Thursday, June 25, 2009
Regarding the deafening silence of the United Nations on the oppression in Iran, this is spot on:
Imagine the U.N. as a sort of Thugs’ Protective Association and you will seldom go far wrong.
Well, yeah. The United Nations is and always will be a union of states. Several things inexorably flow from that. First, its purpose is to ensure the survival of its members. The United Nations can, when it is not conflicted, respond to threats to specific states or to the state system in general. Second, to the extent that states (as opposed to non-state actors) violate human rights, the United Nations will not respond at any level above the superficial. Why? Because its first duty is to states, not humans. That is why the United Nations is wholly ineffective as a guarantor of human rights. It simply must be so. The only surprise is that there is anybody on the planet who imagines that it ought to be. Yet more evidence that propaganda works, I suppose.
re the deafening silence: That is an excellent observation. Imagine instead if it had been...oh.. I don't know.... perhaps Muslim citizens of Israel protesting the elections in Israel? re UN: I continue to be amazed by the number of people who think the UN is good thanks to 'Trick or Treat for UNICEF' from when they were kids. I don't know how many poor children the trick or treat program actually fed, but it generated an enormous amount of good will in American school children who are now adults. By design or accident, it was a very subtle, shrewd PR campaign.
For once, I agree. The UN was silent when, contrary to established law and the Constitution, thugs like white people in your lifetime, perhaps even in your bloodline, were lynching people, turning firehoses and dogs on kids, old ladies. Average folks who didn't actually participate just sort of turned their backs, shrugged, blamed outside agitators or Communists, the way the Iranian regime blames or scapegoats Isreal. The UN stood back and did nothing, said nothing from it's inception in 1945 (when nazi POWs were treated better than black GI) thru the 60s. Successive administraions, Republican and Democrat--changed only because it's a little tough to fight the Cold War with that going on.
I hate the UN. Maybe not for the reasons you do...
People misunderstand the role of the UN, always hoping it will assume greater significance than it really can have. It's not a supranational legislature or an international court; it's really just a glorified social club with bitter, backbiting members whose usually nondescript interactions can sometimes rise to the level of perverse, dangerous or ugly. No different than a country club really. The important thing is to have a UN ambassador smarter and/or meaner than the other guys, so that he can protect your back. I always liked Moynihan in the role, Kirkpatrick and even Bolton too. Wienies need not apply. If I could wish Barney Frank out of the Congress, I'd nominate him. I be happy on both counts: get him out of the lawmaking business and into the business of annoying Syria.
Mark Styen got it right, IMO:
"It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way."
"If I could wish Barney Frank out of the Congress, I'd nominate him. I be happy on both counts: get him out of the lawmaking business and into the business of annoying Syria"
Not to mention the added benefit of raising the average IQ of both Congress and the UN!!
That's right CC, because of the cowardice of the UN, lynching people, turning firehoses etc. on peaceful black people continue to this day in the US. It's a miracle you don't make it from your office to your home without the KKK lynching you today.