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What Do They Both Have In Common?
Both Iraq and Lebanon resulted from the UN being either unable, or unwilling, to enforce its own resolutions. But it's easier to blame it on the Jews and the Amerikkkan imperialists.Posted by Rand Simberg at August 07, 2006 07:38 AM
I sort of like how the United Nations, who no one elected in the first place, cannot enforce their resolutions.Posted by Astrosmith at August 7, 2006 08:09 AM
I don't know where the idea came from that the United Nations is some kind of world government that is obliged to enforce its resolutions as if they were laws. They are called resolutions for a reason. It is true that a Security Council resolution may authorize its own enforcement, either by the UN itself or by member states, but authorization is not the same as a legal obligation. In reality, the UN is mostly a diplomatic forum, which means that member states should be blamed for not abiding to their promises.
If it really did make sense to blame the UN for not enforcing Security Council resolutions, then it could be blamed for not enforcing SC Resolution 242 of 1967, which demanded that Israel withdraw from the West Bank, Sinai, and Golan Heights. It could also be blamed for not enforcing SC Resolution 1539 at Guantanamo Bay, among other places — the resolution strongly condemns child abduction.
Okay, I actually do know where the idea comes from. In the present context, it comes from the John Bolton school of diplomacy. The theory is that the UN is an unruly American federal agency, and there should therefore be a simple chain of command from Bush to Kofi Annan to Iraq and Lebanon. That way Security Council resolutions would have the force of law if and only if the United States wants them enforced.
Why should Israel abide by 242 while its enemies refuse to?Posted by Rand Simberg at August 7, 2006 08:54 AM
I don't know where the idea came from that the United Nations is some kind of world government that is obliged to enforce its resolutions as if they were laws.
The very same place that people draw from to say that the US should be pursuing diplomacy through the UN to resolve conflicts in Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, and Lebanon. The overwhelming opinion in the MSM (and, largely, to Bush opponents) has always been that the US was going into Iraq "without international support", and that UN sanctions and resolutions (including, but not limited to weapons inspections) were the way to go, and are still the way to go.
If it's clear to YOU that UN resolutions are toothless, then it REALLY remains a mystery why the MSM (and other opponents of the war) can't seem to grasp that concept.Posted by John Breen III at August 7, 2006 09:07 AM
I don't know where the idea came from that the United Nations is some kind of world government that is obliged to enforce its resolutions as if they were laws. They are called resolutions for a reason.
In the words of Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."Posted by Leland at August 7, 2006 09:10 AM
Why should Israel abide by 242 while its enemies refuse to?
I'm not saying that it should, necessarily. But that's the difference between RESOLUTIONS and LAWS. You have to follow the law whether or not your enemies do. It's not okay to beat your neighbor's children just because your neighbor beat your children.
In the end it's just lame, indeed S.I.O.B., to bash the UN for both trying to be a world government, and for not succeeding. Just get over it, it isn't world government. The John Bolton school of diplomacy is just a way to squander American influence.
(In fact much of Resolution 242, though probably not all of it, is simply in Israel's best interest, as Olmert realizes.)
The overwhelming opinion in the MSM (and, largely, to Bush opponents) has always been that the US was going into Iraq "without international support", and that UN sanctions and resolutions (including, but not limited to weapons inspections) were the way to go, and are still the way to go.
It is absolutely true that the US went into Iraq with frayed astroturf support, and that we are now paying for it through the nose. The Persian Gulf War cost about $90 billion in current dollars and our allies payed for most of it. The Iraq War has cost the United States $300 billion in direct expenses so far, it will costs hundreds of billions more before the end, and our allies will not pay us one red cent.
It is also true that American diplomacy at the UN was botched in the run-up to the war. It is not true that the UN is some kind of fairy godmother of diplomatic success or virtue. What happened at the UN was just one sign among many of how far the Iraq operation went off the rails.
It is true that some progressives really do think of the UN as a fairy godmother of diplomatic virtue. They are simply wrong. The Bush-Bolton strategy of half-demanding and half-condemning that naive vision goes nowhere.
It is not true that the UN is some kind of fairy godmother of diplomatic success or virtue.
True that, its more of an evil stepmother of western appeasement and corruption.
TobPosted by Toby928 at August 7, 2006 09:58 AM
Alas, the UN is our own Woodroow "Dr. Frankenstein" Wilson's monster come back to haunt us.* Created with the noblest of intentions, I assure you.
This is worth remembering, the next time some politician says if elected he'll Fix The World(TM).
* For pedants: yes I know WW was directly responsible for the League, not, technically, the UN. But though not his brainchild it was clearly his braingrandchild.Posted by Carl Pham at August 7, 2006 12:18 PM
The UN forced the US to sacrifice people and treasure for the purposes of a predescribed stalemate.
Play a chess game for a tie, and you are guaranteed a loss, because while BOTH kings might survive? theres a lot of pawns, a knight or two, and god knows how many other assets to be lost.
NK exists because the UN had no teeth, and they pulled the US's teeth in the process, and got away with it only cuz we were trying to save them for the USSR, and China later.
Clausewitz would have gone rogue, slaughtered every member of the UN before he would have EVER lead a single war, and without Clausewitz we wouldn't have developed the idea of low impact war.Posted by Wickedpinto at August 8, 2006 06:12 AM
Gee, that law thing comes up. Is that international or humanitarian? How about those silly charters and treaties that the members of the UN signed. Perhaps those might be what MJ really needs to refer to. As for John Bolton, he is the last, best hope of ANY refomation at the UN. I guarantee a Dem Prez gives away the farm and any ground we might gain in cleaning up the most corrupt organization in the world.Posted by Bill Maron at August 8, 2006 12:08 PM
Resolution 1559 with the dis-arming of Hezbollah is an admirable objective I fully support.
Given recent developments and Israel's apparent willingness to accept a ceasefire with French troops acting as buffer suggests that actually disarming Hezbollah may be more difficult than had been believed. From the beginning of this situation, I have urged the IDF to dig out Hezbollah from their tunnels and villages in the same manner US Marines defeated the Japanese on Okinawa and Iwo Jima.Posted by Bill White at August 8, 2006 02:35 PM
US forces bombed Okinawan villages without regard to the fate of Okinawan civilians. They did so, under the gaze of a press corps that believed that it should side with the US.
I have to wonder whether, in today's world, US forces could have done the same on Okinawa?
Would AP/Reuters have happily published photos by Yasuhiro Yamamamoto, showing the US forces incinerating a bunker under a home? Would the US have invited comments from Professor Tadashi Hirohito about how the US efforts to strangle Japan had led to Pearl Harbor?
Methinks that those who would chastise Israel for not operating like we did in the Pacific fail to recognize that the press and the public supported our side, whereas today, that's considered gauche and jingoistic and improper.
The mind reels, of course, at what the Photoshoppers would've done to Joe Rosenberg's Iwo Jima photo (perhaps inserted a Japanese head onto the flagpole, what w/ it being vicious Marines and all).Posted by Lurking Observer at August 8, 2006 03:37 PM
Israel shall soon have no choice but to do the needful and clear out Hezbollah Okinawa style.
They will have my total support in so doing notwithstanding my being a Democrat and notwithstanding my belief that Israel's West Bank policies are counterproductive and not helpful either to Israel's interests or our struggle against the Islamist threat.
Hezbollah is that much of a threat to Israel. In my opinion.Posted by Bill White at August 9, 2006 08:23 AM
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