20 Comments on “Once Again, Showing Your Colors”

  1. When I was studying early 20th-century history, I used to like the idea of “Dollar Diplomacy” used by Taft’s administration. The basic idea was that the U.S. could use its economic might to essentially make sure other countries did what we wanted.
    And now I see how damaging and awful that practice is in real life. Maybe a better description of Dollar Diplomacy would have been, “to CUDGEL the other countries to do what we wanted, even if it was immoral.”
    Basic assessment: Alan is right.

  2. You’ve got to be kidding me

    President Bush found himself in the awkward position on Wednesday of calling the leaders of France, Germany and Russia to ask them to forgive Iraq’s debts, just a day after the Pentagon excluded those countries and others from $18 billion in American-f…

  3. Countries that “actively impeded the Iraqi war” were following the U.N. charter, whose main proponent was… well… the U.S.
    Basically, the U.S. has basically told the rest of the world that might makes right. Whether through smart bombs or greenbacks, the U.S. has power and is willing to use it, no matter the moral, ethical, financial, and legal problems involved.
    Politics, indeed, and a horrible policy that will bite us in the ass in the future.

  4. Would have it been moral/ethical to have the power and not use it, letting suffering continue?
    I really wish that the media would focus more on the GOOD things happening in places like Iraq.

  5. As a matter of practicality – if we reward countries that actively impeded the Iraqi war (and whether you supported that or not isn’t the point) – what would be the incentive for actively helping in the future be? If you can get all the rewards with none of the pain, why bother helping at all? This is politics, pure and simple – the physical downside to not helping up front.

  6. Go read UN resolution 1441 and all the ones preceding that on Iraq. Either the UN meant what it said then, or the UN has no meaning. I tend towards the latter interpretation.

  7. Oorgo: I pretty much agree with your sentiments, however I would like to append your thoughts a bit.
    George Bush: Heather
    Rumsfield: Heather
    Tom Ridge: Heather
    John Ashcroft: Heather
    And alas the rest of humanity is suffering a shortage of drain cleaner.

  8. Read the various resolutions, however one must also know U.N. procedure before it makes sense.
    You see, the U.N. was concerned about at least one part of the resolution, the one about “Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, Kuwait, and the neighbouring States.”
    Also, 1441 basically says that Iraq needed to comply or else another resolution (the one that would actually send troops into Iraq) would be drafted. IIRC, the other Member States wanted to give Iraq time to comply, whereas the U.S. simply wanted to invade. 1441 didn’t give any other Member State the right to invade Iraq, it simply laid out the conditions under which a U.N.-sponsored invasion could occur.
    Yes, we could cynically say that the U.N. has no meaning because it tries to uphold law, order, ethics, sovereignty, and peace despite sometimes not acting fast enough for the hawks out there.
    But one could say the same thing about the U.S. Constitution (or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Namely, that our system tends to err on the side of freedoms and rights rather than brutal authoritarian efficiency. Thus Miranda, “Innocent until proven guilty,” et. al.
    Personally, I would rather live in a world of enlightened-but-sometimes-bumbling law than efficient-but-totalitarian chaos.

  9. I think the goal of dollar diplomacy is to ultimately get done what a particular country wants done (i.e. the selfish interest of the U.S.), versus what would be best for humanity.
    The problem is not that the Iraqi war should or should not have happened. Maybe (or even probably) it was a good thing to get rid of a ruthless dictator. (Oh wait, what about 99% of Africa? Screw ’em, they don’t have oil).
    However, what has the world lost in the process, when the most powerful member of the international community (an international community that Canada rightly supports wholeheartedly, btw) stomps on international law, disregards a process that has saved millions of lives and bettered the world, dismisses the needs of all of the other countries in the world, and then finally totally delegitimizes playing well with others by offering economic incentive to be a jerk?
    No, it doesn’t matter if the U.S. had been met with rose parades and champaigne when we went into Iraq; it still would have been a frightful hurt to all that is good and hopeful about humanity.
    As I said above, the actions of the U.S. will have frightening consequences to humanity in the future.

  10. I see the US Gov’t currently playing the 80’s teen movie role of “Sorority leader” and the rest of the world playing nerds. The nerds are mildly tolerated and seen as non-important in the Sorority leaders world of influence, therefore treated with contempt when they DARE speak up or go against anything the leader says.
    When will the nerds seek the power of the underpants and rise to their proper role in world politics? When will the Fascist Sorority Leader be subdued and realize they are just like everyone else?
    I’m sure it’ll happen in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the film

  11. It is not in the resolution itself, it is how the SEcurity Council works. Like I said, 1441 outlines conditions under which a U.N. Taskforce could be created. It does not define that taskforce in itself.

  12. Sorority Rules

    I hate to blow my own horn but I amazed myself with my comment on Arcterex’s blog regarding This article about George Bush on CNN. Posted by: Oorgo on December 12, 2003 07:45 AM I see the US Gov’t currently…

  13. I read the words, not the unseen penumbras that you somehow detected. Had the Security Council needed to demand a new resolution, they could easily have done so. They didn’t, and saying that the meant to doesn’t change that. When a child says that they “meant” to do something, we don’t cut them much slack. I cut the UN as little slack.

  14. posting at this point gets moot when it has dropped off the dront page, but… what the hell.
    First of all to dismiss the straw-man argument that I said the U.N. “meant” that 1441 was an order to invade Iraq. It wasn’t. (and by the way, I neither said nor implied any desires of the U.N., other than their desire to keep national sovereignty)
    First off, IANAL, but if you read the various charters and policies of the U.N., the first thing that happens is that you draft a resolution saying, “OK, we don’t like X, so if a country does X, we should stop it.”
    Then, if a country does X, then the security council needs to adopt a resolution on the specifics of the mission. If they did not specify all of the parameters of the mission, then it would be very easy to destroy (accidentally or not) the sovereignty of the Member Nations involved.
    Notice that 1441 was like the first part of the resolution, saying, “hey, we think that Saddam should do X”? Notice it didn’t have any language regarding the actual expedition or mission?
    Mr. Robertson, you said, “Had the Security Council needed to demand a new resolution, they could easily have done so.” Yes, you are right… and they didn’t because most of the Member Nations wanted to solve the problem calmly, without bloodshed, and without destroying the credibility of peaceful negotiation.
    What I am mentioning above (except for the little opinionated asides) are not “unseen penumbras” that I have seen into 1441, but rather cold and hard truths of the way the U.S. went against U.N. and international law.
    Let’s put it this way. If 1441 had given the U.S. the ability to attack at will, why was there such a stink about them doing so? Because it was NOT the will of the U.N. that they were carrying forth; the U.N. had not decided on attack (yet). Yet the U.S. decided that it would unilaterally take 1441 as a sign that them Iraqis needed killin’.
    By the way, while a great bit of sophistry to cast the U.N. as a child, I think the better example here is to place the U.S. in the role of the child. First he asks dad if he can have the candy, and he says no. THe child asks his mom for candy, and she says no. So the kid steals $0.50 and buys himself a Snickers. Then has the audacity to tell his friends mom and dad that they should continue to give him candy or he will continue to be a thief. And then refuses to give them a bite. (OK, so the analogy got a little overextended 😉

  15. Please explain how Saddam Hussein could have been removed from power – and the reign of terror in Iraq ended – calmly and without bloodshed. Please give examples of successful UN actions that have accomplished that anywhere, at any time.
    The Security Council knew when they passed 1441 what the US, UK, and Australia (with smaller allies as well) intended to do if Iraq did not comply. They passed 1441 knowing full well what was in store. To pretend otherwise is to be extremely naive

  16. Hmm… I may have to reread the U.N. charter, but I didn’t see, “Removing people that the U.S. doesn’t like from power” being in the charter.
    If the U.S. had really wanted to get Saddam out of power, then they could have done it trough NATO instead. NATO doesn’t care about things like SOVEREIGNTY or PEACE or ETHICS or MORALS, the member nations care about one thing: security.
    “They passed 1441 knowing full well what was in store”. I don’t agree, and your ad hominem does not make the statement any more true. I think the Member States had one intention in mind: to get the weapons of mass destruction out of Iraq, to get inspectors in there. They used an attack as a trump card, whereas the U.S. wanted to lead with it.
    Either way, though, intentions are meaningless because the reality is that the U.S. couldn’t get what they want, so they cried like babies and then did what they wanted anyhow.