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The Forum > Article Comments > A UN doctrine of pre-emption? > Comments

A UN doctrine of pre-emption? : Comments

By Daniel Flitton, published 21/9/2005

Daniel Flitton analyses the issue of the UN's responsiblity to protect.

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The appointment of John Bolton as George Ws rep on the UN, is typical of America's two-timing or Schizo' foreign policies, more so since the introduction of globalisation and the free market in the early 1980s. To digress a little, typical of US two-timing is her abuse of the WTO, formed mainly to abolish tariffs and subsidies, especially among the big powers. In subsidies alone the Bush government before the last election had gazetted for 80 billion dollars for agriculture over the next ten years mainly to retain the huge mid-Western graingower's vote to keep the Republicans in power.

To go on about US abusive preemption towards the UN, including the attack on Iraq, we all know that Americans have had two aims in view, one to make it look as if the US is the keeper of global fairness and morality among nations as Mother Brittania declared herself to be before WW2. And two, unless we are totally dumbwitted, as Ralston Saul of Canada accuses us of, we also know that much of British colonialism was the grab for contraband and hegemon, at the same time telling schoolkids that is what God would want because it is God's gifts of more of the Promised Lands.

Taking a possibly moralistic view, we are now seeing what could be called with the Yanks, Brits, and us Aussies working together an English-speaking Angliphonic tripartite, also urged along by neo-cons and ex-Isralies who unfortunately too much habitate the White-House. Thus John Bolton with his rough rhetoric could possibly be only a Patsy working for a very dangerous White House crew who definitely want the UN not so much disarmed but neutralised.
Posted by bushbred, Wednesday, 21 September 2005 11:41:02 AM
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The UN is already neutralised Bushbred. In fact many words spring to mind regarding the UN but effective isn't one of them. Let's quit the Yank bashing for one second in an attempt to reach some sort of objective conclusion.

Firstly there are reasons why security council members often block any substantive action. France for instance was assisting Iraq's nuclear programme more than Halliburton ever did. Then of course Germany's politicians are already implicated in rorting the oil for food programme (as was Annan's own son). China has an interest in maintaining a barbaric state like North Korea in order to take some heat of its own record in human rights. Then just recently there is Russia's nuclear deals with Iran... the list goes on.

Putting aside the 'axis of evil' and any associated contentious arguments, let's ask questions about Rwanda and Sudan. Where was the UN in Rwanda? That's right the French politicians backed away from the reports of their General on the ground as he watched millions butchered. Why does Kofi refuse to apply the lessons learnt in Rwanda in Sudan? And what about Zimbabwe?! Thabo Mbeki has the gaul to state SA should have a permanent seat on the security council even though he refuses to dispose of his mate Mugabe.

So why does the US always take the wrap for the UN's failings, and for being the bad guy? Maybe if the UN did a little more policing, and a little less snuggling with the likes of Mugabe the White House wouldn't have a basis for appointing itself sherriff. In the meantime it makes no sense to shoot the only sheriff we have.
Posted by wre, Thursday, 22 September 2005 9:18:26 AM
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Looming before us is a number of ambiguous interpretations on ''humanitarian intervention'' and questions in ecological sustainable development.

Economically, we are at a T-intersection in Western social and international political science. We need to argue vigorously against systematic empty policies being presently popularised, where they are not humanitarian, but rely rather on extraneous interrogative principals, which are misleading in their classification and assessment and which are automatically being substantiated inside boarder-line theories of “intervention”.

For example what has ''humanitarian intervention'' got to do with crime, crime prevention, and the wider business of “protecting peoples lives”.

Given we are talking about taking responsibility and being more forceful in areas of authorising standards of deployment for;

a) humanitarian food, medical and human support on the one hand, and

b) opposing human threat against crime on the other, we must accept that there is a flurry of revision required surrounding the depth of principals involved.

Be it in Western society, on issues of youth, religion, unemployment, suicide, health, domestic or other forms of violence and say; issues of low civic participation and engagement, or in a international context as it is meant in the UN doctrine; we do not yet have a clear ethical road map for ideals aimed at achieving prosperity and dignity, according to the principles of equality, justice and fairness, anywhere, at regional or ground levels.

While we have opportunity, we do not have a collective vision on how to effectively address the present challenges of “collective responsibility” and the notion of “collective security”. And for this reason alone, there is a high percentage of people globally who continued to suffer from world inequalities, being degrees of poverty, hunger, serious diseases, unemployment, illiteracy, displacement and the negative effects of fortified conflicts and foreign occupation.

Justice and equality for all, the respect for cultural diversity, and the right of a people to self-determination along side efforts to end of foreign occupation, is a contentious issue where individualism, and the interests of political and economic trade dominate the concerns of human morality over issues of livelihood and social and political wellbeing.
Posted by miacat, Thursday, 22 September 2005 1:01:36 PM
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The US does not want the UN, WRE, because she wants to be top dog. Just learn your history, mate, one person, nor one nation alone cannot be trusted to command the globe. That is what democracy is all about. What America wants is not democracy, but what she believes is the God-given right to rule the world, similar to the Roman Empire. Even us schoolkids were taught in the 1930s that the British Empire had this right, and look what has happened since.

If the Americans do take over, it will be simply a case of changing from British gunboat diplomacy to either missile or nuclear missile diplomacy operated from electronic eyes in the sky. But it still won't last, WRE for humans are made that way that they won't long stand for it.

Rather than pre-emptive strikes America would be better off to use her strike power more for true diplomacy, which means not trying to harangue the UN, and firing off missiles because she can't command it, but helping to make the UN into a true global democracy which our world so much needs. Indeed, the US might be far better off if she practised more than a bit of humility, and was content to play second or third fiddle to whoever is in charge of the UN. For if one could live long enough, one could collect a safe bet that the way our world has become a global democracy will be the only way to go.
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 22 September 2005 6:02:17 PM
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Bushbred I could almost hear the violins playing as i read your last comment. Gunboat diplomacy has never been an ideal that anybody should subscribe to, but what point diplomacy if it doesn't achieve much to begin with?

Through your rantings you failed to recognise that it is the US most pressing for fundamental reforms of the UN that would encourage less talk, and more action. Sure as the world's only superpower it throws weight around, and yes some of this weight should be used in encouraging relationships without utilising the threat of force. However the 'US empire' does command authority whether we like it or not. To deny this is ridiculous. Why should the US hand authority to the UN system when that very system has failed fundamentally since the end of the Cold War?

Furthermore where was the UN when it came to stopping genocide in Rwanda? Where is the UN now in Sudan, and Zimbabwe? Where will the UN be IF Iran ignores the Nuclear Non-Prliferation Treaties? These are all pragmatic questions that the Yank bashers tend to lose sight of in the emotion of their arguments.

There is no justification for human rights being a contentious issue. Bulldozing the homes of squatters in Harare is not acceptable. Murdering women, and children with government helicopter gunships in Darfur is not acceptable. The super nanny would be more effective than the UN in this area! What constitutes a 'right' should not be subjective.
Posted by wre, Friday, 23 September 2005 8:23:05 AM
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Bushbred - your posts are always well reasoned and rational, I always enjoy reading them. You are correct about current USA administration not wanting the UN interferring with their political goals, well before 9/11 The New American Century was formed by a collection of the far right political elite to further American interests throughout the world. Anyone interested can check the link below

Part of their Statement of Principles written way back on June 3 1997 is as follows:

"American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership."

The primary members include such 'luminaries' as -

Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney
Eliot A. Cohen
Frank Gaffney
Donald Kagan
Dan Quayle
Peter W. Rodman
Stephen P. Rosen
Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld
Vin Weber
George Weigel
Paul Wolfowitz

They are not interested in Australian sovereignty, or the sovereignty of any other country whether democratic or not.

This group used 9/11 as an opportunity to invade Iraq - Osama bin laden merely provided the impetus to proceed with plans that had been devised well before 9/11. Plans that included the disempowerment of the UN.

Their 'Principles' clearly state that they are only interested in alliances that further the interests and power of America. As George W said, "You are either with me or against me".

There is no middle ground.

What I do not understand is why this well funded and established 'star chamber' is rarely mentioned or discussed in the mainstream media.
Posted by Scout, Friday, 23 September 2005 8:30:54 AM
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