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Friday, October 01, 2004

Smoked

Can't write much for now. Busy moving house items...


But Kerry smoked Bush last night. The President looked hesitant and unsure of himself. His answers were full of long pauses. He kept harping on Kerry's "Wrong War. Wrong Time." not as a touchstone, but as something he could come back to if he lost his train of thought.


This was supposed to be Bush's best debate, seeing as it was on foreign policy. Instead, we saw what happens when you insulate yourself from criticism for four years. He looked piqued as Kerry spoke, rushing to respond and sputtering when he did so.


Kerry closed the gap. This was Bush's best shot to put him away, and he failed.

Monday, September 27, 2004

League of Nations...UN...what's next?

I have major problems with Bush and how he's run the Iraq situation. Under-manned, under-equipped, listening only to "yes-men", ignoring the deadly reality of what his policies have wrought. It's a situation we did not have to enter into, a war we could have held off on until Afghanistan was safely secured as a real beacon of democracy. (which may be happening anyway, as Andrew Sullivan lets us know.)


But one thing I never disagreed with was going without the UN. Waiting for the United Nations to commit to a course of action is an extremely long exercise in futility. Gone is the hey-day of intervention in Korea and the Congo, when the UN appeared able to fulfill its promise. Now, it has devolved into a near-worthless organization where issues are debated daisy-chain style while repressive dictatorships sit on the Human Rights Committee and innocents die in waves.


Castigate Bush for going w/o the UN? It's the only thing he did right. Compare this to the Sudan.


One of the arguments people have been using against Bush and his "humanitarian" reason (No. 345 on the growing list) for invading Iraq, is "Why don't you invade the Sudan, then?" Which is a fair question.


Well, it's seems that this time Bush is trying to go through the UN, like everyone wanted him to do before. And, of course, the results are predictably worthless.


The UN won't call the Darfur slaughter a genocide, which it clearly is. They won't blame the Arab government in Khartoum for the slaughter. They won't enact a strict embargo against the Sudan...the list doesn't end.


Or how about Iran, and their drive to create a nuclear device. They are ignoring the IAEA directives. They have started enriching uranium once more. Here's an eye-popping story about Syria sending Iraqi nuclear scientists, who were moved to Damascus before the Coalition invasion, to Iran. They just tested a missile that can reach our troops in the Middle East. And the UN response?


Well, it seems they took a page out of Dean Wormer's playbook. Iran is on double-secret probation, which is to say, the UN has done nothing.


A theocratic Islamic nation is on the verge of obtaining nukes, and the UN does nothing. Simply stunning. Apparently, the fact that neither the US or Israel will ever allow this to become reality has energized the UN not a whit. Which must mean that Annan must prefer the chaotic possibilities following a US or Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as opposed to a UN program of sanctions and enforcement.


Let's be blunt: the UN has devolved into worthlessness. But we (the global community) need an organization to mediate and solve international problems. So what do we do? It's a good question. Do the great democracies go off and create a new organization? Do we (the US) bail on the UN, retreat behind our borders and shut off the world? Do we try and reform the UN from the inside in an attempt to re-vitalize it?


I don't know. But the UN, as it stands today, creates more problems that it solves. And that is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.

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