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After Iraq, UN's Days Are Numbered  
User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 24
Posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1163 times:

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

After Colin Powell's presentation, there was a lunch hosted by the German foreign minister. After lunch, there will now be war.

Not just because the only reason to burn those intelligence sources is if you're planning on strolling into those facilities openly within a few weeks. Iraq is due to take over the presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament in May, and, as a droll reader, Doug Amadeo of New York, pointed out to me, by May Iraq will be the world expert on disarmament, if only from the receiving end.

But Wednesday's presentation was also for the benefit of posterity: When Saddam's skeletons come tumbling out of the post-liberation closet, it will not be possible to claim, ''Quelle surprise! If only we'd known!'' The French have intelligence services, too. When the Americans and British say ''This is what we know,'' the subtext is: The French and the Russians also know this stuff. They just don't think it matters.

It won't have changed minds, and it wasn't intended to. If you're the sort of person who thinks Colin Powell has a troupe of Arabic-speaking radio actors on staff to fake audio transcripts, or who genuinely believes there's a perfectly innocent explanation for all that chitchat about ''nerve agents,'' or who keeps chanting robotically, ''Yeah, but the U.S. backed Saddam in the '80s" (to which the only response is: ''So what? I liked Bananarama in the '80s''), then nothing will change your mind. There's been an interesting ratchet effect in recent weeks: The left has increasingly given up on even pro-forma denunciations of Saddam--''Of course, I want to see him gone, but . . .'' The old butcher's becoming a turn-on to them, another Ho, another Fidel.

But if you take the suppler position of Jacques Chirac--which is, broadly, that we cynical Gallic charmers run rings around the UN, so why shouldn't Saddam?--then the strength of Powell's evidence is also irrelevant. So at the end of his presentation, those who were in favor of war were still in favor, and those opposed still opposed.

The surprise was Powell's confident assertion of Saddam's links to terrorism and the presence in Baghdad for eight months of key al-Qaida personnel with links to the recently arrested ricin terrorists in Britain. The secretary of state was at pains to emphasize that these agents' recent schemes have been principally against European targets. In other words, nations that put their investment in interminable UN proceduralism do so at their own peril. If you accept what he says, then it moves the debate beyond Resolution 1441: If al-Qaida's in Baghdad, then that's not a UN discussion topic but a threat to U.S. security.

You can choose not to believe that, if you wish. The evidence is circumstantial, and as an unending torrent of alleged experts assure us nightly, the ''fundamentalist'' Islamists like al-Qaida revile ''secular'' Baathists like Saddam. That's a lot of bunk. For one thing, Iraq has recently produced a collector's item edition of the Koran written entirely in Saddam's donated blood. That makes him rather less ''secular'' a leader than, say, Hillary Clinton or Gerhard Schroeder. Anyone who regards Saddam's behavior these last two decades as a reliable indicator of the scale of his ambition will understand that he would have no ideological objection to making common cause with al-Qaida and several compelling reasons to keep them a going concern, if only as a distraction. You can argue against that, if you want to. But your argument depends on giving both Saddam and al-Qaida the benefit of far more doubts than their prior behavior warrants. Your line is basically: We can't really be sure he'd sell suitcase nukes to terrorists until one goes off in Detroit. Then you'll say, oh, OK, maybe there's a link after all--unless, of course, you're among the dead.

The United States, Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain and their other allies are past that stage of the debate. Resolution 1441, painstakingly negotiated syllable by syllable by Powell and his duplicitous opposite number in the Quai d'Orsay, was never about Saddam. It was about the UN. The choice is: Put Saddam out of business, or put yourselves out of business. To judge from their reactions, the Security Council members still don't quite get it. Dominique de Villepin responded to Powell with some artful platitudes about the need to strengthen the inspections regime: We need to ''double, triple the number of inspectors.'' Hey, why stop there? Let's quintuple them, and make Saddam's wily removal guys work a little harder. It'll be like one of those speeded-up Benny Hill finales with Saddy, his generals, Hans Blix, the S&M guy, some fetching Iraqi jailbait and Scott Ritter all zigzagging from presidential palace to presidential palace for another 12 years. Even allowing for the fact that these remarks had been prepared ahead of time, their complacency was insulting. Powell's point is a simple one: Saddam cannot be ''inspected'' into compliance.

This statement of the obvious was supported by no other permanent member of the Council apart from Britain. Jack Straw, the Foreign and Commonwealth secretary, all but wrote the UN's obituary, as just another League of Nations, a bunch of international ditherers, all talk, no walk. It's clear from the mood around the Security Council table that there isn't much will for anything other than yet another last-chance resolution, then another and another, until Saddam retires to the Riviera and hands things over to Junior, who makes Pop look like Walter Mondale.

That won't do now. The trouble with the UN is simple: At its inception, its structures reflected the realities of the Second World War victory parade; then, from the '50s to the '80s, it reflected the realities of the Cold War stalemate; now it reflects not the new reality--a unipolar world dominated by a hyperpower--but the denial of that fact. For most of the participants in this week's meeting, the UN is not a reflection of geopolitical power but a substitute for it, a means by which the Lilliputians can tie down the American Gulliver. The fantastical, unreal character it adopted after the collapse of Communism sealed its fate. Wednesday was merely a confirmation.

Two or three dozen countries will join the war to liberate Iraq. If the Americans and British are wise, they'll play up the smaller fry, let their generals handle some of the press conferences, talk up their war heroics. All the late 20th century arrangements--the European Union, NATO and most definitely the UN--are about to be remade.



"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1123 times:

Time to burst your bubble again, the police and security services here stated that the ricin investigation had no links to Iraq, maybe the ricin plotters were linked to Bin-Laden, but then that would definitely rule out an Iraq link, as anyone with the slightest grasp of this situation knows.
Still, they are all just 'sand n*****s' to some, aren't they.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1096 times:

Haha, another great joke! Two for two, Galaxy5!

What's funnier is that you're ACTUALLY in the USAF. Let's just hope you don't go to far up the hierarchy - for the sake of the world.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1092 times:

That won't do now. The trouble with the UN is simple: ....it's a democracy? It doesn't bow to the US's holy might?

User currently offlineThumper From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1061 times:

Galaxy5: Great post,I agree with you 100%.After the war its time to get out of the U.N.

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1040 times:

It´s exactly those despotic aspirations that have triggered the current amount of worldwide opposition.

Together with the progressive loss of domestic freedoms, the picture doesn´t look very pretty.

If there´s a model for freedom and democracy, please raise your hands. Things aren´t as clear as they´ve once been.


User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1031 times:

Isn't democracy wonderful...

Staffan


User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1018 times:

I'll play devil's advocate: Why should we even deal with the UN at all now? Let’s just get out and it'd be easier to operate as usual without tag-alongs in the way, as if were sovereign.


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8378 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1012 times:

The UN's always been dead-weight. I think we're better without em!


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1008 times:

I´ve got a question: Without the messy, but still democratic UN, on what grounds would the USA operate in the world when it comes to conflicts?

Purely by self-interest? It would be the default, but would that be good enough for a nation that has indeed earned itself some respect by adhering to its nobler principles?


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1006 times:

It would be ironic (if not deeply hypocritical)for the US to attack Iraq without further consultation of the UN when the reason for challenging Iraq is because the UN says it cannot have certain weapons.

On the more direct topic I think the whole Iraq scenario shows how weak the UN is.Iraq has been violating resolutions for 12 years and not alot has happened apart from a lot of jaw-jaw which does not go very far with such regimes.The topic of whether the UN has a future brings up a whole lot of side issues though including :will the US take a more isolationist role in the short-medium term?How can the UN effectively back up its talk?Is there a need for more regional and less global agreements(a la free trade blocks)?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1000 times:

Paraphrasing UN secretary general Kofi Annan: The UN is not some separate entity, it´s all of us!

The immobility of the UN had - among other influences - to do with the hesitation of the USA to participate in it. It´s not "them" it´s "us"!


User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 964 times:

: 777236ER
From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 3954 posts, RR: 72
Reply: 2
Posted Mon Feb 10 2003 18:16:25 UTC+1 and read 131 times:
Haha, another great joke! Two for two, Galaxy5!

What's funnier is that you're ACTUALLY in the USAF. Let's just hope you don't go to far up the hierarchy - for the sake of the world.


I dont even take you seriously 7, your a complete moron, youre basis for discusion is to personally attack and insult without any merit to your statements you dont debate, you just hurl insults. Its the typical Liberal strategy " if you dont agree and have nothing worth saying, hurl insults ".

BTW i hope you do well at your job, especially if it involves the safety of others.





"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
User currently offlineSebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3682 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 963 times:

youre basis for discusion is to personally attack and insult without any merit

Funny to hear it from you Galaxy5, who are constantly insulting French for 2 weeks on this site.


User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 952 times:

G5 I am in tears over your hurt feelings.

For the last 2 weeks you have been deliberately posting controversial links to some dubious articles. This one at least has some credibility.

You make no comment on the articles yourself, rather you just leave them for the flame wars which is all you wanted in the first place. When people call you a wanker for being a wanker you claim injury and state some pseudo-intellectual position that peoples method of discussion is just name calling and not worth reply by you.

Fine, what's your method of discussion, where do you stand on these issues other than enjoying causing conflict amongst people ? Do you have something to say or just a passion for cut-and-paste ?



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 946 times:

Sorry to burst your bubble PJ but my feelings are unscathed, i have posted my opinion on here numerous times, i guess its easier for you to ignore that fact than to discuss it. I do a bit of cut and paste i will admit that, but for the most part i agree with the articles or statements that are placed on here by me, why else would i place them here. If everytime you dont agree with someones opinions or feelings its a conflict to you, then i guess your gonna have alot of conflict in your life. As for the most part i try not to attack someone personnaly unless they do it to me on numerous occasions, but i usually ignore it, as it has no purpose or benefit.

For the last 2 weeks you have been deliberately posting controversial links to some dubious articles. This one at least has some credibility.

isnt politics and discussion about controversial subjects, or should i just talk about the color of my car, and how to feed a puppy? I guess you must agree with something in this article since you state its credible, most of the time people who disagree with a specific item just call it lies and crap.



"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 938 times:

Well, depending on how the "war" goes, after Iraq it could be that the Bush administrations days are numbered too.

If anyone's interested, we can establish a U-Haul fund for Dubya and Laura, one way from DC to Crawford, TX.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks ago) and read 931 times:

your a complete moron, youre basis for discusion

I'm a moron? Dude...you meant "You're a moron" and "your basis for discussion."

Cool English dude 1, angst-filled American 0.

What I was trying to point out is that your fundamentalist attitude that seems very anti-Muslim could be very dangerous in the armed forces. Or am I wrong?



User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 924 times:

The UN's days are not numbered after Iraq. The UN, however imperfect, however bumbling it is, is a place for humanity to sit and talk, and it is still needed in this world.

NATO may be another matter. Perhaps Germany and France are tired of playing what they see as second fiddle to the U.S. and are either out the dissolve NATO, and replace it with a strictly European, EU-based alliance, or are just trying to claim equal military/political importance as the U.S. Again, this is just wondering out loud.

And if this rift in NATO is not healed soon, what are the long-term effects on NATO? On the EU? They are not one in the same, but much of their destines are intertwined, no doubt. Does this rift also signal that Berlin and Paris are trying to lay claim to pre-eminence in the EU? What about the other EU, and future EU members who oppose what Berlin and Paris have done through the whole Iraq standoff-including the snubbing of a NATO member?

Again, I'm just musing out loud. It's not a queston of whether either government firmly believes what they're doing is right, but what is the larger question of what is going on?


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 920 times:
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Again, I'm just musing out loud. It's not a queston of whether either government firmly believes what they're doing is right, but what is the larger question of what is going on?

Exactly, just look at the political mess we are in, the UN security council is split, the EU is split, and now NATO is split. The last thing we need is a slanging match between France and the US. The diplomats will be in for a busy few days.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 916 times:

Yes, I do not care much for the UN either. The sooner the US disassociates itself with the UN, the better.

'Speed


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 915 times:

The UN's days are not numbered after Iraq. The UN, however imperfect, however bumbling it is, is a place for humanity to sit and talk, and it is still needed in this world.

Well said.

NATO's problems stem from the lack of a cold war. From the 50s onwards whatever rifts western countries had they KNEW they were all against one common enemy: Russia. Now it's different. Iraq is the enemy. Sort of. Well, not its people...and not its government really. NATO countries have no focus - no common evil to fight. During the cold war no amount of umming and arring could have destroyed the fact that Russia was the enemy and that was final. Now people can debate if Iraq is a problem and what should be done about it. There's scope for ambiguity now...and that's why there are problems.

For what it's worth, I don't think there's vast anti-Americanism (a word?) in Europe, just like there's no vast anti-Euroism (definatly not a word) in the US. You'll find that people in Europe DO tend to be anti-war - that's definatly the attitude in the UK. It's not liberal stop-all-wars nonsense, as can be clearly seen throughout the last few decades in the Faulklands, the Gulf and in eastern Europe, however it is based much more on the apparantly lack of evidence and mistrust of Bush. To us it seems that Bush is stupid. Sorry, but it's true. The guy comes off as being arrogant. ARE there ulterior motives? There was a telling documentary on Channel 4 (?) here in the UK this week that visited one of the missile bunkers that was highlighted in Colin Powel's evidence. It was in ruins and there was OBVIOUSLY nothing there. Little things like that nag a lot of people over here and the "the ONLY option is war! WAR!!!" attitude coming out of Washington is a bit scary.

Regarding France and Germany, the darkest days in these countries' past came during wartime, Germany especially. It's ironic now how Germany is being critised for NOT being pro-war.


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 911 times:
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Yes, I do not care much for the UN either. The sooner the US disassociates itself with the UN, the better.

You don't realise the importance of the UN however bureacratic and ineffective it is. The US pulling out of the UN will simply be one step closer to becoming a pariah state. The UN gives all the world's nations a voice, a chance to have their say, a chance for 'smaller' nations to voice their opinions on matters relating from poverty, aids to war. What if another "crackpot" Hitler-style dictator pops up somewhere (however unlikely)? These are precisley the scenarios why the UN was created in the first place.




In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 908 times:

I find it apalling that some of my country men say we shouldn't even worry about the UN. The UN is a uniting body of all the world communities. No matter how devided we are in this institution, each country's voice will be heard. This is something unique because before the UN, there wasn't much of any institution to provide a forum for all nations to be heard. Just because the UN, for the majority, speaks out against us, the US, doesn't mean we don't need them. We will have many disagreements, this not being the first or last. To say the US/World does not need the UN is arrogant and thoughtless. The world now, more than ever, needs the UN. We are all MUCH closer neighbors than before, and a lot of us share the same homes. Better to get along in an orderly fashion than resort to tactics used before WWII. I actually praise the UN for criticism of the US. We may think we are right, but we need to hear the opinions of the world. What bothers me is that this administration, (Bush) seems to only see their side. While I would probably support an Iraqi invasion, and I think the rest of the world would too if need be, I think would should take the advice of the UN and allow more time. We would see much more respect for the US if we would quit yelling WAR WAR, (and that is what it looks like) and start expressing the world need for peace and seeing war as a last option. Bush needs to say something like that if he wants to save his image. I mean, he will get his war one way or another, and I think he WILL get support, but Jesus! George and Colin, ya'll need to turn the volume down on the rhetoric. We sound like a bunch of klu klux klan leaders making the call to all to rid the world of them "sand ni**ers"

UAL747


User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 907 times:

"These are precisley the scenarios why the UN was created in the first place."

I agree with you in theory, but I'm a little skeptical that the UN is actually working that way. Instead of "every nation having a voice," it seems like other nations are taking advantage of their only chance to bully the US.

'Speed

[Edited 2003-02-11 18:07:19]

25 Arsenal@LHR : We all agree the UN ain't perfect and some decisions and parts of it aren't functioning well. Like Libya being head of the human rights commision. Wha
26 Galaxy5 : 777236ER From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 3957 posts, RR: 72 Reply: 17 Posted Tue Feb 11 2003 16:56:00 UTC+1 and read 36 times: your a complete m
27 NormalSpeed : "What we need is an overhaul of the way the UN works, pulling out of the UN completely is the easy option and won't help anyone in the long term" You
28 Post contains images Ual747 : Ahh...normal speed, that's what we pay them the big bucks for huh?
29 777236ER : Again you fail to discuss and point out a grammatical error instead, Im happy you feel you're so Cool and have a good self image of yourself, but you
30 Thumper : What if another "crackpot" Hitler-style dictator pops up somewhere (however unlikely)? These are precisley the scenarios why the UN was created in the
31 Post contains images Arsenal@LHR : You make a good point, Arsenal. But how do we make that overhaul? Obviously i am no expert on the UN so i can't really say precisely how we would chan
32 747-451 : First step to overhaul Move the UN to Brussels.
33 Galaxy5 : 777236ER So it's wrong to overthrow the west...but it's right for the west to overthrow the Middle East? Not that I'm anti-war, anti-American, anti-Se
34 777236ER : You know what I mean, don’t try to twist my words please. I'm not. To the US, Iraq is a threat. To Iraq, the US is a threat. Both hate each other. W
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