garnetpalmetto
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At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:37 pm

Well it looks like ASEAN has backed a solid nominee to replace Kofi Annan as SG of the UN in Surakiart Sathirathai, the 46-year old foreign minister of Thailand. While I know that quite a few staff within the UN will be sad to see Kofi go, I think Sathirathai's basic ideas for reform, especially reforming the Trusteeship Council which has pretty much sat unused for awhile, are pretty good...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=535&ncid=535&e=18&u=/ap/20041002/ap_on_re_as/un_chief
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:46 pm

Why don't they just ask Saddam Hussein? I hear his schedule is pretty open as of a few months ago.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:52 pm

Sorry Oveur...remember? He and Roy are on their honeymoon before Saddam gets sent up the river and they have to limit themselves to conjugal visits...
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:12 pm

The last 2 sec-gens were from Egypt and Ghana. Now ASEAN is proposing one from Thailand?

How about one from the West? The West pays most of the bills at the UN.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:19 pm

Yyz - last Asian SG was U Thant from '61 to '71. Last Western one was Javier Perez de Cueller from '82 to '91. Prior to that was Kurt Waldheim from '72 to '81. Looks to me like Asia's "due" for one...
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
commander_rabb
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:08 pm

What would be nice is if the next U.N. secretary is from none other than the United States. Boy that would piss a few people off.

One day.
 
Leskova
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:37 pm

Commander_Rabb, since a SG at the UN is not simply decided by a single country, you can bet that a SG from the US would, most certainly, not "piss a few people off" (at least not more people than any given SG that the UN has ever had) - because he wouldn't be of the "the UN sucks and is irrelevant"-mindset that some people seem to be unable to grow out of... if he did, he simply wouldn't be able to make it to the post of SG of the UN.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:56 pm

I've been hearing whispers that current Prime Minister of New Zealand, Hon. Helen Clark MP has a view to pursuing a career in the United Nations after her time as HOG of NZ with a view to eventually becoming Secretary-General.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:55 pm

Perez de Cuellar was South American. Prior to Waldheim was another European SG, a Norwegian guy who got himself killed during the Kongo krisis, I forgot his name. Normal each continent has 10 years, but last time Asia, who´se turn it was, couldn´t decide on a new one and since most people agreed that Koofi Annan was doing a good job, he got reelected, giving Africa 15 years.

YYZ, I know you would like to introduce a poll tax, in the UN and elsewhere, to make sure that only the "haves" have a vote and not the "have nots".

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:21 am

The last 2 sec-gens were from Egypt and Ghana. Now ASEAN is proposing one from Thailand?

How about one from the West? The West pays most of the bills at the UN.


Oh yes, the West is sooo underrepresented in the entire international institutional system.  Yeah sure . in the World Bank, the IMF, the SC etc.. and

What would be nice is if the next U.N. secretary is from none other than the United States

the representation of the US is even worse... boy, how could the West be so deprived??

Too bad that that financial and not population aspects play a role here..
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:17 am

Oh yes, the West is sooo underrepresented in the entire international institutional system. . in the World Bank, the IMF, the SC etc.. and

The West pays the UN bills....the head guy should be a Westerner. Also, it's logical that the un SG be from a democratic country to give the UN more credibility.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Leskova
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:27 am

Also, it's logical that the un SG be from a democratic country to give the UN more credibility.

I don't really see how a person coming from a democratic country carries more credibility than one from a non-democratic country: the person him- or herself is important, the country they're from is, in my view, at best secondary... if at all...

Aside from the fact that the "democratic country" requirement will - in all likelihood - never be accepted by the Chinese...

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
NW747400
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:29 am

Well I agree with you on this one Yyz717! I guess there's a first time for everything  Big thumbs up lol. I think that since the West foots most of the bills we should have a westerner in the SG spot.
NW747400
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:32 am

The West pays the UN bills....the head guy should be a Westerner.

 Big thumbs up Thanks for the laugh...

OK, why can the West pay more money?? Who rules the world, who explores foreign resources, who developed on the cost of the so-called Third World Countries??

Also, it's logical that the un SG be from a democratic country to give the UN more credibility.

 Big thumbs up Thanks for the second laugh..!

Following your logic, we could ask Bush - if he loses the next election - to be the next SG.. What is democratic for you? The US et al? Have you ever tried to measure democracy? Then, ever heard that even so-called Third World Countries can be democratic?? Incredible!  Wow! The US has shown how much credibility they give the UN and have brought the system to collapse in resisting any reform, together with the other P4... what you claim to be logical is not more than an unelaborated, west-centred statement..


Moreover, in terms of credibility.. if the UN represents the West, as it does already, in the same manner overproportionally, then it will even loose more of the remaining modicum of credibility it has.. thanks to the aforementioned actors..  Nuts

[Edited 2004-10-03 22:41:58]

[Edited 2004-10-03 22:44:31]
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:39 am

It's about personalities not countries. BTW, did Kurt Waldheim as Sec. General give the organization more credibility???
 
iakobos
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:44 am

Jan,
Dag Hammarksjöld (sp?)was his name, and he was Swedish.
The plane carrying him (and crew and other UN members) was shot down by some who had an agenda in which he did not fit.
 
jamesag96
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:50 am

U Thant was really on top of things...especially in Egypt in '67.
Why Kate, You're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 6:54 am

I vote Bush to take that job in 08 when he has to retire from the White House...gosh how many people would hang themselves over that!

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:17 am

gosh how many people would hang themselves over that!

Would you be happy if this happened??
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:46 am

OK, why can the West pay more money?? Who rules the world, who explores foreign resources, who developed on the cost of the so-called Third World Countries??

The West got wealthy becaase of its own ingenuity and focus on commerce and science. Dont blame the West for the backwardness of the 3rd World. They are their own authors.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:58 am

If the extremist anti-Americans did, then your answer is yes, Alex

Great, then, if things continue, then we would only have Americans left (but not the India-Americans, of course...) oh World, where are thou going??
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:58 am

I vote Bush to take that job in 08 when he has to retire from the White House.

Damage caused by 4-8 years of that retard in an office with such global impact will be more than enough. Just make him a Texas governor again or some hillbilly county sheriff and...."enjoy"  Laugh out loud
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:03 am

Dont blame the West for the backwardness of the 3rd World. They are their own authors.

I'd tend to disagree with this. Who were the imperial masters of the 3rd World well into the 20th century?
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:08 am

The West got wealthy becaase of its own ingenuity and focus on commerce and science. Dont blame the West for the backwardness of the 3rd World. They are their own authors.

 Big thumbs up Brilliant! Quote of the day!!!  Big thumbs up Thanks for the big amusement and showing me a new, alternative and original approach to modern history! Good night!

Edit: Typos due to big laughter  Big thumbs up

next Edit: Edit: Even more typos due to big laughter  Big thumbs up



[Edited 2004-10-04 01:09:10]

[Edited 2004-10-04 01:09:59]

[Edited 2004-10-04 01:14:57]
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
aloges
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:12 am

"The West got wealthy becaase of its own ingenuity and focus on commerce and science. Dont blame the West for the backwardness of the 3rd World. They are their own authors."

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaa! May I suggest you read something like this:



Make sure to pay close attention on "US Independence", "Boston Tea Party", "La Conquista" and similar historic facts.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
commander_rabb
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:17 am

Perhaps you could give us a review of that book?
Was it a good read or just a little hard to comprehend?


 Big thumbs up



 
aloges
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:28 am

"Was it a good read or just a little hard to comprehend?"

Just a little hard to comprehend, at the age of three.

 Big thumbs up
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:04 am

Try reading "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations". It explains why the West is wealthy. It is not due to colonialism which had a benign effect on Western wealth. As I said, it is due to scientific advancement & capitalism, along with rule of law.

Blaming the West for their poverty is a recipe for the 3rd World to avoid examining their own failures.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
aloges
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:21 am

"It explains why the West is wealthy. It is not due to colonialism which had a benign effect on Western wealth. As I said, it is due to scientific advancement & capitalism, along with rule of law."

not necessarily in disagreement with you, here are some points:

- The wealth "the West" derived from e.g. the Conquista disappeared because it was spent on wars and not on progress.

- The wealth that was basically robbed from the "Third World" could be benefitting it today - in some cases, "colonies" were a place to live, in too many other cases, they were nothing but revenue-generators. Most of the former are prosperous today, most of the latter aren't at all or less than the former. Compare the US to Colombia, and you'll get what I mean.

- "...colonialism [...] had a benign effect on Western wealth." Can't agree on that one. How can loads of gold arriving from South America have a benign effect on anyone's wealth? The key is that the kings of that time didn't know what to do woth all the money, they spent it on cannonballs instead of "laboratories".

- Looking at another example, England instead of Spain, the scenario is a bit different. England, and especially London, did what but profit from colonialism? Scientific advancement was substantial in that time and place, and very much of it was financed by traders who brought e.g. spices from India to Europe, of curse at a substantial profit margin.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:33 am

The wealth that was basically robbed from the "Third World" could be benefitting it today - in some cases, "colonies" were a place to live, in too many other cases, they were nothing but revenue-generators.

Much of the wealth flowed back to the colonies or 3rd world. The Europeans often spent alot to build up the infrastructure of the 3rd world and then they handed it over to the newly indepedent nation for free. Most of these countries then squandered their infrastreucture and wealth. Examples include India and much of Africa.

England, and especially London, did what but profit from colonialism?

London was prosperous alone as the capital of the UK. Any gains from trade with the colonies or 3rd world were inevitably reinvested in those colonies.

Scientific advancement was substantial in that time and place, and very much of it was financed by traders who brought e.g. spices from India to Europe, of curse at a substantial profit margin.

Muhc of the profit remained in the colonies. If the locals squandered it, blame them, not the English.

Read the book -- The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
srbmod
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:40 am

I suggest a compromise:

William Jefferson Clinton
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:09 am

London was prosperous alone as the capital of the UK. Any gains from trade with the colonies or 3rd world were inevitably reinvested in those colonies.

Have you been to the Solomon Islands lately? Belize? Nauru? Certain parts of India? Trinidad? You can't tell me all former UK colonies got a fair deal.

France is a big culprit, it's been sucking New Caledonia dry for years.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
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yyz717
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:24 am

Have you been to the Solomon Islands lately? Belize? Nauru? Certain parts of India? Trinidad? You can't tell me all former UK colonies got a fair deal.

Those places were ALWAYS poor, long before the Brits came along. The Brits left an infrastructure of cities, civil government and railroads in India. If Britain left India with the same level of poverty, then India was still better off since it had the new infrastructure.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
NW747400
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:38 am

Again I agree with Yyz717. We got where we are today through no how nad good work ethic. Take the middle east for example in Afghanistan and Iraq(whether or not you agree with the politics of how we got there that's not my point) in Afghanistan if they'd stop fighting local wars with warlords and unite they'd get a lot more done! You can't do it alone you've got to be united and work together!
NW747400
 
CaptOveur
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:05 am

I hate to correct the spelling of others BUT

"We got where we are today through no how nad good work ethic."

I think what you meant was: "know how and a good work ethic"

I also have to wonder what a 13 year old knows about government and global policy? I guess we should just send the Power Rangers into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
NW747400
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:40 am

I'm almost 16, and I know about world policies. I like that kind of stuff. I do research on it, I love to read books about it. I know a lot more than you think I would. Sorry about the spelling, my spell checker seems to be broken.
NW747400
 
BarfBag
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:47 pm

Those places were ALWAYS poor, long before the Brits came along. The Brits left an infrastructure of cities, civil government and railroads in India. If Britain left India with the same level of poverty, then India was still better off since it had the new infrastructure.

Pure unadulterated horsemanure. Both India and China had a standard of living comparable to Europe until well into the 18th century. In fact as late as 1750, China accounted for close to 30% of world GDP, and India, 25%. Yes, we're pretty poor right now. But we're rising again, with a vengeance. All those protests about western manufacturing/service jobs being lost to India/China is music to our ears. And in the meantime our own bilateral trade grows at nearly 80-100% per annum - $7.6 billion last year, and probably $15 billion this year. By the end of the decade Sino-Indian trade would likely exceed $100 billion, constituting a dynamic localized economic engine in which the rest of the world has little part, which is just as well. After all, its our bid to rise back to our past stature.

Economic development or the lack of it post-indepedence does not in any way condone the horrific brutality of British rule, culminating in the Bengal famine of 1942-43 that killed millions, when Churchill diverted food to the war effort against another guy who killed millions himself. And for his 'leadership', he gets the Nobel Prize, while the Scandinavians chicken out of giving Gandhi one. Ah, the logic of it all.

For those who insist the effect of imperialism on Western economic rise is negligible, I have to ask, then why the hell did you bother to build up empires ? And in case the answer happens to be one of just a great 'game' of territorial expansion just for the sake of d1ck-wagging, doesn't that go contrary to the basic ideas of capitalism - why would you squander your allegedly self-made wealth to no economic benefit ?

The British should be relieved that India as a land had enough civilizational strength (we've been around 5000 years) to forgive them, let them leave unharmed, and move on. Surely it would have been less than preferable to see the British population in India being subjected to wholesale massacre, followed by their heads being shrunk to the size of apples and stuck on poles in the city square ? There were quite a few among them who deserved such a fate after all.
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:21 pm

BarfBag,

I humbly yet proudly declare my profound respect for you as a result of your post. It was exceptional.

QFF

Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
hkg82
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:31 pm

Commander_Rabb: You like posting a lot of blantant-flamebait don't you?
 
Banco
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:01 pm

Whilst generally agreeing with much of the thrust of Barfbag's post, I think some of it is a little excessive. "Horrific brutality of British rule" is a little over the top, though undoubtedly there were horrific elements, and there were brutal people involved. Still, much of the worst of it tended not to be official policy, but the actions of some of those in place (who were of course British).

Equally, it needs to be understood how empire occurred in India (and elsewhere). Much of it was frankly unintentional. The East India Company's desire for trade was all-encompassing, as was their desire to ensure that no other nation could get in. The gradual imposition of British rule was a response to the fear of losing control of the trade links, and the intentions were largely benevolent as far as the people were concerned. Naturally enough, those intentions were far from completed, and as British rule developed the nastier side showed through. Even so, it does need to be made clear that this was no change from a democratic paradise to an autocracy; much of the worst elements were in place beforehand, and were carried out by those Indians whose interests co-incided with those of the British.

Still, the divergence between the principle and the reality of British rule became ever more pronounced. An excellent analysis of this appears in Simon Schama's The History of Britain, whic will certainly make uncomfortable reading for apologists of empire (it is actually the same difference between rhetoric and reality that was a prime mover in the US's War of Independence). The fact remains however that India could never have remained under British governance without the support of vast numbers of Indians. There simply wasn't the manpower. None of this justifies the actions of certain people within it of course, but I do feel that there needs to be care taken when applying 21st century attitudes to 18th and 19th century history. It is all too easy to be appalled (as we should be) and ascribe our own values to the times.

Strangely enough, some enlightened Whitehall mandarins were making plans for the dissolution of the empire at the end of the nineteenth century. By this stage empire had gone a long way from the trading opportunity it was initially seen as, and had become an enormous drain on British resources. It cannot be denied that the likes of Churchill would never have listened to them, but it is interesting to see that some far-sighted individuals were preparing the ground for an ordered retreat.

It is undoubtedly true that the British did leave behind an infrastructure to allow most of the newly independent nations to make their own way. But it would be pushing the envelope a touch to say that this was altruistic. In the same way that there were some who behaved appallingly there were others who genuinely had the people's interests at heart. That, however, does not a government policy make. Still, we need to separate those who tried to do their best (which often had appalling consequences) and those adventurers, racists and general nutcases who went out of their way to create strife and misery. The British empire was no Nazi occupation.

Back to the Secretary General's position. It is quite impossible for a Sec Gen to come from a nation that has a permanent seat on the Security Council.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:22 pm

Banco, I think you've summed things up well.

It does seem to all boil down to legacy - infrastructure and stability (though not for every former colony) versus the abhorrent events of the past purpetrated by (as you call them) "...adventurers, racists and general nutcases..."

It's all too common for modern imperialists to simply glaze over atrocities with lines like "We gave you democracy, we gave you our system of government, we gave you stability - so don't complain and be grateful". Equally, many residents of former colonies place overwealming focus on the said atrocities yet don't give credit where it's due.

A balance is what we need, but I'm not sure if it exists.

QFF

P.S: My Sec Gen vote goes to Major General Frank Bainimarama, a shining beacon of democracy in Fiji and the world.
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Banco
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:43 pm

Agreed, QF. Unfortunately all too often it breaks down into a "The Empire was an unmitigated evil" and "You'd still be in mud huts if it weren't for us" camps. Both are wrong and offensive in equal measure.

to take your own country, both British and Australians are responsible for the disasters that befell the Australian aborigines, but in both cases it was often not deliberate. Looking back we can identify many an appalling outcome, but not necessarily intent.

A good example of the kind of thing I am referring to is the Zulu War. Despite the implied heroism in the Stanley Baker/Michael Caine film, this was a war utterly without need. The Zulus were presented with an ultimatum by the local officials that they couldn't possibly agree to and war was the outcome. Back in Britain, Disraeli and much of the political establishment was horrified and disgusted by it, and did his level best to ensure that Lord Chelmsford received the opprobrium that was his due.

Now, the government had nothing really to do with that, but is it the responsibility of the British? Yes, I'm afraid it is.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
pacificjourney
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:02 pm

QANTASFOREVER Frank Bainimatrama is in the Fijian Navy, rank of Commodore.

I met him once in that capacity, a compelling presence in many ways and great choice.
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:13 pm

Now, the government had nothing really to do with that, but is it the responsibility of the British? Yes, I'm afraid it is.

Do you think the British government will/should apologise for what it's been responsible for in the past?

I think they should, as the Australian, Canadian government (etc..) should apologise.

(However, a big thank you on behalf of the commonwealth to Britain isn't something I'd be expecting to see anytime soon).  Big grin

QFF


Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Banco
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 9:24 pm

Do you think the British government will/should apologise for what it's been responsible for in the past?

No, I don't, QFF. Where would it all end? The Italians apologising for the Roman Empire? The Germans apologising for the Visigoths? It would be meaningless really, current generations are not responsible for the past. It's the same as the idiotic way some hold present day Germans somehow responsible for Nazi Germany, it just isn't the same people.

Besides, would an apology actually make any material difference? I don't really see how. I would say a proper study of different views of history is the correct way to do it, but sadly, it seems as though history is never the priority of educators these days. Even when it is, so often it's a skewed form of it, seemingly to satisfy each nation's myths about itself.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:09 pm

Pacificjourney,

Thank you for the correction there. I would love to have the opportunity to meet the man, I'm quite an admirer of his conduct especially during the recent coup.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:26 pm

Do you think the British government will/should apologise for what it's been responsible for in the past?

No, I don't, QFF. Where would it all end?


SOme of us NRI's have relatives who struggled during the colonial time, some of them, like me, have family members who died. Sorry for saying this, but I read this as a great insult. Same, as the queen denied in 1998 or so to give an apology.. and same that many of India's treasures are still in Britain, who denies to return them back.

I myself lived in London, it was fabulous, and I think it is great how British Civil Society has created and taken the new challenges of the post-WW World - I loved to stay there and will always do it again - I am a person who wants to get over all of this .. many of the British are very discontent what happened, which is a kind of implicit apology.. but sorry Banco, explicitely saying that an apology is not necessary can be perceived as an insult by many freedom fighters and relatives, who lost valuable familiy members - especially in view how Britain's policy was one of many causes of partition and the resulting violence and deaths.. I am really shocked by your comments and comparisons.. with colonialism we are having a much more modern phenomenon than the ones you are uttering.. colonialism still persists in a more modern form, so be careful
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
QANTASforever
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:04 am

Mrniji,

I empathise with you. My family has suffered from the actions of the British government for close to 90 years, culminating in us having to leave our ancestral home - that said, I'm not going to blame the people of the United Kingdom. It was the British government that purpetrated crimes against humanity throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, that freely annexed land and cast aside native domestic interests, that destroyed village economies - and I believe it is something which needs to be aknowledged.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
BarfBag
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-Gen

Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:11 am

"Horrific brutality of British rule" is a little over the top, though undoubtedly there were horrific elements, and there were brutal people involved.

Banco, yes I apologize for being a little too colourful. But I completely disagree that British rule had any redeeming features whatsoever, other than that it gave us a headstart on English (yes, we badly mangled it, unfortunately, but we gave you chicken tikka, which unfortunately, you ruined by adding a 'masala').

The British weren't the kind of out-and-out killers that, say, the Japanese were in east Asia. That's one of the primary reasons why India could be ruled by so few British, and in fact you even had local support. The primary means by which we suffered was because our economy was controlled and its back broken, which caused us to miss the bus of the industrial revolution.

Tariffs, a ban on industrial development, and generally being constrained to be an exporter of (discounted) raw material is a recipe for the drain of national wealth, which is precisely what happened. That much is undeniable. The recipes of economic development are often counterintuitive, and by the time the effects of a forced regressive economic regimen are realized, its often too late, as we found.

It took us decades after independence to stutter along the path of building the industrial infrastructure we needed to rise again. Pre-independence India was characterized by successive famines that cumulatively killed tens of millions. Post-independence, for all our misguided economic policies, there has not been a single famine, while even China hit a manmade disaster in the Cultural Revolution.

Statements about the British having build infrastructure would be amusing if they weren't so insulting. We're supposed to be thankful for a few strips of rail from the local coalmines to the ports, when we were ourselves banned from using it, or made to travel in 4th class compartments packed like sardines. India's infrastructure is several order of magnitude larger than it was when the British left.

Add to that the additional laughable claims that the British brought democracy or united India. Sure they set up the institutions that define today's definition of a democratic nation state, but the ideas of democracy and nation states are themselves extremely recent phenomenons, and its arguable India would not have developed on the same lines independently. In any case, the British did not set up a democratic framework. We built it out of the skeleton of the framework they set up to rule their empire. Post independence, several nations have stuttered through dictatorship, while we have preserved and sustained the biggest and most diverse experiment in democracy on the planet.

PS: just so my post isn't entirely off topic - the title of UNSG is a joke. Dag Hammaskjold was about the only person who kept it to the stature it was envisioned. Since then, there have been nothing more than a string of competent men who have been forced to become lame ducks to the constraints of the existing UN system.
 
mrniji
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RE: At Look At The Potential Next UN Secretary-General

Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:32 am

Post-independence, for all our misguided economic policies, there has not been a single famine, while even China hit a manmade disaster in the Cultural Revolution.

BarfBag, I slightly disagree with this. Of course, they are arguments, like from the free-trade guru J Bagwathi et al, who know everything better and say that if India had opened up in the beginning, they would be an industrialized country. But we should not forget that there were about 300 million +x after independence to be fed. They were hungry. It is normal that when an industry is not developed yet, it has to be protected. How could India have developed without protection? Neo-colonialism would have persisted, meaning that our market would have been captured by the West, without being able to develop industry ourselves. See the Green Revolution for instance. I agree that the problem with the Green Revolution was that there was no land-reform. But at least out food production is big enough, and now our industry is competitive. I agree that we should have probably liberalized a little earlier (Infant Industry Argument). And I agree that planning could have been better. But if India had started to liberalize in the beginning, a, how neo-liberals call it euphemistically, 'market-failure' could have occurred.

We know that India is still poor and underdeveleped. But I represent the minority opinion, by saying that if India had been outward-oriented in the beginning, it would have even been worse, because our own industry and food production would have completely declined. India had and has great challenges... it is normal that a development must first occur in an isolated environment before entering the international market and 'lobbying' with economies of scale etc (all the s--t no one cares because people are hungry - see the recent elections, how the neo-liberal NDA was buffed).. There are so many examples where the market-forces first brought growth and decline.. openness would have maybe been good in the short, but not in the long-term..


BarfBag, I am looking forward to your critique, really! I like these kind of discussions, because they help me to emphasize and rethink my 'dynamic' opinion..  Smile

"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)

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