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Powell pushes UN for more help in Iraq

Iraq UN Coalition Colin Powell

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#41 Uncle Sid

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:51 PM

It's true that a like minded alliance would still have problems, but it would have the ability to at least countenance the existence of proportional representation in terms of population, even if there was the insistence that there be a Senate-like group that ensured that individual states were not powerless.  The possibility of say the US swamping Europe culturally is a real concern, but its a heck of a lot easier to deal with than the fear that you'd lose political and human rights if a place like China was made part of a proportional representation scheme where it's population would give it's authoritarian government a great deal of power.
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#42 Han

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 09:03 PM

Uncle Sid, on Aug 28 2003, 01:51 AM, said:

It's true that a like minded alliance would still have problems, but it would have the ability to at least countenance the existence of proportional representation in terms of population, even if there was the insistence that there be a Senate-like group that ensured that individual states were not powerless.  The possibility of say the US swamping Europe culturally is a real concern, but its a heck of a lot easier to deal with than the fear that you'd lose political and human rights if a place like China was made part of a proportional representation scheme where it's population would give it's authoritarian government a great deal of power.
Sure, but I doubt European nations would seriously go for proportional representation. Or the US for that matter if you throw India into the mix. India is a democracy and with its large population, could well lead any such alliance. No, I think the main problem to any international system (this hypothetical one and the UN) is the fact that nations will not give up any of their sovereignty, not even to friends and allies. If this alliance decided on an issue that sided against the US on an issue that was important to it, would the US bow to the decision of the alliance? Especially if it has major economic impact on US interests?

Edited by Hankuang, 27 August 2003 - 09:05 PM.

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#43 Uncle Sid

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 09:36 PM

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If this alliance decided on an issue that sided against the US on an issue that was important to it, would the US bow to the decision of the alliance? Especially if it has major economic impact on US interests?

Of course, this is always the issue with an alliance, and it was an issue between the various parts of the US itself at one point.  Right now, I agree that any sort of regional government is probably unlikely, let alone a workable world government.  However, bigger and bigger regional groupings are possible as information technology and travel times become more advanced.  I'd say that regional groups are not only possible, but inevitable.  Europe, with its large number of states in a relatively small land area is the logical first place for this sort of thing to develop and it has, despite some rather old grudges which Europe is famous for.

Either way, I think that whether it is sooner or later, the process of building stable multi-national federations will only come about through growth and merging of regional or "like-minded" alliances.  That being said, the ultimate goal is still in doubt.  I just don't think it is possible to have a government encompassing all humanity if there are only humans about.  We might be able to pull it off against an extraterrestrial alien group, but humans have an innate need to compete and be individuals.  I can't see any sort of overarching governmental scheme for humanity evolving except perhaps of the most skeletal nature.  It's just not in our nature.  Eventually you're going to have the big government implode under it's own weight and lack of incentive.  

In short, a government of humanity would be the biggest potential source of complacency in the entire history of the known universe.  Watch the US Space Program for what happens when you become complacent.  Watch the fall of the Systems Commonwealth on Andromeda if you want a more direct correlation.  Having no threats for a long time corrodes your will to excel until the point that you not only are unable to compete, but your very existence seems to encourage savage competition.
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#44 Han

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 09:52 PM

Uncle Sid, on Aug 28 2003, 02:36 AM, said:

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Either way, I think that whether it is sooner or later, the process of building stable multi-national federations will only come about through growth and merging of regional or "like-minded" alliances.  That being said, the ultimate goal is still in doubt.  I just don't think it is possible to have a government encompassing all humanity if there are only humans about.  We might be able to pull it off against an extraterrestrial alien group, but humans have an innate need to compete and be individuals.  I can't see any sort of overarching governmental scheme for humanity evolving except perhaps of the most skeletal nature.  It's just not in our nature.  Eventually you're going to have the big government implode under it's own weight and lack of incentive. 

Agreed.

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Having no threats for a long time corrodes your will to excel until the point that you not only are unable to compete, but your very existence seems to encourage savage competition.

Another prime example of this: Imperial China.
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#45 Uncle Sid

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 11:01 PM

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Another prime example of this: Imperial China.

A good example too.  China had almost everything going for it.  High technology, large population, command of significant resources, a well developed civil service, and other things.  About the only thing it didn't have going for it was the need to compete.  Without that, that big lead was eroded down to China being weak at home and against the outside world.  Even before that, the Mongols and the Manchu swept in.  

The competition of the modern world will probably do significant good for China in the long run and hopefully, a new attitude will develop.  I just wish it wasn't under the Communists that they got their real start towards re-emergence as a global power.  They'll have to overcome that hurdle before they can really pick up some speed.
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#46 Enmar

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 02:45 PM

The way I see it, there are more or less 4 directions:

1. Create some type of NATO like organization by democracies that know-what-is-good-for-you for the rest of the world. Besides the obvious antagonism this creates, this organization will present more problems to US policies than the UN, because it will be completely dominated by Europe. You'll have France and Germany and other countries of this line, and you won't have all the little countries that supported you for various reasons. This organization will do nothing but talk, and this we can do in the UN. Waste of good money.

2. Try to turn the UN around, slowly and carefully, because it's the lesser evil.

3. "Cancel" the UN and build a new international organization. I can't really see the point of that, unless you come up with new voting system or something (which you can use in reforming the UN). Besides, the idea that the UN has got to go because America doesn't like its behavior will put any future organization of the kind in the mercy of American public opinion and will deprive it of any chance of impressing anyone.

4. Ignore the UN until it cancels itself and let the US sheriff the world. Which, correct me if I'm wrong, looks like what some people in the current American administration would like to see.
If you walk this path, you will find the world slowly turning into France and turning against you. It may be hard to understand from the inside, but most nations will not accept "American justice for all" that's why we have our own constitutions (or still debating about them). This will create a huge wave of anti American antagonism that I'm afraid American leaders are failing to foresee.
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#47 EvilTree

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 11:09 PM

The problem with UN is that it never really had the power to be the international body it's suppose to be.
Trapped in the power struggle between US and Soviet and allowed to do very limited things in terms of being a mediator and peacekeeping, I don't think it never had the chance.

So UN went through a turbulent 90s where it failed to adapt to a chance to fully be the international body for world peace and etc.

Well, I suppose it doesn't help that US tried to drag UN into whatever direction it wanted to go and when US don't get UN support, does it anyways.

UN is made up of every nation with their own agendas, so it's suppose to listen to every one of them somehow. So it always doesn't listen to what US wants. But if US withdraws support from UN, UN is basically useless, because US has its own agenda and American attitude does not want to really conform to what the rest of the world wants. It's just the way it is, but it's also one of the reasons why US isn't liked much in the world.

So, what would disbanding UN do? Go back to possible political climate of pre WW1 where nations did whatever they want and only alliances stopped the other guy from doing whatever they want?

If US does form a new alliance only friendly with US to be the enforcer of world peace, how does that make US any better than any other aggressor nation?

What US wants is not necessarily the best for the rest of the world, and I think US just don't want to think otherwise.
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#48 FireStar

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Posted 01 September 2003 - 12:28 AM

The UN was formed to hopefully prevent another World  Nuclear War. To stabalize countries and to make the world a safer place. We all know it has suceeded in maybe one of its objectives. although recent events makes one wonder.

The UN as a forum for discussion is a wonderful Idea/Ideal. It is however impractical. Each nations matains it own laws ans rules. The United States believes it has the right to shape the world in our own image. An idea that many think is a bit nuts. ( have to say I agree a little) We used the UN to further our goals. Spending or withholding funds if they did not tow the line. However if we expect other nations to listen to the UN we must also be willing to do so. We failied in that lately and managed to annoy almost every nation on Earth. While some are merely annoaces like France and Germany others can lead us to disaster. We have to deside once and for all if we are in or out. Nothing less will work. If we keep swaying we look unreliable and ineffective. We have treaties in the UN. But then we all know how good the USA is on keeping treaties. In or out . Put up or shut up. I say let the UN handle the humanitarian aid. DO the corrdination and grunt work. We do the rebuilding. Besides I rather have the rest of the world share the 900 billion dollar cost of fixing IRAQ and AFGANISTAN wouldn't you?

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#49 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 06:08 PM

Thai troops join Iraq force

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The first contingent of Thai soldiers has left Bangkok for Iraq, where they will join a 10,000-strong Polish-led multinational peacekeeping force.  The 21 soldiers were flown out aboard a U.S. Air Force C-5 transport plane and will conduct a security evaluation before the arrival of the full force of 443 soldiers at a later date.

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That and the anticipated cost of keeping the troops in Iraq led to the government halving the originally announced deployment of 886 troops.

Thai military officials say all of the troops taking part in the Iraq force are volunteers with thousands of servicemen having put their name forward to take part.

Now this is the type of group we need more of in Iraq.  Thailandís Army is very experienced in working counterinsurgency operations and even this small force will be a nice addition to the Coalition.
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#50 FireStar

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Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:45 PM

True but it be a heck of a lot more help to have troops that speak Arabic along. It save a lot of the hassle and save lives all around. Last time I checked the average IrAQ dose not speak Thi.

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#51 tennyson

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 02:41 AM

Actually Muslims are a sizable minority in predominately Buddhist Thailand and with that comes knowledge of Arabic needed to understand it in the "language of god". Thailand ia a massive multi-ethnic nation and assigning a few Arabic speakers shouldn't be that hard out of a military of 200,000+.
The harder thing will be the Japanese and South Korean contingents of roughly 700 and 1000 each who probably barely even have an Arabic speaker in thier countries let alone in thier defence forces so they'll be left with English as thier language of communication until they pickup Arabic.
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#52 Enmar

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 05:10 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Sep 5 2003, 02:08 AM, said:

Now this is the type of group we need more of in Iraq.  Thailandís Army is very experienced in working counterinsurgency operations and even this small force will be a nice addition to the Coalition.
I'm afraid the most experienced army in that field with a significant amount of Arab speakers will.... not be too welcomed in Iraq ;)
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#53 Aric

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 02:23 AM

Hi, finally back, and very late in the discussion, and only able to really skim posts, but I did want to make some comments.

I have to wonder why it's such a big deal that Libya and Cuba are in UN Human Rights council or whatever.  As I believe someone stated, they were elected (and whoever said qualifications had to be a determinant in how free, open, and democratic elections choose their winners, be it people or countries) there, what more does that demonstrate than Libya and Cuba's diplomats have political savvy and well placed connections?  As well, what real power do they have, and what prevents their diplomats from reciting the same high minded moral rhetoric everyone else throws around when discussing human rights, since I don't imagine either regime would actually admit to human rights abuses.  And speaking of human rights abuses, I don't believe any country has a clean slate, especially when those incredibly rigourous and diligent investigations by those human rights goups can turn up human rights abuses in countries like Canada, US, and in Western Europe.  It might be hard to stand up and embrace democracy when free elections choose unwisely, but such is the perils of democracy.  How many times have we seen unworthy and incompetent leaders elected time and again in free and democratic elections in national, provincial/state, and local levels, why should the UN be any different?

I believe there is no question the US should retain overall military command of any force, since theirs is the largest army involved, not to mention the best equipped.  I do, however, agree with those who suggest the US will have to cede control of certain aspects of the rebuilding effort where UN efforts would be more effective.  Luckily, I don't believe Cuba and Libya are in charge of coordinating humanitarian efforts, so hopefully they can find people from countries more acceptable to the US, and hopefully Iraq, as well, to run the UN efforts.  One really should not forget, after all, the US derided and ridiculed the UN, and now they're all but begging for help.  Such help, by all rights, should, and indeed will, command a high price from the UN.  On a side note, what does the US believe the UN can do that would make them willing to resort to such an action?  Is it really just additional troops from countries unwilling to undertake such an enterprise without UN sanction?

Another side note, I'm not a legal or military scholar, but where did this whole idea of unlawful combatant come from?  I don't ever remember it being described in any histories I've read.  Was this just a US invention in order to bypass Geneva Convention rules for Al-Queda and Taliban prisoners?  This can't be the first instance where one country has fought unconventional forces from another country, and did they as well declare them unlawful in order to bypass the Geneva Convention, or did they just consider them lawful and follow the Geneva Convention?

I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of the UN, but I have much the same impression of the UN as many others, flawed, but well meaning, with sterling accomplishments balancing terrible failures.  Reform is pretty much always a good idea, and the UN is certainly no exception, but I have a hard time accepting the idea that the UN is a dead and worthless organization, as CJ described it.  The UN imparts a certain legitimacy that many countries value, which is why the US' unilateral actions in Iraq was so unacceptable to  many countries, and why some countries (like India, I believe it was), won't send troops until the UN sanctions it.  The UN may not be functioning as the US would wish it, but it is clearly working for other countries.

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#54 Uncle Sid

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 05:07 AM

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Another side note, I'm not a legal or military scholar, but where did this whole idea of unlawful combatant come from? I don't ever remember it being described in any histories I've read. Was this just a US invention in order to bypass Geneva Convention rules for Al-Queda and Taliban prisoners? This can't be the first instance where one country has fought unconventional forces from another country, and did they as well declare them unlawful in order to bypass the Geneva Convention, or did they just consider them lawful and follow the Geneva Convention?

An unlawful combatant is, basically a spy or a soldier operating without identifying marks.  And yes, this has happened quite a bit in US history, a celebrated case in point is that of the Americans executing British Major John Andre who was assisting American General Benedict Arnold in betraying his command at Crown Point.  Andre was a uniformed soldier who was convinced to remove his uniform to return to British lines and was captured by Continental troops.  Because he was out of uniform, he was hung as a spy instead of treated as a prisoner.  It should be noted that the Continentals, even General Washington, seemed to have a lot more esteem for Major Andre when they hung him than we might have for a terrorist these days.  It was nothing personal.   ;)

The some questions that the current situation gives us with the terrorists is

a.) Can someone who has never been a proper soldier and who is not fighting for a nation really be called a combatant subject to military justice, instead of say, simply a criminal to be tried by civilian courts?

b.) If (a) is true, then should these people be considered "lawful" combatants of a group that can make war on America, therefore falling under the Geneva Convention?

c.) If they are still determined to be unlawful, can we do with an unlawful combatant what we please?


The first question is an interesting one, because in general, the US practice has been to consider most terrorists to be criminals, being tried in a court of some form.  However, most terrorists attacking American targets have attacked mostly civilian targets.  While there have been assaults on places like the Marine Barracks in Beiruit, most terrorists don't face down soldiers or attack military targets.  Al-Queda, however, has been implicated in the U.S.S. Cole attack and some embassy bombings.  The first is a definite attack on the military and all of them can be called acts of war.

Even more importantly, Congress has given the President a mandate to pursue a war on terrorism.  This indicates a special circumstance where it could be said that we have determined that the need for security has reached a point where we can no longer afford the luxury of extending certain rights to non-citizen enemies.  Since it is quite clear that these Taliban/Al-Queda individuals have taken up arms against the US in a war, then they are most certainly combatants.  

As to the second question the Geneva Convention of 1949,

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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:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(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.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.


It is fairly clear that (1) or (2) would be the best to cover the Taliban and Al-Queda forces in Afghanistan now held, but the details appear to disqualify them.  Even the Taliban, which could be called a government for Afghanistan, did not field troops in accordance with the laws and customs of war.  There were no identifying marks for these troops recognizable at a distance, and any responsible chain of command was exceedingly doubtful and at best rudimentary.  It is clear, I'd say, in this case, that they are not really soldiers, and therefore, can't be prisoners of war.

Many people have pointed to Article 5 which states that if there is doubt of the status of a person, that they should be treated as such until a competent tribunal has been established.  Those people feel that the tribunals are needed in this case, which is understandable since they harbor their own doubts about this situation.

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Article 5

[snip]
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

Note, however, the Convention doesn't say *who* gets to be the one to be doubtful.  As long as the US Government admits no doubts after due deliberation in classifying these persons as unlawful, the Convention does not provide a method of gainsaying that determination.  Thus, as long as the government has no doubts, there's no need for a tribunal.  Indeed, this is a clause that really has little force because it's a "history is written by the victors" clause.  The clause presumably calls for impartiality in determining results when there is doubt, but makes zero provisions for impartiality in determining if there is doubt in the first place.  Thus, it appears that it is left up to whoever has the power to make the decision (ie. the Captors)

So, I would say that there is good evidence that in fact, there is no violation of the Geneva Convention in making the determination that these are unlawful combatants.  They had no uniforms or distinguishing marks, work in cell/militia structures that are only loosely controlled from even the top Al-Queda/Taliban leadership and certainly do not appear to be any sort of army in any sense of the word that can be imagined.  Although a declaration of war against the terrorists would seem to imply that these people are the Party to the conflict, there seem to be few or no combatants in Afghanistan that are covered by it.  

As to the final question, so if they are unlawful combatants, can we still legally do what we want with them?  The answer is a qualified "yes".  We could have shot these people in the field or executed them like Major Andre as spies and saboteurs.  The fact that they are alive, and are quite likely to stay alive means that they are getting a fairer shake than they could legally expect.  Interrogating them for information to prevent the deaths of soldiers though their illegal means or the deaths of civilians here and in Afghanistan is perfectly legal and ethical.  

So what if we do decide to execute them?  Obviously, again, people have different feelings on this, but since the administration is using a legal method (ie. military commissions) for this, previously tested by a Supreme Court decision in WWII, a solid case can be made for even their executions under the law and with precedent.  Even US citizenship would not count in their favor legally.  

Perfectly legal, as I see it.  Unless Congress decides to intervene directly with legislation, there is a unlikely to be any significant challenge to this decision.  The Geneva Convention is satisfied, the letter of it, if not the spirit of it as well.  

The next question is, is this ethical or morally correct to use the laws that way?  However, that's another question entirely for another post.
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#55 Kevin Street

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 05:18 AM

MuseZack, on Aug 22 2003, 01:44 PM, said:

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."
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. No thanks.

The US and Britain started this whole Iraq mess, and they should clean it up. Without us.
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#56 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 09:26 AM

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Enmar: I'm afraid the most experienced army in that field with a significant amount of Arab speakers will.... not be too welcomed in Iraq ;)

I think anyone who doesnít greet the Thais warmly will learn to regret that one soon.  The Thai military is very good at dishing out more than they take in counterinsurgency and from all intents are probably the best trained military from Asia.  Their operating in the Polish sector is interesting the Thais and the military that received training from the Spetsnaz. :evil:

      

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Aric: I have to wonder why it's such a big deal that Libya and Cuba are in UN Human Rights council or whatever. As I believe someone stated, they were elected (and whoever said qualifications had to be a determinant in how free, open, and democratic elections choose their winners, be it people or countries) there, what more does that
demonstrate than Libya and Cuba's diplomats have political savvy and well placed connections?

It is a matter of faith in the UN and simply put common sense.  No one in there right mind puts then fox in charge of the International Hen House of whatever that country abuses the most.  Instead the UN does this consistently like they left their brains on the street someplace. If they canít even choose proper countries that arenít gross violators to lead the Human Rights Commission it is a sign that the UN is a corrupt organization that deserves no real power in the world.  Just to be another failed footnote in history next to the League of Nations as a international farce.  

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Aric: And speaking of human rights abuses, I don't believe any country has a clean slate, especially when those incredibly rigourous and diligent investigations by those human rights goups can turn up human rights abuses in countries like Canada, US, and in Western Europe.

If you can actually sit there and compare the US, Canada, and the West in general to Libya and Cuba for Human Rights Violations then you simply amaze me.  You donít even require rigorous or diligent in investigations to discover human rights violations in either country.  All you practically have to do is take a few minutes to open your eyes.  

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Aric: It might be hard to stand up and embrace democracy when free elections choose unwisely, but such is the perils of democracy. How many times have we seen unworthy and incompetent leaders elected time and again in free and democratic elections in national, provincial/state, and local levels, why should the UN be any different?

You think the UN is some sort of Democracy? :blink:  Most people in the UN are not even appointed my free democratic elected figures.  They are appointed by men who clawed their way to the top of the power pyramid in their countries with many of them having much blood on their hands.  The UN as some sort of a world democracy is among the biggest jokes perpetrated about that agency.  


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Aric: I do, however, agree with those who suggest the US will have to cede control of certain aspects of the rebuilding effort where UN efforts would be more effective.

Yes the UN has been so very effective in Iraq thus far.  I mean look how brilliantly they fired former Saddam loyalists to provide security for the Compound because they rejected US offers for security.  Then they try to point fingers at the US when the compound gets blown up.  Then to top if off the US Military with effective in place plans to evacuate UN personnel are the primary reason why many of the UN workers are alive today.  Of course though the UN is better qualified to run many aspects of Iraq.  Of course in their one major endeavor so far the US had to hauls their collective rears out of the fire because the UN bungled up again.

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Aric: I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of the UN, but I have much the same impression of the UN as many others, flawed, but well meaning, with sterling accomplishments balancing terrible failures.

Care to list some of the sterling accomplishments of the UN in recent years?  I know how well they pulled through to save the day in the Congo and Kosovo.  Wait the former is still a bloodbath and the later was a NATO operation that went in after the UN fell flat on their faces in typical fashion.  How about the glowing success of the UN in East Timor for stopping that slaughter right from the start?  

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Uncle Sid: An unlawful combatant is, basically a spy or a soldier operating without identifying marks. And yes, this has happened quite a bit in US history, a celebrated case in point is that of the Americans executing British Major John Andre who was assisting American General Benedict Arnold in betraying his command at Crown Point.

You can also look at the World Wars for several more examples of similar policies having been used by the United States and other powers.  There is an established trend that marks illegal combatants going back for quite sometime with execution typically being the standard treatment for them.  


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Eviltree: If US does form a new alliance only friendly with US to be the enforcer of world peace, how does that make US any better than any other aggressor nation?

How does the UN have any right to exist when they sat on their collective hands while a slaughter was conducted in Kosovo?  When it came down to the actual enforcement of what the UN wanted it fell to NATO to carry out the military operation because the UN fell down on the job.  Then that was only possible because the United States saddled the bulk of the military mission.  The UN list of success in the Balkans consist of how many of their vaunted well trained ďpeacekeepersĒ got to observe atrocities as they sat tied up to trees.
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#57 Enmar

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 09:54 AM

CJ, I'm just kidding. I was talking about the IDF ;)
Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

#58 Aric

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 10:03 PM

Thanks for the very well written explanation, Uncle Sid.

From reading your points, CJ Aegis, I can't help but get the impression what you're most upset about is that the wrong country won the election.  You are clearly better informed than I on this subject, so if you'd be so kind as to correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not true that Cuba and Libya were elected by a majority of countries?  Is it also not true that those countries that voted for them were free to choose out of a number of candidate countries?  Are you suggesting that those countries were coerced, or just plain stupid?  If they were coerced, then I'd completely agree with you, but if those countries were just plain stupid, well, that's democracy.  As well, is there any evidence that Cuba and Libya won their positions through corrupt means?  You seem to be suggesting as much, has there been any proof?  If consistently choosing the wrong person as leader was enough to prove that any country was failed and didn't deserve to exist, a great many countries would not be able to escape that condemnation.

Actually, CJ, I wasn't suggesting comparing our human rights abuses to theirs, what I was trying to say was that you cannot arbitrarily decide that Cuba and Libya are unworthy of holding their positions because they have signifcant human rights abuses, since no country is free of them, and who are any of us to decide what is an acceptable amount of human rights abuses to justify holding their positions.

Yeah, I sort of get that impression with all those votes they take.  I'm not sure I understand your point, CJ, say half the world isn't democratic, but their leaders send a representative to the UN, and that representative votes according to the wishes of these national governments.  While it's true that half the world isn't democratic, that doesn't make the UN undemocratic.  If a criminal or a tyrant freely and fairly wins an election, does that mean that political entity he enters is no longer democratic?  Let's for a moment agree with you, democracy might not be the most accurate term for the UN, how would you characterize the majority rules, collective decision making of the UN?

I'll get to the rest of the points soon!!!

Aric

#59 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 04:24 PM

Quote

Enmar:  CJ, I'm just kidding. I was talking about the IDF ;)

Oh that military. ;) :blush:

Aric, I believe simply put that the UN is not a democracy but an abomination to the very word. Iím a proponent of what is called popular democracy.  That tends to imply the people should elect the leaders and that sovereignty resides with the people.  The leaders are directly answerable to the people for their choices.  Now I assume everyone here knows the UN has a very large percentage of countries within that are non-democratic to downright tyrannical.  The leaders of these countries appoint the representatives that vote for them.  The people do not elect those leaders; they hold power through the use of terror and force.  

So how can you call the UN democratic when despots who were never elected or responsible to the people appoint many of the representatives?  If find it as distasteful as calling the USSR a democracy because there was vote among the Politburo from time to time.  The UN is not a democracy and never will be as long as despots reside within the halls of it.  It shall just be another great case of UN hypocrisy.  


Quote

Aric:  Actually, CJ, I wasn't suggesting comparing our human rights abuses to theirs, what I was trying to say was that you cannot arbitrarily decide that Cuba and Libya are unworthy of holding their positions because they have signifcant human rights abuses, since no country is free of them, and who are any of us to decide what is an acceptable amount of human rights abuses to justify holding their positions.

How about leave that to the people of the country.  Oh yeah in Libya and Cuba they canít vote or protect Human Rights infractions like the citizens of the US can.  They sure canít prattle on endlessly like Amnesty International does.  That is again the hypocrisy of the UN at work again.  They elect countries that are ruled by despots whom commit massive atrocities that are totally unanswerable to the people of that country for their actions.  I still find it very ironically amusing that someone could claim somehow Cuba and Libya are on the same stage as the democracies of the war for having earned a position on the Human Rights Commission.  

Quote

Aric: Let's for a moment agree with you, democracy might not be the most accurate term for the UN, how would you characterize the majority rules, collective decision making of the UN?

How does ďan attack and abomination to the very name of Democracy that is deserving of euthanasiaĒ sound as a catchphrase?  Or how about an enabler for the despots of the world to gain recognition and authenticity on the world stage?
"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""
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