Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 12:59 pm
Perhaps they BOTH need to clean their act up?

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Einherjar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 01:05 pm
What Cyc said.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 02:21 pm
Einherjar wrote:


… I agree that the votes of small countries should not carry as much weight as they do, but that is the way the UN was designed, and there is no easy way to change it.


This illustrates an important point. The wholesale admission to the UN of poorly developed governments following the collapse of European colonialism significantly lowered the average levels of political and economic maturity in the UN, in addition to seriously diluting the representative power of the developed countries in the General Assembly and on many UN commissions. While I agree that this was a necessary transition, we cannot be blind to the effect it has had on the UN organization,. The UN most assuredly does not, either in itself or through its actions, represent any ideal or model for the developed states. It is a frequently necessary instrument for some actions, but it is not a source of either moral authority or law binding on sovereign nations. It is but one of several options for the international policies of sovereign states.

Quote:
The UN represents world oppinion, and "scorns" the US for a reason. It didn't in the clinton years, and won't when you have cleaned up your act again. The UN is founded on principles you pay lip service to all the time, and as such you should support it. Oh, and you should pay more because you as priviledged people have something of a responsibility to help improve conditions in the third world.


Well, perhaps if you put a little more effort into not violating human rights...


These are rather - unkind - comments. The flaccid U.S. foreign policy of the "Clinton years" is a thing of the past and won't return any time soon. Moreover France has already declared its intent of steering the EU to a position from which it can challenge a perceived excessive U.S. domination of world affairs. The American people are not at all deaf to these events - as a result the gulf that is growing between the U.S. and Europe is being propelled with equal energy on both sides of the Atlantic. The majority of Americans doesn't believe our "act" needs cleaning up at all. The world's truly serious violators of the "founding principles" of the UN and human rights are not in this country - though one would hardly notice that from the rhetoric of our many critics. . Even perfect Scandinavia owes a good deal of its present freedom and independence to the efforts of the United States during the past sixty years.

History shows that successful powers, finding themselves in dominant positions after the fall of previously dreaded enemies, cannot expect to be loved by others. Resentment and envy quickly replace the previous fear of the defunct opponent. However, even making full allowance for this, the hypocrisy and ingratitude of Europe are truly remarkable.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 02:44 pm
Gratitude has a short half-life :wink:
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 02:52 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
History shows that successful powers, finding themselves in dominant positions after the fall of previously dreaded enemies, cannot expect to be loved by others. Resentment and envy quickly replace the previous fear of the defunct opponent. However, even making full allowance for this, the hypocrisy and ingratitude of Europe are truly remarkable.


Oh, I dunno ... I think it perfectly in synch with history, and I for one never really expected anything much different to happen. The feckless foreign policy of the Clinton years may have set aside some global anti-US senitiment for a while (simultaneously enabling and emboldening both stateless terrorists and rogue nations alike), but things today are not all that different from where they were for most of the post WWII period. Kennedy may have been fairly popular abroad (Though during his term, the novel The Ugly American became a record-smashing world-wide best seller), but the same can't be said of Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, or Bush the Elder.

I'm sure it will take a while yet, but The US appears to be safely on its way to full recovery, both foreign and domestic, from Clinton's inept stewardship.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 03:00 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Gratitude has a short half-life :wink:


Shorter in some hearts than others. In a few it has no place at all.

However ingratitude has its consequences as well. The whole pattern of alliances in the world could easily change in significant ways, perhaps greatly to the disadvantage of some or all of the players in the game.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 03:21 pm
This is not to defend the UN which at the moment is as useful as teats on a bull. However, it struck me when someone brought up the one vote one nation regardless of size and contribution. That the US senate is no different in that a state with 500,000 people and one with 20 million each gets two senators. In addition based upon the electoral college a vote from a sparsely populated state carries more weight than one from a large one.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 03:21 pm
As history shows us, there are no guarantees.

Look at Portugal, Spain, Holland. World leaders at one time. Geopolitics is a game where the rules change constantly. You never know who someone else might be hooking up with.

We tend to like people who are like us, speak the same language we do. Nothing surprising about that. That's a staple of Psych 101. So, who's talking to who?.

Why does this matter? Well, it may give some clues as to where things may be moving geopolitically.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 03:22 pm
And thank God, or Marion Barry might be president...

(I meant to quote au above)
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 04:05 pm
cjhsa
What??
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 04:06 pm
Joking...
0 Replies
 
Einherjar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 04:21 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
Einherjar wrote:


… I agree that the votes of small countries should not carry as much weight as they do, but that is the way the UN was designed, and there is no easy way to change it.


This illustrates an important point. The wholesale admission to the UN of poorly developed governments following the collapse of European colonialism significantly lowered the average levels of political and economic maturity in the UN, in addition to seriously diluting the representative power of the developed countries in the General Assembly and on many UN commissions. While I agree that this was a necessary transition, we cannot be blind to the effect it has had on the UN organization,. The UN most assuredly does not, either in itself or through its actions, represent any ideal or model for the developed states.


I agree.

Quote:
It is a frequently necessary instrument for some actions, but it is not a source of either moral authority or law binding on sovereign nations. It is but one of several options for the international policies of sovereign states.


Actually, it is a source of both moral authority and law.

Quote:
Quote:
The UN represents world oppinion, and "scorns" the US for a reason. It didn't in the clinton years, and won't when you have cleaned up your act again. The UN is founded on principles you pay lip service to all the time, and as such you should support it. Oh, and you should pay more because you as priviledged people have something of a responsibility to help improve conditions in the third world.


Well, perhaps if you put a little more effort into not violating human rights...


These are rather - unkind - comments. The flaccid U.S. foreign policy of the "Clinton years" is a thing of the past and won't return any time soon. Moreover France has already declared its intent of steering the EU to a position from which it can challenge a perceived excessive U.S. domination of world affairs. The American people are not at all deaf to these events


I'm not even going to comment on what the french are hearing from the US.

Quote:
- as a result the gulf that is growing between the U.S. and Europe is being propelled with equal energy on both sides of the Atlantic.


Better.

Quote:
The majority of Americans doesn't believe our "act" needs cleaning up at all.


A slim majority I understand.

Quote:
The world's truly serious violators of the "founding principles" of the UN and human rights are not in this country - though one would hardly notice that from the rhetoric of our many critics.


Listen more carefully, you might notice that talk of sanctions and such are reserved for the serious violators. Western democracies are held to a certain standard of expectation though, and transgressions are noted.

Quote:
Even perfect Scandinavia owes a good deal of its present freedom and independence to the efforts of the United States during the past sixty years.


We're not quite perfect yet. And sure, you were usefull during the cold war, how does that justify anything you are doing now?

Quote:
History shows that successful powers, finding themselves in dominant positions after the fall of previously dreaded enemies, cannot expect to be loved by others. Resentment and envy quickly replace the previous fear of the defunct opponent. However, even making full allowance for this, the hypocrisy and ingratitude of Europe are truly remarkable.


What form should our gratitude take? What hypocricy do you speak of?
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 05:20 pm
Commentary > The Monitor's View
from the November 30, 2004 edition

Supersizing the UN

A clock starts ticking this Thursday for major reform of the United Nations. That's when a panel of 16 prominent leaders, appointed last fall by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will recommend how to overhaul an institution that's been particularly adrift since the US-led war in Iraq.
If the 191-member General Assembly takes the experts' report to heart, it will then move to change the UN Charter next fall to better reflect the needs of the 21st century rather than the post-1945 world of its origin.

The UN is only as effective as its member states want it to be, and Mr. Annan hopes this report will help goad them to arrest the slide of the body's effectiveness and address the need to face a new reality.

With the world facing threats such as Islamic terrorism, biological weapons, and AIDS, Annan realizes the UN has "come to a fork in the road."

One cornerstone of the UN will not change. The panel is expected to stick to the original idea that a core group of large or rich nations should have more say on an expanded Security Council than the vast majority of nations. The question is: Which large nations deserve a permanent seat? Two complex formulas are likely to be recommended. Either one will make some excluded big nations unhappy, probably causing reform to falter. That would be an unfortunate outcome.

This size-makes-right principle is designed to provide an incentive for the big powers to remain as UN players, especially the world's lone superpower, the United States. Its military has so dominated all others since the collapse of the Soviet Union that twice in the past six years it has bypassed Security Council approval and collected a number of other partner nations to intervene in troublesome states (Yugoslavia and Iraq).

Both Annan and the US have been moving toward a doctrine of preemptive action, but for different reasons. The US sees such action as necessary to protect itself from terrorist-prone states. Annan, however, asks if the UN should militarily intervene when a state is failing or causing great harm, such as in Sudan's Darfur.

The panel is likely to side with Annan, and may rely on a Canadian document called "The Responsibility to Protect" that lays out specific steps for how the UN should intervene to prevent large-scale loss of life that's either "actual or apprehended."

The task of rejuggling the Council's membership and making the UN more assertive on security threats won't be easy. But a new global consensus for the UN is needed, and one that's forged by and for all nations.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:26 pm
Au writes
Quote:
The task of rejuggling the Council's membership and making the UN more assertive on security threats won't be easy. But a new global consensus for the UN is needed, and one that's forged by and for all nations.


And here we are. The UN is ineffective and unwilling to deal with this one issue, the most important issue with which it is entrusted. And it may indeed be time for the properly motivated to form their own coalition of the willing and say goodbye to this coalition of the "I won't".
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 07:53 pm
A major effort by the John Birch society in 1964 was conducted under the slogan "Impeach Earl Warren," which was reported to be generating 500 letters per day to members of Congress. The JBS also sought to restore prayer in school, repeal the graduated personal income tax, stop "Communist influences within our communications media," stop the "trend of legislation by judicial fiat" and get the US out of the UN.
The phrase "legislation by judicial fiat," was widely interpreted within the JBS as opposition to federal assistance to the goals of the civil rights movement over the objections of persons insisting that state's rights should supersede federal laws. During its heyday in the mid-1960s the Birch response to the civil rights movement and urban unrest was to launch two "campaigns under the banners of Support Your Local Police, and Expose The 'Civil Rights' Fraud.
Sounds to me like an old agenda has resurfaced.
A skunk by any other name still reeks. Damn, if I was 40 years younger and still in college I could become a liberal.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 08:15 pm
Wow, you can sure evoke a lot of stuff out of one simple observation that the UN is an inept and inefficient dinosaur that no longer fulfills any important purpose.
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2004 08:21 pm
I guess they're not such a close family, after all. Rolling Eyes

Quote:
Annan 'Disappointed' in Son's Lack of Disclosure

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday he was "disappointed" his son did

not tell him the full story of his ties to a firm involved in the U.N. oil-for-food program, now under investigation.

Annan's son, Kojo, received payments from the Geneva-based Cotecna firm until last February after the United Nations said he severed ties with the company in February 1999. Part of the payments involved an agreement not to compete with Cotecna in West Africa after he left the firm.

"Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised," Annan told reporters, saying the discrepancy had not been brought to his attention.

Cotecna had been hired by the United Nations from December 1998 until 2003 to check civilian supplies reaching Iraq under the U.N.-administered oil-for-food program, which is being probed for abuses by Saddam Hussein's government.

There is no evidence Kojo Annan, based in Nigeria, worked on the Iraq project for Cotecna, which was also hired by the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq until mid-2004.

Answering questions, Annan said: "Naturally I have warm, family relations with my son, but he is in a different field. He is an independent businessman. He is a grown man and I don't get involved with his activities and he doesn't get involved in mine."

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said the secretary-general had no role in the distribution of contracts, and those who signed the deal maintained they did not know in 1998 that Kojo Annan, then a trainee, worked for Cotecna.

"As I have said earlier, I have no involvement with granting of contracts, either on this Cotecna one, or others," Annan said.


More
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2004 09:28 pm
In tomorrow's WSJ!

Kofi Annan Must Go

By NORM COLEMAN
December 1, 2004

It's time for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resign.

Over the past seven months, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which I chair, has conducted an exhaustive, bipartisan investigation into the scandal surrounding the U.N. Oil-for-Food program. That noble program was established by the U.N. to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people, then languishing under Saddam Hussein's ironfisted rule, as well as the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the U.N. after the first Gulf War. While sanctions were designed to instigate the removal of Saddam from power, or at least render him impotent, the Oil-for-Food program was designed to support the Iraqi people with food and other humanitarian aid under the watchful eye of the U.N.

Our Investigative Subcommittee has gathered overwhelming evidence that Saddam turned this program on its head. Rather than erode his grip on power, the program was manipulated by Saddam to line his own pockets and actually strengthen his position at the expense of the Iraqi people. At our hearing on Nov. 15, we presented evidence that Saddam accumulated more than $21 billion through abuses of the Oil-for-Food program and U.N. sanctions. We continue to amass evidence that he used the overt support of prominent members of the U.N., such as France and Russia, along with numerous foreign officials, companies and possibly even senior U.N. officials, to exploit the program to his advantage. We have obtained evidence that indicates that Saddam doled out lucrative oil allotments to foreign officials, sympathetic journalists and even one senior U.N. official, in order to undermine international support for sanctions. In addition, we are gathering evidence that Saddam gave hundreds of thousands -- maybe even millions -- of Oil-for-Food dollars to terrorists and terrorist organizations. All of this occurred under the supposedly vigilant eye of the U.N.

While many questions concerning Oil-for-Food remain unanswered, one conclusion has become abundantly clear: Kofi Annan should resign. The decision to call for his resignation does not come easily, but I have arrived at this conclusion because the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, as long as Mr. Annan remains in charge, the world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that took place under the U.N.'s collective nose.

Mr. Annan was at the helm of the U.N. for all but a few days of the Oil-for-Food program, and he must, therefore, be held accountable for the U.N.'s utter failure to detect or stop Saddam's abuses. The consequences of the U.N.'s ineptitude cannot be overstated: Saddam was empowered to withstand the sanctions regime, remain in power, and even rebuild his military. Needless to say, he made the Iraqi people suffer even more by importing substandard food and medicine under the Oil-for-Food program and pawning it off as first-rate humanitarian aid.

Since it was never likely that the U.N. Security Council, some of whose permanent members were awash in Saddam's favors, would ever call for Saddam's removal, the U.S. and its coalition partners were forced to put troops in harm's way to oust him by force. Today, money swindled from Oil-for-Food may be funding the insurgency against coalition troops in Iraq and other terrorist activities against U.S. interests. Simply put, the troops would probably not have been placed in such danger if the U.N. had done its job in administering sanctions and Oil-for-Food.

This systemic failure of the U.N. and Oil-for-Food is exacerbated by evidence that at least one senior U.N. official -- Benon Sevan, Mr. Annan's hand-picked director of the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food oversight agency -- reportedly received bribes from Saddam. According to documents from the Iraqi oil ministry that were obtained by us, Mr. Sevan received several allotments of oil under Oil-for-Food, each of which was worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

To make matters worse, the actions of Mr. Annan's own son have been called into question. Specifically, the U.N. recently admitted that Kojo Annan received more money than previously disclosed from a Swiss company named Cotecna, which was hired by the U.N. to monitor Iraq's imports under Oil-for-Food. Recently, there are growing, albeit unproven, allegations that Kofi Annan himself not only understands his son's role in this scandal -- but that he has been less than forthcoming in what he knew, and when he knew it.

As a former prosecutor, I believe in the presumption of innocence. Such revelations, however, cast a dark cloud over Mr. Annan's ability to address the U.N.'s quagmire. Mr. Annan has named the esteemed Paul Volcker to investigate Oil-for-Food-related allegations, but the latter's team is severely hamstrung in its efforts. His panel has no authority to compel the production of documents or testimony from anyone outside the U.N. Nor does it possess the power to punish those who fabricate information, alter evidence or omit material facts. It must rely entirely on the goodwill of the very people and entities it is investigating. We must also recognize that Mr. Volcker's effort is wholly funded by the U.N., at Mr. Annan's control. Moreover, Mr. Volcker must issue his final report directly to the secretary general, who will then decide what, if anything, is released to the public.

Therefore, while I have faith in Mr. Volcker's integrity and abilities, it is clear the U.N. simply cannot root out its own corruption while Mr. Annan is in charge: To get to the bottom of the murk, it's clear that there needs to be a change at the top. In addition, a scandal of this magnitude requires a truly independent examination to ensure complete transparency, and to restore the credibility of the U.N. To that end, I reiterate our request for access to internal U.N. documents, and for access to U.N. personnel who were involved in the Oil-for-Food program.

All of this adds up to one conclusion: It's time for Kofi Annan to step down. The massive scope of this debacle demands nothing less. If this widespread corruption had occurred in any legitimate organization around the world, its CEO would have been ousted long ago, in disgrace. Why is the U.N. different?
0 Replies
 
 

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