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Should America Be the World's Policeman?

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  • #91
    Re: Should America Be the World's Policeman?

    Originally posted by tsquare View Post
    You buried the lead there my friend...

    Peter if you know only one thing about the UN you should know that Iran, the nation that beheads homosexuals and abuses their women, is the chair of the UN Human Rights Commission.
    Originally posted by Voland View Post
    Are we in the mood to make things up today ? The chair of the UN human rights council is currently held by Gabon, that has suceeded Poland :

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC...residency.aspx
    For a second there I was getting confused. I assumed the 2014 Cycle had Gabon as President... with India, Argentina, Italy, and the Czech Republic as Vice Presidents.

    To tsquare's point though Cuba somehow got themselves on the 2010 Cycle as Vice President and Nigeria presided over the 2008 cycle. A bit dubious you must admit even with the erroneous suggestion about Iran.

    ?


    • #92
      Re: Should America Be the World's Policeman?

      Originally posted by Sluggo View Post

      To tsquare's point though Cuba somehow got themselves on the 2010 Cycle as Vice President and Nigeria presided over the 2008 cycle. A bit dubious you must admit even with the erroneous suggestion about Iran.

      Yes of course. Neither is suitable for the human rights council, although arguably playing in a different league than Iran, especially Cuba. Saudi-Arabia is also a member by the way, yet I am not aware of particular criticism coming from the US, unlike in Cubas case. Which has very little to do with Saudi-Arabias human rights record ( that is hardly less appaling than Irans and much worse than Cubas), and everything with politics (Saudi-Arabia is an ally after all). Which is also the reason why the US cannot possibly play "worlds police". Since a police force either has to enforce common standards or it is useless.
      The problem with the UN is not so much the organizations powerlessness ( the UN is exactly as strong or as weak or as effective as the veto powers allow her to be), but the makeup of the permament seats on the security council. That essentially reflects the WW II Allies + China, and makes the organization their hostage as long as their interests are concerned. Numerous efforts to include other not totally irrelevant nations to global security, like Japan, Germany, (third and second largest net payer by the way), Australia, Brazil or India on a permanent base have failed, not least because for the veto powers ( including the US) this would have meant to share influence. For the US to complain about the UNs ineffectiveness on Syria because of undue russian influence f.e. is rather weird, given the fact that the US are casting vetos on behalf of their Allies as well ( Israel ?) Or the Chinese on Taiwan/Tibet etc..
      The UN do indispensable work on numerous issues, like health (combating diseases globally f.e.), development, culture (UNESCO), humanitarian aid and environment f.e., and the UN is an indispensable forum for transnational dialogue, especially between nations that otherwise dont share many channels of communication (and for every side concerned also a source of intelligence). The UN is often being deadlocked especially by its most powerful members on military/security matters and by that reflects the broken and fractured nature of the international system. It also reflects the other diseases of the globe, conflicts, vested interests, corruption etc... Yet would the most powerful members be actually interested in a more powerful and effective UN ? Not really. The UNs often unsatisfactory performance on these matters is inseparable from the policy interests of its veto powers that wouldnt accept any force above them. THAT is its key problem.
      We have a problem similar in principle in the EU currently.( thread under international politics) Where the "Eurosceptics", the ones that have not left out an opportunity to blast the alleged democratic deficit at the heart of the organization (which in this case mostly means the british governement) are jumping over themselves to claim that the guy who has won the continent-wide elections should not get the job of Commission president and continue to be appointed in backdoor horsetrading (the same habit that many of them have loudly denounced previously) . It is true that actually taking steps to adress the deficit and introducing more direct democratic accountability will inevitably result in strengthening the organization. Yet that is precisely what some of the loudest critics DON`T want, in spite of beating the democracy drum.
      Not so different for the UN. Who will be the first to renounce veto power and accept majority vote by the General Assembly ? Or to only work with shining democracies, even where key interests are concerned ? Noone ?
      Building a better, farer, safer etc. international system can if at all, only work in baby steps and over generations. Yet we have no other international system and cannot always cherrypick our partners. Thus we have the UN, with plenty of obvious faults and flaws, yet has someone come up with a better idea ?
      Last edited by Voland; 06-25-2014, 04:07 AM.

      ?


      • #93
        Re: Should America Be the World's Policeman?

        Hi Voland, thanks & respect for getting down to the 'nitty-gritty' here, I appreciate.

        Originally posted by Voland
        Which is also the reason why the US cannot possibly play "worlds police". Since a police force either has to enforce common standards or it is useless.
        Is there any reason to believe the US is more capable of doing so? Would this be based on historical evidence or 'wishful thinking'? I think you know how I feel about this.

        Originally posted by Voland
        Numerous efforts to include other not totally irrelevant nations to global security, like Japan, Germany, (third and second largest net payer by the way), Australia, Brazil or India on a permanent base have failed, not least because for the veto powers ( including the US) this would have meant to share influence.
        (Questioning the obvious) Is there a reason, or a complex set of reasons, why the veto powers do not wish to share their influence?

        Originally posted by Voland
        The UN do indispensable work on numerous issues ...
        I agree with this, why then are some folks discussing reasons for doing away with the UN?

        Originally posted by Voland
        Yet would the most powerful members be actually interested in a more powerful and effective UN ? Not really. The UNs often unsatisfactory performance on these matters is inseparable from the policy interests of its veto powers. THAT is its key problem.
        I see you've answered the above questions, never mind & thanks!

        I also think you've identified a root or underlying cause in many of the World's organizations, there is often a 'democratic deficit' at the heart. It's a bit ironic some of the loudest 'democracy drummers' are the most discordant.

        ?


        • #94
          Re: Should America Be the World's Policeman?

          Originally posted by Voland View Post
          Who will be the first to renounce veto power and accept majority vote by the General Assembly ? Or to only work with shining democracies, even where key interests are concerned ? Noone ?
          Building a better, farer, safer etc. international system can if at all, only work in baby steps and over generations. Yet we have no other international system and cannot always cherrypick our partners. Thus we have the UN, with plenty of obvious faults and flaws, yet has someone come up with a better idea ?
          Reasonable response.

          You'll have to forgive the cynic in me but we may be answering your own questions here. Even if it takes multiple generations, we have a few under our belt now when it comes to the UN, we still have a difficult issue to contend with. How can we have a better, fairer, safer international community when we have so many acts of self interest occurring all along the way?

          The UN Security Council and veto power is just one example, but used all the time to support exactly what you are saying. The flip side is ignoring the UN pretty much at will by its larger member nations to go off and do whatever they want.

          I guess what it boils down to for me is it appears the UN is nothing more than an organization where we act internationally the same way we act at home, with all those conflicting ideologies and ambitions that end up making the organization a bureaucratic nightmare. There may be a few good acts here and there but mixed in a haze of self interests and questionable appointment resulting in enough failures to justify questioning UN effectiveness.

          So what do we do?

          Unsure it is that simple of a question given the dynamic of what we are talking about here. I tend to think it starts with solving a few problems with power influence ability over the UN but that comes with a series of consequences, perhaps a few nations walking away from the UN. A position I have sometimes taken as the UN operates today, previously I have been all for the US walking away from the UN.

          However, the absence of a comprehensive answer does not mean discussions of the problem are off the table when we are hinting at national sovereignty vs. power of an international organization (or lack of power.) That will always be a major point of contention.

          BTW, in my opinion the EU is another matter entirely. That organization adds the element of fiscal choices of member nations being in direct contrast to one another. Greece is a fantastic example but then again so is the economic policy choices of say Germany vs. those of France today. Ideology just jumped up a notch to a whole new level of complexity.

          ?

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