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Passions in Poetry

Let's Hear it for the U.N.......

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Denise
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25 posted 05-01-2003 10:14 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

ROFL

Thanks for the levity, Tim! It's quite refreshing in this world gone mad.
morefiah
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26 posted 05-01-2003 11:32 AM       View Profile for morefiah   Email morefiah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for morefiah

Question: Could someone please define UNITED NATIONS for me?

My concern is that we (myself included, to be honest) criticise the UN but somehow we act as if it is an organisation which is exclusive of it's membership. As if the UN is more than just a collection of countries which ultimately depends on the efforts of all, or at least the most economic and militarily powerful members, to make it what it should be. Some of the arguments I have read on this thread give the impression that the UN is this entity which is refusing to assert it's relevance by upholding the principles of human rights, democracy, etc.

We could shoot the breeze all day here if we want to, but I think that if we are going to argue that the thing needs fixing, we also have to acknowledge that it cannot be fixed by some omniscient being from God-knows-where... it has to be fixed by the membership. Through dialogue, cooperation, and if it comes to that, a willingness on the part of those countries I have mentioned before in grabbing the UN by the scruff of the neck and dragging it where it needs to go. This would of course be resisted by some of the smaller countries, but as long as there is a consensus among the powerful nations around the very same issues we are debating here, I believe that there would be some measure of success.

I know that there are issues of sovereignity, and potential bullyism to be considered in such a scenario, but what I am proposing is a United Nations organisation which is almost like the Vatican: autonomous, with the power and ability to do some of the very things which we have here averred that it needs to be able to do. This requires economic strength and military strength. It also requires that the membership sit debate, vote on, and craft a constitution which all countries would have to accept into their own legal systems before being admitted into the UN. Quite frankly, I am not very knowledgeable on the EU but I think that there may be some examples in the way EU membership is obtained. There has to be some way to ensure that having been accepted into the UN, a country cannot just do as it likes. Any new UN organisation would have to look at issues such as that.

The point though, is that it makes no sense just highlighting the faults of the UN without attempting to consider some kind of solution. Unless of course, we would rather the altenative: a world without a UN organisation or any other similar organisation.

Garfield

littlewing
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27 posted 05-02-2003 05:24 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

Could someone please define UNITED NATIONS for me?

yes - there are a whole bunch of them:

tax return, peace force, microsoft works,
jumbo shrimp, same difference, government organization . . . .  *wink*

[This message has been edited by littlewing (05-02-2003 05:25 PM).]

Balladeer
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28 posted 05-02-2003 08:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Morefiah, there is a lot of wisdom in your words. I don't think, however, at this point the UN is fixable in its present form. You don't fix a condemned building by pulling out the bad bricks. You tear it down and rebuild it. I don't think one can tell the core members of the UN, including those who occupy positions on the Security Council, Human RIghts Commission, etc at this point they have to change to remain members. As Cuba did weeks ago, they will simply say "Shove it". Will these countries accept investigations into their civil rights procedures at this point when there are so many of them in violation? Highly unlikely, in my opinion. The only solution I would see would be to disband the UN and create a brand new organization where the requirements for membership would include those inspections, among others, and a willingness to commit, financially and militarily, to world peace. Sadly, I don't see that happening, either.

So I'm afraid we are stuck with what we have..an inept organization that serves to be little more than a global "chat room" for representatives of countries around the world.
Local Rebel
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29 posted 05-03-2003 12:27 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

With all due respect Micheal -- the bricks are the bricks.... a church is not brick and mortar -- it is the people... the UN is Nations -- and it is the same nations that would form a new 'organisation'.  If Ron kicked us all off PIP and we started matching wits on another board would it change the arguments?

Littlewing..... heh...

Morfy
I enjoy reading you -- I can agree with some -- and take issue with some -- but you are intelligent and decisive -- and that's a powerful combination!   (not to mention appealing)

Let's not bother to define the UN right now though -- because Bill Clinton is shamelessly prepping for a run for Secretary General -- and after he gets through with it there's no telling what it's going to be..  

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (05-03-2003 01:01 AM).]

Balladeer
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30 posted 05-03-2003 01:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Clinton would fit in very well in that position...it would be the perfect punchline

No, Reb, my idea was to set up new requirements for admission...in other words, dictators who rule by force and murder need not apply. The face of the UN would change dramatically...ah well, it's a pipe dream anyway. Where's my Grape Nehi?
Local Rebel
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31 posted 05-03-2003 12:43 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yes, but didn't the Clinton military do a great job in Iraq?

Deer -- that would either be a confederacy of nations -- which you wouldn't want because that would mean the U.S. would defer its' soveriegnty, or a strategic alliance like NATO.

The UN is NOT a governing body -- it is a place for diplomacy -- if you leave nations out it defeats the whole purpose.  It's the place where we must listen to the propaganda of the tin horn dictator whilst he has to listen to ours.  It's not a body that can be ideologically bent.

The UN gets into trouble when it does try to act like a government.  Peacekeeping forces are exactly that -- the UN never declares war on anybody -- humanitarian efforts are the best thing the UN does.  

When you see the UN building just think of it as a huge, international, bottle of Midol -- meant to releive the discomfort of global PMS
Ron
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32 posted 05-03-2003 04:23 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
in other words, dictators who rule by force and murder need not apply.

And who is to determine those qualifications? Who is to define the terms?

As just one example of the difficulty in doing so, most modern nations consider capital punishment to be state sanctioned murder and absolutely refuse to extradite someone to U.S. custody if the possibility of execution is sitting on the table. Would any of those countries try to argue that America rules, at least in part, through the use of murder?
Tim
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33 posted 05-03-2003 06:31 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

and not to mention the fact beside sanctioning murder, the U.S. is imperialistic; amasses weapons of mass destruction; our president is a trigger happy prevaricator; the U.S. acts as puppetmaster for the Israelis; the primary aim of American foreign policy is to steal oil from under-developed third world nations; Americans do not realize French Fries come from Belgium; just to name a few reasons.

I realize more than a few won't understand my point, but it is merely a different take on Ron's. No one is going to dispute an idealistic view of a "United Nations" organization.  They are just going to envision such an organization within the context of their view of an idealized world.

Humanitarian body, yes.  Governing body, no.

By the way, did I hear right that they had a food riot in the U.N. headquarters with diplomats and embassy staffs stealing food and cafeteria equipment.  Yep, those are the folks I want deciding the fate of the world.

[This message has been edited by Tim (05-03-2003 06:38 PM).]

Brad
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34 posted 05-03-2003 07:07 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Tim,

Thought I'd rework those complaints a bit:

quote:
the U.S. is imperialistic


Or rather America doesn't do anything unless it is in its own self-interest. National security including market share takes precedence over human rights and the sovereignty of other nations.

quote:
amasses weapons of mass destruction


Well, they usually just point to our nuclear arsenal and that we are are the largest arms dealer in the world.

quote:
our president is a trigger happy prevaricator


"You are either for us or against us"

quote:
the U.S. acts as puppetmaster for the Israelis


Hmmm, it's the other way around. America is the unwitting stooge of a giant Jewish conspiracy. We support them while they break the rules.

quote:
the primary aim of American foreign policy is to steal oil from under-developed third world nations


Not quite, the argument is actually that America pursues increasing and stabilizing markets for its companies but inequitably and with no regard for the consumers of third world countries. Don't forget the much talked about dehydrated milk debacle.

quote:
Americans do not realize French Fries come from Belgium;


Well, they didn't.

I didn't.

My point is not to get into another tit for tat about whether America is good or bad (hedgehog argument), but that we should put the best light on the arguments and realize that they aren't absurd and can be talked about (fox argument) -- though that doesn't mean that they are correct all the time.

When you don't do this, it sounds like you want to dismiss any and all complaints, that you don't care about what grievances that other may have against you. You compound the problem.

Balladeer
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35 posted 05-03-2003 08:50 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When you don't do this, it sounds like you want to dismiss any and all complaints, that you don't care about what grievances that other may have against you. You compound the problem.

You mean like just repeating hedgehog and foxes when asked to respond to direct questions, Brad? Nice to see your eloquence comes back when it wants to

Tim....very well said. I understand you completely...
Local Rebel
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36 posted 05-03-2003 09:04 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I thought french fries came from McDonalds
Tim
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37 posted 05-03-2003 09:34 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

McBurglar is a Belgian operative... (it is not supposed to be common knowledge, but there is a reason peanut butter and mayonnaise are used on fries in the low countries, it really contains an antidote)

And I won't even go into the true origin of Belgian waffles and the world wide conspiracy involving IHOPS and the southern connection with Waffle Huts.

[This message has been edited by Tim (05-04-2003 01:14 AM).]

Tim
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38 posted 05-03-2003 09:53 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

You did miss my point Brad, I was not criticizing opposing views to the U.S. (I just had those views readily available from these forums) I could just as well could have taken the view of any country towards the policies of any other country.  It doesn't matter if they are correct or not, because if the country believes their views to be correct, and those of the other country wrong, they cannot govern together in a truly idealistic and democratic fashion.

I would suspect most Americans would not trust the majority of nations to be on an equal footing with them in deciding the security issues of the U.S.  I would suspect most, if not all the countries of the world would hold the same position towards America.

That makes it a bit tough to arrive at the concept of a United Nations, except for the limited purposes it serves. (and humanitarian is one area it can achieve results)

You in essence have validated my position and why you may have some difficulty in believing, I concur in what you say to some extent.  

I just believe it has to go both ways, and I don't see that occuring.  I have never said the U.S. has not made serious mistakes. Why would I, they have.  But on the other side of the coin, have you ever admitted, or any of the individuals who bear such animus towards the president admit he is capable of positive action.  Not that I have heard or expect to hear.
Brad
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39 posted 05-04-2003 02:16 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Whether or not you were actually criticizing these points of view is beside the point, you were ridiculing them (and anyway you got some wrong anyway).

Can we talk about them in the way you described them substantively and either defeat or compromise with them or can we do nothing more than either agree or disagree?

Michael,

I was being my most eloquent and concise with my hedgehogs and foxes point. I can't describe it or you'll accuse me of bias, you'll just have to look them up.  

They are specific allusions, not nonsense.

Personally, I think Ron's point is ridiculous. Capital punishment is accepted in the majority of countries in this world and most of the countries mentioned here practice it. One cannot draw any kind of moral equivalent issue from it and one shouldn't try. Sure, certain European countries think were backward for it, I think it's wrong, but it's not really relevant to this discussion.

As for specific policy decisions, I supported the appointment of Colin Powell as Secretary of State (but who didn't?), believe it or not I thought Cheny was a good choice for VP -- and I still like his speaking style. I supported this war, was unsure about Afhanistan, glad that the Taliban was ousted.

I support his commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa and am appalled that, last time I checked, it was being held up over abortion issues. Anybody know if that has changed or if I'm in error?

I support his commitment to space travel.

I had some doubts about the Kyoto protocols myself, just think we should have been there anyway.

I thought he was quite statesmanlike after 911 and felt a surge of optimism that the world might just become a better place with that kind of united feeling behind America, the only country with the power to do anything. I am, of course, disappointed with the choices this administration's choices after that.

I do think Rumsfeld is funny.

I don't know, maybe he should start drinking again.

[This message has been edited by Brad (05-04-2003 02:41 AM).]

Balladeer
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40 posted 05-04-2003 09:03 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

AHA! My mistake, Brad. I didn't realize we were answering questions with parables. Why, it's almost like reading the Bible - no, that's the other thread. I've wasted a lot of words...I've got some zinger parables I can use in the future and save my fingers!!

Only joshing with ya, Brad. You can be foxy and hedge your words as much as you want
Tim
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41 posted 05-04-2003 10:00 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Again, you misdirect my comments Brad.  You do so by indicating I was ridiculing the points.  To the contrary, if anything (which I am, in reference to Ron, not doing and if so perceived do not intend) I could be accused of ridiculing Ron's point.

Apparently you did consider his point ridiculous. I felt it severely lacking, but then again, he was not addressing the issue at hand in the most direct fashion either.

Ron, to my recollection has had previous discussions with Balladeer in other threads and he was re-establishing his points concerning Balladeer's us vs. them regarding dictators and how you make the determination someone is evil.

Not wanting to put words in Ron's mouth, but his seems to be more of a philosophical argument in reference to interpretation of words and viewing something from one's own perspective.

But now I am guilty of not staying on point. *smile*

I did not make the statements in ridicule, but attempted to put in positions I have perceived being put forth here in Passions.  I in no way believe they are all legitimate or conform to generally accepted world views. And I apologize, there may well be some legitimacy to some of the points, some not.

I purposely did not use the word liar in an attempt to soften the point which numerous individuals have made more bluntly and directly.  (a personal bugaboo of mine as that is a term I avoid as I see it as a statement of derision and disrespect)

I assume the first reaction is therefore going to be the french fry example.  The french fry was brought out to show the insignificant matters that will prevent the U.N. from succeeding as an idealistic governing body.

When the french fry issue was brought up, I did not see the point being made in humor, but a serious point.  

I did consider the whole french fry and freedom fry totally ridiculous, but unfortunately, a great many people did not, including high ranking government officials.

It is not difficult to argue, it is much harder to effectively debate.  

I did expect you to respond with your positives of Bush and found them to be interesting.  

I detect a slight dislike of Rumsfield which I will not argue against and clearly would have expected the statement as to Powell. Cheney is somewhat perplexing as his views would appear to the most closely aligned to the policies of Bush that seem so troubling.

But at least one thing, I now know you do not think Bush is incapable of any positive action. *smile*  

Now if I could just get a few more folks in here to admit the same I will have made some real progress. (by the way, that is tongue in cheek)

Instead of hedgehog and fox, I would be more concerned of frog and scorpion.  Or perhaps we should examine the end result both the fox and hedgehog are seeking.


[This message has been edited by Tim (05-04-2003 12:39 PM).]

Midnitesun
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42 posted 05-04-2003 10:19 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

LP quote:
When you see the UN building just think of it as a huge, international, bottle of Midol -- meant to releive the discomfort of global PMS
*******************************************

I just had to jump in on that one. LOL, nowadays a better product is available, called PAMPRIN. But this quote was a showstopper for me. ROTFL.

As for the UN, the work it does in diplomacy and humanitarian issues is the fundamental reason I still support it wholeheartedly, even when it burps and gags politically.

PS donald rumsfeld nauseates me
Tim
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43 posted 05-04-2003 10:43 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

and for that I would suggest Pepto Mismol.
I have always thought politicians should get a kickback for Maalox sales, they have at least caused me a bit of gas pain or pain in the er... delete   over the years.
Tim
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44 posted 05-04-2003 12:32 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

One final point Brad, I do think we ought to receive credit for at least being more civil than the continuing threads concerning the book.  Fish's first law of tolerance dynamics.  But what the hey, didn't Fish also indicate Americans have closed minds? (that is meant to be humorous)
Balladeer
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45 posted 05-04-2003 04:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

snakes and blind rabbits


blind rabbits and snakes

Tim
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46 posted 05-04-2003 04:39 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

thanks for the chuckle Balladeer.
if you are going to make a point, no need to be subtle about it. At least there is not much chance for misinterpretation.  

Somehow I suspect you have heard the one about the blind baby snake and blind baby rabbit.

[This message has been edited by Tim (05-04-2003 05:05 PM).]

Balladeer
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47 posted 05-04-2003 05:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL!!! That's the one...

Tim
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48 posted 05-04-2003 06:54 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I once knew a judge who had a guy appear in front of him for no driver's license and dumping a dog.  

The man told the judge that he agreed he didn't have a d.l., but that he didn't dump no dog.

That there dog had just came running up to his car when he stopped to check out his engine because it wasn't running right out there on that country road.

The judge ruled, not guilty on dumping the dog and guilty of no d.l.  Ten days in jail.

The guy was incredulous, how could I get ten days in jail for no d.l.?

The judge replied, any S.O.B. who dumps a dog deserves 10 days in jail.

The point?  The U.S. ain't the judge in the court of world opinion.  We might not have the d.l., and it don't matter if we dumped the dog or not, we're guilty of the dog dumping.  Don't think the U.N. is the proper court to issue judgments.

[This message has been edited by Tim (05-04-2003 06:55 PM).]

Local Rebel
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49 posted 05-04-2003 09:37 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

There was once a huntsman, who, in passing a quarry, found a serpent under a large stone. The serpent asked the hunter to liberate him, but the latter said, "I will not free you, for you will eat me."

The serpent replied, "Liberate me, for I will not eat you."

When the hunter had set the serpent at liberty, the latter wanted to devour him, but the hunter said, "What are you doing? Did you not promise me that you would not eat me?"

The serpent replied that hunger did not observe promises.

The hunter then said, "If you have no right to eat me, will you do it?"

"No," answered the serpent.

"Let us go, then," said the hunter, "and ask three times."

They went into the woods and found a greyhound, and asked him, and he replied, "I had a master, and I went hunting and caught hares, and when I carried them home my master had nothing too good to give me to eat. No, when I cannot overtake even a tortoise, because I am old, my master wishes to kill me. For this reason I condemn you to be eaten by the serpent, for he who does good finds evil."

"Do you hear? We have one judge," said the serpent. They continued their journey, and found a horse, and asked him, and he too replied that the serpent was right to eat the man, "for," he said, "I had a master who fed me when I could travel. Now that I can do so no longer, he would like to hang me."

The serpent said, "Behold, two judges!"

They went on and found a fox. The huntsman said, "Fox, you must aid me. Listen: I was passing quarry and found this serpent dying under a large stone, and he asked aid from me, and I released him, and now he wants to eat me."

The fox answered, "I will be the judge. Let us return to the quarry to see how the serpent was."

They went there and put the stone on the serpent, and the fox asked, "Is that the way you were?"

"Yes," answered the serpent.

"Very well then, stay so always!" said the fox.
 
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