Freitag, September 22, 2006

Understanding Why The UN Will Fail...

It should be fairly apparent now that Iran is playing the UN as Iraq once did, with the difference being that the leadership in Iran is even more duplicitous than Iraq dared to be.

But let's understand the thinking behind Iran's abusing of the UN.

Why would they do this?

I think that the speech of Hugo Chavez at the UN General Assembly can give us a good idea of how some countries - Cuba, Venezuala, Iran - percieve the UN. You'll have to scroll down a bit on the link, but here are the key passages:

I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed. It's worthless.

Oh, yes, it's good to bring us together once a year, see each other, make statements and prepare all kinds of long documents, and listen to good speeches, like Abel's (ph) yesterday, or President Mullah's (ph). Yes, it's good for that.

And there are a lot of speeches, and we've heard lots from the president of Sri Lanka, for instance, and the president of Chile.

But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the terrible situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela once again proposes, here, today, 20 September, that we re-establish the United Nations.

The assembly of the UN has never been anything other than a "deliberative organ". That's how the UN Charter sees it: decisions are made in the Security Council and no where else. Otherwise the work of the UN comes to a screetching halt as every country tries to put through it's agenda, leading to the League Of Nations and it's inability too to anything meaningful.

So Venezuala proposes to re-establish the United Nations.

And this isn't mentioned in ANY of the MSM reports? We see instead his references to the smell of sulfer at the podium and calls Bush the devil, and that's all. No mention of the attempt to truly establish the Axis of Evil...

The key point here is that the UN will fail to discipline Iran (and Cuba and Venezuala and North Korea) because none of these countries feel obligated to listen to the UN. They don't see it as the last best hope to work out problems, but rather they see it as being a tool of the US.

Fine. It's not, but that's how they percieve it, and in politics that counts for around 95% of reality. The problem is that last 5%: the other 95% can't ignore that 5%, or, put more exactly, that 5%, reality, will always ultimately trump the other 95%.

And that is why the UN's attempts at persuading Iran to behave as it has pledged to do so (and continues to not do so) are in all likelihood doomed to failure. The UN can only work as long as all involved take it seriously and live up to their obligations: once countries start ignoring it and openly defy the UN, either the UN has to impose it's will or the UN becomes worthless.

That's one of the reasons that the UN almost became worthless when France, China and the Russians made it clear that they would veto an additional UN resolution on Iraq and why the US saved the UN by taking down Saddam Hussein despite the protests of those whom we now know were corrupted by Iraq's money. That's why it's important for the UN to be able to act now as well. The sad thing is, it's really in Iran's interest to work this out with the UN to avoid a war - they think they can do this by bluffing their way through - but instead they have fundamentally misunderstoof what the UN does: it isn't the world's forum where the bruised egos of psychopaths can rant and rave as they desire to try and demagogue their way through the institutions. Instead, it's where conflicts are addressed and worked on before push comes to shove.

And in a world without the UN, there wouldn't be discussions in the Security Council about sanctions and the like: once countries exhaust a bilateral approach, the only thing left is the resolution of conflicts via the military option.

And Chavez talks of what he wants:

Last year, Madam, we made four modest proposals that we felt to be crucially important. We have to assume the responsibility our heads of state, our ambassadors, our representatives, and we have to discuss it.

The first is expansion, and Mullah (ph) talked about this yesterday right here. The Security Council, both as it has permanent and non-permanent categories, (inaudible) developing countries and LDCs must be given access as new permanent members. That's step one.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Second, effective methods to address and resolve world conflicts, transparent decisions.

Point three, the immediate suppression -- and that is something everyone's calling for -- of the anti-democratic mechanism known as the veto, the veto on decisions of the Security Council.

Let me give you a recent example. The immoral veto of the United States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon. Right in front of all of us as we stood there watching, a resolution in the council was prevented.

Fourthly, we have to strengthen, as we've always said, the role and the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations.

Yesterday, the secretary general practically gave us his speech of farewell. And he recognized that over the last 10 years, things have just gotten more complicated; hunger, poverty, violence, human rights violations have just worsened. That is the tremendous consequence of the collapse of the United Nations system and American hegemonistic pretensions.

Chavez wants to weaken the Security Council by putting people on it who have no intention of following the requirements of full membership: that of enforcing the peace against those who would deliberately destabilize.

What he means by "effective methods" is unclear, most likely deliberately so.

No veto rights: the tyranny of the majority.

And he wants to turn the role of Secretary General away from its traditional role - of unifier and someone who tries to get everyone to work together - into someone who will tell people what is to be done.

In other words, to try and turn the UN into a "democracy" like the have in Iran, Venenzuala and Cuba.

This is why the UN will fail: not because the Great Powers fail to agree - China, Russia, the US, the European countries know all that it is in their interest that the UN function at least at a certain level of competence and efficiency, but because lesser countries see it as being in their interest that the UN no longer interfere in what they see as they rights to do what they see as being necessary. Iran knows that, politically speaking, it cannot attack Israel directly and Venezuala knows that it cannot try and take over, say, Columbia via political subversion as it has done in Bolivia if there is a forum where those countries can bring up such problems and where the Security Council can decide that this is behavior that the UN cannot accept.

That is why the UN will fail: because the intentions of good people can achieve little or nothing against the machinations of those who want to subvert and compell others to do as they wish.

Chavez is now sayin this directly, but no one seems to be noticing...

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