Monday, March 24, 2003

From the "You Know You're Living in a Parellel Universe When..."-Department:


Thank God for the death of the UN

Its abject failure gave us only anarchy. The world needs order

Richard Perle
Friday March 21, 2003
The Guardian

Saddam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The "good works" part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions.
As free Iraqis document the quarter-century nightmare of Saddam's rule, let us not forget who held that the moral authority of the international community was enshrined in a plea for more time for inspectors, and who marched against "regime change". In the spirit of postwar reconciliation that diplomats are always eager to engender, we must not reconcile the timid, blighted notion that world order requires us to recoil before rogue states that terrorise their own citizens and menace ours.
A few days ago, Shirley Williams argued on television against a coalition of the willing using force to liberate Iraq. Decent, thoughtful and high-minded, she must surely have been moved into opposition by an argument so convincing that it overpowered the obvious moral case for removing Saddam's regime. For Lady Williams (and many others), the thumb on the scale of judgment about this war is the idea that only the UN security council can legitimise the use of force. It matters not if troops are used only to enforce the UN's own demands. A willing coalition of liberal democracies isn't good enough. If any institution or coalition other than the UN security council uses force, even as a last resort, "anarchy", rather than international law, would prevail, destroying any hope for world order.
This is a dangerously wrong idea that leads inexorably to handing great moral and even existential politico-military decisions, to the likes of Syria, Cameroon, Angola, Russia, China and France. When challenged with the argument that if a policy is right with the approbation of the security council, how can it be wrong just because communist China or Russia or France or a gaggle of minor dictatorships withhold their assent, she fell back on the primacy of "order" versus "anarchy".
But is the security council capable of ensuring order and saving us from anarchy? History suggests not. The UN arose from the ashes of a war that the League of Nations was unable to avert. It was simply not up to confronting Italy in Abyssinia, much less - had it survived that debacle - to taking on Nazi Germany.
In the heady aftermath of the allied victory, the hope that security could be made collective was embodied in the UN security council - with abject results. During the cold war the security council was hopelessly paralysed. The Soviet empire was wrestled to the ground, and eastern Europe liberated, not by the UN, but by the mother of all coalitions, Nato. Apart from minor skirmishes and sporadic peacekeeping missions, the only case of the security council acting during the cold war was its use of force to halt the invasion of South Korea - and that was only possible because the Soviets were not in the chamber to veto it. It was a mistake they did not make again.
Facing Milosevic's multiple aggressions, the UN could not stop the Balkan wars or even protect its victims. It took a coalition of the willing to save Bosnia from extinction. And when the war was over, peace was made in Dayton, Ohio, not in the UN. The rescue of Muslims in Kosovo was not a UN action: their cause never gained security council approval. The United Kingdom, not the United Nations, saved the Falklands.
This new century now challenges the hopes for a new world order in new ways. We will not defeat or even contain fanatical terror unless we can carry the war to the territories from which it is launched. This will sometimes require that we use force against states that harbour terrorists, as we did in destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The most dangerous of these states are those that also possess weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is one, but there are others. Whatever hope there is that they can be persuaded to withdraw support or sanctuary from terrorists rests on the certainty and effectiveness with which they are confronted. The chronic failure of the security council to enforce its own resolutions is unmistakable: it is simply not up to the task. We are left with coalitions of the willing. Far from disparaging them as a threat to a new world order, we should recognise that they are, by default, the best hope for that order, and the true alternative to the anarchy of the abject failure of the UN.
Copyright 2003GuardianCoUK
From The Sun magazine:

"Resist thinking this is all there is....Realize that for every on-going war and religious outrage and environmental devastation and bogus Iraqi attack plan, there are a thousand counterbalancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breath-taking scale, from flower box to cathedral....Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel....Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious.... there's your opening. Remember magic. And, finally, believe you are part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small but actually very, very large impending karmic overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable."

The Lords of Vengeance
William Rivers Pitt's latest article will convince any American who may be "on the fence" about the right and wrong of the war on Iraq.

"Many of you believe this must happen because you have been told, time and again, that Saddam Hussein possesses an awesome arsenal of mass destruction weapons that he will gladly give to terrorists for use against us. Your belief that this is so stems from your loyalty – the President has told you it is true, and so it must be true. It is fearful indeed to consider weapons like this in the hands of terrorists.
You must know, however, that no proof of either prohibited weapons possession or connections to terrorism on the part of Saddam Hussein has been offered by the administration. They have made many accusations, and offered chunks of evidence, but over the last weeks and months each and every bit of evidence put forth has been debunked. Sometimes, the press has proven them wrong, sometimes the weapons inspectors in Iraq proved them wrong, and sometimes our own intelligence services proved them wrong. No proof offered by the Bush administration has stood up.