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View Full Version : Is it time to leave the UN? (Chirac opposes US/allied post-war governance)



ishmael
03-22-2003, 04:16 PM
I'll tell ya, this Frog's got big testes.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1045511980804&p=1012571727085

NormMessinger
03-22-2003, 04:22 PM
Sure take our marbles and go home cause we can't have our way without working for it.

Rocky
03-22-2003, 04:37 PM
This will unify Europe like never before. If we don't leave they'll probably kick us out. Won't be long before the EU develops its own version of the UN and NATO - they know who their real foe is now, and it ain't Russia! Ten years from now Britain will be the only American ally over there, and when they finally get Russia going, look out.

[ 03-22-2003, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Wiley Baggins
03-22-2003, 04:37 PM
Ish,

Interesting piece. Have you seen the related article in The Guardian (Blow for Short in battle with Pentagon ) (http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,919479,00.html) ? The lead paragraph is as follows
Clare Short returned empty handed from Washington yesterday as Britain's efforts to put the United Nations in charge of reconstructing post-war Iraq ran into opposition from the Pentagon.I am sure that the argument will be made that "the bureaucrats at the U.N. will screw this up," but it certainly doesn't jibe with the recent comments about the U.S. not engaging in nation building.

Given the pre-awarding of contracts to large U.S. firms (the most practical way to go), it certainly feeds the perception that to the victors go the spoils.

I wonder how much consideration has been/will be given to indigenous construction and project management firms as the rebuilding progresses (not just as subcontractors).

[ 03-22-2003, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Wiley Baggins ]

ishmael
03-22-2003, 04:57 PM
I dunno the answers to either of your questions. I think I was reacting out of some innate sense of decorum.

The smoke is still pouring across the land and people are still shooting at each other. It doesn't seem the time to be squabbling over the spoils. Perhaps all parties are guilty, but for the French to say they are going to block any major role by the US and Britain...when it's our men and women who could die tonight...well... :mad:

km gresham
03-22-2003, 05:04 PM
We should have left the UN long ago - certainly when they began the debate-athon about whether we could get Saddam out of Iraq.

Actually, I don't think the UN will survive this fiasco, it just doesn't know it's dead yet. I can't see another US president going there for consensus again.

#42 certainly never went to the UN before making any of his moves on foreign countries.

Wiley Baggins
03-22-2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
<snip>The smoke is still pouring across the land and people are still shooting at each other. It doesn't seem the time to be squabbling over the spoils. Perhaps all parties are guilty, but for the French to say they are going to block any major role by the US and Britain...when it's our men and women who could die tonight...well... :mad: <snip>Ish,

The "squabbling" before the fact is an effort to effect the postwar landscape, rather than sit idly by while the current plans become a fait accompli on the ground. If, in fact, the purpose of the war is to safeguard America and to free the Iraqi people, spoils should not figure into our equation.

Bruce Taylor
03-22-2003, 05:18 PM
Jack, France regards this as the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. Of course they don't want you to govern it afterwards. They didn't want you to go there in the first place. Why wouldn't they do whatever they can (which won't be much) to limit your influence there?

France's motives are impure? Of course they are. Oddly, they are quite convinced that your motives are impure as well! Their editorialists scoff at your government's perfidy and hypocrisy, just as your editorialists scoff at theirs. Read Le Monde, and marvel at the symmetry of it all.

Yes, withdraw from the U.N. Join another international organization...one that takes its orders from Washington. That will save you from negotiating and compromising and sometimes not getting your way. If a member state tries to pursue its own interests (instead of promoting yours!) belittle them with ethnic slurs, threaten them with trade retaliation, and, finally, resign in disgust. Start a new club, with better, friendlier allies...Papua New Guinea, perhaps, or Tuvalu.

Repeat, as necessary.

[ 03-22-2003, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Bruce Taylor ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 05:19 PM
Remember what happened on the last occasion when a major power decided to ignore the UN?

In case you have forgotten, it was the USSR, in the days of Josef Stalin, and they decided that since the UN was far too friendly to the USA they would boycott it.

Mistake. Big mistake. With no Russian veto, the USA promptly got all its resolutions through and the Korean War turned into "UN vs Russia and China"!

Lets not get too excited. Yes, Chirac is a pain in the neck. But he has ruled France out of any say over the future of Iraq, simply by threatening his veto. France has no involvement and no say in the matter. All Chirac can do is grandstand it.

thechemist
03-22-2003, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by ishmael:
I dunno the answers to either of your questions. I think I was reacting out of some innate sense of decorum.

The smoke is still pouring across the land and people are still shooting at each other. It doesn't seem the time to be squabbling over the spoils. Perhaps all parties are guilty, but for the French to say they are going to block any major role by the US and Britain...when it's our men and women who could die tonight...well... :mad: I don't see how the French CAN block any major role by the U. S. and Britain and a "Coalition of the willing" [the new U. N.] in rebuilding Iraq. It will be the U. S. and Coalition troops on the ground when the smoke clears, saying which bank accoounts Iraqi oil goes into, and who the signatories will be, and hiring particular resident or expatriate Iraqis to do as much of the work there as they can, and building the new roads and housing for them, and so forth. I don't think there will be a Frenchman in sight. If the French go to the U. N to pass a resolution protesting our being there and taking responsibility [THE two things the French could not do] .....well, I guess the U. S. will veto it. We learned how to do that from the French........

Rocky
03-22-2003, 05:21 PM
Who was 42? Clinton? Yes he did, he worked with them instead of against them. Stopped the genocide in the Balkans overnight.

Maybe we should have Enron rebuild Iraq.

[ 03-22-2003, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

km gresham
03-22-2003, 05:30 PM
France is gonna be out in the cold when this thing is over. All their deals with Saddam nullified and nobody interested in letting them participate in the new Iraqi economy.

This is what is driving them to distraction. The coalition of the willing is the new UN as stated, and the French are not in it anywhere. They were extremely firm about their intention to veto any resolution which would authorize force, no matter what the situation.

I read somewhere that Friday 14th would be remembered as the day France destroyed the UN.

ishmael
03-22-2003, 05:34 PM
Mistake. Big mistake. With no Russian veto, the USA promptly got all its resolutions through and the Korean War turned into "UN vs Russia and China"!
Andrew,

You're a much better historian than I, but what are you saying? That it would have been better if the Korean War had been fought outside the pervue of the UN? Fight it the US and its then COW would have, Russian veto aside, don't you think? Perhaps it would have meant the earlier demise of this august institution?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 05:40 PM
No, I am saying that because the operations against North Korea were carried out under the UN banner, several nations joined in, which otherwise might not have done, and South Korea exists to this day under a UN guarantee, not as a mere US client state.

To ignore the UN out of pique, as Stalin did, is not the best plan.

Rocky
03-22-2003, 05:48 PM
Jeez, Karen, if I weren't such a gentleman I'D do a Dan Aykroyd. I agree the UN is gonna change because it sure as hell won't be U again, but it wasn't just France that destroyed it. I think the EU will forget about trying to cooperate with us, from now on it'll be sayonara globalization, which was a buzzword for "what's good for American corporations" anyway, and hello "what's in it for us?"

ishmael
03-22-2003, 05:48 PM
Andrew,

Again, I'm over my depth, but it seems to me you are saying it's a good thing the Soviets weren't in attendance.

Afraid I don't see a very direct analog.

BTW (and this not directed at you Andrew), isn't it a good thing we haven't a charismatic president just now? Imagine a Jack Kennedy or FDR articulating this new American empire.

Or is it?

[ 03-22-2003, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Bruce Taylor
03-22-2003, 05:53 PM
The French side of the argument, for anyone who is interested:

http://www.lemonde.fr/article/0,5987,3232--313881-,00.html

km gresham
03-22-2003, 05:54 PM
Rocky, thank you for being a gentleman and foregoing the namecalling, but if I remember correctly France was the only country screaming that they would VETO ANY resolution and there was NO circumstance that would change their plan. How responsible is that?

The others, if as committed to undermining the US and Britain,at least weren't announcing to the world and Saddam that he could blow anybody to smithereens and they would not approve force.

ishmael
03-22-2003, 06:01 PM
for anyone who is interested:
And reads French, which alas, being a poor ignorant American, I don't.

km gresham
03-22-2003, 06:05 PM
I tried to read it, Ish. :D Didn't get too far.

Bruce Taylor
03-22-2003, 06:10 PM
Jack, I believe there are programs on the web that will do a rough translation for you (lots of mistakes, but probably adequate for casual browsing). My son sometimes uses them for school assignments.

Eric Sea Frog
03-22-2003, 06:10 PM
Putting any controversial matter out of context is, as we now know, typical of the media Posse approach (Fox TV, feelgood information, etc.).
The Mideast question is a global question.
US administrations have long opposed any peace solution there on behalf of his old ally, a colonial power, and to play off France in favor of the US diplomacy. Frustration and anger in Mideast have now spiralled over the years to reach a climax culminating in the terrorists attacks (who feel they're being backed by the people's opinion).
Any Mideast diplomat is aware of that.
Clinton has violated UN resolutions by bombing Iraq, even before Bush did.
The difference now isn't so much about this war than what will be done afterwards, as the continuation of the dubbya's plan involves implementing a peace plan in Palestine that will be comparable to was had been done in Sth Africa with US and GB support before everything eventually collapsed, sthg like Indian reservations of the old style (called Bantustans).
Bringing more hatred, more terrorism, etc.
US citizens have been unaware cannon fodder of that insane policy, and will likely continue to be so if it goes on in the coming years.
The issue is colonialism vs. diplomacy and peace plans.

shamus
03-22-2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by km gresham:
France is gonna be out in the cold when this thing is over. From the original article
"All 15 EU leaders agreed a communique on Friday calling for the UN to have "a central role" once the war ends, a view endorsed by the British prime minister."

Yes, it sure looks like France is on its own.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 06:13 PM
Well, its a good article, Jack, based on the undoubtedly correct premise that when nation A, in this case a large, open, democracy, invades nation B, in this case a Third World dictatorship of the most brutal type, without B first attacking A, that is, as defined in the UN charter, a war of aggression. Which the UN does not permit.

Where the argument falters is that he goes on to say that UN rules permit two sorts of war - a war of self defence following aggression and a war based on Security Council resolution. And we know why there was no SC resolution, don't we?

He does a good job of analysing 1441 and maintains that it cannot be construed as authorising our actions. He is critical of France as well - because (I did not know this!) France has permitted US use of its airspace for assaults on Iraq. (not mentioned in the article, but I recall this - France did not allow US planes which bombed Libya to do this)

All in all, a good op ed piece.

stan v
03-22-2003, 06:17 PM
The French Suck. ACB, here's a little something to go with your nitecap.

Korea's DMZ: 'Scariest place on Earth'
February 20, 2002 Posted: 12:42 AM EST (0542 GMT)


Joe Havely
CNN Hong Kong

(CNN) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described it as "the scariest place on Earth."

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas is the most heavily fortified border in the world, bristling with watchtowers, razor wire, landmines, tank-traps and heavy weaponry.

On either side of its 151-mile (248 km) length almost two million troops face each other off ready to go to war at a moment's notice.

They have been on a hair trigger for almost 50 years, ever since the last shot was fired in the Korean War and an uneasy truce came into force.

Officially that war has not yet ended -- no formal peace deal has ever been signed and the war could start again at any moment.

Between North and South is a strip of rugged no man's land -- the DMZ proper -- averaging two and a half miles (4km) wide.

A sense of tension fills the air -- along with, from time to time, the sounds of martial music and propaganda blasted out from giant speakers installed along the North Korean side.

Also on the North Korean side is what the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world's tallest flagpole soaring some 160 meters (525ft) into the air.

Flashpoint

Almost two million troops are stationed along the heavily-fortified frontier
Monitoring the edgy standoff is a small group of Swiss and Swedish officers who make up the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission.

For its part North Korea is thought to maintain about one million troops along its side of the frontier.

On the southern side, stationed alongside some 600,000 South Korean soldiers are 37,000 U.S. troops, one of the largest single overseas deployments of American forces.

If North Korean forces ever crossed the DMZ again the United States is automatically at war -- under a 1954 treaty backed by United Nations resolutions the U.S. is committed to defend South Korea.

Although one of the world's major flashpoints, the DMZ has become a major tourist attraction drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

Many come to gawp at the rigid North Korean soldiers stationed along the frontline.

Others take in visits to one of a number of tunnels dug secretly under the DMZ by the North for use in a possible invasion.

Virtually undisturbed for half a century the zone has also become a rugged natural haven for several endangered species including the white-naped and red-crowned cranes as well as nearly extinct Korean subspecies of tiger and leopard. End(added by moi)

Now, if we left the UN (or recognized that the UN has left us) what would happen to that committment that we defend the South Koreans? Someone pull up that 1954 treaty and let's have a look.

[ 03-22-2003, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: stan v ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by Eric Sea Frog:
[QB]
The difference now isn't so much about this war than what will be done afterwards, as the continuation of the dubbya's plan involves implementing a peace plan in Palestine that will be comparable to was had been done in Sth Africa with US and GB support before everything eventually collapsed, sthg like Indian reservations of the old style (called Bantustans).
QB]Much as I admire you for keeping up the French end against sustained fast bowling, Eric, (oops, maybe this is not the place to use cricketing analogies?) and much as I am put in mind of M. Voltaire's well known dictum, I really must protest at the statement that Britain supported apartheid in general and the creation of the Bantustans in particular. I grant you that we opposed sanctions, but that is not the same as support.

Incidentally, did I not see M. Chirac shaking hands with Robert Mugabe in Paris, whilst Mrs Mugabe went shopping, quite recently, in despite of an EU ban on travel by the Mugabes?

[ 03-22-2003, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

ishmael
03-22-2003, 06:23 PM
Andrew,

My understanding is that what stopped the war in '91 was a cease-fire, in which Saddam agreed, under UN auspices, to demonstrably disarm of any WOMD. Twelve years, and 17 binding resolutions later, he has not demonstrably disarmed. Seems to me we just un-cease-fired. But I'm no lawyer.

[ 03-22-2003, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

High C
03-22-2003, 06:28 PM
That's it exactly, Ishmael. The war could've resumed many years ago, as soon as Hussein began to break the terms of that cease fire agreement. There is no valid legal arguement here that any of this is "illegal".

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 06:32 PM
Good point, Stan. Here (thanks to Google) we are...

http://www.theforgottenvictory.org/old/treaties.htm

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-22-2003, 06:33 PM
Don't shoot the messenger, Jack - I just summarised the article!

Bruce Taylor
03-22-2003, 06:35 PM
Thanks for posting that synopsis, Andrew. Right on the money, I think.

Ack...gotta go. I'm preparing dinner with one hand and posting with the other!

stan v
03-22-2003, 06:41 PM
Well done, ACB. Looks like we have an indefinite treaty, that with a notice given by either party to the other, can be ended with a one year notice. Did you happen to see any other country obligated or willing, to defend South Korea, besides the radical, imperialisitic USA? Some things never change. Hey, how much oil do we get from South Korea?

George Roberts
03-22-2003, 06:56 PM
The US has out grown the UN. It is larger than all of the rest of the members combined.

Regardless of your position on the current war, the UN lacks the power to enforce any decision against the US. (It lacked the will to enforce decisions against Iraq.)

Any economic action against the US will damage the rest of the world at least as much.

Any military action against the US can be defeated.

I would like to see the US match its economic aid to its military budget. And to limit economic aid to countries that become real democracies.

But it will not happen.

(Maybe John Birch was right.)

Rocky
03-22-2003, 06:58 PM
Watch what happens when they dump all their dollars.

shamus
03-22-2003, 07:04 PM
Stan it is a good point. In fact N Korea looks much more dangerous than Iraq to many people. Particularly as its named on the axis of evil and can see what happened to Iraq. I guess if the US walked away the Chinese would be calling the shots.

shamus
03-22-2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by George Roberts:
The US has out grown the UN. It is larger than all of the rest of the members combined.

Is that by area, economy, or population George?

Wrong on all three- I guess you mean military might.

stan v
03-22-2003, 07:19 PM
Shamus, America won't walk away from South Korea. Have you noticed the silence from North Korea? Word may be getting out that this president is serious about dictators that think they can threaten the world with terrorism.

km gresham
03-22-2003, 07:26 PM
I was surprised that when the inspectors were run out of Iraq years ago that nothing was done about it.

But I think someone was busy with something more important and really didn't want to get into anything too difficult. Better just to forget it.

shamus
03-22-2003, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
Shamus...could be wrong on military power too. Dunno Donn, but I hope they don't test the proposition empirically tongue.gif

Rocky
03-22-2003, 07:48 PM
No I don't Donn, explain it to me.

Rocky
03-22-2003, 08:43 PM
That's what I thought you'd say. Looked there, can't find the one that says the US economy is impervious to financial assaults from other countries. About half our currency is held overseas, and the Treausry assumes it will stay there.

ishmael
03-22-2003, 08:49 PM
Just seat of the pants economics fer shure, but our currency skyrocketed last week. Seems perception of strength in a nation's actions might be tied, correctly or not, to its currency.

Psychology. People (at least those who trade currency) love power.

huisjen
03-22-2003, 08:52 PM
ishmael Member # 1866

My understanding is that what stopped the war in '91 was a cease-fire, in which Saddam agreed, under UN auspices, to demonstrably disarm of any WOMD.The filter feeder made some dumb-ass comment the other day to the effect that if I was over there at the time, I'd know that Iraq had agreed to certain terms. Then he deleted the thread before I had a chance to respond. Now seems like a fine time.

My understanding at that time (which remains unchanged) is that there wasn't the international backing to keep going, so a cease-fire was called. Hussein may have aquiessed to some things, but the only thing he ever really agreed to was that if we'd stop shooting, he'd be okay with not being shot at. He then went on to proclaim victory.

Dan

ishmael
03-22-2003, 08:57 PM
If those are the terms we agreed to Dan, then our military leaders at the time need to be court martialed. I don't believe it, but am too otherwise occupied to look it up at the moment.

There's your homework assignment, what were the terms of that ceasefire. Report back.

ahp
03-22-2003, 09:13 PM
I is not only nice for the US to get along with its neighbors, but it is a good survival trait. Arrogence does not pay.

However, I think the guys that bleed the most and pay the most should have a bigger say about how thinks are going to be.

Scott Rosen
03-22-2003, 09:54 PM
As far as I'm concerned, if France wants a piece in the post-war action, she is going to have to ante up big time. But that's not the way of the French.

First she will throw another tantrum.

Then when that doesn't work, France will start selling its nuclear weapons technology to Syria and Iran. That'll show us Americans a thing or two. Then, when the Syrians and Iranians start threatening to actually use those weapons on American interests, France will blame America's support of Israel for the whole mess.

I don't think we should leave the UN. It hasn't held us back so far, and it does provide a good international forum for the exchange of ideas.

George Roberts
03-22-2003, 10:00 PM
The US is larger than the rest of the world because, for better or worse ...

The US is the only country with the ability to defy the will of the UN.

In the case of Iraq it also had the will.

Rocky
03-22-2003, 10:49 PM
All right, I'll play. Most of it's held by their central banks, isn't it? These are the Treasury notes issued by the Federal Reserve to cover the deficit spending, right?

[ 03-23-2003, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

shamus
03-22-2003, 10:55 PM
Hell Donn, there you go again. We'd read that as nasty. (See my last post on "peacefreaks" if you haven't already.)

I think George means "morally". Not the first concept you associate with engineering, I admit. Or else he equates biggest with toughest, which could be true.

huisjen
03-22-2003, 11:13 PM
ishmael
If those are the terms we agreed to Dan, then our military leaders at the time need to be court martialed. I don't believe it, but am too otherwise occupied to look it up at the moment. Jack, I'm sure that what's on paper supports your thesis. Further, I don't think the military types did the negotiating, so much as they were told how it was going to be. Once on a roll, from the purely military point of view, the objective was to have the American flag over Bagdad and Hussein's head on a pike. That's why we who were there were all so chegrinned by the outcome 12 years back. It's also why I don't understand why (other than national political reasons) there's a need to do something now if there wasn't back then.

All I meant was that Hussein did what he had to to keep control, with no intention of honoring the terms of the cease-fire. Witness the endless pot-shots at aircraft.

Dan

shamus
03-22-2003, 11:18 PM
So I don't understand why you'd want to be nasty. But it may be acceptable local usage.

Native son
03-22-2003, 11:23 PM
Aww you guys should probably just take over the world. Theres no point in you going back to the UN since you don't pay your dues and you don't listen to them anyway. So when are you going to start building work camps?

Wild Dingo
03-23-2003, 08:58 AM
shamus... mate Id ask you to read some of Georges previous posts he is known for just such codswollop... nearly always given in an arrogant manner... a prime example of George at his arrogant self serving best is here (http://media5.hypernet.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=002493)

Donn runs out of patience pretty fast and well he can be an obstroplous sorta fella at times... ornery as buggary too :D ... but for the most part his hearts in the right spot! :cool:

oohh and he likes things short and sweet too! consise is a good term... long winded posts drive him batty! :D

Wiley Baggins
03-23-2003, 10:51 AM
More "squabbling?"

The Observer-Hewitt begs US for Iraq deals (http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,919880,00.html)
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has waded into the row over American companies carving up reconstruction work after the war in Iraq, lobbying direct with Washington on behalf of British companies.The Observer-Moral maze over who pays to rebuild Iraq (http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,919904,00.html)
The UN is wrestling with the question of whether one of the world's biggest oil producers should foot the bill for its reconstruction. Oliver Morgan reports

[ 03-23-2003, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: Wiley Baggins ]

Rocky
03-23-2003, 10:25 PM
OK, Smart Guy, I'm waitin for the answer. What keeps the European central banks from selling their Treasury notes?

Art Read
03-23-2003, 10:44 PM
Donn... Perhaps a better answer to his question would be simple self-interest. Simple enough, Rocky?