The UN came about in response to the failure that was the League of Nations.
The UN's security council was a collection of the leading nations at the time it was created, and the Veto power was granted so that the nations would be forced to actually talk to eachother versus just invading another country, or walking out in protest (which the Soviets did ONCE, and then saw the errors of their ways when the UN intervened in Korea).
The 'UN' intervened in Korea? Fun fact: By percentages, the United States commitment in Korea is greater than in the current Iraq conflict. (88% in Korea vs. 86% in Iraq)
EDIT: Better source: http://www.blackfive...tion_democ.html
Note that the Iraq statistics are out of date; however, I doubt that it's risen to above 88% since then...
It is a forum by which third world nations, who would've been ignored or exploited, could make their voices heard
I have roughly 800,000 dead Rwandans who beg to differ.
The UN is not a branch of the US Government, it is supposed to represent the world, and when the US chooses to act like a rogue nation, then it will be reprimanded (and not much else, as the US presence on the security council will veto any attempt to intervene militarily against the US, and it is this facet that is why they didn't decide to do a straight vote).
It's SUPPOSED to represent the world. Tell me, do you think Libya and Cuba belong on the Human Rights Council? Do you suppose most people in the world do?
There we go again...
You don't get to do all you can to weaken the UN, ignore it when it doesn't serve your purposes and then whine about it when it turns against you. The UN looks the way it does because it was comfortable for strong countries not to face a strong organization that can actually give them trouble when they, say, support the Taliban... or sell chemicals to Iraq... or destroy the environment.
None of that justifies the oil for food scandal, or passing resolutions they don't mean. The UN is toothless. Regardless of how it got to that state, it's there now.
That's short sighted, because one day, when things get real bad, we're all gonna regret the fact that we don't have a strong international organization.
Perhaps. I would feel more comfortable putting my trust in coalitions of the willing than China and France. American power has been misused, and will be in the future; that being said, I certainly trust it more than the UN.
I'm not sure i find ignorance a very palatable reasoning, but c'est la vie i guess. My point actually was that any nation i can think of offhand has committed acts that other nations could seize on to claim that they lacked moral authority. No nation is a paragon of virtue.
Well, if we had known what would happen, maybe things would have been different. I don't know. As CJ has noted, a conventional land war may well have been worse in a lot of ways...
That being said, while all nations make mistakes (or are backed into a corner), it should be fairly clear to differentiate between, say, Cuba and Belgium.
Can i take it by your comment that you believe that military readyness is a good thing for democractic nations to strive for?
I'm not trying to be facetious here, i just want your opinions clearly defined so that i don't inadvertantly end up debating an opinion you don't actually hold.
There are many proud nations that have allowed their military readiness to slip in an alarming way (the United States included, sadly). There are bound to be plenty of conflicts in the middle east in the next few decades, plus the DPRK and China problems. Beyond that, who knows where the wars of the future will take us? The truth is that the democratic portion of the world is unprepared for the challenges that will face us, and we have to start getting ready now.
Like CJ, I would take multilateral agreements over the current UN format. It's the height of insanity that minor nations can wield such disproportionate power over world security, assuming they're on the council that month.
Edited by Javert Rovinski, 03 May 2004 - 08:12 PM.
St. Louis must be destroyed!
Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease. THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.
"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.