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Old Story, may have some teeth after all! Check this out!

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 01:22 am
I'm not wanting to interrupt your discussion, but

OCCOM BILL wrote:
International Law: This is a relatively new concept that is still in its infancy.


How did you come to this conclusion? I mean, it started before the USA was independent.



re US debts to the UN:
you might [not :wink: ] like to read this here: US Debt to the UN: Monthly Totals
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 02:56 am
OCCOM BILL wrote:
That was one hell of a post Craven! I'll not question your stamina again.


I had a big one to respond to. Mr. Green

Quote:
I apologize for offending you with my repeated suggestion that you were sick. I had thought I detected exhaustion, as your points seemed to become less focused and defensible. I honestly thought I was offering as much "excuse", as "insult". Again, I apologize.


No offense taken at all Bill. I didn't think it was an insult (many ad hominem arguments are not insults).

And in addition, it wasn't really central to any of your points, so was not much of a gaffe at all.

I do, however, like pointing them out as they are the most common of ploys... Why I just saw someone respond to a factual post about Canadian politics with the simple retort that the messenger was American.

Anywho, no apology necessary, you were not insulting or rude at all.

Quote:
So, we agree on this much:
We agree Saddam was an "evil" "bad guy".
We agree his removal from power was a good thing (not the means).
If the UN had backed the Regime change, we'd both have been glad they had.
I agree that we can both quote sources stating Gulf war was a relatively slight profit or loss, so it's not worth debating.


We are pretty much in agreement there. Except that I do not believe in evil (though with what I expect your concept of evil to be, I think Saddam is a good candidate).

Quote:
Main points of contention in bold for emphasis:


I like how you organized it.

Quote:
Fair share: I have long been under the impression that the US carries a disproportionately large share of the Cost of operating the UN and carrying out its functions. I do not have facts to prove it at this time. You've left me with the impression that you can prove the opposite is true. While I frequently disagree with your opinions, I have little doubt you'll deliver accurate facts. Translation: your willing pupil is ready to be taught.


"Fair" is subjective and we will likely disagree on it.

Let's put it this way, the US is slotted to pay more (general UN dues) than most nations. Many poor nations pay bare minimums.

But outside of nations that qualify for this poverty break the US pays among the least when it comes to GNP.

So if you think "fair" is based on total amount, then yes. The US is billed (payment is very different) an inordinate amount (based on total).

The actual calculation is based on GNP. And by this standard the US is actually getting a sweet deal.

We negotiated a "cap" of 22%. That's 22% of the UN dues and I'm sure it sounds high to you. But when you consider that our percentage of world GNP is closer to 50%.

Also consider that Japan alone pays 19.6%.

The dues are calculated based on % of world income. In this regard Japan is paying much more than us, as they have not met the cap.

The cap was created for one nation: the US. We are the only nation getting a "too rich" cap.

Initially, the cap was 40%, so the US would pay 40% when our actual percent of income was over 50%

The US argued for a 25% cap and this was phased in over many years. We also promised that if this 25% cap were reached we'd not seek to lower it even further (which was a broken promise).

Anywho, these numbers are moot, since the US does not pay the dues. American conservatives block this as most conservatives don't like the UN.

Moves like this hamper the UN as our position forces the UN to accept our terms. There is a saying; "if I owe you 10 bucks it's my problem. If I owe you 10 grand it's your problem."

We intentionally use debts to weild pressure. This is true of our overall debt and our UN debt.

We frequently don't pay and this is a political protest favored by American conservatives.

Moves like this undermine the angle that the complaint with the UN is one of efficiency. Many simply do not like the concept of a global body that might disagree/oppose the US at all.

Now many conservatives play fast and loose with statistics to say that not only do we not owe the UN (see Walter's link, the overwhelming majority of what is owed the UN every year is our debt).

So what these conservatives do, is simply add up any of our military spending remotely related to UN missions and atrribute it to what they think the UN should owe us.

But that's not how it works and I'd compare it to telling your boss you will entertain a client in a restaurant and then saying that you purchased the restaurant on the "business lunch" and should be reimbursed.

It get's tedious to argue against because when you do all the research you still get to the same bottom like: many think a dollar spent on the UN is a dollar too many. They have a constitutional objection to such an entity.

So what is and is not "fair" is up to you to decide for yourself. The simply facts are that we do not pay what we agreed to and that we have a cap that makes us pay a lot less of a GNP-proportional share than nations like Japan.

Whether or not you think the amount we agreed to pay is fair or not is yours to decide.

I think it's the bare minimum. We have a cap that makes nations like Japan carry about 100% more of a proportional burden.

We do a lot of the peacekeeping but what we volunteer for outside of the peacekeeping budget is, well voluntary.

For example, if the US had wrangled a UN sanction of the latest invasion, it is not the same as the UN saying they'll pay for it.

So many conservatives count this type of figure. To again use a parable I'd compare it to saying that when permission to go shopping is granted all monies spent can be billed to the person granting said permission.

So the only way to come up with stats that would show a "fair" US contribution based on proportion to GNP is to say that our voluntary acts that we run by the UN should be a part of our dues.

Now while this is satisfying to many who feel we pay our fair share it neglects that the UN runs on a shoestring budget. The actual general dues are a pittance and the general peacekeeping dues are as well.

The fact that we spend lavishly on military technology means that when we put out expensive military machine in gear we rack up costs that dwarf the UN dues.

UN dues are very insignificant, and nations' military acts remain, as they should, on the tab of the nation generating the cost unless the UN members agree to pay.

This is, IMO, the way it should be. There's a basic budget, and the rest is based on agreement. Otherwise it'd be like having a phone plan, paying the basic service fee but letting your talkative (i.e. militaristic) neighbor rack up extra costs by using up minutes you did not subscribe to.

Now many think we pay exhorbitant fees. Look at this chart for perspective:

http://www.globalpolicy.org/finance/info/fincomp.htm

Total Amount of US Regular Budget Assessment Due (as at August 2000) $464 million

Cost of one B-2 Bomber $2.2 billion.

Annual Budget of the NY City Police Department (2000) $2.5 billion.

Quote:
International Law: This is a relatively new concept that is still in its infancy.


Not really new, but I agree that it's in its infancy.

Quote:
You have far more faith in the UN than I do. You seem to think the successes of the UN are despite the US and the failures can be attributed to the US.


Actually I think the US deserves most of the credit for the very existence of the UN today.

I think we do very much and deserve a lot of credit.

But within the last decade, I think we deserve most of the blame for trying to prevent the evolution to international rule of law.

Quote:
You've repeatedly told me that I can't have it both ways in regard to the "Saddam's of the world" being obligated to recognize the "International Authority" while the US does not. I disagree.


True, you can have it both ways. More accurate than the indiom I used is that for the purpose of logically consistent arguments I do not believe you should have it both ways.

Quote:
I think the world is slowly making a transition from the "Natural Law of Might Makes Right" that has always existed, to an International Authority; to be recognized by all.


Same here, but I think those with might are serving as the greatest impediments to it. Which is as natural as it is unhelpful.

Quote:
Until such time as the "Mightiest of the Mighty" is satisfied with the performance (or is obligated by a "mightier force") of the International Authority, we will continue to retain and enforce our will over the likes of Saddam.


But this is a "meta-might-makes-right". It says that if we wish to prevent the development of, as you say, "International Authority" it is justified insofar as we have the means (might) to do so.

Now from a practical standpoint I agree that this is the way it will be, if not the way it should be. And I envision the balance of power coming in the form of economic contagion and subsequent economic pressure from regional economic blocs.

So while I don't think it's the way it should be, it is the way it will be. As long as the mighty can stave off rule of law (which is a contraint to the mighty) they will.

Quote:
You can describe this as a desire for a "rubber stamp" if you wish, but I think that's a bit too simplistic. I admire your sense of fair play, but think it is naïve to expect the US to yield the inherent authority that stems from being the mightiest until such time as we are satisfied with the alternative.


I agree that it is unrealistic to expect the mighty to cede might voluntarily, but I also happen to think that the mighty will never really be satisfied with the alternative.

It's important to remember that king of the world vs. any alternative is a choice in which preference for the former is very likely to be consistent.

This is the paradox. The mighty can't be expected to cede power, but rule of law requires that they participate. Rule of law will inevitably decrease the power of the mighty.

So, it's a catch 22. We'll never be satisfied with it this way and to make the UN more palatable to use we'd need to trust it in this fashion or simply use it selectively (thereby undermining it and inhibiting the evolution of rule of law).

Quote:
Had the "International Authority" enforced it's own resolutions; there would have been no overstepping by the "natural authority".


Indeed, and if the US had even made a halfway decent effort at making this war seem to be about enforecing UN resolutions it would have been received differently.

Members of this administration went out of their way to make sure that the UN would have a tough time swallowing it. They made it clear before we addressed the UN that they thought doing so was a waste of time and that the UN's position would be ultimately irrelevant to the decision.

Quote:
Despite the obvious hypocrisy of stating Saddam's violations of UN sanctions as justification for our disregard for the UN's opinion; I still think this is a natural, logical chain of events. Do you think the US would have invaded Iraq if Saddam had followed the UN's sanctions from the beginning?


Nope, but I think we'd have liked to. I think the war has more to do with a bold new American century and a new footprint in the mid-east than the resolutions.

Quote:
Like it or not; until such time as there does exist a true "International Authority" recognized and obeyed by all countries (including ours), he who holds the gun will continue to make the rules.


Agreed, and I wish said gun would stop mowing down those who seek to establish the international rule of law.

Quote:
And do realize that if the US remains the mightiest, they'll likely be the last to yield to another authority.


IMO, we'd have to start losing power through other means before we ever join in.

Quote:
My problem with your viewpoint is: You seem to think that this fact alone makes vigilantism an invariably "bad thing". Absent from this rational is the true meaning of the word:


I don't really think that vigilantism is always wrong, and while that may be the impression you get from my rationale here, I shun absolutism (this is why I do not believe in evil).

Quote:
I'm not suggesting you don't understand this. I'm suggesting your belief that establishing International precedence, too often supercedes the importance of the application of "some form of justice".


I understand it well, and frankly you have a powerful point. My brother Lusatian (think attila the hun) and I frequently sum up our very difference in this regard as being a macro vs. micro view.

My concerns about establishing collective morality and precedents often go against the grain of very defensible individually defined morality.

And which is right can never be determined because only one avenue is chosen and the alternative will forever be a "what if".

I find the focus on the moral micro to be naive reductionism and my brother thinks I can't see the micro for the macro and that I let such trivialities impede straightforward justice.

This is a difference between logical foundation that can neither be reconciled not disproven. I will think more laterally and he will think more narrowly.

Neither can prove the other side wrong with hypotheticals.

I will go so far as to say that I think many situations are better served by a narrow micro than a lateral macro. I see both as having their place but tend toward concern for the macro and the meta more often.


Quote:
In the case of Iraq; you agree that Saddam was a terrible tyrant whose actions gave cause for his removal. This however, is overshadowed by your belief that: International Standards must be recognized and observed by all of the nations of the world. I would tend to agree, but reverse the order of importance.


You sum it up well. Thing is, I base my disaproval of Saddam based on criteria. One big one is sanctity of sovereignty and what the US did, was a very severe violation of that sanctity.

For better reasons the US commited the same technical "sin" as one of Iraq's.

The motivation is vastly different, but I am not comfortable with devining motive as a criteria to differentiate the same "sin".

My desire isn't just for standards, it's for fundamental building blocks for civilization.

A cop killing a terrorist is differentiated from a terrorist killing a civilian by complicated structures that are the foundation of civilization.

I wish for similar functions to differentiate between such acts on the global level and because I did not see Iraq as an imminent threat I saw this as a perfect change to forward the establishment of mechanisms to achieve said differentiation than to undermine it.

Quote:
In the absence of a recognized, obeyed and enforced International Law Enforcement Agency; the unmatched ability of the US to help, IMO, will continue to carry with it the responsibility to do so. (I'll appreciate it if you continue to not mistake my motivations with that of my governments, like you have in the past. We are talking about justification, not necessarily motive).


I agree with the part outside of parenthesis. But I think we have definitional incompatibility on the rest.

While I see it as a practical inevitability I don't necessarily think it just.

Quote:
You have incorrectly assumed that our application of this principle clears the way for tyrants like Saddam to follow (like in Kuwait for example).This is untrue because our superior might effectively nullifies his "might" advantage over Kuwait (as was witnessed a decade ago).


But then, Bill, civility is contingient on the good guy being the most powerful. Which is not a given.

Quote:
Again, until such time as all of the countries of the world (including ours) establish, recognize and obey the international community's authority, there will continue to be instances that call for the invocation of "Might Makes Right".
Example: Man believes he has a right to slap his wife around… Not in front of me. If possible, my might will make my brand of right the right in this situation.


I'd agree that it will be called on but might disagree that it should be.

Incidentally in your example, you describe what could be a legal act. And one made legal through differentiating criteria and the rule of law.

Quote:
The above should also explain what I meant by "Yes I can" in answering your claim "You can't cite a UN resolution using your own individual interpretation of it." and what I meant by "all evidence to the contrary"… and why I consider it false to assume other countries can follow a precedent set by our actions. There is only one Alpha.


Well, my use of idioms seems to have been a problem. More accurate verbiage would have been to use should instead of can.

Ny use of can in both cases I have in mind was due to colloquial factors and would have better been served by should.

Quote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
I think we both agree that means can't serve as moral justification. Otherwise we'd be robbing candy from babies left and right.
Love the way you put that. But, I think you should understand by now why I believe Means can serve as moral justification. (Ability comes with Responsibility).


Ability comes with responsibility but responsibility doesn't always come with ability. Hence my desire not to trust ability as a justifying afctor.

Quote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
I'll say it again Bill. You can't have it both ways. If you want UN authority it needs to apply to both Iraq and the US.
I agree with this… but the UN needs to grow some teeth first.


Any suggestions? ;-) The status quo is the status quo because people are having a hard time coming up with practical suggestions for this catch 22.


Quote:
I'd like to see a new International body formed.


I'd like to see a reformed UN. Starting anew means almost a century of lost progress.

Quote:
My Rodong ICBM Link has gone into the archives, but the beginning of the story can be read here.. Perhaps you know a way around this?


I knew the story Bill, I knew that documents that say nothing about ICBMs were reported on and that the US administration believes that the liasons were about ICBMs.

There's no evidence for this, and it rests entirely on first trustng the documents to have been valid, and then the plausibility of the speculation about ICBMs.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 07:12 am
Hmm - jumping in here - and only half kept up with things - but Bill, you seem to me to have a lot of faith in the US and its propensity to act rightly?

I find the logic of wanting the US to act...er "muscularly" (?) in defiance of the body charged with determining international opinion - and sanctioning or not sanctioning such actions - until there is a properly functioning international body - the possibility of which the actions of the US undermine - odd, to say the least.

Not that I think the UN perfect, by any means -

Forgive me if this has already been stated...
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 03:49 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
That was one hell of a post Craven! I'll not question your stamina again.
I had a big one to respond to. Mr. Green
And to think, I thought your first one was excessive. Shocked Laughing

Walter: Thank you for providing the link, it confirmed much of my beliefs and countered some as well. Perfect source. I'll respond in greater detail during the course of this discussion. Thanks again.

[quote=""The bunny""] Hmm - jumping in here - and only half kept up with things - but Bill, you seem to me to have a lot of faith in the US and its propensity to act rightly? [/quote] Yes and No. I am aware of, and quite frankly don't wish to be buried under, dozens of instances where we have not. Much of my opinion stems from what I want my government to do with it's resources more than what it actually does. Citing past US adventurism will not add to this discussion so I'd rather not get bogged down in it. I don't defend my positions from Bush's standpoint; I defend them from my own.

Craven de Kere wrote:
No offense taken at all Bill. I didn't think it was an insult (many ad hominem arguments are not insults).
Cool dude. I really am new to debate, so I find your frequent explanations of the "rules of engagement" helpful. I hope this is evident in the evolution of my "technique". You may remember some of my first posts didn't even have paragraphs. Embarrassed

Craven de Kere wrote:
We are pretty much in agreement there. Except that I do not believe in evil (though with what I expect your concept of evil to be, I think Saddam is a good candidate).
I'm not debating this, just commenting. When I read or see footage of wanton cruelty with a total disregard for human life and dignity, I don't know how you can doubt the existence of pure evil. Confused


Craven de Kere wrote:
I like how you organized it.
Thanks! Smile

Craven de Kere wrote:
"Fair" is subjective and we will likely disagree on it.
I appreciate the in-depth snapshot you've provided in supplement to Walter's link. We may disagree less than you anticipated. For starters, unless I misinterpreted what I read; your assertion that the US doesn't pay is false. Looks more like we're slow payers, than no payers. I agree that the relatively paltry sum is petty and consequently so is our "slow pay" behavior. On the other hand; since I do believe the UN at least needs an overhaul, if not a replacement, that tightening the purse strings could be considered a reasonable testament to our displeasure. I could argue that 5 percent of the world's citizens paying over 20 percent of the costs is a disproportionate share, but won't for the reasons you've stated. I too, would prefer we set an example by paying our dues in a timely fashion… At least until such time as we do choose to withdraw. A more direct approach to protesting our concerns would be more appropriate, IMO.

Craven de Kere wrote:
Also consider that Japan alone pays 19.6%.
This neither surprises me nor do I think it unfair. Japan is the 2nd most successful nation on earth and can provide nothing but money in the security category.

Craven de Kere wrote:
We do a lot of the peacekeeping but what we volunteer for outside of the peacekeeping budget is, well voluntary…
…For example, if the US had wrangled a UN sanction of the latest invasion, it is not the same as the UN saying they'll pay for it.
Not quite accurate. If said wrangling was the pushing of violated sanctions as you suggested it should have been, then yes, in that scenario the burden of cost should have been shared.

Craven de Kere wrote:
The fact that we spend lavishly on military technology means that when we put out expensive military machine in gear we rack up costs that dwarf the UN dues.
LOL, just by turning the engine over. But there may come a time when we all agree that money was well spent. Idea

Craven de Kere wrote:
This is, IMO, the way it should be. There's a basic budget, and the rest is based on agreement. Otherwise it'd be like having a phone plan, paying the basic service fee but letting your talkative (i.e. militaristic) neighbor rack up extra costs by using up minutes you did not subscribe to.
On the other side of this coin is the rationale that nations who didn't necessarily disagree with our objective may have chosen the other side of the fence nonetheless to avoid using their own resources on a job that was going to be done anyway. Why chip in on the phone bill if your neighbor offers its use for free?

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
I think the world is slowly making a transition from the "Natural Law of Might Makes Right" that has always existed, to an International Authority; to be recognized by all.


Same here, but I think those with might are serving as the greatest impediments to it. Which is as natural as it is unhelpful.
I'm glad we're on the same page here.

Craven de Kere wrote:
So, it's a catch 22. We'll never be satisfied with it this way and to make the UN more palatable to use we'd need to trust it in this fashion or simply use it selectively (thereby undermining it and inhibiting the evolution of rule of law).
I think it is important to point out that any cooperation at all by the "king of the world" is, in affect, aiding the development of "rule of law". And, as you've admitted, help it we have a plenty.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Had the "International Authority" enforced it's own resolutions; there would have been no overstepping by the "natural authority".


Indeed, and if the US had even made a halfway decent effort at making this war seem to be about enforecing UN resolutions it would have been received differently.

Members of this administration went out of their way to make sure that the UN would have a tough time swallowing it. They made it clear before we addressed the UN that they thought doing so was a waste of time and that the UN's position would be ultimately irrelevant to the decision.
This statement tells me that you are not as far from agreeing that the world opposed the messenger as much as the message… A point you previously dismissed.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Like it or not; until such time as there does exist a true "International Authority" recognized and obeyed by all countries (including ours), he who holds the gun will continue to make the rules.


Agreed, and I wish said gun would stop mowing down those who seek to establish the international rule of law.
Unless I'm misunderstanding you, this statement is ridiculous... At least until we start pointing guns at the likes of France instead of the likes of Iraq. Rolling Eyes

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
And do realize that if the US remains the mightiest, they'll likely be the last to yield to another authority.
IMO, we'd have to start losing power through other means before we ever join in.
Then I hope you, like me, are in favor of agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and have no objection to "outsourcing". Sure these things make it harder for Americans to earn a living. But it makes it easier for Humans to earn a living, and effectively spreads the wealth along with the evidence of capitalism's superiority (lets not quibble over the definition of capitalism either :wink: ). I firmly believe that a truly global market is a necessary ingredient to world peace (or advancing civilization if your in the no-world-peace-possible camp).

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
I'm not suggesting you don't understand this. I'm suggesting your belief that establishing International precedence, too often supercedes the importance of the application of "some form of justice".

I understand it well, and frankly you have a powerful point. My brother Lusatian (think attila the hun) and I frequently sum up our very difference in this regard as being a macro vs. micro view.
I know the feeling well. My sister and Brother-in-law, whose opinions I respect greatly, are frequently on the opposite side of the political fence. I must confess, that even here on A2K; most of the people I respect most (including you), disagree with most of my politics. Confused

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
In the case of Iraq; you agree that Saddam was a terrible tyrant whose actions gave cause for his removal. This however, is overshadowed by your belief that: International Standards must be recognized and observed by all of the nations of the world. I would tend to agree, but reverse the order of importance.


You sum it up well. Thing is, I base my disaproval of Saddam based on criteria. One big one is sanctity of sovereignty and what the US did, was a very severe violation of that sanctity.

For better reasons the US commited the same technical "sin" as one of Iraq's.

The motivation is vastly different, but I am not comfortable with devining motive as a criteria to differentiate the same "sin".

My desire isn't just for standards, it's for fundamental building blocks for civilization.
Believe it or not, that is my desire as well. My dissention stems from an unshakable belief that the Saddam's and Kim's of the world have no "right" to be considered Sovereign Leaders, so I have few moral qualms about ending their rule. Yes that means I think humans have an inherent right to a voice in their governance… and yes that means I believe our "system" should be imposed over the totalitarian despots of the world. I realize that opens me up to suggestions like "so did the Soviets and the Nazis" but I find the comparison invalid. So sure am I of this belief that I consider any comparison of this nature both morally and intellectually bankrupt (did I use those correctly?). Seeking to share a system that promotes expansion of free will cannot, IMO, be compared to one promoting its demise.

Craven de Kere wrote:
A cop killing a terrorist is differentiated from a terrorist killing a civilian by complicated structures that are the foundation of civilization.
Exactly right. First and foremost, this is what needs to be addressed.

Craven de Kere wrote:
I wish for similar functions to differentiate between such acts on the global level and because I did not see Iraq as an imminent threat I saw this as a perfect change to forward the establishment of mechanisms to achieve said differentiation than to undermine it.
The "post 9-11 era" was exactly the wrong time to allow that important precedent to overshadow the need for a solid, credible display of a reduced tolerance for "criminals" (my personal definition). Once Bush shot off his mouth, it became imperative that we follow through so as not to have your "defended ideal" misinterpreted as yet another instance of crying wolf.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
You have incorrectly assumed that our application of this principle clears the way for tyrants like Saddam to follow (like in Kuwait for example).This is untrue because our superior might effectively nullifies his "might" advantage over Kuwait (as was witnessed a decade ago).


But then, Bill, civility is contingient on the good guy being the most powerful. Which is not a given.
Thank your God or good luck for that. I submit this as fact, not an ideal.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Again, until such time as all of the countries of the world (including ours) establish, recognize and obey the international community's authority, there will continue to be instances that call for the invocation of "Might Makes Right".
Example: Man believes he has a right to slap his wife around… Not in front of me. If possible, my might will make my brand of right the right in this situation.


I'd agree that it will be called on but might disagree that it should be.

Incidentally in your example, you describe what could be a legal act. And one made legal through differentiating criteria and the rule of law.


And therein lies the single greatest complaint I have with the world's complacency. I care very little about whose actions would be "legal" in that example; my actions would be just. It is precisely the extrapolated version of this example that makes me a warmonger, and the reason I could hardly care less what the war costs…
(I better cool it or I'll start sounding crazy again :wink: )

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
I'll say it again Bill. You can't have it both ways. If you want UN authority it needs to apply to both Iraq and the US.
I agree with this… but the UN needs to grow some teeth first.


Any suggestions? ;-) The status quo is the status quo because people are having a hard time coming up with practical suggestions for this catch 22.
Yep (crazy inferences be damned Rolling Eyes ). Redefine the rules of entry so that State's who sanction human rights violations and/or lack a minimum amount of civil liberties for their citizens are not only excluded from membership, but barred from doing any business whatsoever with members. States refusing to come under compliance should be targeted for regime change when feasible (Iraq), or simply left on the outside looking in until they get with the program (China). The carrot and the stick. The offer you can't refuse. I believe the carrot would be sufficient for the vast majority of Nations to accept the charter fairly readily… and the stick too scary to even contemplate for long.
Over time, the US would lose its dominating position of power because, after all, we are only 5% of the population. However, in a global economy with global security there would no need to be the boss (consider the relative differences between the "mighty" California and the "tiny" Rhode Island)… And, there would be no conceivable use for WMD (well, maybe breaking up asteroids). Go ahead and tell me I'm crazy. I'll make it easier for you to do so: I predict that anything short of this scenario will eventually lead to the destruction of all mankind. In the Human Race: Technology has left our Humanity in the dust. Idea
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 04:07 pm
Occom Bill wrote:

"The bunny? wrote:
Hmm - jumping in here - and only half kept up with things - but Bill, you seem to me to have a lot of faith in the US and its propensity to act rightly?
Yes and No. I am aware of, and quite frankly don?t wish to be buried under, dozens of instances where we have not. Much of my opinion stems from what I want my government to do with it?s resources more than what it actually does. Citing past US adventurism will not add to this discussion so I?d rather not get bogged down in it. I don?t defend my positions from Bush?s standpoint; I defend them from my own."

Bill, I weren't talking about faith in the past - but about faith in the future.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 04:58 pm
Hope I didn't offend you with "the bunny". I sure didn't mean to.

dlowan wrote:
Bill, I weren't talking about faith in the past - but about faith in the future.
Yes, I suppose I do. If Saddam weren't a "very bad guy", Bush wouldn't have been able to sell this war. The president has to be able to convince a majority of Americans that any extreme action is justified. Since I believe in the inherent goodness of people, horrors like what the Nazis did could never be done by a representative system of government. Americans like to think themselves righteous and this provides a limit to how outrageous our foreign policy can become. I realize much of the world thinks we're already overboard, but they can take comfort in the fact that Bush is at about the end of his rope, already. I understand that it's unfair that the many have to accept the actions of the few, but for the time being that's a reality, fair or not.

I should also add to my previous post that I think my solution is unlikely to be used. I think in my lifetime; I'm more likely to witness the end of mankind than world peace. I realize I sound like a nut… But I don't think people are paying proper respect to the rate that our ability to kill people is advancing compared to our desire not to. Since we can't stop science; we need to accelerate the evolution of civilization.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 05:07 pm
Now there you have, I think the nubbin of my (and perhaps Craven's?) argument - we need increasingly to have forms and processes which restrain the ability of might - especially in a period where, somewhat unusually, we have one mega-might, with little to balance it.

Interesting how the same perceptions can fuel such differing interpretations, eh?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 05:08 pm
OCCOM BILL wrote:
When I read or see footage of wanton cruelty with a total disregard for human life and dignity, I don't know how you can doubt the existence of pure evil. Confused


Well, it's a bit too meta for this discussion but I do not believe in pure anything.


Quote:
Looks more like we're slow payers, than no payers.


Well, I guess if we eventually pay we are payers. As of yet we owe, but yes, we pay to some degree.

Quote:
I could argue that 5 percent of the world's citizens paying over 20 percent of the costs is a disproportionate share, but won't for the reasons you've stated.


5% having over 50% of the wealth can be argued to be disproportionate, but yeah, this is a whole new discussion.

Quote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
Also consider that Japan alone pays 19.6%.
This neither surprises me nor do I think it unfair. Japan is the 2nd most successful nation on earth and can provide nothing but money in the security category.


Yeah, but the point is that Japan's share based on GNP is 19.6% and they pay it. Our share based on GNP is close to 50% but we demand to pay less than 22%.

So Japan is paying 100% of their share, and we negotiated a way to pay less than half and then proceed to not pay it while demanding to pay less.

The fact that Japan does not contribute to security is misleading, as they contribute in the form of cash above and beyond the general dues.

The 19% share they pay is for general dues, and they then pay their share of teh peacekeeping budget and beyond that when it comes time to contribute militarily they contribute financially.

So the 19% is not related to security contributions, they do that in addition to the 19% of the general dues and the peacekeeping dues.

Quote:
Not quite accurate. If said wrangling was the pushing of violated sanctions as you suggested it should have been, then yes, in that scenario the burden of cost should have been shared.


I wasn't talking about "should", I was talking about "will".

Thr UN authorizes many things that they do not agree to pay for. For example, if Canada invaded the US, the US would get a condemning resolution pretty quickly if we wanted it.

But that does not mean that the UN would agree to pay our military tab (and frankly, we'd not really want it that much).

Quote:
I think it is important to point out that any cooperation at all by the "king of the world" is, in affect, aiding the development of "rule of law". And, as you've admitted, help it we have a plenty.


We definitely have helped a lot. But progress is contingient on improving the negatives more than being satisfied with the positives.

Hence the focus on areas of improvement.

Quote:
This statement tells me that you are not as far from agreeing that the world opposed the messenger as much as the message… A point you previously dismissed.


At the risk of being pedantic I'd like to point out that I think they objected to the actual message.

"We are going to war, sign here" was the message.

I'm sure the messenger tinted some views but IMO, that was a message that would have gone down harsh from any messenger.

Quote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Like it or not; until such time as there does exist a true "International Authority" recognized and obeyed by all countries (including ours), he who holds the gun will continue to make the rules.


Agreed, and I wish said gun would stop mowing down those who seek to establish the international rule of law.
Unless I'm misunderstanding you, this statement is ridiculous... At least until we start pointing guns at the likes of France instead of the likes of Iraq. Rolling Eyes


I was worried that my metaphor would be misunderstood. What i was attempting to describe is that we are using said power ("he who holds the gun") to prevent some evolutions in international law.

It wasn't a comment of use of violence but a comment of use of power.

Quote:
Then I hope you, like me, are in favor of agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and have no objection to "outsourcing". Sure these things make it harder for Americans to earn a living. But it makes it easier for Humans to earn a living, and effectively spreads the wealth along with the evidence of capitalism's superiority (lets not quibble over the definition of capitalism either :wink: ). I firmly believe that a truly global market is a necessary ingredient to world peace (or advancing civilization if your in the no-world-peace-possible camp).


I support free trade very much. I also support regional trade agreements as a pathway to global ones.

I only wish that the trade deals you speak of really represented free trade.

As it stand, he who has the economic guns makes the rules, and in our negoriation of trade zones we protect out interests very well (which is kinda like an anti-thesis to free trade).

Quote:
I know the feeling well. My sister and Brother-in-law, whose opinions I respect greatly, are frequently on the opposite side of the political fence. I must confess, that even here on A2K; most of the people I respect most (including you), disagree with most of my politics. Confused


The solution is to periodically disown your brother. Then a period of no politics. Then back to the frey. Mr. Green

Quote:
Believe it or not, that is my desire as well. My dissention stems from an unshakable belief that the Saddam's and Kim's of the world have no "right" to be considered Sovereign Leaders, so I have few moral qualms about ending their rule.


They have legally established rights, and we need things like the ICC to change that.

Quote:
Yes that means I think humans have an inherent right to a voice in their governance… and yes that means I believe our "system" should be imposed over the totalitarian despots of the world.


This is where we get into tricky wording. I do not believe in "inherent" rights. We had a whole thread on this and Ican argued it well.

I believe that there are some rigths that should be inherent. But I believe that to simply say that they are is to ignore the mechanisms for securing them.

If I say I have an inherent right to pursue happiness and then decide to move to Canada, where I'd be happier due to the climate and all the free love, I would run into pesky Canadians saying I need the proper documents.

I believe everyone should have the rights to self-determination in the form of democracy. But the fact is that they don't.

Now before you object, note that what I'm saying is that within the structure of international law, nobody has a right (as in a right that is declared and enforecable within the parameters of international law) to democracy.

If we want to change this we had better improve rule of international law, as establishing this as a right will not be easy.

Quote:
I realize that opens me up to suggestions like "so did the Soviets and the Nazis" but I find the comparison invalid.


Invalid insofar as comparison of ideology is concerned, valid in that it's a similar wish to impose them without governing criteria on how to do so.

For example, I'd like for there to be declared a universal right to democracy, and then have it enforced. Thing is, it gets tricky because to declare this we need a meta democracy to validate it. And this meta democracy would currently be very wary of misuse of this proposed right as a pretext.

Quote:
So sure am I of this belief that I consider any comparison of this nature both morally and intellectually bankrupt (did I use those correctly?).


You did. They were both rhetorical icing on the cake just like it is whever I use 'em. ;-)

Quote:
Seeking to share a system that promotes expansion of free will cannot, IMO, be compared to one promoting its demise.


The ideology can't be compared. But imposing ideology without checks and balances (in the form of mechanisms that lend legality to these endeavors) is comparable.

Quote:
Craven de Kere wrote:
A cop killing a terrorist is differentiated from a terrorist killing a civilian by complicated structures that are the foundation of civilization.
Exactly right. First and foremost, this is what needs to be addressed.


I'd like to address them first too. Which means I'd want to get things like the ICC running to use their jurisdiction to find people like Kim in violation of human rights laws. And then because NK is either unwilling or unable to try them the ICC then gets jurisdiction over him.

Then comes a resolution to secure him for trial.

Now I happen to think that it would be a piece of cake to ameliorate NK through better means than war, but if there were a war, that's how I'd like for the structure to be.

Quote:
The "post 9-11 era" was exactly the wrong time to allow that important precedent to overshadow the need for a solid, credible display of a reduced tolerance for "criminals" (my personal definition). Once Bush shot off his mouth, it became imperative that we follow through so as not to have your "defended ideal" misinterpreted as yet another instance of crying wolf.


My brother says things like this a lot. He'll contend that of you say things (like threats) and don't follow through, people will not believe you.

But the downside is that if one is prone to "shooting off one's mouth" binding yourself to you impulse can be dangerous.

Take for example, the time my brother threatened to break something of one of our friends of they did something (it was a CD or something).

I know he regretted the threat as it was coming out of his mouth but he did, in fact, follow through.

He offered to buy a new CD (or whetever it was) immediately afterward but the friend was disgusted and refused.

Last I remember he had a sheepish face on, perplexed by not being able to right his wrong and if he's only be less obdurate about following through on his word (no matter how impulsive and unwise) he'd have avoided it all.

Yes, people remember when you do not follow through. But they also remember obdurate and obsessive following through.

Quote:
And therein lies the single greatest complaint I have with the world's complacency. I care very little about whose actions would be "legal" in that example; my actions would be just.


But Bill, do you not believe in the importance of collective morallity?

I used to think killing gays was "just". I was wrong and I'm glad that societies had collectively determined that I'd be wrong to do so.

Sure, there are some things that seem morally correct on their face. But collective morality is, to me, of paramount importance because of the vastly differing criterias for morality.

It is morality itself that is invoked by the likes of people killing doctors who practice abortion.

Because of the wide range of individual moralities, IMO, collective morality must be established and adhered to.

Of course, there are times when the majority is just plain wrong. If slavery were legal and I retained my current midset I'd oppose it vigoruously.

But at the same time, the importance of rule of law (collective morallity) over vigilante justice (individual morality) is something I think is very very important for the sake of true justice.

It's a democractic ideal BTW.

Quote:
Yep (crazy inferences be damned Rolling Eyes ). Redefine the rules of entry so that State's who sanction human rights violations and/or lack a minimum amount of civil liberties for their citizens are not only excluded from membership, but barred from doing any business whatsoever with members.


Ok, I'd actually agree with this as long as one nation isn't doing all the defining (currently we simply decide who does and does not respect human rights and publish lists that is a bit ignorant).

The only downside I can think of is that without really strong rule of law, it's a tough sell.

Keeping them engaged is a good idea unless you plan to invade them all as their engagement brings slow progress.

Selling the invade 'em all idea is somthing I'd find interesting though I see not possibility within the status quo (remember the US ICC complaint? Many nations would say "hold on, this opens us up to invasions for political reasons under the pretext of human rights").

There's just not enough trust and morality is just not simple enough for this. But it's an interesting idea.

Quote:
States refusing to come under compliance should be targeted for regime change when feasible (Iraq), or simply left on the outside looking in until they get with the program (China). The carrot and the stick.


Ahh, I messed up, I forgot you planned to use economy more than just military.

This plan is more feasible. I wish we'd be less concerned about our economy so we could actually do it.

Quote:
The offer you can't refuse. I believe the carrot would be sufficient for the vast majority of Nations to accept the charter fairly readily… and the stick too scary to even contemplate for long.


Dunno, some nations can be pretty stubborn. Places like China could take 100 years of misery first.

I'm not sure that engagement would not be more swift (noting China's accelerating progress and my hope for even more acceleration with WTO entry).

Quote:
Over time, the US would lose its dominating position of power because, after all, we are only 5% of the population. However, in a global economy with global security there would no need to be the boss (consider the relative differences between the "mighty" California and the "tiny" Rhode Island)… And, there would be no conceivable use for WMD (well, maybe breaking up asteroids). Go ahead and tell me I'm crazy.


I like the dream a lot, and it's not crazy. But I do think that currently, "dream" is the proper way to describe it.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 05:17 pm
You see, the US aside, I see the gradual slipping into overt abuse of power (I think most of the US's previous transgressions have tended to be more covert) as a very crucial Rubicon crossing sort of thing - and I have less faith than you, I think, in the ability of the very powerful (whoever they may be) to retain their moral compass - it is so easy to think, when one has the might, that one IS right - you demonstrate it with your serene confidence that you know what is right for other countries - and have the right, moving towards obligation, to impose it.

This is a very slippery slope, I think, sounding very similar to British, for instance, justifications for invading places in order to bring the light of civilisation to the savages - white man's burden and all that.

Not that I don't think you have a point!!! I just think it a far more difficult reality than you paint it to be.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:24 pm
dlowan wrote:
Now there you have, I think the nubbin of my (and perhaps Craven's?) argument - we need increasingly to have forms and processes which restrain the ability of might - especially in a period where, somewhat unusually, we have one mega-might, with little to balance it.
I don't really disagree. I simply have no problem with just instances of vigilantism in the meantime.

dlowan wrote:
Interesting how the same perceptions can fuel such differing interpretations, eh?
Very interesting indeed. I've enjoyed this discussion immensely. Smile

dlowan wrote:
You see, the US aside, I see the gradual slipping into overt abuse of power (I think most of the US's previous transgressions have tended to be more covert) as a very crucial Rubicon crossing sort of thing - and I have less faith than you, I think, in the ability of the very powerful (whoever they may be) to retain their moral compass - it is so easy to think, when one has the might, that one IS right - you demonstrate it with your serene confidence that you know what is right for other countries - and have the right, moving towards obligation, to impose it.
Guilty as charged. I do think the days of Covert Operations are for the most part behind us. There is just too much information now for the cloak and dagger stuff. I believe this development is the main reason for "overt action" as it is now nearly impossible to slip anything under the radar.

dlowan wrote:
This is a very slippery slope, I think, sounding very similar to British, for instance, justifications for invading places in order to bring the light of civilisation to the savages - white man's burden and all that.
I do hope that you are wrong. I'd love to hear Setanta weigh in on this point, for his historical perspective.

dlowan wrote:
Not that I don't think you have a point!!! I just think it a far more difficult reality than you paint it to be.
I do have a bad habit of trying to oversimplify things. :wink:

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Looks more like we're slow payers, than no payers.

Well, I guess if we eventually pay we are payers. As of yet we owe, but yes, we pay to some degree.
Boy you say that grudgingly. Think of it as a "net 360". :wink:

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Yes that means I think humans have an inherent right to a voice in their governance… and yes that means I believe our "system" should be imposed over the totalitarian despots of the world.


This is where we get into tricky wording. I do not believe in "inherent" rights. We had a whole thread on this and Ican argued it well.
I'd love to read it…Could you tell me where it is?

Craven de Kere wrote:
I believe that there are some rigths that should be inherent. But I believe that to simply say that they are is to ignore the mechanisms for securing them.
I almost accept that. I agree functioning mechanisms should be established, but will in the mean time not fault justice being served.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
So sure am I of this belief that I consider any comparison of this nature both morally and intellectually bankrupt (did I use those correctly?).


You did. They were both rhetorical icing on the cake just like it is whever I use 'em. ;-)
Cool, thanks again for the ongoing lessons.


Craven de Kere wrote:
Now I happen to think that it would be a piece of cake to ameliorate NK through better means than war, but if there were a war, that's how I'd like for the structure to be.
Shocked This, I'd like to hear more about.

Craven de Kere wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
And therein lies the single greatest complaint I have with the world's complacency. I care very little about whose actions would be "legal" in that example; my actions would be just.


But Bill, do you not believe in the importance of collective morallity?
No, I most certainly do not. I alone distinguish right from wrong in my little corner of the world and my judgment just happens to coincide with collective morality most of the time. If I know I am correct; it would matter not a wit if the other 6 Billion people on this planet thought I was wrong. I am inclined to consider legality to great measure but to me, morality is a very personal issue. You will understand this rationale much better when you read Atlas Shrugged. (Note to Rand haters; She didn't provide my philosophy; she merely articulated it, but the paragraph is mine, not hers)
Example: Man in country XXXXX has a legal right to have his woman stoned to death for committing adultery. This is a widely accepted (apparently moral) and a legal remedy for this situation. I do not care what the consensus says; this will take place in my presence only over my dead body (I can only assume, but can't imagine not having the courage to live up to this conviction).

Craven de Kere wrote:
Sure, there are some things that seem morally correct on their face. But collective morality is, to me, of paramount importance because of the vastly differing criterias for morality.
No, I don't think you are being honest with yourself. Think about this some more. If something falls significantly outside your definition of morality, are you not forced to reject it, regardless of consensus?

Craven de Kere wrote:
It is morality itself that is invoked by the likes of people killing doctors who practice abortion.
This is true. I agree with you whole-heartedly that there must be laws to correct those with faulty moral compasses.

Craven de Kere wrote:
Because of the wide range of individual moralities, IMO, collective morality must be established and adhered to.

Of course, there are times when the majority is just plain wrong. If slavery were legal and I retained my current midset I'd oppose it vigoruously.

But at the same time, the importance of rule of law (collective morallity) over vigilante justice (individual morality) is something I think is very very important for the sake of true justice.

It's a democractic ideal BTW.
This is where our unmatched economic might comes into play. We have a sovereign right to do business with whom we choose and our business is the economic backbone of much of the world. For this reason we can set the "moral bar" pretty much wherever we see fit. Once established; before other nations evolve into entities with larger economies than our own; their citizens will have evolved into people who would not trade those basic human rights any more than you or I. I'm just an ignorant hick from Wisconsin but from what I've seen; people are people the world over. Give them a fair shot at improving their own lot in life and they'll be unlikely to volunteer to strap a bomb to their chest. Perhaps we can't remove faulty programming from the individual, but there is certainly nothing genetic about it.

Craven de Kere wrote:
Dunno, some nations can be pretty stubborn. Places like China could take 100 years of misery first.

I'm not sure that engagement would not be more swift (noting China's accelerating progress and my hope for even more acceleration with WTO entry).
Are you mocking me here? Or are you actually suggesting a more aggressive course of action than I am? Shocked

Craven de Kere wrote:
I like the dream a lot, and it's not crazy. But I do think that currently, "dream" is the proper way to describe it.
Frankly Craven, I was quite prepared for you to patiently explain why my dream made me an ignorant nutcase. I like that answer better. :wink:
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:33 pm
Think I have the thread, Bill


http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10409&highlight=inalienable+human+rights+ican
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:34 pm
Works for me....
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:43 pm
Thankya darlin, that'll keep me busy for awhile.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 10:46 pm
Awoman to that....
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2004 11:21 pm
Sorry, have only read the first two of four pages of this thread, but as far as I read this post was not answered/refuted yet:

OCCOM BILL wrote:
They were also the one's with the power to VETO a true vote, and consequently the reason we'll never know if Bush would have been able to secure it. It was certainly an uphill battle but the Financial Giant that is the US can be pretty persuasive.


We do know very well whether Bush "would have been able to secure it" - he wouldn't have - even regardless of France's veto. We know that because all the SC member states made it known beforehand whether or not they would support it. No big secret there, was in all the papers.

The whole diplomatic manoeuvres in the last weeks had been about the "undecided" coalition of in-between countries. After all, France, Germany, China, Russia and Syria would not support it, that was already known. Britain, Spain and Bulgaria would, that was also already known. So the attention went to the six remaining SC members - Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Guinea, Mexico and Pakistan.

I wrote more details about their position in this post. Bottom line was that the waverers refused to support the US/UK plans, and instead, at the very last minute, came up with a compromise proposal of their own - which the US rejected out of hand. End of story - the US withdrew from trying to get a new vote from the SC, the rest is history.

The US would never have withdrawn from trying to get a second vote if it had been only about France's veto, of course. After all, if the US had been able to have a new vote passed by a majority, even if it were then bumped out by France's veto, it would still have amounted to an important diplomatic victory for the US, and it would have provided greatly more moral and rhetorical, if not legal cover for its claim to act on the UN's behalf.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 12:19 am
Nimh: I accept that you are convinced and that you are likely right... but NOT CERTAIN. Your summation that we would have preferred to pass a vetoed resolution is subjective and I don't buy it anyway. Ignoring France's right to veto would have been a worse incidence of flaunting, because we'd have forfeited our ability to quote from the resolution already passed.
Question: was there anything preventing the UN from passing another resolution without the US's rubber-stamp... other than our potential veto?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 09:13 am
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Nimh: I accept that you are convinced and that you are likely right... but NOT CERTAIN. Your summation that we would have preferred to pass a vetoed resolution is subjective and I don't buy it anyway.


Yes, the argument that the US would have gone to the SC had it been able to get a majority is subjective.

The fact that a majority of the SC member states made clear that they wouldnt support the kind of resolution the US was proposing, however, is objective.

And thats why I came into this thread. You wrote that "we'll never know" if they would have supported it, and thats just not true. They made clear that they wouldnt - and that was after the US applied all its "Financial Giant" pressure.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 05:20 pm
Bill, I'm waiting for a new page on this thread to reply in earnest, but I do want to say that what nimh said is something I touched on earlier and the speculation about forcing a France veto is, by my estimation, spot on.

I'd have been so sure of it that I'd have bet every single possession I owned.

Making it come down to a France veto would have been the admin's dream and they have an even easier time of trying to portray the whole thing as being about French disloyalty.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 10:29 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Bill, I'm waiting for a new page on this thread to reply in earnest

I look forward to your reply, but I don't know what you mean by this?

Craven de Kere wrote:
but I do want to say that what nimh said is something I touched on earlier and the speculation about forcing a France veto is, by my estimation, spot on.

I'd have been so sure of it that I'd have bet every single possession I owned.

Making it come down to a France veto would have been the admin's dream and they have an even easier time of trying to portray the whole thing as being about French disloyalty.


I have a great deal of respect for both yours and Nimh's knowledge on this subject... and don't take your convictions lightly (I read them on the link Nimh provided). However; I consider France's threat to veto, before the vote, akin to Bush's announcement that it didn't matter what the result was. Both were indicative of members that clearly didn't care about consensus. Knowing that France would Veto, may very well have reduced the degree of manipulative "Financial Giant" activity, to the point where it only appeared impossible to succeed. Keep in mind, the amount of money we're spending on this war dwarves the combined GDP of half the "undecided". This is why I said, "we'll never know". Certainty remains impossible. This point is not central to any of my arguments anyway. I'd rather not get bogged down on it.

I'm still looking forward to your response to my other post.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2004 10:43 pm
I'm waiting for the next page in the pagination of this thread because it's so long.

Incidentally, France only threatened to veto a resolution that had was in "automacity" (sp?).

They said they'd only veto a resolution that would have a trigger without sending the "material breach" judgement back to the SC.

They even made attempts to forward a resolution on Iraq themselves that we threatened to veto.

Yes, there's no way to be certain that we'd have put it to a vote facing a certain French veto but all signs point to yes.

Knowing that they would likely veto we worked to the eleventh hour trying to pursuade the swing vote. That was indicative of a desire to get a majority and let France be the scapegoat.

There no other reason we would attempt to secure a majority in a vote we knew would be vetoed.
0 Replies
 
 

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