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Powell pushes UN for more help in Iraq

Iraq UN Coalition Colin Powell

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#1 Palisades

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 08:20 AM

IMO, this request for help is long overdue.
Link 1

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Secretary of State Colin Powell launched the drive for a new U.N. resolution on Thursday, calling on member states "to do more" to help Iraq. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said later that Washington wants the resolution to encourage countries to provide troops, money and help with police training.

However, it looks like getting the resolution passed won't be easy.
Link 2

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UNITED NATIONS - A U.S. campaign to get more countries to contribute troops to U.S.-led forces in Iraq faces an uphill struggle in a U.N. Security Council still bitterly divided over the American decision to launch a war without U.N. approval.

The key objections: Washington's insistence on retaining command of all military activity in Iraq, and its apparent refusal so far to broaden the U.N. mandate calling for the world body to supply humanitarian aid and help rebuild the war-ravaged country.

Edited by QuantumFlux, 22 August 2003 - 08:23 AM.

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#2 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 09:28 AM

QuantumFlux, on Aug 22 2003, 01:20 PM, said:

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The key objections: Washington's insistence on retaining command of all military activity in Iraq,
Placing the UN in overall command would make this into another UN led international circus.

They have shown such a capability when left to their own devices to screw up everything that I wouldn’t let them command their way out of a wet paper bag.  These are the same brilliant fellows who refused an offer by the US Military for security at their compound.  What happens?  Someone goes and attacks the compound blowing it up.  Then many of them try to pass off the blame on the US/UK for failing to provide security.  I don’t exactly see this is an organization that you want to in charge when they can’t even provide basic security for their own compound.  Unless hiring former Saddam loyalists for your security force is some brilliant idea. :blink:

I don’t see that the US wants total overall command of the situation.  It wants as Powell states to retain competent control of the situation with enough independence to take action.  In other words not being so muddled down in the UN chain of quagmire that we’re as useless as they tend to be.  I like the idea of setting up an Afghanistan style mission but making this a full UN Peacekeeping mission is just inviting disaster.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 22 August 2003 - 09:30 AM.

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#3 Rov Judicata

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 11:51 AM

We'd be better off without UN help than placing the mission under overall UN command.

Am I the only one who finds it terribly ironic that two days ago, Kofi Anan was saying that the US should have ignored the UN's security preferences, but now the UN wants control?

If the UN chain of command isn't bright enough to request and accept security, what chance would it have in overall command?
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#4 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:27 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Aug 22 2003, 04:51 PM, said:

We'd be better off without UN help than placing the mission under overall UN command.
Agreed.  

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Rov: Am I the only one who finds it terribly ironic that two days ago, Kofi Anan was saying that the US should have ignored the UN's security preferences, but now the UN wants control?

I can just imagine the whining and moaning the UN would have made over that one along with the liberals of the world.  “Look at the US trying to boss around the peaceful UN by placing guards around their compound.  The UN is a symbol of peace the world over and would never be attacked in Iraq.  The UN can provide for their own security rather than being bossed around by the US.”  The UN is the spoiled little brat of the world and whines no matter what way things go.  In this case they got their way, we saw where it got them (dead bodies), and they try to still blame it on the US.    

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Rov: If the UN chain of command isn't bright enough to request and accept security, what chance would it have in overall command?

Or for that matter realizing that hiring Saddam’s Former Secret Police as their security force would be a bad move.  

It all makes one wonder what type of worse off mess we'd be in right now if the entire war had been directed by the UN.  We'd still probably be trying to find the border to Iraq.
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#5 Delvo

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 02:11 PM

The more interesting angle to me than what would happen if the UN had control, is the fact that they're not even going to HELP. Keep in mind that these people don't REALIZE what incompetent nincompoops they are and think that their aid really makes things better. Thus, their refusal to give it proves once again that they don't WANT to help; they want things to be as bad as possible in Iraq. And this is the organization that's supposed to have ultimate worldwide moral authority in all things.

#6 MuseZack

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 02:44 PM

Delvo, on Aug 22 2003, 07:11 PM, said:

The more interesting angle to me than what would happen if the UN had control, is the fact that they're not even going to HELP. Keep in mind that these people don't REALIZE what incompetent nincompoops they are and think that their aid really makes things better. Thus, their refusal to give it proves once again that they don't WANT to help; they want things to be as bad as possible in Iraq. And this is the organization that's supposed to have ultimate worldwide moral authority in all things.
This is absolutely untrue.  The UN has already been helping tremendously, both in adminsitering humanitarian aid and in engaging in behind-the-scenes diplomacy in support of rebuilding Iraq.  The fledgling Iraqi governing authority was only made possible because Sergio de Mello managed to persuade several skeptics from the Shi'ite community to join it and work with Bremer.

What the UN is rightly balking at is Colin Powell coming to them and basically saying "Hey, why don't you come send some troops to Iraq to get shot at alongside of ours?  Of course, they'd be totally under our command and you wouldn't have any say in how they'll deployed or how the reconstruction will be adminstered."

There's no way the United States would agree to a deal like that.  Why would the UN or any sane government do the same?
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#7 Enmar

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 05:15 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 22 2003, 08:27 PM, said:

The UN is the spoiled little brat of the world and whines no matter what way things go.
The UN is an organization that used to be completely paralyzed by the bipolar international diplomacy. Then it turned into, more or less, America's little puppy. Now it's rebelling and both sides don't really know what to do with it.

America looks surprised that the UN doesn't stand for "American justice for all" and gets very angry at everything, big or small. And the UN turns this new freedom into uncoordinated mess (and next time you wonder about the security council's decision ask Syria how they voted).

My POV?
We should be very very worried that the UN looks like that. It doesn't matter what we think about world leaders, the UN is there to stop them when they go insane and a weak UN might be comfortable here and then but a disaster when it will be needed. The US should look for ways to help the UN be functional again, not bash it and discredit it.
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#8 Rov Judicata

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 05:48 PM

Enmar, on Aug 22 2003, 03:15 PM, said:

It doesn't matter what we think about world leaders, the UN is there to stop them when they go insane and a weak UN might be comfortable here and then but a disaster when it will be needed.
But how can we take the UN seriously when it put *Libya* in charge of human rights? And reelected Cuba to its human rights council?

If the UN doesn't have the fortitude to stand up and say that Cuba & Libya don't belong on the human rights council, then how can we count on it to deal with insane leaders?
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#9 Enmar

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 06:00 PM

^ Luckily, the UN isn't a live stupid person, but a hive of international politics - it can be changed. I'm sure it  looked different if it was prioritized differently by the sane countries, led by the US. The current situation is the result of the playground being left open for the more obscure players.
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#10 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 06:06 PM

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Zack: What the UN is rightly balking at is Colin Powell coming to them and basically saying "Hey, why don't you come send some troops to Iraq to get shot at alongside of ours? Of course, they'd be totally under our command and you wouldn't have any say in how they'll deployed or how the reconstruction will be adminstered."

This is compared to placing our troops under an organization that is so incompetent that it hired Saddam’s former Secret Police to provide security at their compound?  :blink:

I don’t see one suggestion by Colin Powell that the United States should have total control of all troops.  I see plenty of journalists attempting to suggest that but not one direct quote by Powell.  I see Sec. Powell saying the US should return “competent control” of the operation.  Considering the US has been in the country the longest with the UK, has the most troops, and the heaviest investment of resources in the area I see no reason why it shouldn’t retain modicum of control over the Coalition.  

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Enmar: It doesn't matter what we think about world leaders, the UN is there to stop them when they go insane and a weak UN might be comfortable here and then but a disaster when it will be needed.

The UN has proved to be such a great success at stopping Saddam.  The UN is proving to be such a great success at stopping violence in the Congo and Liberia.  Personally I’ll put my money on the US Military and Allied militaries rather than what has become an incompetent international joke.  

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Enmar: The US should look for ways to help the UN be functional again, not bash it and discredit it.

There is a point where the rot has spread far enough into a structure that it needs to be removed rather than just patched over.  The UN has reached that point and needs a critical overhaul to return it to it’s original format as a place of international discussion not a dysfunction infantile attempt at a world government.
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#11 Uncle Sid

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 08:01 PM

I think the UN should basically reform itself into a huge aid organization, without trying to make its input into security matters.  The UN being in charge of civilian issues is probably alright, but unless they have their own army, loyal only to itself, the UN does not have the necessary clarity of purpose and committment to carry out effective security operations and its need to rely on others probably makes it impossible to enforce that clarity.  The best thing it can do is request or recruit a nation or alliance to assist it with security for an aid operation, or to move itself in after that group or nation acts.  A world government will not work without a world military.  A real, professional military.
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#12 Enmar

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 04:37 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 23 2003, 02:06 AM, said:

Personally I’ll put my money on the US Military and Allied militaries rather than what has become an incompetent international joke. 
Oh, I do trust the US military, it's the US leaders I don't trust. Even if I were totally in love with Bush ( and I'm not) you can never know what idiot is going to be in charge of such a force tomorrow. And when he decides to invade someplace you're gonna regret that the UN isn't strong enough to stop him. It's the thing about all those balancing systems and bureaucracies: they're usually annoying and you're happy if they're weak, but once in a life time they save the day. And it's more important than all the time you spent waiting and cursing the 'system'. We need a strong UN for this day, but America is being short sighted and is comfortable with a weak one.
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#13 Godeskian

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 05:03 PM

nevermind. no point in picking this fight

Edited by Godeskian, 24 August 2003 - 05:07 PM.


#14 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 11:55 PM

Enmar, on Aug 24 2003, 09:37 PM, said:

Oh, I do trust the US military, it's the US leaders I don't trust.
I’ll take the checks and balance of our republic, federal system, and Constitution over the hollow decrepit paper tiger that is the UN.  In regards to the US Military, you should check the oath they swear and what their allegiance is to.  The ultimate allegiance in that oath is to the Constitution and not the political leaders of the US.  If an order comes down the chain of command that violates the Constitution the US Military is free to disobey that order and take action against it.      

The advantage of the United States is that the entire system is chock full of checks and balances that would kick in as fail safes in worse case scenarios.  You have the three branches of the Federal Government with each one checking the powers of the others as the first level.  Then you have a military whose ultimate oath is sworn to the Constitution.  Even if those two safeguards fails you have the Federal System with the various states with their National Guards and State Guards.  

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Enmar:. And when he decides to invade someplace you're gonna regret that the UN isn't strong enough to stop him.

I’ll regret the day where the US has to fight and destroy the UN.  The cause of that conflict being that the UN stepped further toward insanity and decided to attack the United States in some misguided quest.  We see the first steps down that path in Iraq today.  The UN is so ingrained with their hatred of the US that they put their own personnel at risk rather than accepting US protection.

Quote

Enmar: It's the thing about all those balancing systems and bureaucracies: they're usually annoying

As I said I’ll rely on our own system of checks and balances rather than those of an origination that can’t even get over their anti-Americanism long enough to protect their own personnel.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
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#15 prolog

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:10 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 26 2003, 04:55 AM, said:

I’ll take the checks and balance of our republic, federal system, and Constitution over the hollow decrepit paper tiger that is the UN.
Yeah?  You'll take the checks and balances of buy-a-senator, the Patriot Act, and Guanatanamo Bay?  You prefer private military trials that can condemn men to death without making one whit of evidence public, despite the fact that these men, though they are being held as prisoners of the Afghanistan conflict, are not being recognized as prisoners of war?  I don't like the UN in international politics, but I like the US edit: "in international politics" even less.  The state of the US right now, honestly, scares me.

Edited by prolog, 26 August 2003 - 12:11 AM.


#16 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:35 AM

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prolog: You'll take the checks and balances of buy-a-senator,

Care to cite a few facts on that one?

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prolog: the Patriot Act

A hotly debated topic that looks like it might be overturned soon.  The House has passed amendments that restrict many of the capabilities that it gave to law enforcement.  

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prolog: Guanatanamo Bay

You know I would have been more tempted to follow international law except for the information we can gain from some of this scum.  Plus summary executions at the discretion of the office on the location as allowed under international law would have been a waste of perfectly good NATO 5.56 in the field.  

Quote

prolog: You prefer private military trials that can condemn men to death without making one whit of evidence public,

As a traditionalist I’m saying that is being awful generous.  We could have executed them on the spot at the discretion of the officer on site for being illegal combatants.  Those men weren’t obeying the Geneva Convention in the slightest bit in a war zone.
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#17 Palisades

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:39 AM

The Weimar Republic also had checks and balances, but someone took charge of its forces and then went around invading places and mass murdering people. Merely having checks and balances isn't sufficient; they must actively be used to check and balance.

Edited by QuantumFlux, 26 August 2003 - 12:45 AM.

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#18 jon3831

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:47 AM

^

*cough* Godwin *cough*

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CJ: Plus summary executions at the discretion of the office on the location as allowed under international law would have been a waste of perfectly good NATO 5.56 in the field.

They weren't even worth 9MM.

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CJ: I’ll take the checks and balance of our republic, federal system, and Constitution over the hollow decrepit paper tiger that is the UN. In regards to the US Military, you should check the oath they swear and what their allegiance is to. The ultimate allegiance in that oath is to the Constitution and not the political leaders of the US. If an order comes down the chain of command that violates the Constitution the US Military is free to disobey that order and take action against it.

Plus, it's interesting to note that the service oath also specifies lawful orders from officers. If the order is unlawful, it's not a valid order.

Edited by jon3831, 26 August 2003 - 12:47 AM.

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#19 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 12:47 AM

QuantumFlux, on Aug 26 2003, 05:39 AM, said:

The Weimar Republic also had checks and balances, but someone took charge of its forces and then went around invading places and mass murdering people.
You know that International Pantheon of Justice The League of Nations stopped them dead in their tracks…

Oh wait it was the industrial and military might of the United States, United Kingdom, and other allies that did that.   I guess it proves the old saying that the tanks of the US Army decide the great matters of the day.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 26 August 2003 - 12:48 AM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#20 Palisades

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:16 AM

jon, Godwin is all well and good for irrelevant comparisons, but if the Germans fell for rhetoric preying on fear and patriotism and their Reichstag handed over their powers (Enabling Act), then then the same thing could happen in the US.
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