Tuesday, October 02, 2007

United Nations Fiddles While Burma Dies

The pro-democracy protests in Burma have been Crushed. A thousand plus have been executed, a college campus has been turned into a death camp, and it is expected worse is going on in the country's north.

So what does the United Nations do. Little to nothing. A United Nations envoy has vowed to meet with the junta's leader and did so for about fifteen minutes. The United Nations human rights council met to discuss the matter and passed a finding against Israel. Yeah, Israel. The United Nations human rights council, with members including Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, Angola, and Russia; has spent the last year discussing Israel 74% of the time, Sudan 21%, and Burma 5%. No other country was singled out by the Human Rights Council. None. The United Nations Security Council nearly took action against Burma but that was derailed by the Junta's allies of Russia and China. Countries like Russia, China, and India have block intervention because of their economical ties with the Junta. This is a sort of repeat of Iraq 2002 with governments avoiding change so they can keep their business contacts.

So with a war in Iraq, genocide in Darfur, genocide in Burma, Syria murdering Lebanese politicians, the question is: what good is the United Nations on the highest level?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since many Americans have decided that the UN is a lame duck and a total waste of time because approximately 80-90% of the 192 UN members disagreed with us (sounds like a perfect democracy), why don't we go in and save Burma ourselves. The U.S. is about democracy and what is right, so we should go into Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Saudi Arabia (one of our bestest friends in the Middle east), Pakistan (another close friend of ours which is ruled by a military dictator that is oh so democratic), Uzbekistan (another friend of ours which is repressively ruled by Karimov), Tibet, China and several other countries where the people of these countries are being oppressed. We should spread democracy because that is our real objective right? Wrong!

It is mostly about economics. Would we have gone into Iraq if it were not about economics? Highly doubt it. Since you mention how China, Russia and India will not interfere with Burma due to their economic ties, how is the U.S. any different when it comes to China. Our economic interests with the repressive govt. of China overshadow what China is doing to Tibet and its own people. Many more monks have been killed in Tibet and more culture has been lost in Tibet than in Burma. Why the double standard? Its mostly about economics and not about what is right. After six years, some people still believe that we went into Iraq to give them democracy that we failed to give them for the past 30+ years. Did we just realize that Sadaam Hussein was repressive in 2002? Great timing. There are very few countries to none in this world today that will replace the govt. of another country to help that country's citizens because it is the right thing to do. It is only done because of economics, and to a certain extent greed. China, India and the U.S., etc are no exceptions.

I suggest that any country that decides to act as the moral high ground or police of the world, should first examine and correct its own status. How can you preach what you do not practice?

Catholicgauze said...

Anon,

I agree with your general point. Let us finance, use covert actions, and other means to destroy the evil regimes.

Anonymous said...

Cg,

If that was my general point (which it is not), then I would be suggesting destroying ourselves first. Thank you for the balanced and intellectual response though. I understand how tough it must be to defend the fact that we do not practice what we preach or walk our talk.

Catholicgauze said...

Anon,

What do you suggest we do? Wash our hands like Pilot? If we do that, why bother having a UN?

Anonymous said...

Cg,

I don't have a perfect answer, I don't think anyone does. What I suggest we or any country for that matter do is (as I suggested in the first post), wipe thy own butt, before we look to wipe another's. Meanwhile a lot of shit will go down, it is anyway (Burma, Darfur, Tibet), so why not let it happen and once we correct ourselves, nobody will be able to point their finger with any right logic when we decide to do what is right. One of the biggest problems we have is a lack of credibility. Every country has to think like a global citizen rather than the 'I am big and bad and I will do whatever I choose to regardless of how others see it'. A narrow minded or one sided view of the world is definitely not healthy.

Again, I will suggest what we do. Practice what we preach. This is not hard to understand. It sounds simple enough. I am sure many of us try and live by this golden rule, why cannot our governments?

And, oh, if every country did what was right, we would not need the U.N., but history shows, there will be those countries that will do wrong that will impact us negatively on a global scale. So we need a collective group such as the U.N. It is far from perfect, but it is far better than what any one country can offer to the world.

Catholicgauze said...

Anon,

By your logic the United States should have minded its own business (anti-black racism and anti-Catholic thoughts) and not interfered with the Nazis slaughter of the Jews.

"Again, I will suggest what we do. Practice what we preach. This is not hard to understand."

We don't kill protesters like the Junta does. We also preach not to kill protesters.

"Every country has to think like a global citizen" Global citizens would treat all problems equally, not ignore them. Global citizens would care about the slaughter of fellow citizens no matter where in the world they are.

"here will be those countries that will do wrong that will impact us negatively on a global scale. So we need a collective group such as the U.N."

Logic does not follow. Why do we need a UN? To pass unenforced rules?

Anonymous said...

Some of your rebuttals are logical. But we do strongly support govts that kill protesters (Pakistan) and many times do not even allow proper protests (China, Saudi Arabia). Then please explain to me why we are such good friends with many dictators while we condemn others? Why do we promote some democracies while we try to or overthrow others. So we practice democracy but only promote it where we see fit. Saving the Jews from Hitler was a collective decision. Most people did and would agree with that unlike Iraq.

Whatever the rules and laws are, they should be enforced as a collective decision, not by one. That is the whole point of a democracy, a global citizen. Not all rules will be enforced because of problems and the magnitude of problems will depend on who you ask. Our govt. thought that Saddam having WMD was a grave danger to the world, while the majority thought they did not exist as proven over and over again. He did break rules, but who are we to enforce that.

If we are a global citizens, then as you said we should care about the slaughter of people no matter where in the world? Do we care about the slaughter of citizens in Tibet, in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, in Darfur, in so many other places? You say we don't do it which is true, but why do we promote and befriend some that do.

As you mention "global citizens would treat all problems equally, not ignore them." Please tell that to the people of Tibet, the people of Saudi Arabia, to the people of Pakistan who have been trying to establish a democracy for the past few years. Tell them we treat them all equally no matter what our interests hold.

In this case, a standard is good and required as long as it is applied universally and not selectively.

I think any country has the right to judge and advise as long as it follows and applies those rules to everyone. If it does not, then it should just keep its mouth shut. Or not people will not give any value to it even if it is good advise.

We disagree quite strongly in our philosophies in how we view the role of the U.S. and U.N. in the world. Although my viewpoint has made no sense to you, it was still a stimulating conversation. Thank you.

Catholicgauze said...

"But we do strongly support govts that kill protesters (Pakistan) and many times do not even allow proper protests (China, Saudi Arabia). Then please explain to me why we are such good friends with many dictators while we condemn others?"

We shouldn't. I'm with you. Let's find these monsters (and sometimes the greater monsters they oppose like the Taliban) and let's remove them. Whether it be by forceful diplomacy or by the sword.

"Whatever the rules and laws are, they should be enforced as a collective decision, not by one."

Agreed. But when the many will not enforce the law then it is the responsibility of those who can. Like the League of Nations, the United Nations was a good idea but it was failed. Its time has come and gone. Nothing I read from you has rebutted my idea that the UN is no longer needed because it no longer acts.