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Old 03-06-2005, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Politics of Hotel Rwanda

I just got back from watching the movie Hotel Rwanda. I recommend the film to anyone, but I'll leave the critical reviews to Tilted Entertainment.

I'd like to start a discussion about any political issues the film might provoke. The film depicts the horrific genocide that went on there during the mid-90s. Although the UN and the rest of the world was aware of what was going on... very little action was taken to end the violence. So I'd like to know...

Do you think that the violence could have been halted if any country had decided to intervene?

Did the outside world have a moral imperative to get involved even though it would most certainly be a messy ordeal?

What can be said about the UN's handling of the genocide?

How should our (meaning the U.S. and the west in general) response, or lack of response, to the genocide in Rwanda shape our future international policy?

On one hand it's difficult to hear of such awful things and not immediately say western (or UN) involvement is needed. However, it's a slippery slope... does that mean that we should always get involved? Surely not... but then when and why? the U.S. in particular has got its feeding-hand bitten in Somalia, got involved in a millenia-old (yet smaller scale) conflict in Bosnia... yet ignored the butchering in Rwanda and the Sudan.

sure, it's best to stop it while you can, if you can... but can we ask our soldiers to get involved (and possibly die) to stop ethnic violence around the world? that certainly isn't in the oath they take.

lots of stuff spinning around in my head.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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O My God!!

I saw this last night: I am still reeling. I haven't posted yet cause I haven't figured out how to frame this discussion.

It is so easy to get emotional with this one. Another problem is that there are way too many issues. Where do we start? WIth the UN? US Policy? Euro Policy? Do we look at it from a purely theoretical view or do we let our humanity and emotions affect our judgement?

My head's spinning too, but let's try and break it down a bit.

1. UN - Paper Tiger? Impotent organ, should it be disbanded or given "real power"?

2. US Foreign Policy - Should our Grand Strategy be based on self-interest only or as the world's sole superpower do we have a responsibility or obligation to help our fellow man? Should anyone?

3. The European Countries - France, Belgium, (UK?) - Do the former colonial powers have a responsibility and obligation to the mess that they created?

4. In a humanitarian crisis, should politics be just brushed aside to save millions of lives? Are millions of lives worth a few Western soldiers. How about oil, is oil worth the lives of a few Western soldiers?

Do we let the people decide (referendum)?
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great movie. The UN completely screwed up and didn't do anything here, and in Bosnia. Clinton's biggest failure by far, in my opinion, was not doing anything to intervene in Rwanda.

The UN needs reform - which is why it is currently in the process of doing so (hopefully). There's this huge new reform commission paper put out in early December that will, I pray, fix things for the better.

However, talk that the UN should be abandoned is just rediculous.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So then, how do we reform the UN?

It seems the main problem is that the UN simply doesn't have the authority nor muscle to enforce any decree.

It goes back to the problem of lack of a central authority (or world government). You will find many in the US simply do not wish the UN any more power or even for us to get out or have it disbanded.

Further, I would guess that many countries would be hesitant to giving the UN much power. Unless we can clear this hurdle, I don't see it getting better.
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Old 03-06-2005, 05:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The reason the UN was "impotent" was because of the veto power certain members of the security council carry. There was plenty of impetus to do something in Rawanda but the US and others vetoed this involvment.

This veto power needs to be removed or seriously curtailed.
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Old 03-06-2005, 07:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The reason the UN was "impotent" was because of the veto power certain members of the security council carry. There was plenty of impetus to do something in Rawanda but the US and others vetoed this involvment.

This veto power needs to be removed or seriously curtailed.

No.

It was the lack of leadership and moral courage, both in the UN and US, to do anything about it. Real leaders can overcome veto power.

Clinton could have formed a military response with NATO countries and left the League of Nations out of it all together. Afterall, he did it when it came to Kosovo, and the Rwanadan genocide was far worse than the Kosovo fighting.
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The reason the UN was "impotent" was because of the veto power certain members of the security council carry. There was plenty of impetus to do something in Rawanda but the US and others vetoed this involvment.

This veto power needs to be removed or seriously curtailed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
No.

It was the lack of leadership and moral courage, both in the UN and US, to do anything about it. Real leaders can overcome veto power.

Clinton could have formed a military response with NATO countries and left the League of Nations out of it all together. Afterall, he did it when it came to Kosovo, and the Rwanadan genocide was far worse than the Kosovo fighting.
NCB sure got this one right. Most of the UN members vote only in their own best interest, or with their emotional dislike of the US. How quickly the oil for food scandals, and Germany/France/China's recent economically-driven votes have been forgotten.

I have no desire to see the UN voting on where US soldiers should fight and die.
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Old 03-06-2005, 08:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The reason the UN was "impotent" was because of the veto power certain members of the security council carry. There was plenty of impetus to do something in Rawanda but the US and others vetoed this involvment.

This veto power needs to be removed or seriously curtailed.
completely unworkable politically.

so... the US and others (which, i believe ended up being majority of the security council) vetoed it yet there was plenty of support? not likely. even if all the banana republics in the world banded together they wouldn't have the resources or technology to do the job. the problem was that there was very little internal political impetus in the countries who could have acted.

the veto power each security council member weilds is the only thing holding the UN together. sure, it restricts some country's actions... but having control over what happens is essential for any world-power national government. what would happen if the the UN decided to take action but the nations who supply the teeth weren't on board? complete political chaos and the fracturing of the UN.

the UN is made of sovereign nations. compelling those sovereign nations to participate against their own political decisions would never do. simply taking those willing piecemeal is nothing more than an alliance with no need for a UN apparatus.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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UN soldier shouldn't be seen as being part of any particular nation... They *should* be viewed as UN soldiers represent the interestes of the World.

I know this is an ideal situation but why shouldn't be strive for the ideal.

We really do need to start thinking Globally, if only a somewhat.
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Old 03-06-2005, 09:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
NCB sure got this one right. Most of the UN members vote only in their own best interest, or with their emotional dislike of the US. How quickly the oil for food scandals, and Germany/France/China's recent economically-driven votes have been forgotten.

I have no desire to see the UN voting on where US soldiers should fight and die.
I think you missed the part where he called BOTH the US *and* the UN morally weak.


Rawanda is replaying as we write this in Darfur and the same thing is happening again... that should tell you something...

We as nations of the world don't give a damn what happens in some other country.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
UN soldier shouldn't be seen as being part of any particular nation... They *should* be viewed as UN soldiers represent the interestes of the World.
I know this is an ideal situation but why shouldn't be strive for the ideal.

We really do need to start thinking Globally, if only a somewhat.
No way.

Soldiers dedicate themselves to their country, not the UN or the world. Striving for an idealistic scenario in which the world comes together to fight the tyrannies of the world is noble, but it is nonetheless a vast departure form reality and frnakly, human nature.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
I think you missed the part where he called BOTH the US *and* the UN morally weak.


Rawanda is replaying as we write this in Darfur and the same thing is happening again... that should tell you something...

We as nations of the world don't give a damn what happens in some other country
.

Political correctness is playing a huge role in the Sudan genocide, (though not so much the Darfur conflict). The Sudan crisis is yet another example of the Clinton Admin and the UN being morally bankrupt and without leadership. Like Rwanada, the Sudan crisis was far worse than anyhting that was happening in Kosovo. However, for the US to act in Sudan would have meant us going to bat for the Sudanese Christians who were being murdered and enslaved by the Sudanese Muslims. In Kosovo, it was the Christian "aggressors" fighting the Albanian and Kosovo Muslims. It's much easier for liberals (Clinton Admin) to go against a white Christian aggressor than it is black Muslim murderers.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd say it was much easier for them to send troops to save whites...
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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this is the problem you run into with the idea of a global government and a world military. it's popular to say that "the world" is doing this or that... but what is really taking place is a faction of governments doing one thing for their own benefit. that's fine, governments should do what is in the best interest of their constituents. however, you run into a kind of ceiling when you run into an all-encompassing human government. there can never be a "world" action taken against a country... because the word describes both parties. the term is merely fodder for politicians, it does not take into account the fact that the "world" cannot represent what it tries to describe... or no action would be necessary.

this is why the UN can never be more than a forum for discussion. when it tries to extend itself furthur it runs into nation-state barriers that will either destroy the UN in total or paralyze it when it is needed to perform the mission it claims to have moral authority over. the paradigm for our time is still the nation-state with groupings based along civilization lines. ignoring that truth in a form of idealized UN worship has only resulted in paralysis when international intervention is needed.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
I think you missed the part where he called BOTH the US *and* the UN morally weak.
Um, no, why do you say that?


Quote:
Rawanda is replaying as we write this in Darfur and the same thing is happening again... that should tell you something...

We as nations of the world don't give a damn what happens in some other country.
And some of us simply watch whatever Bush does, and say we should have done something else.

If we go into Iraq, it should have been Iran, or North Korea, or Rwanda. Then again, when he took a week or so to send aid to the tsunami areas, that was way too long again, according to some).

In the meantime, I've been taking heat for asking why so much was sent to the tsunami survivors, and pretty much nothing to Sudan.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd say it was much easier for them to send troops to save whites...
You could SAY it, but you'd be wrong. How else do you explain our sending troops to Haiti?

How many troops has Canada sent again? I'd think it would be a lot, considering how well their budget is balanced.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Political correctness is playing a huge role in the Sudan genocide, (though not so much the Darfur conflict). The Sudan crisis is yet another example of the Clinton Admin and the UN being morally bankrupt and without leadership. Like Rwanada, the Sudan crisis was far worse than anyhting that was happening in Kosovo. However, for the US to act in Sudan would have meant us going to bat for the Sudanese Christians who were being murdered and enslaved by the Sudanese Muslims. In Kosovo, it was the Christian "aggressors" fighting the Albanian and Kosovo Muslims. It's much easier for liberals (Clinton Admin) to go against a white Christian aggressor than it is black Muslim murderers.
Your explanation misses the obvious: Clinton hasn't been in office in over 4 years.

But I'm not interested in another anti-UN thread from a bunch of conservatives, anyway.

So - the question is: why has there been no discussion as to the cause of the atrocities in Rwanda? There are two main factors (and I wonder how long it will take to turn this aspect of the discussion into a U.S. is better than everyone else discussion).

1- Western colonization. One Western government controlled Rwanda, placing the minority Tutsis in power and then left Rwanda and placed the majority Hutus in power. While that Western government was there, they let the Tusis dominate the Hutus, after they left the Hutus massacred the Tutsis with weapons provided by, you guessed it, another Western government. Which brings us to the 2nd main factor:

2- Internation arm sales. This is the issue I've never been able to wrap my head around. The West sells arms to dozens and dozens of non-Western countries and what happens? The arms get used. And then we express shock (delayed by a decade in the case of Rwanda) that people are dying. Or even worse, the arms are used against us when we go in to "fix" the situation we created. Why the hell are international arms sales legal? It's entirely absurd.

You can bicker over who should have done what to stop the massacre - but then you sound exactly like the Western radio broadcast in the movie: bickering over the definition of genocide.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think a big part of the problem is that the UN has, as a whole, had the attitude for many years that Genocide is a "White People Thing," something only Caucasians do. It doesn't really matter how ugly the incident; if it's not being perpatrated by Whites, the UN doesn't much care.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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So - the question is: why has there been no discussion as to the cause of the atrocities in Rwanda
Hand wringing and collegiate lectures on causes does not solve a problem. They're good for books and university lecture halls, but the have no signifigance in real world problem solving.

Manx, you state that you don't want another anti UN thread, but then revert to your umbrella explanation for the Worlds ills: The West.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hand wringing and collegiate lectures on causes does not solve a problem. They're good for books and university lecture halls, but the have no signifigance in real world problem solving.
Are you kidding me? You have to be joking.

You can discuss what should have been done to halt the genocide as long as you like - you're never going to change what did happen. And the longer you discuss what should have happened in Rwanda, the longer it will take you to act in Sudan.

And you can ignore the discussion of causes, and in fact make a post that (amazingly) claims such a discussion has no value - and you will find that history repeats itself. See Sudan.
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Manx, you state that you don't want another anti UN thread, but then revert to your umbrella explanation for the Worlds ills: The West.
Show me how the West was not a major factor, on two fronts, in Rwanda - don't tell me that because I use the word "West" I am having the same discussion you have been having in this thread.

Last edited by Manx; 03-06-2005 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:16 AM   #21 (permalink)
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No, the UN bickers over the definition of genocide because once something is defined as a genocide, then they have to act. By waffling over it, they don't have to commit.

Same with Darfur. To give Bush credit (really, let's not let this thread degrade into Bush v Clinton or libs v cons), we are calling the Darfur thing a genocide while the UN will not.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:23 AM   #22 (permalink)
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No, the UN bickers over the definition of genocide because once something is defined as a genocide, then they have to act. By waffling over it, they don't have to commit.
I can't tell if this is in response to my comparison to the scene in the film or not - I will assume it is, correct me if I am wrong.

Yes. The UN bickers over the definition of genocide because once something is defined as a genocide, then they have to act. And the West bickers over what should have been done in Rwanda, because once they decide that something, anything, should have been done in Rwanda, then they have to act in Sudan.

It's ALL double-talk, waste time - you should have done something, no you should have done something. All the while, nothing gets done.

The answer is: stop creating the situations to begin with. Neither Rwanda nor the Sudan nor any place on this planet is not directly affected by Western international policies. Most places can do nothing to stop the West from doing what it wants in their countries. The West is at fault here for being a major force in CAUSING the problems and then, entirely seperate from that, discussing possible "fixes" instead of acting and, as NCB so eloquently demonstrated, refusing to discuss the original causes of the problems.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:45 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You could SAY it, but you'd be wrong. How else do you explain our sending troops to Haiti?

How many troops has Canada sent again? I'd think it would be a lot, considering how well their budget is balanced.
We do send quite a few troops... we have had troops in Somalia, Rawanda, Hati, Kosovo, Afghanistan... the list goes on.

Canada is committed to the UN peacekeeping units and NATO.

It was a Canadian that concieved of the UN peacekeepers after all.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:52 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Oops, I'm a slow typer: Manx, I was referring to Post #18 [theDunedain].

RE: Your post (above) I am not too clear on your last paragraph: "Stop creating situations..."

I would think that is self-evident, but the question is what to do now? For example in Darufr, do we let them resolve it on their own (fight it out etc.) or do we (UN, the West, Pan-African Forces, whatever) go in to stop it? That's where it gets tricky.

I don't think there's any question as to the West's culpability in these matters (colonial legacy to current inaction) but let's move forward: What do we do now?

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Old 03-06-2005, 11:55 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Just for clarification - Who saw the movie?
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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RE: Your post (above) I am not too clear on your last paragraph: "Stop creating situations..."

I would think that is self-evident
It is clearly far from self-evident.

NCB doesn't even want to talk about it.

Meanwhile, we continue to sell arms and we continue to colonize.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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well, to be fair... the canadians to pony up some troops in most efforts but the numbers are nowhere near "quite a few". at least, not in terms of what it takes to execute an entire operation. oftentimes it's a token contingent with a limited mission... you won't see canadians in prolonged combat roles taking the brunt of deployments. they have neither the resources nor the political backing for such things. i'm not trying to disparage canadian soldiers or their contributions... but the fact is that they're limited by a number of factors.

that's why i have to bite my tongue when the canadian government lectures the US on international military ops. they have not spent the resources necessary to keep the bite equal with their bark. it's not necessarily a reflection on the canadian people (and certainly not on their servicemen), just that they (and many other countries) want to come to the UN and NATO tables on equal footing with the US... all-the-while knowing the US will be the one to spend the resources and manpower to accomplish the mission. if the US asserts itself in equal measures with the contributions requested of it... it's depicted as another example of American bullying.

apparently we aren't the world's police... but we are the world's bankroll and beast-of-burden.

this brings us to yet-another problem with sustaining the UN as a military presence. the structure of the organization lends itself to equal representation among security council members, while the actual operation is always funded disproportianately

about the causes... Rwanda is a former colony of belgium, yet belgium is essentially neutered militarily. the U.S. has no colonial history in Africa... why is it being looked upon for either a cause or a solution? there was no leadership from either Brussels or Paris... if they will not act in instances of clear genocide in their (very recently departed) colonies, when can we trust them to act justly? why is their approach to diplomacy so respected in some circles? what victories does their school of thought have to tout?
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Oh boy, we're gonna have to open up another thread if we want to get into arms.

NCB is entitled to his opinions. Maybe he didn't understand your point? Maybe he didn't see the movie or maybe he hasn't read up on it.

But now what? So we stop creating situations. Then what to do with the current situations?
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:23 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I think many people view the US as being the only party that CAN do anything. Like you said, Belgium et all are either unable or unwilling to do anything.

So as part of US grand strategy, we need to decide what kind of "self-interest" action we will partake in and what "humanitarian" action we are willing to involve in. Tough decision, it's like choosing who gets to live.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:31 PM   #30 (permalink)
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about the causes... Rwanda is a former colony of belgium, yet belgium is essentially neutered militarily. the U.S. has no colonial history in Africa... why is it being looked upon for either a cause or a solution? there was no leadership from either Brussels or Paris... if they will not act in instances of clear genocide in their (very recently departed) colonies, when can we trust them to act justly? why is their approach to diplomacy so respected in some circles? what victories does their school of thought have to tout?
As I predicted, you prefer to make this a the U.S. is not responsible and is therefore better than Belgium/France discussion.

To do so ignores the following facts:

- The U.S. is the leader of the West.
- The U.S. has colonized other areas and continues to do so.
- The U.S. is the #1 arms dealer on the planet.

I'm not interested in pointing fingers at which Western country did this and which Western country did that. All Western countries share in the responsibility for the cause of Rwanda, Sudan and many others. Western foreign policy and international arms sales create these attrocities. If Belgium didn't do, another Western country would have.
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Old 03-06-2005, 12:36 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Oh boy, we're gonna have to open up another thread if we want to get into arms.
No. Arms sales are a MAJOR factor in these types of events. If you discuss Rwanda, you fool yourself if you do not discuss the absurdity of arms dealing.
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NCB is entitled to his opinions. Maybe he didn't understand your point? Maybe he didn't see the movie or maybe he hasn't read up on it.
He is entitled to his opinions, I never said otherwise. Maybe he didn't understand my point, but I doubt it - my point was not complex and his response showed that he grasped it to some degree. Whether he saw the movie or has read up on it has no bearing on whether a discussion about the cause of an event is useless, as he claimed.
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But now what? So we stop creating situations. Then what to do with the current situations?
"So we stop creating situations" - you make it sound like just saying that makes it so.

The current situation is easily addressed: the UN sends in troops to stop the violence. Followed by the complete withdrawal of Western business from Sudan and the addition of mountains of humanitarian aid. There is nothing to discuss on that aspect anymore. That is the solution, there is no other.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:00 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
So then, how do we reform the UN?
It's beyond reform and must be disbanded. People in America (regardless of which side you're on in domestic politics) think Clinton and Bush are corrupt, but they're pikers compared to the UN.

It's outlived it's usefulness, and nobody, and I mean NOBODY, with a lick of sense would give them one IOTA of power, since they've proved over and over again to be either completely incompetent or genuinely evil.

Quote:
This veto power needs to be removed or seriously curtailed.
Take the veto away, and the US WILL pull out of the UN. (prolly Russia too) We don't want third world shitheads like Castro and Mugabe telling us what we HAVE to do. You want to get us to bring out our toys and our people to play? Then act like a civilized body, and treat us with the proper respect that we've EARNED. Ask us NICELY, and stop giving us shit about everything we do, and we'll be less inclined to tell you to piss off. It's amazing how that works...

Quote:
Rawanda is replaying as we write this in Darfur and the same thing is happening again... that should tell you something...
And how is that the US's fault? Other nations bitch and moan when we act militarily in our own interests. They say we're a international bully. So why should we act militarily in a crisis that we didn't have anything to do with starting? The rest of the world needs to make up it's mind. Is America evil or not? If we're evil, PLEASE tell us to fuck off and then live with the results. If we're not, then stop hassling us. The US has been called "racist" for bombing brown people in Iraq. Why should we be more "racist" by killing brown people in Rwanda or Darfur or wherever? Let them kill themselves off if that makes them happy. It's just Malthusian economic theory in practice...

Quote:
No. Arms sales are a MAJOR factor in these types of events. If you discuss Rwanda, you fool yourself if you do not discuss the absurdity of arms dealing.
You're right. We should have sold arms to the people being slaughtered.

BTW, IIRC, most of the pictures I've seen of armed Rwandans during the slaughter involved people running around with AK-47s and variants thereof. Most of the actual killing was done with machetes. Does the US manufacture a large percentage of the AK-47s and variants out there? Or do we have the international concession on machetes?

Last edited by daswig; 03-06-2005 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:22 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Here's a question... do you "the UN is beyond reform" types even think the concept of the UN is sound idea?

Ignore the existing history... The question is, is there anything positive in having the nations of the world get together to solve world issues.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:31 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
Here's a question... do you "the UN is beyond reform" types even think the concept of the UN is sound idea?

Ignore the existing history... The question is, is there anything positive in having the nations of the world get together to solve world issues.

In theory, it's a great idea. The problem is that we don't live in a theory, we live in the real world. And human nature makes the idea of the UN farcical. For example, when China is on the Human Rights subcommittee.....
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:36 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Daswig,

Do you think the UN or something like that is an impossibility?

What about disbanding it and starting from scratch?

Charlatan, what do you suggest? How do you think they should be reformed? Can it be reformed? Start over?
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:48 PM   #36 (permalink)
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manx,

you add nothing to the discussion when you think you pre-empt arguments.

your "facts" are as imagined as usual. it's a very silly thing to say that the U.S. is colonizing. also, from what resource do you pull the idea that the US is the number one arms dealer? if that is true by some dimensional way of looking at the statistics (if indeed you have any)... i'm willing to bet that the genocides of the last half of the century were executed almost entirely with AK-47s, SKS's, Soviet RPGs and machete's. Not F-15s, M-16s or Aegis missile systems.

and as long as we're talking about generalizing the arguments of others; it's typical liberal bullshit to whine about the "causes" and then pretend as if a gun were the cause of someone wanting to kill another.

you're more than willing to blame the U.S. for anything you can... yet can't even let it go when the U.S. is unequivocably not at fault. this is an illness.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:04 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
manx,

you add nothing to the discussion when you think you pre-empt arguments.
Your discussion was nothing to begin with - so I am not suprised you have such derision for my perspective.
Quote:
your "facts" are as imagined as usual.
Your counter facts are imagined as usual.
Quote:
it's a very silly thing to say that the U.S. is colonizing.
Hardly silly at all. One need only open the newspaper to see it happening live in Iraq. But I have no doubt that your imagined facts disagree with that reality as well.
Quote:
also, from what resource do you pull the idea that the US is the number one arms dealer?
The Congressional Research Service. I.E. the United States Government.
Quote:
if that is true by some dimensional way of looking at the statistics (if indeed you have any)... i'm willing to bet that the genocides of the last half of the century were executed almost entirely with AK-47s, SKS's, Soviet RPGs and machete's. Not F-15s, M-16s or Aegis missile systems.
Naturally. They don't need the bigger weapons because no one attempts to stop them. Of course, other countries that use the U.S. arms are countries like Saudi Arabia, to maintain the tyrrany.
Quote:
and as long as we're talking about generalizing the arguments of others; it's typical liberal bullshit to whine about the "causes" and then pretend as if a gun were the cause of someone wanting to kill another.

you're more than willing to blame the U.S. for anything you can... yet can't even let it go when the U.S. is unequivocably not at fault. this is an illness.
The illness is yours when you deny that the U.S., as an extension and leader of Western policies, is not involved in the world. Particularly when you prefer to pick and choose, by some seemingly arbitrary measure that ultimately comes down to money, when the U.S. is involved. Somehow, you excuse U.S. interference when it benefits the U.S. but you deny the U.S. should be involved when there are consequences to that interference. I have tried repeatedly in this thread to place the blame where it belongs: The West. And you and others have continually attempted to remove the U.S. from the West - as if because AK-47s were used in Rwanda this somehow means the U.S. foreign policy is not exactly the same as Belgiums foreign policy was to Rwanda.

And now you play the weak "liberal" card of gun mentality even though I have also already stated that colonization is the other major factor. As if guns do not allow things like tyrannies and wholesale slaughter on scales that vastly out perform a basic machette.

Your conservative escapism from the ramifications of Western (and that includes the U.S.) foreign policy is entirely obvious.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:09 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Bangladesh, Angola, Egypt, Burma, Colombia,
India, Kenya, Israel, Indonesia, Mexico,
Pakistan, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Peru, Turkey, Venezuela

These are just a short list of the biggest customers of the US for arms... This is only the US goverment... Private arms dealers, extend a lot further.

This is not to say that it is only the US engaging in this practice... International arms trade is something that certainly bears thinking about.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:25 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I have not seen the movie, but I think one thing being left out of the cause/solution equation is individual responsibility. I think that is what this ultimately comes down to. You can blame the west all you want, but it fundamently comes down to the people commiting the atrocities. They, not the west, are accountable.

An example. Lets say I am very poor and the government is taxing me so much, I can't afford to buy my dying child medicine. So I rob a store and in the process, kill the clerk. Is it the governments fault for taxing me too much or not providing healthcare? Is it my fault for killing the clerk because I should have found alternative means to save my child?

I guess what I am trying to say here is, just because shitty things happen to you, it doesn't give you the right to be an asshole.
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:49 PM   #40 (permalink)
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It does not "ultimately come down to" individual responsibility. Assuredly, the mobs that commited the attrocities should not have commited the attrocities. No one is disputing that fact.

But neither does it excuse, in any way, the West from constantly and consistently creating the situations that bring about such mob mentality.

Your example was just an arbitrary example of responsibility. If you want an example that in some fashion is more closely related to the subject:

Let's say the government picks your neighbor to tell you what to do and the government gives nice things to your neighbor and lets your neighbor decide what (or if) he should pass anything along to you. Then one day, the government decides that it doesn't want to give anything to anyone anymore, and in the process of packing its bags, puts you in charge of your neighbor who had been hoarding and treating you like shit. And then, another government comes along and puts a gun in your hand. Now mutliply yourself by hundreds of thousands.

I don't know you from Adam - but I do know we can't expect anything close to every person in your situation in that scenario to not seek revenge. But when you say "responsibility" is the ultimate issue, that is exactly the expectation you are suggesting we have.

Last edited by Manx; 03-06-2005 at 02:51 PM..
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