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Tony Makara

"George Orwell was not quite right: the technology revolution he foresaw is not a controlling force enslaving people, but for the most part a liberating force empowering them"

This is very much an inversion of the truth from a Labour government that is consciously trying to stamp and index our people. Even our children are now being routinely fingerprinted in primary school. Once Labour get the ID scheme up and running you can bet that bio-data will be seen as a 'Necessity' on ID cards to combat terrorism and crime.

Gordon Brown's foreign policy objectives appear to be as confused as ever. He talks about China having legitimate global aspirations, by that does Gordon Brown mean geopolitical as well as economy hegemony? Brown talks about hard-headed intervention, well at least thats a difference from the empty-headed intervention that Labour undertook in Iraq. Gordon Brown talks about expanding membership of the UN security council, how far does he want this to go? The larger the security council the more Britains ability to influence world events will diminish. As we have seen the EU, enlargement can lead to quantity diluting quality. Gordon Brown should understand that a smaller security council is more likely to reach consensus and is more effective. Less is more.

HF

Irwin Stelzer on Newsnight was very damning on its content describing it as an opt out of foreign relations and that in his other actions Brown had gone out of his way to be unhelpful to the USA.

HF

Irwin Stelzer on Newsnight was very damning on its content describing it as an opt out of foreign relations and that in his other actions Brown had gone out of his way to be unhelpful to the USA.

david

Irwin Stelzer! lets be honest if a British PM isn't calling for outright war with Iran, Stelzer would brand that PM as being unhelpful to the USA.

Harry

Was Gordon ever clear, on any issue, at any time?

He is as shady as conmen come.

That is 'prudent' for you.

yaffle

With no doubt a notable exception or two, that I do not recall but others might, the translation of a chief financial officer into a chief executive officer never works, particularly when the chief financial officer has survived by being lucky rather than by any inate ability. So it is with Brown. Interesting to note what the previously sycophantic Stelzer is saying. Has Murdoch decided to switch horses? In any event Brown's speech was predictable, boring, unstatesmanlike and wholly unconvincing.

Maduka

Tony Makara,

Tony Blair also called for the expansion of the UN security council.

The architecture of international institutions needs to be rethought - and Brown is right to point this out. The UN, World bank, IMF and even the G-7 need some readjustment.

I sometimes wonder why Italy is a member of G-7, and China is not. China clearly has more influence on the world economy than Italy.

The UN security council (as presently constituted) is a Cold War relic. The Cold War ended in 1989 and a restructuring of the security council is long overdue - in order to reflect the present realities in international relations.

India with a population of 1 billion and a rapidly growing economy, has been a responsible member of the international community for the past 60 years. I see no reason why it should not have a seat at the Security council.

Germany and Japan are trickier propositions, but these are two very important nations. Germany (whether she admits it or not), is the leading nation in Europe. (Europe is an important emerging power). Japan (inspite of its bloody past) is the most important economic power in Asia.

Brazil represents the part of the World that does not feature in (Western centric) political calculus. This World exists and has never really got on terms (or has gotten a fair deal) from Western dominated political institutions.

Germany, Japan, Brazil and India all have developed (or are able to develop with minimum difficulty) nuclear capabilities.

It is difficult to preach democracy when Britain (with a population of 60 million) has veto rights and India (with a population of a billion) does not have.

Then there is the challenge of internationalizing Western-dominated financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. The Asian financial crisis questioned the relevance of the IMF. In a world where China holds a trillion dollars in external reserve this becomes even more urgent.

Tony, China has legitimate global aspirations - it has a right to seek and secure energy, mineral and agricultural resources for its teeming population - like anyone else. China is in overdrive in Africa (and the US Africa command is partly in response to this).

Future conflict with China will not be over ideology (Deng dispensed with that) or Taiwan (the Taiwanese are amongst the largest investors in the mainland) - it will be over resources.

Tony Makara

Maduka, do you really want to give China a platform, with its record of human rights abuse? The security council, has on the whole worked well to keep the peace in the world. However if it is expanded it will be weakened.

Maduka

Tony Makara,

I am no fan of China. But we cannot simply ignore China, they are too big and too strategic to be left out.

For all their human rights abuses, they are moving slowly in the direction of less repression and a more representative democracy. I was privileged (like most recent UK university graduates) to study with Chinese students. They admire Western institutions and democracy, but they adore Deng and his successors.

They love the West, but they do not want a mirror image of the West in China. We need to engage this generation carefully.

Do you think Japan and Germany will be less responsible than France? Or that India and Brazil would be less responsible than China?

A careful expansion of the Security Council will not weaken it.

It is not fair (neither is it defensible) to base the membership of the most exclusive club in the World on an event that occured 60 years ago (the Second World War).

Maduka

Tony Makara,

Are you familiar with Huntington's thesis on the "clash of civilizations". The Security Council as presently constituted represents only three of such civilizations - the Sinic, Western and Eastern Orthodox.

One can argue that the "Islamic Civilization" is presently too unstable to be put in this group - but what about incorporating representatives from the Latin American and Hindu civilizations?

Tony Makara

Maduka, China already have the possibility to contribute as a permanent member. I am not in favour of starting an enlargement process which will only gain momentum and lead to procrastination, indecision and bickering. A small council of major powers is the best way to conduct business. I do not subscribe to the view that the council exists to represent civilizations. It isn't broke, so why fix it?

Maduka

Tony,

It does not matter whether you support the enlargement of the Security Council. There WILL BE an enlargement of the Security Council. The genie has left the bottle.

It will happen one day.

Britain and France understand this. China and Russia will reluctantly support it. America will be dragged in - kicking and screaming.

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan will keep putting their case forward until something gives.

Frogg, USA

Maduka, I don't know what bottle the genie has left; but, it must have been full of whiskey.

The Security Council can not be expanded without US approval since all five permanent members must approve of any expansion (besides being supported/ratified by two thirds of the General Assembly).

I think the US is open to some expansion; but, certainly not 15 or so as some of the proposals outline. Germany and Japan, maybe. But, I guarantee that the US won't go along with it if it corrodes the effectiveness of the Security Council (which is pretty limited these days); and, does not go hand in hand with real concrete UN reform in other areas.

The UN will either reform or blow away in the wind as far as I am concerned.

And, if the day comes that it is totally useless....

nations will simply go around it just like they have always done; and, the UN will be a delivery mechanism for food around the world and not much else.

Maduka

Frogg,

Do you think that India or Brazil need the United Nations more than say, the United States?

Let's be careful about what we wish for.

Frogg, USA

Maduka,

America needs allies, true. Unfortunately most of the UN members are dicators, terrorists, human rights abusers, criminals, and thugs.

I'm ok with keeping the UN for the things it does well (not much these days); but, only if it becomes a responsible, transparent, and respectable Institution.

Unfortunately, It can not manage global security issues. Agree? I'll remind you that there was only one country that has ever gone to the UN before going to war or bloody conflict; yet there have been dozens of wars and conflicts since its founding. It was the US. And, both times it was over Iraq.

America had great hopes for the UN upon its founding. But, reality is hard to ignore. I think the big mistake was to give too much a voice to the world's dictators, terrorists, human rights abusers, and thugs.

The UN, today, is not only corrupt; but dysfunctional and dangerous to the world. Not what it was intended to be.

Frogg, USA

Frogg PS to above post:

The UN is not what it was intended to be.

Sadly so.

The UN without America in it? Be careful what you wish for.

Maduka

Frogg,

Unfortunately, It can not manage global security issues. Agree? I'll remind you that there was only one country that has ever gone to the UN before going to war or bloody conflict; yet there have been dozens of wars and conflicts since its founding. It was the US. And, both times it was over Iraq.

A problem is that America also set bad examples. Our invasion of Grenada (which Thatcher opposed), our invasion of Panama and our invasion of Vietnam were not approved by the United Nations.

A second problem is the bad vibe the rest of the world continues to hear from America:

"The UN is useless".

Most of humanity live outside the areas that are deeemed "strategically important for US interests". (i.e. the Middle East, Europe and the Taiwan Straits). For most of these people, the UN is of utmost importance.

The Liberian crisis was solved by the Nigerian Military (with UN support). The crisis in Sierra Leone was solved by the British and the Nigerians. Many literacy, healthcare and agricultural initiatives are supported by the United Nations.

America needs allies, true. Unfortunately most of the UN members are dicators, terrorists, human rights abusers, criminals, and thugs.

Nothing new under the Sun. Do we expect the World to transform overnight and start singing "Kumbaya"?

We bear part of the blame.

The fall of the Soviet Union presented us with opportunities to spread freedom and LIBERAL democracy - but we squandered them.

Our approach was intellectually shallow. We naively thought that elections (and elections alone) would lead to more liberal societies. We insisted that the same economic policies (Washington consensus) could be applied to every country and on every continent.

We lost Russia because we were naive.

Elections can lead to elected despots - and the World is full of them. What the World needs is not more elections but less poverty.

In regions as diverse as the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar), Africa (Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Ghana) and Latin America, the Chinese model of economic development (economic liberalization without political liberalization) is seen as being very attractive.

You cannot argue against 10% annual growth rate, 200 million lifted out of poverty and a trillion dollar trade surplus especially when compared with a string of IMF/World Bank failures in Latin America, Africa and East Asia (remember the 1997 crisis).

We may dismiss Latin America and Africa as being of little strategic importance. The Chinese think otherwise. (China is projected to surpass the US as the largest investor in Africa by 2010).

We urgently need a new approach and we REALLY need the United Nations.

atheling

The UN's corruption, weakness and hypocrisy demonstrates that it's a waste of time.

The "bad vibe" you refer to is not a "vibe". It's a (growing) opinion among Americans because of the aforementioned vices.

And no, we don't expect the world to sing "kumbaya", but people who insist on maintaining the illusion that somehow the UN will solve problems are the ones who believe in that fairy tale.

Maduka

Atheling,

Okay, if we tear down the UN what do we replace it with?

Is a world without the UN a safer world?

What is it that we want from the UN? Do we want increased administrative efficiency or do we want member nations to behave differently?

How realistic are our demands?

Frogg, USA

Maduka, what a strange question. Do we want better management or countries to behave better? Both. It is not unrealistic. As a matter of fact, it is necessary for the UN survival. It has to get back to its original charter (which did not give dictators, thugs, and human rights abusers an equal seat at the table).

There are several very real possibilities that I would favor.

1. The UN could truly reform and get back to its original charter (not likely judging recent activity).

2. Keep the UN, but allow member nations to contribute only to the programs they support.

3. Keep the UN as an irrelevant institution and form a "League of Democracies" to handle the real problems.

And, btw, if the UN reforms and becomes effective it will be because of the United States not inspite of the United States.

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UN could slide into irrelevance, Canadian warns

By SHAWN McCARTHY
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Monday, Jan 24, 2005

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050124.wunun0124/BNStory/National/

--------------------------------------------


Congressional Report: U.N. management 'ossified'

July 13, 2005

The reform report called for U.S. leadership to overhaul the United Nations. It cast past change of the world body as chiefly work that was done thanks to U.S. pressure.

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/world/11885288.htm
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Ditch human-rights panel and hypocrisy at U.N.
By Dick Batchelor
Special to the Sentinel

June 16, 2005

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights should be dismantled.

I speak from experience.

As an appointee of President Bill Clinton to the commission in 2000, I had an opportunity to negotiate resolutions condemning countries for severe human-rights violations. I also debated a number of country representatives who made a mockery of human-rights dialogue by successfully hijacking the very body that was created to promote and ensure such rights.

Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude in the United Nations and specifically on the human-rights commission is not to confront governments but to cooperate with governments. .....Such ineffectiveness is the height of cynical politics. How can an international commission pass judgment on human-rights violations when its leadership includes China, Cuba, Sudan, Nepal, Congo and Saudi Arabia?

It is obvious that the effort of these countries is not to advance the call of universal human rights but, on the contrary, to block criticism of their damnable and nightmarish policies. Such hypocrisy is calculated, sinister and demoralizing to the victims of massive state-executed abuses.

...we should continue to say 'never again' and mean it.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-edpbatchelor16061605jun16,0,1052286,print.story?coll=orl-opinion-headlines
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Farewell to the United Nations?

Fri, 2006-07-28

Historian David Littman is a representative to the United Nations (Geneva) of the Association for World Education. He has spent years tracking the rise of Islamic influence at the UN. According to him, “In recent years, representatives of some Muslim states have demanded, and often received, special treatment at the United Nations.” “As a result..... non-Muslim governments accept certain rules of conduct in conformity with Islamic law (the Shari’a)....

On August 5, 1990, the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. According to the official English version, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’a.” The CDHRI has since then become “a quotable source at the United Nations.”[/b]

David Littman warns that “The new rules of conduct being imposed by the OIC [the Organization of the Islamic Conference], and acceded to by other states, give those who claim to represent Islam an exceptional status at the United Nations that has no legal basis and no precedent.” ....

“A sensible policy requires that the American government every day make efforts to promote among Infidel countries and peoples an understanding of how the UN has been infiltrated, and essentially commandeered, by the forces of Islam: the Islamintern, it might be called. And then to minimize the power, the respect, and the legitimacy still accorded to the UN, this most corrupt and corrupting of institutions. And finally, it must seek not to do the impossible – to truly reform this organization – but to treat it as it should be treated: as hopeless, useless, and irrelevant ....

Roger Scruton points out that the UN granted to the Soviet Union “the kind of legitimacy that it could never have acquired through the conduct of its leadership.” [b]“The Soviet Union used the U.N. and its ancillary institutions as a front. It supported the capture of the United Nations Association (an independent nonprofit organization which was founded to rally support for the international idea) by the peaceniks and encouraged the transformation of UNESCO into an instrument of leftist and anti-Western propaganda.” Soviet Communists recognized the UN “only as a way to neutralize Western defenses.”

Some would argue that Islamic countries are copying this strategy now. ....

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1224
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Palestinian Terrorists in UN Ambulances

From YouTube, here’s a video of Palestinian terrorists using United Nations/Red Cross ambulances for cover and transportation during fighting with the IDF:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21813_Palestinian_Terrorists_in_UN_Ambulances&only
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The U.N.'s Refugees
The international body gives aid and comfort to terrorists.

BY MICHAEL RUBIN
Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:01 a.m. EDT


http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=105001943
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