Another Good Day at the UN

Zimbabwe was just elected to the chair of the UN commission on sustainable development. Libya got to chair the Human Rights Commission a few years back. Iran was elected vice chair of the UN Disarmament Commission, twice. North Korea is on the board of UNICEF & the UN Development Program. Good work at the UN.

I guess maybe these guys are qualified. They sure know what NOT to do.

This would be really funny if it was an episode of Seinfeld. We have the foxes in charge of the henhouses and the wolves guarding the sheep. Lucky for us they so busy screwing up their own countries and lucky for us we do not have to obey the UN.

How could John Bolton have done anything but improve this place? What would they do if we made them mad? Maybe put Robert Mugabe in charge of sustainable development or let the Iranians decide on disarmament?

Posted by Jack at May 14, 2007 11:32 PM
Comments
Comment #220378

Hey Jack,

I was just wondering why the oil-for-food scandal didn’t get the traction other “scandals” seem to get. I really only have so much time to invest in politics, and you probably want this thread to go somewhere else but just wanted your thoughts. thanks.

Posted by: andy at May 15, 2007 1:09 AM
Comment #220380

By the way, I’m a huge Seinfeld fan. Best show ever.

Posted by: andy at May 15, 2007 1:12 AM
Comment #220383

andy

I think the oil for food scandal just didn’t fit the template. The current template is that Saddam was safely boxed in until George Bush upset the system. The oil for food scandal contradicts this.

Beyond that, the oil for food does not feature Americans prominently among the villains. Why? The same reason we hear so much about Guantanamo and nothing about prisons in China, Russia or many other places that practice much worse on a daily basis. The same reasons we are treated to endless repetitions of the criminal activity at Abu Ghraib and little about UN troops raping their charges.

The template is made by the same people who are not surprised when the U.S. is kicked off panels, while Libyan, Zimbabwean, Iranian and N. Korean despots are treated with respect. It is part of the extensive anti-American template. The same sort that treated the Soviet Union as our moral equivalent. The same one that wonders how the U.S. provoked terrorism because it assumes the U.S. is behind all the troubles in the world. The same sort that thinks the U.S. provoked the North Koreans, who otherwise would live in peace.

I have been trying to figure out anti-Americanism for more than 20 years. I just don’t get it. The drumbeat has been unrelenting. Only right after the fall of the Berlin Wall and for a couple of months after 9/11 did we get brief respites, very brief.

Speaking of the Berlin Wall, I studied German in the 1970s. Unbelievably some people used to say that the wall was there to protect the E. Germans AGAINST the west.

Anyway, you will not hear much about oil for food scandals. Saddam’s mass graves will not make the front pages. We hold Americans to a higher standard and do not hold others to much of standard at all.

So Zimbabwe, whose rulers turned a breadbasket into a desert, head the committee for sustainable development. The Iranians work on arms control and the Libyans and the Sudanese arbitrate human rights. And nobody thinks it is a joke.

Some people claim that Americans are so dangerous, and yet nobody is afraid to work against us. When I was in college, I remember a woman giving a speech about the CIA. She said that they would kill anybody who spoke against them. She did not see the irony. I talked about this to one of my lefty friends. She told me that the woman probably worked for the CIA. She also didn’t see the irony. In a dicatorship, people are more circumspect. Here they just like to pretend. Radicals make the big bucks AND they get to be rebels. Only in America.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2007 1:53 AM
Comment #220386

I think it’s joke. That’s obivious. I was just wondering why the oil-for-food joke was able to buried, it was sort of a big deal.

Posted by: andy at May 15, 2007 2:12 AM
Comment #220403

36 nations are members of UNICEF’s board. NK is one of them. So what? Does it means North Koreans doesn’t have children, or can’t care about children around the world? Because they don’t show the best example to follow?

US is one member of UNICEF, too. But US infant mortality is not the best one. And I’m not talking about the obesity issue. Does it make US’s opinion and will regarding UNICEF more or less irrevelant than North Korea?
Why???

You know Jack, you may stop focusing on the second letter and start pushing for more U in UN.
Yes, the UN is far from being that perfect and utopian international body.
Yes, it needs huge reforms.
Yes, it’s flawed by ideology, money and self-interest.
Exactly like every other human activities.

But no single nation can force every other ones, whatever “evil” they could be or not, to follow its own and unique way of approaching world issues. Just because they’re not this nation but distinct ones.
The goal is to be more “United”, not to be more “Nations”. That’s a noble objective, whatever utopian it is.

BTW, who care about “nations” anymore, except nationalists!?!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 15, 2007 10:31 AM
Comment #220406

A voter, who helped elect Cheney/Bush, and then reviles coruption in the UN, is spewing potty talk.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 15, 2007 10:43 AM
Comment #220410

Just another day at the office regarding the UN. They started out corrupt and have been consistent throughout the years. They have no integrity. They are part of the problem. They would be better called Uninvited Negatives. The cost of maintaining the UN has been borne by the US. We have paid far too much while others (old USSR and more are in deep arrears just in dues let alone other cost assigned to them. Too many people say we need the UN because there is no other way of dealing with nation to nation. The UN has failed utterly in all regards to dealing with nations. The UN must go. What do we do in its place? Whatever it is should be a better replacement than what we now have.

Posted by: tomh at May 15, 2007 11:04 AM
Comment #220414

Jack,

What a shame that we have to share the world with these other countries we don’t like. Isn’t there a way we can vote them off the planet?

There’s a reason it’s call the United NATIONS and not the “Organization that listens to and agrees with the USA all the time.”

Perhaps if this administration started listen to some of the countries it considers allies …

Posted by: bobo at May 15, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #220415

I have been trying to figure out anti-Americanism for more than 20 years. I just don’t get it.

American arrogance is at the heart of it.

Posted by: bobo at May 15, 2007 11:35 AM
Comment #220417

Love of country and believing ones own country is better than everybody else is NOT arrogance.

I can understand how other country’s envy our freedoms, wealth and power. Their anti-Americanism is pretty much human nature and is pretty much expected when one is the best.
That is why people of other countries will excuse or defend the rogue countries Jack speaks of here, but will condemn the US for less.

Its Americans who are anti-American that piss so many people off.
One should not feel guilty for being an American, they should feel proud.

Posted by: kctim at May 15, 2007 12:01 PM
Comment #220428

Jack,
Do you believe nations like North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran should not be able to chair, vice chair, or participate in committees?

Kctim,
You would have a hard time finding anyone who would “defend” or “excuse” the policies of North Korea or Zimbabwe. There are a lot of ways to approach odious regimes, ranging from confrontation to engagement. To opt for engagement and diplomacy over confrontation and war is smart politics.

You write: “Its Americans who are anti-American that piss so many people off.”

Granted, there are questionable fringe elements on both sides of the spectrum. But really, it is people who claim to represent the country, advocating torture and invading countries based upon flimsy pretexts, which really piss off most Americans. There is no pride in our country- none- when America invades Iraq, and through sheer incompetence unleashes a civil war which results in over 600,000 deaths.

Andy,
Gee. I wonder why the oil-for-food scandal does not gain any traction. Gosh, I cannot imagine. Hmmm. Hmmmm. Let me think. Do you suppose it has anything to do with this?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/08/business/08chevron.html

Here is a great link to an article from American Conservative magazine, outlining corruption in Iraq. The fact is, the magnitude of the corruption since the US invasion dwarfs anything pulled off by Saddam Hussein.

Here is my favorite, from the linked article:

“In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the courier’s name or provide a good description of him.”

Posted by: phx8 at May 15, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #220429

Here is the link:
http://www.amconmag.com/2005/2005_10_24/cover.html

Posted by: phx8 at May 15, 2007 2:05 PM
Comment #220432

Jack:

It’s easy to criticize the UN. But what are WE doing about it. Supposedly we’re the sole superpower. What does that mean? We invade countries in order to change regimes?

Why do we not exercise a little soft power to increase our influence in the UN so it operates better - not according to our wishes only, but better and more democratically.

Powers gain influence by what they accomplish. If U.S. uses its power to improve the UN, it will be applauded around the world.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at May 15, 2007 2:21 PM
Comment #220437

kctim,

People in other countries can come up with plenty of reasons to be anti-American. The trouble I have with positions like yours is you appear to fail to see that sometimes those people (and sometimes even their governments) have a valid point. Also, US citizens disagreeing with the policies of their government does not make them anti-American. I hope you agree with that.

Posted by: bobo at May 15, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #220439

phx8, I don’t get it. Are you since Chevron should have known that the U.N. is off the hook, so there’s no story?

Posted by: andy at May 15, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #220445

Andy,
In the oil-for-food scandal, the chain of bribery runs from Saddam Hussein through the UN to Big Oil corporations such as Chevron. Condi Rice sat on the board for Chevron, with responsibility for oversight over exactly this kind of thing. But I am sure it worked out great for everyone concerned- Rice, Chevron, the UN, and Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: phx8 at May 15, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #220447

phx8, then my question is even more valid. Big bad oil was involved, the media would love this. But me thinks the UN was the reason this wasn’t the story it should have been.

Posted by: andy at May 15, 2007 5:26 PM
Comment #220448

bobo
I will always give my own country, the benefit of the doubt on the world stage, no matter who is President.
I greatly dispised the clinton regime and what they did to us, but if a Saddam or Chavez type ruler had made one of these “valid points,” I would have had more faith in clintons explanation.

How we feel about the party in control of our country should not affect how we treat our leaders on the world stage.

“I hope you agree with that”

I agree 100% with that, but it should be done here at home, not in front of the world or for its approval.
US citizens, disagreeing with the policies of their govt, running down their own leaders and taking the words of our enemies over their own leaders, makes us seem divided and weak.
I hope you can agree with that.

Posted by: kctim at May 15, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #220463

Jack,

Though I agree with your assessment 100%, let’s not be too hard on the U.N. until we clean our own houses. Just look at the folks who chair the Congressional committees in Washington, D.C. now. They seem to hate the U.S. just as much as those U.N. chairs do. Not much better than the U.N. record if you ask me!

JD

Posted by: JD at May 15, 2007 7:59 PM
Comment #220465

Paul, “what do we do about it?” I enjoy that fact that most of your comments look forward, drive these discussions towards a decision rather than the 20/20 vision we often see displayed.

I would point out that we pursured the UN hard on enforcing the sanctions against Iraq for over 10 years and Sadam and friends failed to comply in most cases. Was this not the case, even leading up to the 2003 invasion? I seem to remember a lot of coverage by the media then about how the Iraqis have failed to comply and were downright belligerent.

The invasion aside, we would seem to have worked the UN angle hard in most of the 1990s under Clinton.

Posted by: Honest at May 15, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #220470

Phx8

I just think it is ironic that we have one of the worlds least sustainable countries chairing the sustainability group, a country at odds with the UN itself over nuclear technology doing arms control and a country that is retreating into medieval conditions on the development committee. That is why I say it like a Seinfeld episode.

Re your Chevron, Rice connection, this is one of those silly chains that you can make with almost anything. Most of the oil for food was done by non-American firms. There were Americans too. Americans are involved in almost everyting. But try to be fair to your country. Give the U.S. credit for everything good it is involved with. Sometimes we are really big. We are the world’s biggest aid donor; we do the most medical research, contribute the most to the fight against AIDS etc. If you want to blame your country for a 10% involvement, you sure should credit it for good things.

Paul

Most UN members are not democracies. They have sort of mutual non-aggression pacts among the kleptocrats and despots, so many are despotic screw ups, that they all chose to ignore it. They pretend Zimbabwe is a normal state a little down on its luck. They accept that the N. Korean concentration camp, which encompasses almost the whole country is just misunderstood. I do not think we want to make those kinds of deals. We already pay about a quarter of all the UN bills. How much more should we volunteer?

Bobo

Anti-Americanism is very complex and much of it is BS. I recall a survey done in the Arab world. One question was which country was the worst and something like 80% said the U.S. Later on there was a question about which country you would like to live in. About 80% chose the U.S. again. They are saying things they really do not believe. When behavior differs from words, trust behavior.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #220501

kctim:

Another term for “I will always give my own country, the benefit of the doubt” is blind faith. I always thought conservatives were skeptical of what government does. That should extend to foreign policy as well.

When US citizens agree with foreign leaders over American leaders, that’s not being weak. That’s showing the world how democracy works.

Jack:

You can get the same poll discrepancies when you ask Americans about abortion, taxes, or national health care. They are not “saying things they really do not believe.” They are simply being as contradictory in their opinions as us great Americans are, depending on the nuances of the questions. If anti-Americanism is BS, so are most Americans opinions. I would think someone as enlightened as you know that you have to go beyond the superficial “I found a contradiction in your opinions” attitude.

Posted by: bobo at May 16, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #220504

bobo
I would bet Jack and others do not believe me to be a conservative.

It is blind faith to take the word of my own President over the word of another country and its leaders on the world stage?
The Bosnia/Kosovo leaders said we killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, our President said that number was overstated. Do we accept their “valid point?” Or were they lying because Bush was not President then?

I guess that is what seperates Americans. Some believe country first, world second and others believe world above all else. Especially when the US President is a Republican.

Posted by: kctim at May 16, 2007 10:46 AM
Comment #220508

kctim

…and some of us read many news sources and try to figure out what the most likely truth is. By the way, the crack about “when the US President is a Republican” pretty much gave away your partisan slant. I remember criticism being pretty heavy toward Clinton when he bombed Bosnia and tried to get Osama bin Laden’s training camps. From both sides.

I’ve discovered that the US is like every other country on earth, in that it is capable of lying and using subterfuge and violence to address its own needs. Some countries don’t like that and oppose us, some are mollified by our largesse in other areas, and some are our willing partners. But it’s not black and white; some countries are with us on some counts, against us on others. Look at Iran, for g*d’s sake.

The UN is supposed to be a body that embraces universal participation. Inevitably there will be countries with positions we don’t like in charge of certain areas. Get over it. We are on the Security Council and have greater sway than just about anyone else. Because we don’t always get our way doesn’t make it a bad organization.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at May 16, 2007 11:10 AM
Comment #220513
How could John Bolton have done anything but improve this place?

And why didn’t he? He’s just another incompetent Bush crony.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 16, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #220527

Jack,

Your comment is not only stilted toward the concept of territorial nation states vying for power and influence, but also toward all the propaganda our own particular nation state puts out.

Have you ever considered there might a larger picture?

Posted by: RGF at May 16, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #220537

Yes Mental, Drudge and kos report only facts too dont they.

I’m glad you remember the Dems who denounced Bosnia AND Iraq cause I sure don’t remember very many. Or maybe all the Dems who stood up against that administration over its corruption?

I really don’t care which countries are with us or against us based on how the wind blows. They can oppose us all they want, who cares. I just wish we would quit giving them aid money.
Worrying about what other country’s think of us is the same as worrying about what my neighbor thinks of me: a waste of time!

“Inevitably there will be countries with positions we don’t like in charge of certain areas. Get over it.”

Not to burst yours or the UNs bubble, but I would have to care about the UN and its success in order to “get over it.”

It is the answers you guys are giving here that shows a real partisan slant. Are you guys really in favor of what Jack wrote about? Would you want Jeffrey Dahmer to run GLAD? Jesse Jackson to run the federal reserve? Wesley Snipes to run the IRS? Ann Coulter to run NOW?

“We are on the Security Council and have greater sway than just about anyone else. Because we don’t always get our way doesn’t make it a bad organization”

Yeeeaaah. We question certain countries heading up certain UN programs and we are babies crying because they did not get their way. Other countries and enemies question the US for everything and hmmmm, you guys all think they have a “valid point.”

Btw, the UN is a bad organization because it tries to use US money and muscle to control nations and resources. They are actually half-way decent on health things though.

Posted by: kctim at May 16, 2007 2:38 PM
Comment #220554

kctim,

uh….what US money, exactly, are you referring to? …Ted Turner’s??

Posted by: RGF at May 16, 2007 4:58 PM
Comment #220587

kctim,

No, it’s simply using your brains to be skeptical at times.

Posted by: bobo at May 16, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #220595

RGF

Re U.S. money, we pay about 25% of the UN expenses and bear the burden of around half of the peacekeeping, when you include all our logistical support. That is what kcim means

RE the world beyond the nation state - no I cannot currently envision that, when more than half the world’s people are living despots and dictators, and usually incompetent ones at that.

Someday it may be different, but not today and not any time we will probably get to see.

Posted by: Jack at May 16, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #220600

“Re U.S. money, we pay about 25% of the UN expenses and bear the burden of around half of the peacekeeping, when you include all our logistical support. “

I will take your word for it. But if I recall, that payment is proportional with the US share of the world economy. In addition, the US spends as much as the rest of the world combined on “defense”, and exports as much weaponry as the next 14 largest arms exporters combined.

Sort of puts all those charitable contributions into perspective, eh? America deserves credit for its good actions, and condemnation for its evil ones.

Posted by: phx8 at May 16, 2007 11:19 PM
Comment #220635

I agree it’s heavily ironic to have countries such as Libya heading the Human Rights Commission. The U.N. Conventions prohibit a number of common state practices, including torture. I think if we really want to escape irony we’d have to dig for countries with the moral standing to chair such a commission. Maybe Switzerland or New Zealand?

I would be nice if the U.N. based chairmanships partly on a country’s relative standing on a particular issue as assessed by some generally respected third party.

Some of the criticism (not all; the U.N. certainly warrants some criticism) comes from those who do not believe there should be any kind of body in which all the world’s nations can participate. I’m just barely idealistic enough to think that belief is wrongheaded.

Posted by: Gerrold at May 17, 2007 9:38 AM
Comment #220644

Jack,

Your comment:
“RE the world beyond the nation state - no I cannot currently envision that, when more than half the world’s people are living despots and dictators, and usually incompetent ones at that.”

…We, ourselves come most readily to mind. We are rapidly losing our own rule of law as a result of the incompetence of George Bush. Further, we are not honoring our legal and treaty obligtions to other countries as a result of his dishonor and incompetence.

However, your comment leaves me a question for you: Do you believe, as many Americans erroneously do, that Democracy is an end that justifies itself? We are trying to set up a Democracy of sorts in Iraq, but we are doing it by force. That changes the way it is percieved by many Iraqis. Democracy CANNOT be effectively GIVEN or IMPOSED. It must be chosen by the people for whom it is being built to serve. Imagine if CANADA or FRANCE had IMPOSED Democracy on the colonies? Would it have been seen as valid or valued? Would it have lasted? …not likely.

Why is it that we so value the form of government called Democracy that we would, ironically, impose it those who have not chosen it for themselves? How completely UNDEMOCRATIC!!!
It is because of this truth that we can do nothing in Iraq but cause more losses of our own and of Iraqis (both innocent civilians and otherwise).

The GREATEST hope there is for spreading Democracy worldwide, if that is a value worth having, is by means of the U.N. World body government. Which is a Democratic body. That means that there will be decisions based on points of view, and the wills of nations, that are different from our own. If we cannot respect their points of view, then we are oursleves not valuing Democracy.

That includes the point of view of those who tolerate dictators and thus choose not to live in a Democracy. Which explains why Assylum laws are what they are and why it is necessary for FIRST WORLD DEMOCRACIES to have loose immigration policies. “Give us your tired, your poor your huddled masses yearning to be free” …and all that. Rather than supporting revolutions to found nominal democracies, isn’t it better if we allow people to become a valued and vibrant part of OUR Democracy? By so doing, our own Democracy has drawn strength and depth. Every Immigrant group has made significant contrubutions, even those from Mexico and Latin America.

But, we must fight the foolish ignorance of those who fail to understand democracy and use terms like “American Values” to attack the very essence of our nation and our democracy. We lost one such ignorant voice this week and though I wish him no ill (nor his family), Jerry Falwell is finally in a place where he can do no more harm. Thank God.

Posted by: RGF at May 17, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #220656

Jack:

The reason for anti Americanism: Jeaolousy, pure and simple. They envy our success and freedom and prosperity and resent that they can’t compete.

Phillippe:

“does it mean that (NK) don’t have children too?” Your reasoning is faulty in the extreme. A child abuser may certainly still love their child, but do we put them in charge of abuse programs? Wake up!

You acknowledge reforms are needed. Can’t we agree that one of these reforms is not letting countries like Zimbabwe be in charge of orgs desiegned to help problems that they exemplify?

You multiculturalists always insist that all cultures are equal. They are not, and only a fool would think otherwise. I for one do not want to be more “united” as you put it, with these countries. It is not in ours or the worlds best interest.

Marysdude:

To support GWB is not to support corruption (percieved or proven). You seem to rely on the former and nothing to fall into the latter column.

Bobo:

Nobody said they have to listen to everything we say, but it would be nice if they came down from the opposite extreme that they occupy now, “everything U.S. is bad”

American arrogance is not the problem. America does more for the world than the rest of the world combined. Whatever our faults (usually in executing procedure) there is no nation on earth that tries to do the right thing more than us, Question your own arrogance, not that of a nation that has done more for humanity than any other.

Kctim

Amen

Phx8:

Engagement and diplomacy are nice platitudes but putting Zim. in charge of this org. is laughable in the extreme.

600,00 deaths. Please! And there is pride in America, just not from the likes of you.

And oh, so the corrupt oil for food scandal is OK because there is corruption in America too? Is this the best you have? Excuse and cover up one by pointing to another?

Paul

If you think “soft power” will influence the U.N. you are deluding yourself. The U.N. is nothing more than a means to berate America and get its hands in our pockets. The U.N. has no other usable purpose, stick a fork in them, they are done.

JD:

I can agree with that, but fat chance getting the dems to change as long as there is a republican president.

Honest:

Nail on the head, son! A lot of good going to the U.N. has done (more harm than good is you ask me).

AP:

You are right, Bolton did not do any good because th U.N. is beyond hope. No one can salvage this train wreck.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at May 17, 2007 2:51 PM
Comment #220658

RGF

Now there is an oxymoron. Thanking God for a man of God dying. Did you know Jerry Falwell personally? Do know personally of the work he did? Do you personally know his character? One can disagree with a persons view, but to condemn him at the point of time of death is over the top and beyond the pale. The homosexuals are gayfully glad of his passing (pun intended).

Now to the UN. A world government never has and never will solve mans problems. That is a truthful statemnent that you should take to heart. Democracy is one of the worst forms of government. You referenced “we”. There are millions of people in this country who despise democracy as a form of government. We are a republic. That is the form of government our founding fathers set up and that is what we have failed to continue as it was set up. Yes, we are still a republic and the main reason is that the founding fathers knew that there would be tyrants in the future that would try to change the republic into their own model of a government. It is called totalitarianism. People in our congress are activly working to make this country into a totalitarian government. Of course this has been going on for decades. You refered to Jerry Falwell as ignorant. Oh that you could be as wise as Mr. Falwell. His mission in life was to free the slaves that are beholded to the devil. That is certainly more than any political party has done in 200 years. Instead the political parties want to enslave us to a federal government that continues to grow in size and authority over the citizens it is mandated to serve. There is too much more to be said, but I have a doctors appointment. I will return for more.

Posted by: tomh at May 17, 2007 3:22 PM
Comment #220662

tomh,

“Now to the UN. A world government never has and never will solve mans problems. That is a truthful statemnent that you should take to heart.”

…That is an irrelevent statement that I shall disregard it.

At no point did I say anything about the UN being a “world government” nor did I say it should be. What I said was that it is an example of a Democratic body through which other governments may draw valuable lessons…including ourselves!

You have become confused. Not surprising, really. I have been hearing this confusion for some time from the ‘right.’
We are a DEMOCRACY. That is our governmental form. That we are a representative democracy in the format of a republic is merely the political structure of that democracy. The confusion comes from a lack of civics and history. The ‘right’ has a tendency to be ill educated and ill informed. Unfortuneate, isn’t it? …but there it is.

As for my comments on Falwell…
I don’t care what you or others think of the man. He was no man of God. A moderately energetic and open minded study of the Bible will show that to be the case. I don’t mind anybody’s religious zeal, it is the moral hypocrasy I cannot stand. The problem with the evangelicals is not Christianity…The problem is that they themselves ARE NOT CHRISTIAN!

Falwell was a man of deep seeded ignorance and hate. I cannot see him in the arms of a loving God at this time and I don’t care what you or others may have to say to me regarding that assessment of him. That being said, yes, I do believe it is appropriate to thank God for removing him from our midst. There is nothing oxymoronic about it…at least not from this end..

Now, from Falwell’s end…yeah, it’s oxymoronic alright. It was HE who called himself a man of God. I certainly never saw him that way, and never will. The world is better off without him in it.

Posted by: RGF at May 17, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #220665
Most UN members are not democracies.

Right on, Jack.
I guess that why it’s not called United Democratic Nations.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 17, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #220668

Beirut Vet,

Your reasoning is faulty in the extreme. A child abuser may certainly still love their child, but do we put them in charge of abuse programs? Wake up!

I’ll bet putting a child abuser in charge of an abuse program is one of the best way to open his eyes on his issues, yes.
In charge but not alone, mind you. There is 35 *others* nations currently at UNICEF board, one being… the USA.

You acknowledge reforms are needed. Can’t we agree that one of these reforms is not letting countries like Zimbabwe be in charge of orgs desiegned to help problems that they exemplify?

Nope, I don’t agree.
I’ll love the US being in charge of Kyoto protocol, for example.

You multiculturalists always insist that all cultures are equal. They are not, and only a fool would think otherwise.

Oh. Okay, I’m convinced!
That’s a definitive argument. “They are not”, period. How could have miss that one!?!

Hum, may I annoy you by asking your definition of a culture “value” and, if you can, how do you evaluate it. Because inequality means different values, right. Only a fool would think otherwise…

I for one do not want to be more “united” as you put it, with these countries. It is not in ours or the worlds best interest.

Yeah, I see that coming. Being more united with other people is not in your best interest. Afterall, you’re the best people on this planet, the others can only drive you down. You’ve everything to lose, while all the others have everything to win in a more united world.

You should be happy then, as the world is clearly less united - not more - than during the past decade, thanks for the hyperpower new doctrine (aka PNAC).

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 17, 2007 6:42 PM
Comment #220669

Beirut Vet,
You write: “600,00 deaths. Please!”

You are write. That information is dated. The number is higher now. But perhaps you do not believe me. Check around, and see if you can come up with a better number based upon an accepted methodology, based upon actual interviews and death certificates. You could use the criteria developed by the Atlanta Center for Disease Control, and applied in various other wars and natural disasters. It is the best one available.

Oh. Wait. That is the methodology which came up with the estimate of 600,000. Well, give it a shot. Do us all proud.

“And there is pride in America, just not from the likes of you.”

Tsk, tsk.

“And oh, so the corrupt oil for food scandal is OK because there is corruption in America too? Is this the best you have? Excuse and cover up one by pointing to another?”

Merely putting it into perspective. Corruption is common around the world. In many cultures, in many nations, our idea of “corruption” is considered standard operating practice. And guess what? The UN includes those nations.

Was Saddam Hussein corrupt? Unquestionably. Was Iraq under the CPA corrupt? Unquestionably. Was Iraq under its interim government corrupt? Unquestionably? Is the Maliki government corrupt? Unquestionably.

Corruption in Iraq is standard operating practice, and it has a long history. But the scale of corruption has steadily increased, reaching its apex under the CPA and the interim government. That was a license to steal, and the sheer magnitude of the corruption dwarfed the greed of Saddam Hussein and the oil-for-food scandal.

Posted by: phx8 at May 17, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #220672

Jack,

Re U.S. money, we pay about 25% of the UN expenses and bear the burden of around half of the peacekeeping, when you include all our logistical support. That is what kcim means

That’s 22%, due to the ceiling asked (and obtained) by US, the sole country to benefit it currently. According to UN founding terms, UN members contribute to its budget in proportion to its Gross National Income. You should stop whinning about having the hugest GNI guys, really.
Or maybe, kctim, you should push for one of these two obvious solutions:
- drop your GNI and rejoin us less whealthy nations
- leave UN.

Please notice that Japan contribute for 19% and don’t complain about it. Maybe they’re happy about their national income more than americans…

Please notice ALSO that not everything under UN “label” is about peacekeeping. The UNICEF special programme you talk in your initial post, Jack, is not. And it’s not funded on the UN budget but by voluntary contributions from its members.

Maybe I should check voluntary definition, but IIRC it was not another word for money stolen.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 17, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #220674
If you think “soft power” will influence the U.N. you are deluding yourself. The U.N. is nothing more than a means to berate America and get its hands in our pockets. The U.N. has no other usable purpose, stick a fork in them, they are done.

78% of UN budget DON’T comes from your pockets.
Now, if your country think it’s an irrevelant body, I wonder why the US is still a member of it. Resign is an easy solution. Don’t be shy. What’s the point of staying a major part of an irrevelant thing?!

BTW, if by “berate” you mean “free to disagree with”, you’re damn right. Can’t stand people disagreeing with you? Keep shouting loud Lalalalala at them. Or just resign. Or try to listen better. Whatever. But act your age situation in this world.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 17, 2007 9:06 PM
Comment #220676

“At no point did I say anything about the UN being a “world government” nor did I say it should be. What I said was that it is an example of a Democratic body through which other governments may draw valuable lessons…including ourselves!

You have become confused. Not surprising, really. I have been hearing this confusion for some time from the ‘right.’
We are a DEMOCRACY. That is our governmental form. That we are a representative democracy in the format of a republic is merely the political structure of that democracy. The confusion comes from a lack of civics and history. The ‘right’ has a tendency to be ill educated and ill informed. Unfortuneate, isn’t it? …but there it is.”
RGF

The United States was a Republic, (a democracy if you will), in the 1850’s, but a divided one. This is why the Civil War broke out in the 1860’s. Democracy does not peace make! That is why the U.N. is powerless over many of the world’s problems. A lot of talk and meaningless threats with no backbone or authority makes for a pointless democracy. That is also why a strong American military is the answer to preserving OUR DEMOCRACY. I’m sure that you will agree that the supreme firepower of the North taught an important lesson in freedom and democracy to the South in the 1860’s. It is nice to agree on many things and point to the diplomacy of Democracy as the best way of life, however, there is still right and wrong to defend, and an invincible military along with a sensitive and conscience-driven heart, much like Falwell’s, is the key to securing true Democracy for our posterity.

JD

Posted by: JD at May 17, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #220681

RGF

Since you consider the late Mr. Falwell evil, vile, etc. then how do I interpret the stuff coming from you. I will start with it is not love. It is not Godly. Pick up the theme and run with it. You certainly lost any integrity one might have in this case.

Posted by: tomh at May 17, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #220683

Phillipe:

You want the child abuser in charge of the org to open his eyes to his issues? My scream of laughter was so loud it woke the dog! That you would support such idiocy in the U.N. not only proves that you are hopelessly naive, but proves my point that the U.N. is beyond hope as long as people like you are running it.

Yes, being more united may sound good in utopia but it is not in our best interest nor yours. There are people in this world who need to be kept at arms lenght, at best, or defeated at worst. Islamofascists, anyone?

Hyperpower new doctrine?
PNAC?
Is it time for your meds?

Phx8:

Try 60,000 to 70,000.
Try www.iragbodycount.org hardly a right wing shill.

And the oil for food scandal still ranks as the largest financial scandal (dollars) in human history. I know you would prefer that honor to go to America but you will just have to find something else to hate about the U.S.

So you admit the U.N. is corrupt, that took a lot of courage on your part. Now put this into perspective: Nothing good has ever come from the U.N. and probably never will. It is an organization that is so bloated with beauracracy and corruption it can’t even get out of its own way. Beleiving otherwise is foolish, wishful thinking that will only get a lot more people killed. I for one do not want to be one.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at May 17, 2007 10:24 PM
Comment #220684

Phillipe:

I would like nothing more than to leave the U.N. and leave you and your America hating friends to your third world country that has so many people in it that want to come here.

And the U.N. budget does not account for all the other hands in our pockets. It goes far beyond just the “budget”. And if you think it is such a high and mighty organization, why don’t you fund it yourself?

There is also one other simple fact you are conveniently forgetting. If it were not for the U.S., the U.N. would be about as useful as…. well you get the picture. Without America providing the muscle and resolve to do what is right, the U.N.s resolutions are not worth the paper they are written on.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at May 17, 2007 10:35 PM
Comment #220697

Beirut Vet,
Iraq Body Count does a good job, given its methodology. It only counts deaths reported in the media, in English.

“it is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media… our own total is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording”. (Iraq Body Count, Quick FAQ and Press Release, 7th November 2004

In general, media-based estimates for deaths by violence or disease are inherently less accurate than population-based polling. The higher the level of violence, the less accurate media-based reporting becomes, with levels dropping as low as 5-10% of actual deaths.

“The October 2006 Lancet study [23] [24] states: “Aside from Bosnia, we can find no conflict situation where passive surveillance [used by the IBC] recorded more than 20% of the deaths measured by population-based methods.”
(From the Wikipedia article on IBC)

As for the UN, it does accomplish a great deal of good through a variety of programs. But enough for tonight…

Posted by: phx8 at May 18, 2007 12:44 AM
Comment #220705

Beirut Vet,

You want the child abuser in charge of the org to open his eyes to his issues? My scream of laughter was so loud it woke the dog! That you would support such idiocy in the U.N. not only proves that you are hopelessly naive, but proves my point that the U.N. is beyond hope as long as people like you are running it.

I know I’m not running it, you didn’t show any proof that people “like me” run it and, last but not least, you clearly avoid the “facing its issues” point, which is fine by me but not what someone could “backing” your claim.

Yes, being more united may sound good in utopia but it is not in our best interest nor yours.

Who are you to know what my best interest!?

You see, you can’t have it both way. Or you’re for everyone defending only its best interest (and then you can’t speak for the others, only you) or you’re for everyone trying to share their common best interests, like a world at peace (and then you can’t be against uniting when possible).

There are people in this world who need to be kept at arms lenght, at best, or defeated at worst. Islamofascists, anyone?

And everybody can see how it works so great since 2003. But who am I, again, to have no truth that violence is a solution to everything…

Hyperpower new doctrine? PNAC? Is it time for your meds?

Thanks but nope. Maybe it’s time for you to seek information about PNAC and hyperpower term and it’s background origin.

I guess that your pseudo does tell a lot about your stance regarding UN. But UN history is not limited to the french and US lives lost in their barrack bombing while they were under UN mandate there.
UN is not perfect, like any other man projects, it has its flaws. But with all his weakness, it STILL does contribute without any doubt to the drop of global unsecurity in the world. I know that’s a report that was under-reported in the US medias, but the University of British Columbia’s Human Security Report published in 2005 does see it and back it with factual stats.

It’s not perfect, but I’ll bet the positive offset the negative. I’ll bet on this report facts.
You, on what will you bet against it?
No, your Beirut Vet’s guts are not enough, sorry.

And the oil for food scandal still ranks as the largest financial scandal (dollars) in human history.

You mean UN history, right?
Because it’s hard to call around (according to every inquiries) $1.8 billion (out of the $100 billions total of the programme) over six years the largest financial scandal in human history when, since, $8.8 billion (out of $34 billions) was “lost” by the Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority during just 8 short months under US occupation chief Paul Bremer.

Ironically, half of that $34 billion, unlike the OFF money (from which 78% DIDN’T comes from the US), was made up of U.S. taxpayer funds.

According to U.N. impact studies, from 1996 to 2001 the average Iraqi’s daily food intake increased from 1,200 to 2,200 calories per day. Malnutrition among Iraqi children was cut in half over the life of the program, as were deaths of children under five in the center and south of the country. During the same period, polio was eradicated in Iraq. In general, these findings are supported by the Volcker Committee, which released a report PDF] on the program’s success in decreasing hunger and malnutrition, a report that won’t be reported in the right’s echo-chamber any time soon.

The Oil-for-Food programme was an effort to spare ordinary Iraqis some of the bitter hardships that their leaders had brought upon them. … No doubt it could have been better designed, and better implemented, but in its basic mission, it succeeded. On this question, the facts are tough to spin: the GAO estimated that 93% of program funds went to the purposes for which they were intended, and the Volcker Report (which have cost americans $35 millions, isn’t it ironic!?) put that figure at 98%. The Iraqi elections in 2005 used OFF lists, as no other census existed. If they were forged, the election results are too.

The Oil For Food scandal has been used by UN haters not only to discredit the whole institution, the idea of multilateral diplomacy but also to shift focus away from many nations real motivation to oppose Iraq War.

$1.8 from $100 billions, it’s nothing different to the average 1.7% pilferage rate in american retail industry every year (check whatever National Retail Security surveys).
But when it comes to U.N., what’s is “average” for your exemplary country becomes “huge” corruption.

Yeah, right.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 18, 2007 5:04 AM
Comment #220706

Beirut Vet,

I would like nothing more than to leave the U.N. and leave you and your America hating friends to your third world country that has so many people in it that want to come here.

Wait! I’ve to check one thing quickly! Hum… no, my 3rd world country is still one of the few in the G8 club. Hurray. 3rd world is not anymore that poorest club it used to be.
BTW, what’s happened to the 2nd world these days?
Since when it’s the US and the 3rd world?!

Whatever. So I must hate America if I care *also* about the 6.2 billions of people who happened to NOT live there?
Oh. Okay, then, call me an anti-american, then. Between being called that way by 300 millions of people and being seen as a world aware citizen by 6.3 billions people, the choice seems easy. Even if I know that among these 300 millions, not all share your view, the odds are against them. Bad luck.

And the U.N. budget does not account for all the other hands in our pockets. It goes far beyond just the “budget”. And if you think it is such a high and mighty organization, why don’t you fund it yourself?

I contribute to fund above 6% of its budget, as required by UN charters and France’s current GNI. So does other countries for the 72% that are not funded by either your country or mine. That’s also the case with the voluntary-based UN programs like UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS and so on.
Suprise, there is many nations on this planet, and not only your have money. In fact, the most contributing nation is often Japan, and they don’t whin about it.

There is also one other simple fact you are conveniently forgetting. If it were not for the U.S., the U.N. would be about as useful as…. well you get the picture. Without America providing the muscle and resolve to do what is right, the U.N.s resolutions are not worth the paper they are written on.

Ironically, among all these resolutions, US is the one since Cold War end that turns most of them into waste by its veto. And it’s not resolutions about doing what it’s right for your country, but resolutions about what’s it’s right for the UNSC members. All of them. Or, at least all powerfull of them.

Your alternative solution is “staying the (unilateral) course”, alone. More and more. Let’s see how your most recent adventure goes… yeah, the muscle seems quite extended, even outside any UN mandate.
You see the picture.

I’m not against US. I’m against an hegemonic US (self-interest. See PNAC). I’m against the selfish US (World Pollution).

I’m for US leading by the example. I’m for US being the #1 player at the world game. As long as the US remember one need other players to play.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 18, 2007 5:46 AM
Comment #220720

Phillipe:

Your arguments make no sense and your “sky is falling” paranoia about PNAC just puts you in the catagory of conspiracy nuts

And by the way, oil for food was 62 billion. Get it right or stay home!

Posted by: Beirut Vet at May 18, 2007 10:37 AM
Comment #220745

First, PNAC is not sky falling paranoia but a very transparent and ambitious plan for keeping and improving US hegemonic status over the world. It’s not being paranoid to state this obvious knowledge.
Check also the hegemonic definition, and argue that the US don’t fall currently under such definition.
Prove me US is not the hyperpower. I provides links to their respective definitions in my previous post.

Second, OFF total transactions, licit or not, is 100 billion. Amount these, 62 billion (well, Vokler says it’s 64.2 but you’re close enough) are oil sold by Iraq. The rest is humanitarian transactions…

Now, the illicit iraq income. Bottom of Page 1 of Independent Inquiry Commission on UN’s OFF program Report, Chart A “Illicit income received by Iraq under the Programme”: Total of illicit income: 1.8 billion.

That’s from the $35 million final “Volcker Report”, not a magic number of mine.
Check it if you don’t believe me.
I provides also a link to back my claim.
Me.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 18, 2007 2:37 PM
Comment #220749

Beirut Vet,
Philippe is right. I read up on it last night. The number you cite, $62 billion, is outlandish. Now, there was a scandal, and there was corruption going on with Saddam Hussein/UN/big Oil, but it was simply nowhere near the scale you are suggesting.

Also, spend a few minutes reading about what the UN actually does. It has a long history of providing excellent aid through its humanitarian organizations.

Posted by: phx8 at May 18, 2007 2:49 PM
Comment #220791

Phillipe and Phyx8:

So I was wrong!
It was not 62 billion but 67 billion!

The Heritage Foundation 4/12/04
“Investigate The U.N. Oil For Food Fraud”
by Nile Gardner PHD and James Phillips
backgrounder #1748

HEY! 6 billion, 60 billion 600 billion. Who cares what the exact number is anyway, right? There was massive corruption is the point made. Clean out this cess pool or get rid of it. It is worthles. No, it is more than that, it is criminal on a monumental scale. This regime (the U.N.) allowed another regime (Saddam) to circumvent every legality he was obligated under, and remain in power to the detriment to the 500,000 to 1,000,000 victims and their families. His own countrymen I might add.

So defend the scum at Turtle Bay if you must, I for one can recognize it for what it is.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at May 18, 2007 10:42 PM
Comment #220794

phx8

Like the aid to Africa while the UN people are raping the girls. Excellent work, Bah.

Posted by: tomh at May 18, 2007 11:00 PM
Comment #220844

Beirut Vet,

The Heritage says Iraq got 67 millions of income during OFF. Notice it says “income”, not “illicit income”. That’s a nice spin, as that “income”, for most of them, comes as humanitarian goods, bought by the Iraq oil sales. Which, should I recall it, was the OFF processus, agreed by UNSC members.

The more recent reports about OFF scandal (which I don’t deny, mind you, just the “largest financial scandal” and “totally ineffective program” claims,), from US’s GAO, Independent Vockler and Iraq Survey’s Duelfer reports never goes as far as to claim the illicit income was $60+ billions.
They pretty all claim that during the OFF program period, between $10 and $21 billions of illicit income goes to Iraq, from which only $1.8 billions were directly done under/via UN control.

Even the most partisan conservative think tank ridden of UN haters by ideology do know that the illicit income from OFF was way below the total of all OFF transactions.

Hussein received billions more through illegal trades than trhough OFF program. The Vockler’ ICC The Oil-For-Food Program.
It didn’t that much time to Vockler’s IIC to concluded as soon as its first interim report this:

What does appear clear is that the major source of external financial resources to the Iraqi Regime resulted from sanctions violations outside the Programme’s framework. These illicit sales, usually referred to as ‘smuggling,’ began years before the Program started.

He concluded that (1) oil smuggling was the largest source of illicit revenue for the Hussein regime during the UN sanctions period; (2) smuggling was outside the purview and oversight of the UN administrators of the Oil-for-Food Program; and (3) smuggling began years before the commencement of Oil-for-Food.

May I suggest that you don’t stuck on just one conservative think tank well known to hate UN for your fact about Oil For Food facts?
What about http://www.oilforfoodfacts.org/ for a start?

PS: I love how the Heritage Foundation “forgot” the american and austrialian businesses involved in the scandal in there “investigation” article. They spin it nicely to make it only about french & russian (coincidence, two of the most visible Iraq war opposants nations). Like in the government censored reviewed “Iraq Survey” Duelfer report. By luck, the original version leaked since in which everybody could discover,surprise, that pro-iraq-war’s australian and american business where on the list too.

Scandal there was. No debate.
Worst one ever? Nope.
Ineffective program? Nope.
UN’s more corrupted than any other organization with such money flowing thru? Nope.

Does your opinion on UN will change at least one bit after being exposed to these facts?
I bet nope.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 19, 2007 4:41 PM
Comment #220846

Tomh,

Like the aid to Africa while the UN people are raping the girls. Excellent work, Bah.

http://www.aztlan.net/torture_iraqi_pows.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/07/iraq.familyslain/index.html

Hum, what Bush said about this kind of acts already?
Oh yeah. “Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell, and Iraqi men and women are no longer carried to torture chambers and rape rooms”. No, sorry, wrong quote.
IIRC, he said it was “a few bad apples, which don’t reflect on the whole military.”.

You can’t have it both way.
Does UN troop have a few bad apples too? No doubt.
More than any other troops? Nope.
I’ll even bet on less.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 19, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #220872

Philippe Houdoin

It is not only UN troops that are raping, etc., it is the UN structure, agents if you will that are doing most of the dirt.

Posted by: tomh at May 19, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #220899

Tomh,

Okay. And? How this make UN badder than any other large organization - army, big companies, public institutions?
I failed to see why “bad apples” can’t be spread all over the hierarchical pyramid in UN, like in all other human organized structure…

UN should be better, less corrupted, more transparent. It’s bad behavior are and will even more in future exposed to investigation and scrutiny, internal *and* external.
But the bad should be put in balance with the good.

Don’t throw the baby out with bath water.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 20, 2007 6:40 AM
Comment #220903

Now you know why the dummycrats support the un so much. incompetence, anti americanism, corruption, and power at all costs. If they had it there way, our constitution would take a back seat to the un.

Posted by: marc at May 20, 2007 9:45 AM
Comment #220904

Philippe

In this case there is no baby and no bath water.

The UN is corrupt throughout.

Just remember, snake poison is 5% protein. If you are ever going to be bit by poisonous snake, don’t think of the poison, think of the protein!

Posted by: tomh at May 20, 2007 9:46 AM
Comment #220955

Tomh,

No baby and no bath water, so no case for empty the bath, right?

The UN is corrupt throughout.

Corrupt, yes. Throughout? You’ll need to back such claim. And even in this case, I’ve already state that’s no different than any large huge human organizations. What’s matter is not the pro column or the cons column, but the net result.

If UNAIDS could succeed to win over AIDS at the huge price of wide corruption, I’ll be disapointed on corruption but be glad of the output, still.
Same for UNICEF, UNDP, etc.

What’s matter is the net result. Otherwise, the best way to reduce costs (bad column) is to do exactly nothing. If you have a way to do many with nothing, I’m sure everybody will be happy to hear it. Meanwhile, people and UN have to deals with their weakness, trying to be better.

Killing it is not fixing.

Just remember, snake poison is 5% protein. If you are ever going to be bit by poisonous snake, don’t think of the poison, think of the protein!

Or better, think of getting the right antivenom ASAP. Hoping for death [of UN] is not healing body.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 21, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #220963

JD,

Uh…you said:

“The United States was a Republic, (a democracy if you will), in the 1850’s, but a divided one. This is why the Civil War broke out in the 1860’s. Democracy does not peace make! That is why the U.N. is powerless over many of the world’s problems. A lot of talk and meaningless threats with no backbone or authority makes for a pointless democracy.”

THAT explains our own situation. It is not due to Democracy, but a lack of faith of the people in that Democracy. The UN is percieved by too many of the faithless of us as an obstacle to American goals (Thank, it is on many levels) and it is percieved by the rest of the world as OUR PUPPET. Funny that, isn’t it?

Further you said:

“That is also why a strong American military is the answer to preserving OUR DEMOCRACY. I’m sure that you will agree that the supreme firepower of the North taught an important lesson in freedom and democracy to the South in the 1860’s. It is nice to agree on many things and point to the diplomacy of Democracy as the best way of life, however, there is still right and wrong to defend, and an invincible military along with a sensitive and conscience-driven heart, much like Falwell’s, is the key to securing true Democracy for our posterity.”

JD, I can think of no greater threat to our Democracy, or Republic if you prefer, than our military and the influence wielded by it’s own and it’s associated contractors and interests.

Further, it was NOT superior firepower that won the civil war for the North. The South danced circles around the North for more than half the war. The North was out-thought and out-fought. But, thankfully for the moral issues involved, the North won. They did so mostly because the North could continue to wield more troops as the war wore on while the South had ground its youth into corpses. You comment is equally well versed in politics and history, obviously.


Posted by: RGF at May 21, 2007 5:05 PM
Comment #220983

RGF

The jihadists thank you. The Kremlin thanks you.

China thanks you. Al-Quida thanks you. And a

special message Obama thanks you in the name of

Allah. This for the statement that our military

is the greatest threat to our own country.

Posted by: tomh at May 21, 2007 9:57 PM
Comment #221136

tomh,

Your *comment* is foolish, dangerous and ignorant!

Posted by: RGF at May 23, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #221543

tomh,

… statement that our military is the greatest threat to our own country.

Greatest threat, not. A threat, do doubt.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell when and who said that insighfull warning.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 29, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #221544

tomh,

… statement that our military is the greatest threat to our own country.

Greatest threat, no. A threat for liberty and democracy, no doubt:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

I’m sure I don’t needs to tell when and who said that insighfull warning.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at May 29, 2007 10:25 AM
Comment #222357

I recently had a run in with a fellow who continually, ad nausium, referred to himself as “The most honest and honorable fellow I know.”

Two things were evident from the start:
1) He is someone who does not even know himself, much less others

AND
2) He was absolutely wrong.

But why is that so evident?
…Because nobody genuinely honest or honorable would ever make such a statement. It is a COMPARATIVE statement. Honesty requires continually looking inward and inquiring of oneself what the proper course of action is. If one has a moral compass at all, then such comparative statements and assessments are irrelevent and will not enter the mind of the honest and honorable person.

I NEVER intended to COMPARE myself to Falwell. I recognize that to the extent I found him vile, I was falling into the same trap that he lived in his entire life.

The issue is not my integrity. I made no moral asserions about myself. The issue is that within the context of all that is *Christian* Falwell was the opposite. …but a sufficient lack of spiritual introspection and self-examination that he was NEVER able to even ask himself such questions such as “What is and is not Christian?”

Posted by: RGF at June 5, 2007 4:21 PM
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