in the US can have the slightest worry about the UN as it is presently constituted. With the US wielding a veto right nothing can happen to them coming from the US.
[ January 13, 2005, 07:43: Message edited by: Ragusa ]