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So - as far as MoonShadow can tell, basically, the US has just waved two fingers at the UN. If the UN does not have the power to stop a member state going to war against the UN's will, does the UN actually have a point?

Well, the UN can stop any member state that's not powerful enough to belong in the security council from going to war.
But, frankly, what CAN you do to stop the one remaining world superpower?  (At least until China really gets on its feet)

Oh, and {cringe} at the title.



Hoping China will become equally powerful as America?  Be careful what you wish for...--Pallando





If the UN can't stop the torture in Iraq, or what's going on in Zimbabwe, or the massacres in Kosovo (the military operation there was NATO, and just as unauthorised by the UN as this one, but didn't generate this amount of outcry -- presumably because France didn't have oil contracts with Milosovic), or the killings on both sides in Israel, if all it can ever do to anyone is issue strongly-worded statements -- does it have a point?
Talking and killing is a step towards just talking?  It's gotta be better than just killing, surely.  Just because a few nations ignore it, doesn't mean it's not useful for the sane nations?  --Vitenka




[Torture is required] - Well, it's another viewpoint.  Personally, I'd think a good propaganda campaign, pointing out that the guerrillas are a bad thing would be a good start - I've been surprised how little we've heard about the USs efforts to not seem like an invader. 
Still, I agree that I can't think of a rebellion that has been put down without torture - especially when the invader doesn't even speak the language, let alone have a decent informers network.
Oh, and this probably itsn't the right page to link it from, but I couldn't see a better one.  --Vitenka
I kind of agree with this - I think it's a bit overoptimistic (FluffyLiberal) to assume that pursuit of goodness for a country never requires harsh, unpleasant measures. The trick is making sure they're used to great enough effect to outweigh the negative equities - CorkScrew
What are your thoughts on the last three paragraphs? - MoonShadow
I'm not really concerned about the power or lack thereof of the UN. My feeling is that such multinational organisations are only as beneficial as the countries that they are made of - they're a codification of existing power distributions, rather than adding anything new. So if the US ignores the UN it's because the UN is powerless, rather than that the US is somehow rendering it powerless by not doing what it says. Of course, whether the US's actions are in its own long term interest is a different matter. - CorkScrew

Do any of you out there realize how damn hard it is to set off a bomb on a residential street and kill only the enemy, not a dozen of your own civilians? That's what they've been doing, every damn day. is bollocks. If you actually listen to the reports rather than the headlines, you'll notice that far more Iraqi civilians have been killed in these geurilla attacks than occupying forces. --ChiarkPerson
That depends, to some extent. Do you count Iraqi civilians working with or trying to enrol for work with the coalition security forces as "own civilians" or as "the enemy"? I accept that the author exaggerates, yet you cannot deny that there is general resistance. - MoonShadow
Yeah, I'd disagree with a bit of that last chunk - which seemed to drift rather OffTopic?.  Though his basic point "There is more anti-american feeling in Iraq than we claimed there would be, and anyone with half a brain knew this would be so" is valid.  --Vitenka
CorkScrew can't figure out what this was a quote from.
That';;;d be because it's a summary, not a quote. ;) - MoonShadow
Sorry, my mistake. Getting back on topic, I can only hope that these attacks annoy the average Iraqi enough for them to turn to the new government for help. - CorkScrew
The new gubblement has just given itself the power to declare martial law.  Now, much as I deride US military fuckups like massacring weddings they are at least usually fuckups.  Wholesale genocide seems a lot closer with a junta in charge again.  --Vitenka




Handing over sovereignty so soon is an awful plan. You can't turn a country around from dictatorship to democracy in a year. West Germany was not fully sovereign until 1955; Japan was occupied until 1952. We should be looking at a similar period of occupation and building here before the Iraqi people are ready to govern themselves. Leave now and it'll just all collapse. The US's greatest problem, what stops it from being the force for good and stability it ought to be, it its attention deficit disorder: it's already displayed that with Afghanistan, and now it's doing it again, pulling out before the occupied territory is ready to rule itself and leaving a mess behind instead of staying and supervising the building-up of an infrastructure. - ChiarkPerson

You can blame them for that or you can blame them for not listening to international pressure.  It would be unfair to blame them for both. --DR

Nuh-uh.  For once I agree with ChiarkPerson.  Going in in the first place was both morally wrong and on a practical basis stupid.  But unless someone invents TimeTravel we're stuck with it having happenned.  So now it is wrong to pull out until some semblence of sanity is in place.  The practical problems of pulling out early have magnified greatly. 
I was honestly surprised (and pleased) to hear the US commanders talk about 'being in for the long haul' and acknowledging a five-year minimum timespan.  I'm unsurprised and unhappy to find out that they were lying.  But staying in and saying that you have pulled out (which is what is happenning now) is probably even worse.  The gubblement will be a PuppetGovernment?, and how will you ever be able to persuade those that oppose it that "Yes, we've really pulled out now" without either the government acting obviously against the US or some watershed event (a killing field is all that I can think of which would qualify).  --Vitenka

It's a systemic problem. An executive which only gets a year before it has to worry about being emasculated by mid-term elections, another year before it has to start trying to be re-elected, and has an absolute maximum term of eight years, has no reason to do long-term planning.
ChiarkPerson recommends Colossus by Niall Ferguson ( ISBN 0713997702 ). [An interview with Ferguson]

Oh the joys of cynicism. So, we have a cruddy situation. What are we going to do about it? How about an AppliedCynicism page? - CorkScrew
We? Nothing. Hopefully though the Americans will listen to Ferguson, shape up, and become a proper empire.
I meant "we" as in ToothyWikizens. Come on, we have a ridiculous amount of raw brainpower between us, we should be able to come up with a few solutions. - CorkScrew
Given that none of us - so far as I know -- can even vote in American elections, how do you propose we implement them?
Well, we can't. But we can always exercise our democratic right to bitch and whine. --Requiem
Precisely. And when we all become powerful members of society's elite we'll be in a position to improve matters in an intelligent way - CorkScrew (feeling optimistic)
[Ozy and Millie]
Hehe

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