The indignant squeals of negotiating, bargaining, jockeying, and bribery in
the UN are reaching a
crescendo in the lead-up to the big vote - in which everyone at the table will
(in George Dubya's best Texan cowboy drawl) show their cards. George
is determined to show the world that, in this high-stakes game, he's not
bluffing. The chips are down and it's time to read 'em and weep.
Unfortunately for George, Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao
believe exactly the same thing. Could this possibly be a win-win? Well, it
could if they are playing different games.
The US have re-deployed their military 'forward projection' capabilities
into projecting democracies around the
world, because they think this will decrease the terrorist threat. The
realization that this involves winning the peace as well as the war may take a little time, but at
least their efforts will be noticed. Killing people usually does that.
And with respect to installing democracies, the UN is not really part of
A room full of dictators is a room full of
dictators - the fact that a majority of them may agree on something does not
make it democratic. The notion that a collection of tinpot dictatorships is a
sound basis for creating democracies would be laughable if people didn't take
it so seriously.
The UN was set up as a treaty between governments - most of them
governments who repress and steal from their people. It
provides a means for dictators to legitimize themselves, and also allows politicians (unsated by
controlling the lives of their own populations) an opportunity to control the
lives of people in other countries.
The UN has no charter for creating democracies. Its primary charter is:
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our
lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind
.. even if the peace involves repression, dispossession, rape, torture, and slavery (ie
even greater untold sorrow).
So it doesn't matter whether the Iraqi invasion is vetoed this
week or not. If it is not vetoed, then the backdown in the face of US assertion demonstrates the UN
has no guts. If it is vetoed, the coming war will demonstrate the UN has no
authority. Either way it has no credibiity, and a very limited future.
The institution which values peace above freedom, liberty and
basic human rights is dying. Could there be a more fitting obituary for the
UNdead than 'Rest in Peace'?