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Old 01-20-2004, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
UN Reform: Making the world a safer place

To any of you out there who read the recent thread on the positive sides of Iraq, let me introduce myself. bullzam was banned because he wasn't yet 18, and I'm one of his friends at school so I decided to continue on an important aspect of his article, the UN and US foreign policy. And by the way, I am 18. I think by now that thread has gotten a little off the topic, and I'd like to propose the downsides of Iraq... As was said, Iraq is a victory for national security, perhaps, but I do think it was the culmination of a loss in terms of our foreign policy, here's why:
The UN was about as alive and well as my dead grandmother before Iraq, and I think We have started to put the headstone in place now. Our blatant show of disregard for their organization has crippled them because no one will listen their orders for sure. I've seen this first hand in Africa, how hard it is for UN officials to impose anything on foreign powers. Of course, I don't think it would've made much difference whether or not we disobeyed them, they were crumbling anyway, but we could've tried to more in the past to support the UN. Unfortunately I don't think we realized how powerful of a tool the UN could be. With a powerful UN to "police" the world on the premise of human rights, we wouldn't have had to enter afghanistan or Iraq on our own and reap the great love we've gotten from many middle eastern occupants in the process. If the UN was powerful, not only would many developing nations benefit from their aid, but they could even help in the fight against global terrorirsm.
Anyway, I've rambled long enough, and I'm interested if any one else out there believes, as I do, that the UN or some other world organisation could be a very necessary tool to preserve peace and development in the coming century... and that America should take this seriously
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
Location: VA
The UN, by design, is only as powerful as the will of its members. To be honest, that's the way I like it. As for "putting the headstone in place," you'll notice that Bremer, and by extension the Bush administration, have come back to the UN, in a rather desperate attempt to garner support for the US's schedule of a scaled approach to nation-building.
"In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard. It's - and it's hard work. I understand how hard it is. I get the casualty reports every day. I see on the TV screens how hard it is. But it's necessary work. We're making progress. It is hard work."
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
Kiss of Death
Location: Perpetual wind and sorrow
I don't like the idea of a U.N. police, it infringes on sovereignity, not to mention it would have the possibility to become extremely corrupt due that it would have no one to answer to it. Secondly the U.S. movement to Iraq did not invalidate the U.N. That fall on the failure to enforce several resolutions, and the many botched missions.
To win a war you must serve no master but your ambition.
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Old 01-20-2004, 05:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
Cherry-pickin' devil's advocate
Location: Los Angeles
Funny because the idea of the UN police was long held to be the ideal thing for America and what many Americans hoped would be there - maybe its simply the fact that these generations haven't seen a world war and the older ones have.

Anyways I think its kinda expected for people nowadays to say "the UN is useless" when one is not affected by them - but those who are, and those who know what it was meant to do (and having experienced world war(s) ) may think differently.
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Old 01-20-2004, 05:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: On the front lines against our very enemy
As I have said before, the UN is not designed to be a Security Force organization. It is a forum to bring nations together to give them a chance to discuss what the hell is going on (See: Cuban Missile Crisis, Invasion of Kuwait, Korean War, etc.). The United Nations does some great humanitarian work, they pursue the goal of improving the world, and there's nothing wrong with that, and I think that they have played a key role in helping that come about. I think that the UN could certainly be reformed to make it a more efficient organization, but it suffers from a high irradiation by the element Governmentium. The policing idea is a touchy issue because of the fact that there are nations out there that scream about national sovereignty. Therein lies the problem, because nations that are committing human rights violations are ones that take up the banner of national sovereignty, because they feel that what they are doing is in their best interests. It's a Catch-22, which is extremely hard to explain, it just has to be witnessed in person to really get a true feeling for why some resolutions that would be a good idea don't get passed.
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
I agree with zeld, the UN was like the league of nations meant to be if not a policing force, a peace keeping forum, and it failed at that. As for how much good the UN does, its true, it does do some good. However, the ratio of money spent well to help people to money wasted is absurd. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't earn its keep in the "helping people" area for how powerful it could be. In the last few years its gotten a little better, but it took them a while to learn not to give money to local leaders, and they still do. With all the money they've poured into subsaharan africa, there should be a thriving healthy economy and no HIV problems... instead there are just a few more secluded palaces laying about
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
Cherry-pickin' devil's advocate
Location: Los Angeles
The problem with the UN comes down to the problems in human society - power, greed, self-improvement goals - nations are willing to work togther only if it benefits them, and if not they say screw it.

If the UN is to be more effective in its areas of peacekeeping it has to in the end be stronger IMO - its humanitarian missions are great and noble but as with any democracy or assembly, bickering between sides will limit progress.
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