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Powell pushes UN for more help in Iraq

Iraq UN Coalition Colin Powell

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#21 Palisades

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:25 AM

jon3831, on Aug 26 2003, 12:47 AM, said:

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.
Just because they swear to defend the Constitution and don't swear to follow unlawful orders, that doesn't mean that if the time comes they'll actually choose to disobey the unlawful order and along with it their superior officer or president. They may well decide it's easier to go along with it; that way they avoid the risk of being branded a traitor and hunted by their own government.
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#22 jon3831

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:33 AM

^ Merely illustrating the point that the longer the thread goes on, the probability of a Hitler invocation approaches one, valid or not.

As to your point, I'm wondering if it's not just a tad of a slippery slope in this case. As CJ noted, the Patriot Act is on the verge of being repealed, and the American populace as a whole is getting fed up with the percieved loss of civil liberties. Certainly, the end of the Weimar Republic is something to keep in mind, but we're a *long* way from there, but it always pays to remember that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

My $0.02.
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#23 Palisades

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:41 AM

^ Actually, I was writing hypothetically about some possible time in the future -- I was disputing that the system of checks and balances would necessarily prevent Enmar's scenario.
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#24 Rov Judicata

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:46 AM

I would love a strong UN. I really would; it would be most beneficial to have a world gov't that would have the moral courage to take on the world's dictators. Instead, they pander to Libya.

If Enmar is right, and the UN can change, I welcome it. I'm just skeptical it can happen. When the UN votes Cuba, Libya, et al off their human rights councils, it'll be a start. :).
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#25 prolog

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 10:02 AM

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Care to cite a few facts on that one?

Sure.  How about Fritz Hollings (D-SC), who has received campaign contributions of $52783 from AOL Time Warner and  $26500 from Disney.  This year, Hollings introduced legislation called the SSSCA (Security Systems Standards and Certifications Act), which basically tries to embed copy protection at the hardware level.

Let's also consider Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who earlier this year stated that copyright holders should be able to destroy the computers of those who violate copyrights.  Ignoring the fact that he had egg on his face when it was revealed that his website used an unlicensed javascript menu system, Hatch received large contributions from AOL TIme Warner and Disney.

I'm not pretending this doesn't happen elsewhere; it's just part of my argument.

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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.

Which ones?  Can people still be held indefinitely without trial?  What about the thousands of Arab Americans who have been held without trial since the Sept. 11 attacks?

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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.

Which international law?  If it deals with war, let's remember that the US never really declared war on Afghanistan, which allowed them to get around the whole pesky "prisoner of war" thing.

Combat executions are all fine and dandy with the public until it happens to their soldiers.

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As a traditionalist Iím 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 werenít obeying the Geneva Convention in the slightest bit in a war zone.

What's the definition of illegal combatant?  Is it as vague a term as "terrorist"?  Come on!  Are you implying that American soldiers are perfect saints who always follow the Geneva convention?  If they break it from time to time, are opposition forces allowed to summarily execute them?

#26 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 10:41 AM

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Prolog: I'm not pretending this doesn't happen elsewhere; it's just part of my argument.

What I see is two cases with only two politicians involved in them.  Now shall we get into comparing the conduct of some of the fine ďgentlemanĒ who are established members of the UN to our Amercian Politicians.   Do you want to argue that Quadaffi is a nice teddy bear of a guy and respectable member of humanity compared to these two senators?  Iíd get a good kick out of that treatise if you would be so kind to explain how they are worse.  Sure we have crooked politicians but the UN has a rather nice stock of despots, rapists, and mass murders in their flock.  


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prolog: Which ones?
Ashcroft stumps for Patriot Act

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There is some evidence that Congress is growing unhappy with the USA Patriot Act, which was rushed through the legislature. By a 309-to-118 vote last month, the U.S. House of Representatives dismissed the entreaties of the Justice Department and blocked the part of the law that permitted police to seek a court order that let them surreptitiously enter a home or business. The amendment to the Commerce, Justice and State spending bill would not repeal the "secret search" law but instead would deny federal agencies any funds that could be used in order to take advantage of it.


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prolog: Can people still be held indefinitely without trial?

You mean can non-citizens be held without trial?  Before we get into this one we should get that one straight right from the start.  Iím not in the least bit a fan of the Patriot Act but arguing that is a violation of the Constitution is very dubious grounds.  The Constitution is a protection for American citizens and trying to extend it beyond that using the test of the Constitution itself is a dubious proposition.    

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US Constitution: Preamble: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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prolog: Which international law? If it deals with war, let's remember that the US never really declared war on Afghanistan, which allowed them to get around the whole pesky "prisoner of war" thing.
You know the guys who wrote the Geneva and Hague Conventions were actually pretty smart fellows so let me quote it for you.  

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Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War: In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

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prolog: What's the definition of illegal combatant? Is it as vague a term as "terrorist"?

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Article 4: A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
© That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
I donít see terrorists fitting many of the above defined guidelines for a legal combatant.  

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QuantumFlux ^ Actually, I was writing hypothetically about some possible time in the future -- I was disputing that the system of checks and balances would necessarily prevent Enmar's scenario.

Since you are so fond of playing the slippery slope.  Care to explain then what prevents a UN powerful enough to stop the United States from developing into an oppressive world government?  If checks and balances are so prone to failure than the UN should never be allowed to gain sufficient power to become an oppressive authority over the entire world.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 26 August 2003 - 10:47 AM.

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#27 prolog

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 11:26 AM

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What I see is two cases with only two politicians involved in them. Now shall we get into comparing the conduct of some of the fine ďgentlemanĒ who are established members of the UN to our Amercian Politicians. Do you want to argue that Quadaffi is a nice teddy bear of a guy and respectable member of humanity compared to these two senators? Iíd get a good kick out of that treatise if you would be so kind to explain how they are worse. Sure we have crooked politicians but the UN has a rather nice stock of despots, rapists, and mass murders in their flock.

I was talking about the legislation-buying and general dishonesty that's been going on in Congress and the Senate.  To compare Quadaffi to them, I'd have to have a good understanding of Libyan legislation from the last ten years.  I don't, so to compare otherwise is a case of apples and oranges.  However, if we're talking about war criminals, how about Kissinger?  I don't think he's in politics any more, but he did a lot of awful things during his years.  The US isn't some pristine virgin.  Yes, the UN has such people in their midst.  But the US has been all too willing to cozy up to them when it's to their advantage.

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Ashcroft stumps for Patriot Act

A good start, for sure, but most of the more insidious parts of the legislation are still intact.

Then again, Canada's still got its boneheaded post-September 11th legislation. :(

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You mean can non-citizens be held without trial? Before we get into this one we should get that one straight right from the start. Iím not in the least bit a fan of the Patriot Act but arguing that is a violation of the Constitution is very dubious grounds. The Constitution is a protection for American citizens and trying to extend it beyond that using the test of the Constitution itself is a dubious proposition.

The people being held in America (not Guanatanamo Bay) are pretty much unkown.  Nobody knows if they're American or not, because their names haven't been released.

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You know the guys who wrote the Geneva and Hague Conventions were actually pretty smart fellows so let me quote it for you.

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War: In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.

Re: definition of "illegal combatant":

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Article 4: A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
© That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

I donít see terrorists fitting many of the above defined guidelines for a legal combatant.

I didn't argue that they were.  I argued, if you'll check my post, that "terrorist" is a vague term, and asked if "illegal combatant" was as vague (apparently it isn't - good!).  However, has the US ever officially recognized those being held in Guanatanamo Bay as Prisoners of War?  I don't believe they have, and I believe that Amnesty International has been monitoring the situation closely.

Is Afghanistan a "high contracting party"?  I was under the impression that only Pakistan recognized the Taliban as being legitimate.  If so, is this a legal loophole the US could use to basically do what they want?  Then again, there's precedent for other "high contracting parties" not following the convention anyhow.

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Since you are so fond of playing the slippery slope. Care to explain then what prevents a UN powerful enough to stop the United States from developing into an oppressive world government? If checks and balances are so prone to failure than the UN should never be allowed to gain sufficient power to become an oppressive authority over the entire world.

The fact that the UN is not just some giant nebulous organization, but in fact a collection of individual states, each with their own set of interests?  As the US demonstrated, anyone can go against the UN's wishes.  They could probably choose to pull out of the UN, too.  The UN could try to become an oppressive authority, but then, so could anyone else.  But my problem is that I don't think anyone should be attempting to police the world on their own, and in a lot of ways, that's what the US  has been trying to do.  At least with the UN, you can get debate and feedback from other countries, rather than giving boring "you're either with us or against us!" rhetoric.

#28 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 01:14 PM

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prolog: A good start, for sure, but most of the more insidious parts of the legislation are still intact.

Many in Congress are talking about overturning it before it even reaches the 2005 expiration date.  

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prolog: But the US has been all too willing to cozy up to them when it's to their advantage.

The United States does not have the capability to knock off every oppressive dictator.  With some of them the best you can hope to do is change their ways by making them reliant on you enough that you can twist their arms some.  I know that is sort of in opposition to the brilliant UN approach of placing them on the Human Rights Commission or putting them in charge of it.  

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prolog: Then again, Canada's still got its boneheaded post-September 11th legislation.

Well they should fit right in with the even more boneheaded immigration policies that let the terrorists turn Canada into their personal base in the first place. ;)

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prolog: The people being held in America (not Guanatanamo Bay) are pretty much unkown. Nobody knows if they're American or not, because their names haven't been released.

A point that you see being heavily contested in the courts (with Congress murmuring about overturning the Patriot Act) and that some results should be hit on soon.

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prolog: However, has the US ever officially recognized those being held in Guanatanamo Bay as Prisoners of War? I don't believe they have, and I believe that Amnesty International has been monitoring the situation closely.

The people being held in Guanatanamo Bay are not lawful combatants.  For that reason they are not protected under the Geneva Convention as prisoners of war.  In order to qualify as prisoners of war they would have to make the basic qualifications that I posted in the previous thread.  They do not even come close to fitting those qualifications.  That makes them illegal combatants and as I said could be summarily executed on the spot.

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prolog: Is Afghanistan a "high contracting party"?

The United States is and the Afghanistan did sign the Convention in 1956.  Now if that carries through the mess of governments Afghanistan has gone through Iím not aware of.  Iím not aware of the Taliban ever declaring the earlier commitment to the Geneva Convention null but who knows with that bunch.  

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Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

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Prolog: The fact that the UN is not just some giant nebulous organization, but in fact a collection of individual states, each with their own set of interests?

The last time I checked the United States is not some giant monolithic structure.  It is a collection of 50 states united under a federal system.  None of those states have the same exact set of interests and each often competes for different goals.  Those states have National Guards with officers that are appointed by the Governor and youíll find most of these units are fiercely loyal to their state.  Many states like New York and Texas take it a step further by fielding powerful State Guards that are answerable to the governor.  In regards to say the Patriot Act some states like Oregon have passed resolutions supporting and urging the Fed to eliminate it.  

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Prolog: But my problem is that I don't think anyone should be attempting to police the world on their own, and in a lot of ways, that's what the US has been trying to do.

This use of on their own and unilateral keeps bugging me.  In case no one has noticed the US went into Iraq with a Coalition backing them that was even larger than the UN formed Coalition that fought the Persian Gulf War.  That says something to me alone the United States and Great Britain operating alone outside the auspices of the UN were able to assemble a Coalition with more nations in it then the UN was able to.    

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Prolog: At least with the UN, you can get debate and feedback from other countries, rather than giving boring "you're either with us or against us!" rhetoric.

Iím sure you could consult with Syria on the Security Council about terrorist activities in that country.  Iím sure over on the Human Rights Commission that Libya and Cuba could give lengthy reports on the human rights abuses in that country.  Then Iran could top it all off by briefing them from the Disarmament Commission about that country and their attempts to gain WMDs.  With feedback like this who needs to ever worry about being wrong!!

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 26 August 2003 - 07:39 PM.

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#29 Palisades

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 06:47 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 26 2003, 10:41 AM, said:

Since you are so fond of playing the slippery slope.  Care to explain then what prevents a UN powerful enough to stop the United States from developing into an oppressive world government?  If checks and balances are so prone to failure than the UN should never be allowed to gain sufficient power to become an oppressive authority over the entire world.
How have I used a slippery slope argument? I havenít constructed an increasingly unacceptable sequence of events that follow from a proposition in order to show that that proposition is unacceptable.

There's nothing to stop any sufficiently powerful government from developing into an oppressive world power assuming it has the political will, and the people allow it to happen.

Regarding your last statement, what makes you think the UN would use its power for oppression? Your last statement is like saying, "If checks and balances are so prone to failure, then the US should never have been allowed to gain sufficient power to become an oppressive authority over North America."

Edited by QuantumFlux, 26 August 2003 - 06:49 PM.

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#30 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 07:18 PM

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QF: Regarding your last statement, what makes you think the UN would use its power for oppression?

Call it the rather dubious reputation the UN has of recently appointing some of the nastiest states out there to high-ranking positions.  They have Syria, which allows terrorists to openly headquarters in their capital, sitting on the Security Council.  Libya chairs the Human Rights Commission with Cuba sitting on it. Then you have Iran and the disarmament commission when they just found refined weapons grade uranium.

The UN have a very unfavorable track record when it comes to selecting suitable choices for leadership positions in the organization.
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#31 G1223

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 02:55 PM

Basically the UN to be cleaned up. Back in the 90's it was discovered that a Ethopian member of the UN was selling the food shipments back on to the international market and taking a cut and sending the rest back home.

Action taken was Nothing the man was  so far into the machinary of the UN he was basically untouchable. With such corruption who really needs the UN except maybe the backstabbing types like China Russia France and Germany.

But that is becasue they are working on their plans of gaining power at the expense of our nation. While well meaning folks gladdly buy the BS they pass around as facts.
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#32 Enmar

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 03:33 PM

CJ, I donít remember criticizing the US army. My point was that I donít trust the American leadership. Not a specific leadership, a hypothetic one in the future. And all the nice stories about disobeying illegal commands are irrelevant. You donít set your international policies on the hope that American soldiers will do the right thing even if theyíll be ordered otherwise. This is a last line of defense, if you get there something is wrong. Not to mention the fact the idea that the soldiers will do the right thing according to the constitution is ridiculous Ė some times even judges canít decide what exactly is constitutional. But thatís a different discussion.

The fact that the patriotic act may be canceled doesnít change the fact that it was passed and it is a very good example of what Iím afraid of. A paranoid America (and that doesnít mean nobodyís hunting America) is freaking out and using ďsecurityĒ reasons to do things that effect the whole world, pushing Europe to do things that are against European privacy laws and so on. A damn good example of what could happen, of the kind of power American government can have and misuse in a future world crisis. Going to war on Iraq or not is pocket money compared to real crisis, and thatís why Iím willing to pay the price of the UN making the wrong decision there but the right decision when itís really important.


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Rov: If Enmar is right, and the UN can change, I welcome it. I'm just skeptical it can happen. When the UN votes Cuba, Libya, et al off their human rights councils, it'll be a start.

Actually, itís very simple. The US should decide that itís in its interest to have a strong UN. Then they have to go publicly against any countries of this kind being in the human rights council and I canít believe Europe will have the nerve to disagree. They might, however, say something like: OK, but in this case this country should also be cast out of this committee (<- insert some problematic relationship the US is in). THIS is the price the US, imo, is not willing to pay. And thatís why they keep telling us that the UN is rotten and incurable. The UN is just politics, the US and Europe can get almost anything if they cooperate, they just let other interests get in the way, which is legitimate, just donít ruin the UN and come crying about it being dysfunctional.

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CJ: Sure we have crooked politicians but the UN has a rather nice stock of despots, rapists, and mass murders in their flock.

A very good reason not to leave the UN in their hands.

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G1223:With such corruption who really needs the UN except maybe the backstabbing types like China Russia France and Germany.

But that is because they are working on their plans of gaining power at the expense of our nation. While well meaning folks gladdly buy the BS they pass around as facts.

Those nations are important players in the international game and may be valuable allies. Your words are a good example for the kind of seclusive paranoid attitude I'm afraid of. It is so much easier to call all other countries "power hungry" when they say something you disagree with instead of listening to them. It is so easy to shut out the UN instead of dealing with the fact that the world isn't always going to support your actions. This is the ground from which hate and mistrust grows and this is exactly what the UN is set to try and prevent.
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#33 Rov Judicata

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 04:03 PM

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Actually, itís very simple. The US should decide that itís in its interest to have a strong UN. Then they have to go publicly against any countries of this kind being in the human rights council and I canít believe Europe will have the nerve to disagree.

We *did* do that. I remember the white house protesting when Cuba was reelected to the council.

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They might, however, say something like: OK, but in this case this country should also be cast out of this committee (<- insert some problematic relationship the US is in). THIS is the price the US, imo, is not willing to pay.

That may be true. But if the UN needs nudging by the US to confront a near-powerless naiton like Cuba, what's the point? Shouldn't the UN do that without nudging?

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And thatís why they keep telling us that the UN is rotten and incurable. The UN is just politics, the US and Europe can get almost anything if they cooperate, they just let other interests get in the way, which is legitimate, just donít ruin the UN and come crying about it being dysfunctional.

The UN is just politics; if it wasn't, then Cuba and Libya wouldn't be on the chairs they're on now.

Only a short time ago, America and France competed with each other on who could buy more votes in the Security Council; France won, due in large part to its ability to be more effective regionally.  It's a farce.

I do see your point that-- with enough effort-- the UN could be reformed to an effective institution. But at some point, isn't an organization so thoroughly backwards that it's better to scrap it and start anew? An organization where naitons such as Libya would-- instead of being coddled-- forced to comply with international demands or be cut off from trade and other diplomatic benefits?

The League of Nations became an ineffective paper tiger, as has the UN. It may be time to start yet again.

EDIT: And it occurs to me... even if we had the runaway America and the strong UN you propose, the US would *still* have its veto power in the security council. Without a dozen resolutions, how exactly could the UN oppose the States?

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 27 August 2003 - 04:06 PM.

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#34 Delvo

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 05:43 PM

Enmar, on Aug 27 2003, 02:33 PM, said:

Actually, itís very simple. The US should decide that itís in its interest to have a strong UN.
And this, in your plan, comes before the UN has been reformed... before it's made itself worthy of such an assessment.

That makes the whole idea roughly like a stalker telling his/her victim that the first step to having a happy marriage with a good spouse is to sign over partial home ownership and hand over the keys to the stalker, counting on the stalker to be magically made into the good spouse by the act.

#35 Uncle Sid

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 07:14 PM

Removing certain countries from their seats in any sort of UN under the current charter would be fairly difficult.  These are generally General Assembly committees or the creatures of the GA and in the GA there's one vote per country.  While the US certainly does wield a disproportionate amount of influence, above and beyond its one vote, there is no way that the US could expel countries from those seats if they did not have the backing of not only Europe, but a number of non-Western countries as well.  And I am by no means certain that Europe will meekly follow along in any event, especially contrarian France.  

The UN system is honestly quite flawed, and frankly a world government situation is going to be nothing short of a nightmare eventually unless China, as a large example, fixes itself.  Remember, when the UN was created, China was Republican China, not Communist China.  Since that changed, and while that remains the case, we can never have a decent democraticly elected UN based on free proportional representation, and while we do not that, the UN principle is never going to succeed in it's ultimate aims.
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#36 Han

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 07:43 PM

Here's a link to some ideas a group has to reform the UN. Some of them are interesting but probably unrealistic since they directly or indirectly involve US interests.

14 Points to Reform and Restructure the United Nations
Han

#37 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:13 PM

I think Rov very effectively addressed most of my points on why the UN is a dead organization and utterly useless. Especially the parts about how the US has protested against the UN policies on Human Rights Commission.  

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Enmar: My point was that I donít trust the American leadership.
You trust the UN leadership? :blink:  Iím not even going to begin to get into the fact again that Syria, Iran, Cuba, and Libya are all in senior positions in the UN.  

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Enmar: This is a last line of defense, if you get there something is wrong.

By that point a very large amount of checks and balances within the US would have already kicked in.  

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Enmar: The US should decide that itís in its interest to have a strong UN.

I disagree on all accounts.  The US should decide that the United Nations is as useless as the League of Nations.  From that point on our goal should be to limit the amount of damage the UN can do before it implodes.  The UN should be relegated to an international discussion forum while the humanitarian missions are reformed to eliminate the corruption.  Then the United States should seek to create a political and military alliance of like-minded democratic countries to replace the UN as the dominant world power.  The Untied States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada Japan, Spain, and Eastern European Democracies are all logical choices for founding members.  Membership into the alliance should hinge on a country being a democracy and meeting several humanitarian standards other than those qualifications membership would be open to all countries.  

Then you would have a international alliance that would have sufficient economic and military power to act.  Yet they would not be helpless to the whims of despots like the UN.        

    

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Hankuang: Here's a link to some ideas a group has to reform the UN. Some of them are interesting but probably unrealistic since they directly or indirectly involve US interests.

Only small] things like blatantly violating the US Constitution in several unique ways among other things.
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#38 Rov Judicata

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:15 PM

Hankuang, on Aug 27 2003, 05:43 PM, said:

Here's a link to some ideas a group has to reform the UN. Some of them are interesting but probably unrealistic since they directly or indirectly involve US interests.

14 Points to Reform and Restructure the United Nations

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An International Disarmament Organization unhampered by any veto must be created as a part of the U.N. system.

... they're kidding, right? I also like how they note ruefully that the UN Hamans Rights Council lacks power, without pointing out who's *on* said council.
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#39 Han

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:26 PM

^^ Hey, don't shoot the messenger, eh? I did say that it was unrealistic.  ;)
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#40 Han

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:42 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Aug 28 2003, 01:13 AM, said:

I disagree on all accounts.  The US should decide that the United Nations is as useless as the League of Nations.  From that point on our goal should be to limit the amount of damage the UN can do before it implodes.  The UN should be relegated to an international discussion forum while the humanitarian missions are reformed to eliminate the corruption.  Then the United States should seek to create a political and military alliance of like-minded democratic countries to replace the UN as the dominant world power.  The Untied States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada Japan, Spain, and Eastern European Democracies are all logical choices for founding members.  Membership into the alliance should hinge on a country being a democracy and meeting several humanitarian standards other than those qualifications membership would be open to all countries. 

Then you would have a international alliance that would have sufficient economic and military power to act.  Yet they would not be helpless to the whims of despots like the UN.
Isn't this what NATO basically is at the moment? Like minded democracies in a political and military alliance? Just because an international alliance is filled with democracies, doesn't necessarily mean that it won't have problems like the UN. Disagreements and political wheeling-dealing in the backgrounds. Look at France and Germany. If what you propose is to work, I think, each of the members of the alliance has to give up some of their sovereignty for the good of the alliance and create some kind of framework to decide where to intervene and how much influence each member has. It wouldn't necessarily be the US and Friends club.

Your international alliance wouldn't be helpless to whims of despots, but it will be helpless to various national interests of the members.

Edited by Hankuang, 27 August 2003 - 10:11 PM.

Han



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