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Score One For Moral Authority!!
In 2004 the United States government went before the United Nations to press for some sort of 'official' classification of the atrocities in Darfur as 'genocide.' What was going on there at the time was genocide according to the letter of the law.
Now, if we were all to blindly obey the law, we'd be in for a rather harsh and dystopian world. So the debate as to whether of not this was actually 'genocide' (even as civilians were being burned, raped, starved, and hacked to death) was a good thing, as it is not a word the world throws around lightly unless we're trying to label the U.S. government's actions as such. Additionally, if a particular situation arises where 'genocide' was found to occur, by its charter, the members of the U.N. would be obliged to actually intervene instead of complaining about it via numerous paper resolutions Convention on Genocide.
However, the U.S. efforts were resisted by the U.N. which, at the time, refused to recognize the atrocities in Sudan as actual genocide. Instead, the mass rape, systematic killing, illegal detentions, and mass displacement led the U.N. to the conclusion that the Sudanese government "orchestrated and participated in" war crimes and crimes against humanity. This freed the member countries from moral obligation to take action over and above a token light-blue helmeted peace-keeping force. However, the U.N. still recognized that a humanitarian crisis had developed, and offered humanitarian aid as well as the engagement of diplomatic avenues with the Sudanese government committing this non-genocide. Hooray for the 2.5 million displaced people living in refugee camps left alive. And hooray for moral authority.
U.N. Panel Finds No Genocide in Darfur but Urges Tribunals (washingtonpost.com)
These resolutions and actions taken by the U.N. resulted in the Khartoum government deporting Jan Pronk, the head of the U.N. mission in Sudan. Jan Pronk subsequently wrote the Sudanese government continued to "disregard Security Council resolutions, to break international agreements, to violate human rights and to feed and allow attacks on their own citizens. They could do all this without having to fear consequences. On the contrary, the Council and its members and the rest of the international community have been taken for a ride."
Nobel Peace prize laureate and the head of the U.N. investigating team Jody Williams found a word to describe the international reponse: "pathetic."
Just today, as is detailed in the first link, the ICC charged the sitting Sudanaese president with 'war crimes' and 'crimes against humanity', but once again feels not enough evidence was presented to warrant a charge of 'genocide'. This only forces one to wish they'd do the same for GW Bush.
Speaking of that idiot, accusations that the United States government's pressure to label the Darfur non-genocide as genocide were done under the pretense of hegemony abound (The Black Commentator - April 5, 2007 - Issue 224 ZNet - Darfur). Hooray for the enlightened nations with moral authority in resisting U.S. hegemony. There are 200,000+ dead Sudanese who will no doubt be relieved to hear the U.N. finally stood up to U.S. hegemony.
So we're left with a United Nations that refuses to do anything, a China supplying the arms to carry out non-genocide, and somehow the U.S. still ends up the bad guy for trying to call this 'genocide.' More good times... :D
As the U.N. presses on with the creation of documents accusing those it feels are responsible for the non-genocide of hundreds of thousands in Darfur, I'm left wondering how many Sudanese deaths were required to label this as genocide?
How many white people must be killed for the label of genocide (Armenia, Bosnia, Chechnya)?
How many Asians must be killed for the label of genocide (Cambodia, Tibet)?
How many Arabs must be killed for the label of genocide (Iraq)?
How many Africans must be killed for the label of genocide (This is a long list)?
How many Jews must be killed for the label of genocide? Christians? Muslims? Palestinians?
How does the presence of oil in a given country alter these requirements?
How does the participation of Israel in the killing alter these requirements?
How does the participation of the United States in the killing alter these requirements?
What sort of impact does committing the atrocities have on this sliding quantitative scale of moral authority versus the impact of doing nothing to stop it?
While blind adherence to the letter of the law is just as bad as not having law, it seems that the U.N. could benefit from at least outlining numerical requirements that must be met, lest the U.N. bicker over semantics while thousands of people die when instead they could be passing paper resolutions while thousands of people die. Additionally, fly-by-night dictators would be able to know when they could stop killing without having to worry about the U.N. actually doing anything. Finally, this could make the process by which Western nations judge their own clean conscience and moral authority much easier, no genocide - no foul. It's a win-win situation for those not being killed.
And people wonder why I think the UN should be abolished. The flip side of the coin though is: What happens if the UN declares it a genocide? Nothing. The UN can't actually force anyone to do anything, and as we've seen, they're powerless from preventing anyone from doing anything.
The UN's entire role in the world right now is threefold:
1)Sending 'peacekeepers' who aren't good for much more than raping refugees, since the UN never sends in a force large enough to make a difference were hostility to resume
2)Refuse its pointless rubber stamp for American actions so that other countries who ignore the UN, and people deluded enough to think UN declarations actually mean anything can scream bloody murder about the US doing anything without waiting 5 years for the UN to finish their paperwork.
3)To provide nice cozy offices with really long names (Deep breath: E.G. Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. Real thing,google it.) on the windows, for various Anti-Semites to get together and talk about pushing Israel into the sea.
It's a sad, sad joke by this point.
considering that the UN remains as pretty much the sole 'authority' (never have inverted commas been so relevent) against unilateral interntional acts (usually of aggression;
we are in a very very sorry state
Yeah, I realize I use 'these' and not "these" sometimes. Habit from my old IRC days in secondary school. :)
Had I a Ph.D. in English, I would be:
1) Unemployed or working the register at Wal-Mart
2) Default on my mortgage, if I was able to get one in the first place
4) No health insurance
4) Using "these" instead of 'these'
5) Repeating the o-s-t mus-tis-nt mantra in my sleep (anyone at all get that?)
6) Numbering my bullet points correctly :D
7) Pointing out punctuation errors on forums :laugh:
Anyway, true governmental legitimacy is rooted in a mandate from the masses (Holy Grail). For the U.N., its legitimacy is rooted in "We've got nothing better." It's legitimacy is therefore, at best, de facto and pretty shakey to begin with. Each time the U.N. fails to actually perform its intended duty and instead just whines via resolutions, it loses more and more legitimacy. And in the case of actually RESISTING efforts to hold it to its charter at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives, it's a Bush-worthy example of hypocrisy.
Now it's just a poor joke, but yet remains as the de facto world authority because "We've got nothing better." So you've got leaders who, when they're trying to play nice, tell you they recognize the U.N.'s legitimacy and laugh their asses off at the U.N. when they don't want to play nice - i.e. Bush/Cheney, Ahmadinejad, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Khartoum government, because they know that nothing will ever be done to stop them if oil isn't at stake.
Mr Spunk. granted, i might be mistaken but you seemed to be a tad defensive in your last post. that whole aside regarding ' versus ". why?
i hope it wasn't in reaction to my regarding the inverted commas surrounding the word authority; as this was to basically agree with you, that the UN has no 'authority' at all, and so the use of the word is something of a misnomer.
i hadn't noticed your mis-using either speech marks or inverted commas, and not being an English PhD student, i couldn't give a flying fudge-cicle.
just so you know.
^^^ Huh? I could care less about the inverted comma comment. It was a bit of levity. No offense was taken, and none intended. Just pointing out that I couldn't tell an inverted comma from an apostrophe from a tick or whatever you call that other symbol. :)
The U.N. is stepping it up!! Now they're warning the Sudanese government that expelling foreign aid workers would "cause irrevocable damage to the humanitarian operations there,".
Bloodthirsty genocidal pigs: 0
That showed 'em.
So, will the benevolent Sudanese government realize this fact and change their ways?
Or will they wipe their asses with Ki-Moon's letter and continue what they're doing anyway?
Any predictions? Bets? Takers? :laugh:
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