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Passions in Poetry

Wake Up and Smell the Kofi

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ice
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25 posted 12-04-2004 09:35 PM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

This sure is a lively thread.....Just as the subjects warrant...I will add my two cents and then go back and read what was said since this morning, when I first opened the forum..

­
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Statement #1.
"For everyone who stated US actions in Iraq were criminal because they were done without the approval of the UN..."

It is a fact that the US actions are illegal, but only a trial could determine them as criminal..And as everyone knows the US does not recognize the world court as a viable entity, so a trial by it, or by a Geneva type tribunal/accord is most likely out of the question....see analysis of statement #4

Statement #2.

"For everyone who considered France and other countries honorable by refusing to participate."

France chose to resist joining the "allies" for several reasons..Some of them may have been dishonorable. New information about the oil for food program and kickbacks by a few French businessmen, and politicians may have helped a little in their refusal to join in the fight..But..
The vast majority of the French population was against the invasion...A poll taken in March of 2003 showed that 87% of the population was against their country joining in on the invasion.  I seems, for the most part that the French government followed the wishes of the citizens of  its countrymen

Statement #3

"For those who hold up the UN as a symbol of what's right and decent in the world...

I have read most of the charter...and feel that if it is followed as written, that it is "a symbol of what's right and decent in the world" The problem with creeds and bylaws is that they are carried out by human leadership, and that makes them fallible...as is our own constitution and bill of rights, when those great documents are interpreted by people who manipulate the words of them to further their own personal agendas.

Statement #4.

"For everyone who applauded Kofi for condemning US actions"

Annan was asked by an interviewer (BBC World Service 9/16/04), if he thought the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal....he said  "I've indicated that it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, and from the charter point of view it was illegal"

Note that he said "our". To me that says that at least some or most of the other members stand in agreement, and it is not only his opinion.

That seems to me, not a condemnation, but a statement of opinion based on the Signature of the representative of the United States that signed the original charter document..that signature (in the eyes of the UN and also mine) is a promise to uphold and obey the rules and laws of the organization.. Perhaps it should be considered as a breach of contract?

Statement #5

"For everyone who believes the US should take no action without UN approval."

I have not heard this stated by anyone on the left or anywhere else in those terms...If there is some documented evidence that  shows this was stated, please post the website here, or e-mail me with the information...Implications or statements made and taken out of context, will not be considered evidence by me..I desire only the facts ...I want names and dates, and exact dialog.

In my mind, (The idea of taking no action without approval of the U.N.) is a deceptive statement made by the wars promoters, with the hope that it might strike up further hate for the U.N. and block the progress of that organization...Kudos to Rove and his Madison Avenue think tank/advertising, spin doctors for thinking up another way to sell their war as they do other commodities.

Back to facts, and away from opinion..

The U.N. Charter does not state that memeber/states must ask permission to defend themselves, in any manner feasible to protect its citizens and property, on its own sovereign land..

What it states is that for a member/state to make a strike (against a threat) it must be brought before the UNSC to be to be voted on and found acceptable or legal by the results of that vote...If a consensus is not reached, then the UN rule is that the proposed invasion is to be deemed illegal (if acted out by the proposer.)  

The language is clear, that no sworn member can position itself in a combat situation (on foreign soil) without a consensus of the members of the UNSC, and not break the spirit of the charter.  


Peace_________ice
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Balladeer
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26 posted 12-04-2004 09:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you for your participation, Ice..

"For everyone who believes the US should take no action without UN approval."

I have not heard this stated by anyone on the left or anywhere else in those terms...If there is some documented evidence that  shows this was stated, please post the website here, or e-mail me with the information...Implications or statements made and taken out of context, will not be considered evidence by me..I desire only the facts ...I want names and dates, and exact dialog.


That comment was directed at members here who have expressed that exact view in several of the many threads we have had in the Alley dealing with either Bush or the Iraq war. You can believe me they exist....
Huan Yi
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27 posted 12-04-2004 10:10 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Ron,

Brad understood my point:

WMD = guys…, wanting to kill masses and willing to train and kill themselves for the chance.

John

Tim
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28 posted 12-04-2004 11:22 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

I will certainly defer to facts and also readily admit I am not an expert on the U.N.

"The U.N. Charter does not state that memeber/states must ask permission to defend themselves, in any manner feasible to protect its citizens and property, on its own sovereign land.."

The way I was taught some years ago was the U.N. was not supposed to be able to intervene in the domestic policies of a country.

If a country is attacked, they can defend "until the Security Council is notified" without seeking permission, but must immediately notify the Security Council.  The country is then obligated to
cede to the Security Council's authority.

Since we are dealing strictly with facts.  

If one defends their own country contrary to the dictates of the Security Council the country will be breaking the spirit of the U.N. Charter.
Brad
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29 posted 12-04-2004 11:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Chapter 7, article 51 of the UN Charter:


quote:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.


That's a peculiar reading of this article, but maybe a few clarifications are in order:

until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

This means when the attack is stopped.

shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

That is, your complaint that they started it won't hinder the ability of the SC to stop the war.

Nope, nothing in here arguing that you can't defend your country if you're attacked, nothing in here saying that the UN has any authority to tell you what to do if you are attacked.

The idea, amazingly enough, is a fairly well understood doctrine both domestically and internationally.


Brad
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30 posted 12-05-2004 12:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/05/opinion/05sun1.html?oref=login

quote:
The United Nations bureaucracy does not bear the primary responsibility for letting Saddam Hussein amass a secret treasury estimated by official investigators at $10 billion to $21 billion


quote:
An analysis by Charles Duelfer, the chief American weapons inspector in Iraq, estimated that Iraq generated some $11 billion in illicit revenue and used the money to buy prohibited items, including military equipment. The main routes for these illicit transactions - $8 billion worth - were trade deals that Iraq negotiated with neighboring countries, notably Jordan, Syria and Turkey. By the Senate subcommittee's higher count, Iraq got almost two-thirds of some $21 billion through the trade deals or smuggling.

But these trade agreements had nothing to do with the oil-for-food program, and were hardly a secret. The United States actually condoned Iraq's trade deals with Jordan and Turkey, two allies whose economies suffered from the sanctions. This was a reasonable price to pay for maintaining their support on the main objective - denying weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein.


Gee, you mean the illicit money were actually diplomatic moves in order to keep WMD's out of Hussein's hands. Gee, you mean the UN had nothing to do with it.

And you know what, they worked!

quote:
The United Nations bureaucracy had no power to prevent these illicit oil or arms deals outside the oil-for-food program. It was the responsibility of member nations to adhere to sanctions imposed by the Security Council


So we're back to his son again. The editorial speaks of nepotism -- maybe, maybe not.

But nobody cares about that,right? At least, not in the last four years or so.


Balladeer
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31 posted 12-05-2004 12:28 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

hmmm...that's two "last four years" digs in this thread. Mighty big burr under your saddle there, Brad
Midnitesun
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32 posted 12-05-2004 12:39 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

"A report released in September by the Congressional Research Service said the deferred compensation that Cheney receives from Halliburton, as well as the more than 433,000 stock options he possesses, "is considered among the 'ties' retained in or 'linkages to former employers' that may 'represent a continuing financial interest' in those employers which makes them potential conflicts of interest."

It seems to me, that some people are attempting to hang a guilty sign on the UN because of Kofi's son Kojo's actions, all because he profited from business dealings in the ME. And yet, some of those same people choose to downplay the monies Cheney and others continue to make from Halliburton and various oil related subsidiaries.

Seems to me, it's another case of "your's stinks, mine doesn't" mind game.

I have this feeling there will be many many other people whose names will show up on the dirty money trail, and many of the uncovered profiteers will be from this country.

~guilt by association, guilt by parenting~

Cheney/Haliburton=Kojo/Oil-for-food?
hush
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33 posted 12-05-2004 01:06 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Uhhh, John?

"WMD = guys…, wanting to kill masses and willing to train and kill themselves for the chance."

Um, by these standards, shouldn't we have invaded Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq?
Balladeer
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34 posted 12-05-2004 01:07 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

aha...the old "best defense is a good offense" ploy. Hey, Midnite, what does it matter? They are all just human
Midnitesun
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35 posted 12-05-2004 01:19 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

LOL, maybe I've been taking a few strategy lessons from you, Mike.
Tim
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36 posted 12-05-2004 01:48 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

one person's peculiar is another's plain reading and vice versa.

If you do a little checking, it is not hard to find any number of folks who take the literal interpretation which is why I stated the "spirit" of the Charter.

"Article 51 gives Member States the narrow power to defend themselves against a continuing armed assault until such time as the Security Council intervenes to maintain and restore peace and security."

"Self-defence, therefore, naturally and primarily is a unilateral measure undertaken on a state's own behalf as an interim means of protection until those " collective measures" ensure the same protection of the individual state's right."

Those happen to be legal interpretations, but heck fire, what would a lawyer know? (joke)

In reality, does article 51 mean that any nation would not protect itself even if the U.N. said otherwise?  Of course not. They are either going to ignore article 51 or give it the interpretation they desire.  History is replete with examples of countries ignoring the U.N. when they feel it is in their interests and in some cases, with just cause.

Heck, as I recall the International Court just opined that Isreal can't defend itself against terrorists under the U.N. Charter as the terrorists aren't a country.  

I think I even recall some argument under the U.N. Charter that going into Afghanistan was illegal under the U.N. Charter.


Tim
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37 posted 12-05-2004 04:19 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

A slightly different slant than the NY Times
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/SpecialArticle.asp?article=A11705017_1

Huan Yi
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Waukegan


38 posted 12-05-2004 06:18 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Thanks Tim,

The Oil-for-Food Scam

“Based on the facts as I know them at the present time, the UN failed in its responsibility to the Iraqi people and the international community at large. The UN should not be surprised that the Iraqi people question the UN’s credibility at this time and any future role for the UN in Iraq. It will not come as a surprise if the Oil-for-Food program turns out to be one of the world’s most disgraceful scams and an example of inadequate control, responsibility, and transparency, providing an opportune vehicle for Saddam Hussein to operate under the UN aegis to continue his reign of terror and oppression. “

Claude Hankes-Drielsma
Iraqi Governing Council

“Already known, for example, is that two firms doing business with Saddam through Oil-for-Food were linked to financier Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, now on the UN’s own watchlist of individuals "belonging to or associated with" al Qaeda.”


“The final perfidy, though, is not personal but political. The UN, in the name of its own lofty principles, and to its rich emolument, actively helped sustain and protect a tyrant whose brutality and repression were the cause of Iraqi deprivation in the first place. What can this mean? The answer may be simply that, along with its secrecy, its massed cadres of bureaucrats beholden to the favor of the man at the top, its almost complete lack of accountability, external oversight, or the most elementary checks and balances, the UN suffers from an endemic affinity with anti-Western despots, and will turn a blind eye to the devil himself in order to keep them in power.”
Brad
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39 posted 12-11-2004 10:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-12-09-un-annan_x.htm

quote:
The United States expressed confidence in Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday and said he should remain at the helm of the United Nations, an abrupt turnaround from its refusal to back him last week after a U.S. senator called for his resignation.


The statement from U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, who said he was speaking on behalf of the Bush administration, aligned the United States with the 190 other members of the United Nations.

"We are not suggesting or pushing for the resignation of the secretary-general," Danforth said. "We have worked well with him in the past and look forward to working with him for some time in the future."


Hmmm, what to make of this?

1. Bush has his head in the sand?

2. Bush will deny it?

3. Kofi didn't do anything horribly wrong and is widely respectable and still maintains a kind of credibility.

4. Bush is finally starting to play politics.

If it's three or four, I applaud the Bush administration.

Alicat
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40 posted 12-11-2004 11:29 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I still have to wonder.  Out of 190 other UN nations, why is it that the U.S. pays roughly 1/4 of all UN funding, not to mention the majority of people in the UN peacekeeping force?  And then the funny thing: if the U.S. tows the UN party line, everything is copasectic.  If the U.S. enforces party line, it's illegal.  If the U.S. investigates UN corruption, it's a right-wing conspiracy.

How many, of those 190 countries, have UN security forces patrolling the DMZ in South Korea?  After all, the UN considers the Korean War (i.e. The Forgotten War) as a 'police action'.  There have been many times that I wanted the U.S. to do what other countries wanted.  Basically, yanqui go home.  I know they mean any and all military presence, but I'm an all-or-nothing guy.  So I've been for our military pulling out of countries.  And our corporations, aid packages, economic incentive packages, favored nation packages...just completely pull up stakes and bring it all home.  Let those other 190 countries foot the bill for once, instead of the oft-villianized U.S.

Yeah, I know some will see this as 'take my toys and go home' mentality, but there have been so many times that the World Body [sic] has totally pissed me off.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


41 posted 12-11-2004 11:52 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi



The United Nations is basically a political feel good fiction.
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


42 posted 12-12-2004 01:43 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ali,

Do your homework. America is the de facto leader of the world (When the UN began, we accounted for 50% of world GNP. Last time I checked we were still about 20% -- anybody want to check that for me ), its military is larger, or will soon be larger, than all other nations combined.

The defense of the Korean peninsula was instigated by Truman.

John,

It's a deliberating body. The only political fiction comes from those who complain that it doesn't do what it can't do anyway.

Huan Yi
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Waukegan


43 posted 12-12-2004 02:48 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Brad,

"its military is larger, or will soon be larger, than all other nations combined."


What is your source for this statement?
Larger than India, China, North Korea?
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


44 posted 12-12-2004 09:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I meant financially. We spend more money than all other nations combined.

Source: Slate magazine

Sorry, should have been clearer.

Alicat
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45 posted 12-12-2004 09:36 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Brad, I just state what I feel and think, and I'll be the first to admit that often my facts don't line up like ducks in a row.  What I was trying to get across, and obviously failing at, was the changing times.  Yes, after WWII, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were THE main players.  After the collapses starting in the late 80's, the U.S. became THE main player.  Currently, China and India have enormous populations, large militaries (especially China), and are the largest purchasers of crude oil.  Their economies are growing briskly.  That's why I asked why it is that the U.S. continues to pay 1/4 of all U.N. funding, quite aside from the assumed political pull.
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


46 posted 12-12-2004 11:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fair enough. If you want to argue that we pay too much (when we actually do pay), I just think we need to understand how payment works.

The UN, perhaps, fosters the illusion that all nations are equal. They aren't. Yet, it does offer one avenue for nations to discuss things. I get the feeling, listening to the complaints against the UN, that many believe the illusion more than the reality.

I see the UN as a tool to further our national interest for, ultimately, what is in the world's interest is in our interest.

I do wish that our government would use it more effectively. We used to be able to do that.

Alicat
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47 posted 12-13-2004 09:09 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Yeah, and I was working under that illusion having forgotten about the Security Council.  Now, if those five (England, France, U.S., Russia, China...I think those are it) were to foot the UN bill equally, then I'd have a bit less grievance, since currently, if one of those countries doesn't pay in full, they still have veto power.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


48 posted 12-13-2004 09:48 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


http://www.nationalreview.com/bayefsky/bayefsky200412130835.asp

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


49 posted 12-13-2004 10:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

And the UN did nothing in E. Timor?

You know, twenty years ago, replace "Arab and Islamic states" with "communists" and it would be the same complaint.

 
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