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The Role of the United Nations
(A discussion found in an Internet forum on a technical subject) Voice # 1: Yves Belgarchi
The U.N. lack efficiency, but it is partly because they are undermined by the U.S.
I am dreaming of a more powerful and more representative U.N., where India, Germany, Japan and ... the U.S. have more power. Something like 8 permanent members (U.S., Russia, China, India, Japan, Germany, France, U.K.) with two votes for the U.S.
As for the ex-Yugoslavia, NATO countries agreed to intervene (very late, unfortunately).
The invasion of Iraq is a total mistake, not so much for the rest of the world, but for the U.S. themselves. 1,400 soldiers killed, 11,000 injured (and often handicapped for life), 250+ billions of dollars spent, to achieve what ? 30~60,000 Iraqis killed, replacement of Saddam Hussein (a murderer) by Allawoui (a murderer too), a lower production of oil, no discovery of weapons of mass destruction, reinforced support of Al-Qaida by the Arab world, and an international credibility terribly damaged.
Worse, this war, like the Vietnam war, can only be lost by the U.S. How do you "win" a war against the will of a population?
I am convinced that, in the long term, the "war" (misleading term) against Muslim extremists can only be won by education provided by state schools. The best we (the U.S. and Europe) can do is to massively support education in the Arab world. Voice # 2: dlr firstname.lastname@example.org
Essentially without the U.S., the U.N. is largely a toothless tiger. But even then it only takes one country the Security Council to reinforce that. Since France was selling arms to Iraq right up to the start and telling Hussein that nothing would happen, we (a coalition) were bluffing, it isn't a surprise that he would continue as he did.
Yes, a coalition. We were the main part, yes, but then when the NATO or the U.N goes anywhere to do anything, we're the biggest part of it, so it's a straw-man to belittle Great Britain, Australia and the others.
But hey, for all of those who think we should have stayed out, maybe we should have. The U.N. and the rest of the world could then have gone on fat, happy, getting Oil for Food (so that all the French/German/Russian kickbacks could have continued), paying lip service to human rights, Hussein could have killed another few tens of thousands of his own people, and everyone would be happy today, right?
And those nasty relatives of Kurds he gassed would not have had to risk their lives in a war, only risk being gassed again, but hey, that's better than war, right?
Yeah, we should just go back to pure isolationism. It isn't our place to change the world. We can start by eliminating our payments to the U.N., close the borders, set up a big defense perimeter, and just say "leave us alone and we'll leave you alone". Too bad a few deranged fanatics thought they'd get 39 virgins for flying innocent people into a building full of thousands of other innocent people.
But hey, it's all our fault, right? Some truly think so. I won't say aloud the disgust I have for large segments of the rest of the "civilized" world that supports the actions of those that would do such a thing and call themselves religious. How much clamor does anyone see by Muslim countries to bring those associated to any sort of justice? Not much. But there's a lot of support for them in large numbers of Mosques, direct reports, not hearsay.
Imagine if, say, Catholic priests were giving sermons to go on a crusade again, against the infidels against the church, and the Pope sat silent. The rest of the world would be outraged, but I see little of that when it's the other way around.
Sorry for the rant, but I get really pi$$ed at folks who think that taking pot shots on this board is going to draw universal enthusiastic response as if everyone here will get a laugh at the sarcasm.
NATO in Yugoslavia. Where the h@ll was the U.N.? Nowhere to be found, of course. Toothless. NATO only went in when the U.S. was willing. All of Europe could have banded together, it was in their d@mn back yard, but no, the U.S. had to lead the way. Yeah, we should just pull back in our borders and stop risking the lives of our people for those who seem ungrateful in the first place.
Hussein invades Kuwait? That's their problem.
Yugoslavia is at war? That's their problem.
In the future maybe Taiwan will be overrun by mainland China? That's their problem.
South Korea. We're still there? Let the rest of the U.N. handle it, we should pull our troops out, it's their problem. We're just being imperialistic by being there.
Another African country is in civil war with widespread death, destruction and rape? That's their problem, don't ask why we haven't gone in, we don't want to be seen as imperialists. Besides, they're countries in the U.N. Let the U.N. do it, don't ask us, it's not our problem.
Yeah, we should just forget whatever foreign aid we pay, what does it get us but the enmity of the rest of the world for not giving away more of our money. A tsunami just killed what, 150,000 people? That's not our problem. So we send an aircraft carrier that has endless energy, makes 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water, has a huge landing area and helicopters to carry the food, water and the injured, four on-board medical facilities, can transport how much food and medicine and be there within days of the occurrence. Why? They had no weapons of mass destruction that we needed to worry about, they were no threat to us in any way, we should've kept our nose out of their business, right?
That's not our problem. Let the U.N. do it. They'll get some kind of support going in a week or two, after committees meet and the top honchos have gotten their hotel reservations at the swanky places that weren't inundated. And found a way to make a profit on the food contracts. They had plenty of practice on that last one, got their training in Iraq.
Then they'll call for supplies from member countries. Which ones will be called first and which ones will arrive first? Let's see, that would probably be... the U.S. and Australia. Ooops, forget that, we're don't want the rest of the world to think unkindly of us. We should jsut let everyone alone if they aren't an imminent threat to us. It really would save us a lot of money and a lot of lost lives. Better them than us, right?
After the upcoming elections in Iraq, I'm all for leaving as soon as the new government says to. If Iraqis really want us out, they'll say so. Fine. It'll be their country, at least it will have been decided by a modicum of a representative fashion.
The war will only be lost if the Iraqis people don't have the guts to stand up after the elections and do what's right when given the chance. I, for one, think that they might actually do it. If not, no one will ever want to help them get rid of the next dictator that comes along. I know I would be against it a second time. They get one shot. We're not fighting the will of the people, only a small segment that is primarily funded from outside by terrorists. And if the U.N. was truly an altruistic association of countries, it would help when and where they could. But most of the countries in it are just gutless and talk big, do nothing. Remember the U.N. "safe" havens in, where was it, Srebrenica? Maybe it really IS better that the U.N. doesn't try to do much. They just give people a false sense of security, then do nothing. "Srebrenica, Bosnia, the world's first United Nations Safe Area, was the site of the worst case of genocide in Europe since World War II.". (quoted from www.pbs.org/cryfromthegrave/)
THAT is the U.N.
One difference right now is that people like Hussein might actually believe that when the U.S. says it's going to do something, they should believe it, not France, Germany or Russia. With Clinton in power, he preferred to talk big, do little. The Cole gets bombed, do nothing. Send marines into Somalia without proper weapons and hamstrung, they get killed and dragged down the street. That won't happen again, not unless we get another Clinton. He'd just blow up another aspirin factory and send a few cruise missiles in, say he won, and leave it at that. A country offers up Bin Laden? Naw, that's not for Clinton, too controversial. Eviscerate the intelligence services, that's his approach, then we have to guess as to what Hussein really has, since human intelligence has been replaced with surveillance satellites. Voice # 3: APack Steve
In Response To: Re: U.N. (dlr)
I lost my temper on another forum where a couple of guys thought it'd be funny to take pot shots at the US....same ole' smug crap from those that do 'nothing'.
I for one would prefer that this board not get tied down with politics or religion. I have fallen in a couple of times...regretfully.
But...dlr....you did it right, man. You decided to take a step forward and you did it all at once with guns blazing. I applaud you. I didn't disagree with anything that you said.
So....how 'bout we all look at some steep elliptical filters and discuss why nobody except JonMarsh seems to be doing them! -end of discussion-
(german.pages.de gratefully acknowledges the authors' permission to quote their discussion)