Patterico's Pontifications

4/17/2006

Moral Authority

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 8:09 pm

[posted by See-Dubya}

Remember the outrage when Sudan rotated into a seat on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights?

Well, Jed Babbin has found an equally monstrous irony. Guess which country now holds a vice-chairmanship on the U.N. Disarmament Commission…

Nut
I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.

24 Responses to “Moral Authority”

  1. And the Donkey Party filibustered John Bolton because his bad temper would offend this august body? Sheesh.

    nk (efcf93)

  2. I don’t know what the repercussions will be, but I have a feeling we’re getting ready to stick a really big foot where the sun don’t shine, there.

    CraigC (28872d)

  3. Didn’t Iraq score the same seat less than a year before Operation Iraqi Freedom?

    Xrlq (3e8d4f)

  4. And the Donkey Party filibustered John Bolton because his bad temper would offend this august body? Sheesh.

    It seems as if his presence is really making a big difference

    actus (ebc508)

  5. What can I say, Actus? The inmates have been in charge of the asylum at the General Council for a long time. We should be giving the poor guy combat pay.

    nk (bfc26a)

  6. The whole thing should be scrapped and we should start over. The current UN is worse than was the League of Nations. Dysfunctional and corrupt as dramatically illustrated by the Oil for Food debacle.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  7. What can I say, Actus? The inmates have been in charge of the asylum at the General Council for a long time. We should be giving the poor guy combat pay.

    I think the dude can stand to wear a suit and go into an air conditioned office, and deal with the numeral reality of the governments in this world.

    actus (6234ee)

  8. The UN should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes. The organization is worse than useless, it stands in opposition to world peace while it encourages corruption and turns a blind eye to bloodshed among the nations. The UN is a major force of collective evil in the modern world.

    When it was founded, the hope and expectation was that it might develop into a vehicle for understanding and improvement for all, but it failed. Now, it’s a corrupt and useless shell, the mere shadow of a once attractive dream, turned into a nightmare. It’s past time to face facts and rid our country and the world of this destructive mirage.

    Black Jack (e75a7c)

  9. “the numeral reality of the governments”

    Because San Marino matters as much as, say, China.

    Angry Clam (a7c6b1)

  10. Because San Marino matters as much as, say, China.

    I’m sure he’s quite happy that they do at the UN. I’m also sure he’s a tough guy enough to be able to deal.

    actus (6234ee)

  11. Worse than the League of Nations, Harry? That’s a rather strong claim. The current body at least seems to be somewhat effective at certain types of things (eg, maintaining the peace in areas where the combatants have reached a cease-fire point and simply need a buffer to prevent undue friction). Other than settling the Aaland dispute, and possibly the negotiation of the Straits Convention, it’s hard to point to anything at all at which the League was successful.

    One does not have to think highly of the current UN to find your comparison to be a wild exaggeration.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  12. Black Jack – certainly the UN is corrupt, and has turned a blind eye to much evil. But what is your case that it “stands in opposition to world peace”? Where has the UN been actively involved in preventing a peaceful solution to a conflict?

    I wouldn’t claim that the UN is particularly effective at creating peace; such a claim would be absurd. But i’m hard pressed to come up with a case where it has been an impediment to peace; at worst, it has been an ineffectual protesting bystander.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  13. Had the UN been willing to enforce the cease fire requirements in Iraq, we would not have had to invade. As the UN pretended to be an “ineffectual bystander” they were actually stuffing their pockets with Saddam’s stolen cash. That which the UN allowed by the hand of Saddam, they did with their own hands, and the people suffered, and are still suffering for the complicity of the UN.

    The UN dare not strike at tyranny, for fear of wounding themselves.

    Black Jack (f0dc41)

  14. Had the UN been willing to enforce the cease fire requirements in Iraq, we would not have had to invade

    People say the UN should ‘enforce’ things, but they dont’ have an army. So when you say UN, you should say ‘some country.’ Because that’s what it really is.

    actus (6234ee)

  15. Black Jack – was there a means for the UN to enforce the cease fire requirements which would not have required some military force to invade? If not, then this hardly stands as an example of the UN preventing peace. It seems to me that by the Spring of 2003, the UN’s choices were essentially this war or a different, very similar war.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  16. Aphrael, I disagree. A serious effort by the UN to enforce the cease fire agreements would have sent a clear message to Saddam to stop playing games, or else. Instead, Saddam got a different message: ignore the U.S.’s saber-rattling, do as you damned well please, and your buddies in France and Russia will make sure nothing happens to you.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  17. I don’t recall anyone accusing the League of Nations personnel of sexually abusing Congolese refugees, or of taking beer-for-food kickbacks from Germany to look the other way while they built up an army and evaded lawful sanctions.

    See Dubya (972049)

  18. It’s a mistake to think of the UN as an entity distinct from its members — and it’s the lowest common denominator that dictates the actions of the UN. It has no value whatsoever other than as a tool for U.S. foreign policy. To the extent we find it useful, we should allow it to exist. We just need to remind ourselves not to expect too much of it and, above all, never, ever allow it to make important decisions or impede our own actions. It’s just a tool. It lends no legitimacy to otherwise illegitimate positions (such as its routine condemnations of Israel), nor does it deny legitimacy to inherently legitimate actions (such as the removal of Saddam from power in Iraq). With that in mind, we shouldn’t hesitate to overhaul or even discard it whenever we decide it’s necessary. That’s not to say that there’s no value in it for us if the UN, as a body, sharply disagrees with us. Decision-making by consensus — the model the UN uses for important decisions — will always produce the weakest possible policy. Think of UN opposition as analogous to Democrats’ disapproval of the President’s performance in public opinion polls — it strongly suggests that we (in the case of UN disapproval) or, in the case of Democrat disapproval, the President, are doing the right thing, or at least aren’t too far wrong.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  19. Re #15,

    Had the UN been willing to forgo Saddam’s dirty bribes and actually enforce the sanctions they approved, there’s a darn good chance the war wouldn’t have been necessary.

    Black Jack (56d8f2)

  20. I don’t recall anyone accusing the League of Nations personnel of sexually abusing Congolese refugees, or of taking beer-for-food kickbacks from Germany to look the other way while they built up an army and evaded lawful sanctions.

    Comment by See Duby

    No, there were no accusations, but abuse of refugees is considered a ‘natural’ by product of conflict (as is rape and forced prostitution). The UN can act only with the consent and aid of sovereign nations. If the nations do not consent to prosecution, the UN and the ICC cannot force the case (note Saddam Hussein). The Rwanda genocide progressed only after the nations involved in the peace keeping mission (Belgium, Canada) withdrew. The key word here is sovereign incase you are confused.

    [Well, I'm quite clear on the meaning of "sovereign", but the rest of your post is throughly confusing. Abuse of refugees is a natural by-product of conflict...therefore, umm, therefore what? The U.N. peacekeepers in Congo get a pass?--See Dubya]

    Mad Hatty (de5fcb)

  21. Had the UN been willing to forgo Saddam’s dirty bribes and actually enforce the sanctions they approved, there’s a darn good chance the war wouldn’t have been necessary.

    How would they enforce anything?

    actus (6234ee)

  22. actus asked, “How would they enforce anything?”

    Well, as experience shows, difficult tasks begin with not only the desire to succeed, but also involve taking a first step, and for the UN that significant initial step would have been to change their crooked ways and actually enforce the sanctions.

    The UN ran the Oil for Food program, but instead of making sure the people of Iraq actually received humanitarian benefits from the sale of their oil, the UN’s leaders conspired with the Iraqi tyrant to betray the united nations, and betray the Iraqi people. All the while stuffing Saddam’s bribes in their pockets, and living large.

    So, actus, the short answer is that the UN could have done it’s job honestly and forthrightly. Now, that’s not the whole enchilada, but it sure would have made for a good start, wouldn’t you agree?

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  23. So, actus, the short answer is that the UN could have done it’s job honestly and forthrightly. Now, that’s not the whole enchilada, but it sure would have made for a good start, wouldn’t you agree?

    Yes. Not being bribed is one thing. But how do they enforce anything?

    actus (6234ee)

  24. actus,

    If you’re actually interested, rather than trying to trash the debate, the libraries are full of discussions of this very topic, and the UN’s formation required member nations to consider it well. However, for what it’s worth, the issue of actual “enforcement” has always been a sticky wicket at the UN.

    While the concept of “Collective Security” has been ostensibly the accepted method for UN enforcement efforts, the realities of the Cold War forced the more realistic “Balance of Power” perspective into the equation.

    Since Ronald Reagan defeated the USSR and brought an end to the Cold War, the UN has been attempting to revive collective security efforts, but incompetence, pervasive corruption and bribery have obstructed any real progress.

    Given the military capabilities of many UN members, the organization relies a great deal on it’s moral authority to achieve it’s aims. That’s why the Oil-for-Food scandal and it’s associated bribery and corruption have so damaged the UN and served to showcase its failures.

    Black Jack (d8da01)


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