Category Archives: United Nations

Blogger Redecorates John Bolton’s Office

I previously blogged Josh of One Free Korea meeting with Ambassador :

josh_bolton_md
Josh on far-left

During his trip, he presented him with a plaque

Several days before the trip, I suggested that we should present Ambassador Bolton with a plaque to thank him for his blunt words about North Korea, as well as his efforts to make human rights an element of U.S. policy toward the North. I designed the plaque with one photograph, which you see here . . .

Half-Slave, Half-Free

. . . and Lincoln’s “half slave, half free” quote. When I presented it to him, I stated that we shared his appreciation that some issues really are black and white. I told Amb. Bolton, not quite half-jokingly, that I hoped he would put it where the Chinese Ambassador would see it. I won’t print his response, however; I’m not sure he’d want me to.

Over at Josh’s discussion thread, one of Bolton’s staffer’s announced that the plaque is now prominently displayed in Ambassador Bolton’s office!

Josh,

I am the staffer who had the pleasure of meeting with you and your colleagues in New York a few days ago. While I will steer clear of the debates in this thread, I would like to confirm that the plaque you presented him with is now on display directly outside of his door.

Regards,

Mark

Congratulations Joshua!

John Bolton meets with One Free Korea

OFK, N. Korean Freedom Coalition Meet with Ambassador John Bolton,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 17 November 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/11/ofk-n-korean-freedom-coalition-meet_17.html.

Fellow South Dakotan Josh of One Free Korea recently nabbed an interview with Permanent United States Representative to the United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.

Our agenda was the horrific state of human rights in North Korea, a situation that I believe to be the worst on earth today, and perhaps as bad as any we have seen since the demise of the Khmer Rouge. Such comparisons inevitably invite questions about the metrics of human misery, but I’m prepared to defend my position. I begin with the butcher’s bill: during the 1990’s, approximately two million North Koreans starved to death in a famine that was easily preventable at best, and intentionally inflicted at worst. One could point to a wealth of circumstantial evidence from international aid groups and refugees proving that the regime uses food as a weapon of class warfare, but conclusive evidence may have to wait for the fall of the regime. And then, of course, one can discuss the concentration camps, public executions, infanticides, and the constant, stultifying repression anchored in a complete isolation from the outside world.


Two Koreas, Half-Free

Of those facts, Ambassador Bolton is well aware. Our agenda was to discuss ways to translate those facts into concrete, effective, and nonviolent action. Clearly, our movement is growing and gaining traction, even in some unlikely places, but the progress is never fast enough for the lives we could be too late to save. Every last member of our delegation is opposed to invading or attacking North Korea. I suspect the same also goes for Ambassador Bolton. We were seeking what Rabbi of the calls “behavior modification.”

Read the whole thing

My view? Kill Kim.

Barnett Wrong on International Criminal Court "Independence" from the United Nations

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” copyright United Nations, last updated 21 February 2001, http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/romefra.htm.

Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating,” by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog]

The International Criminal Court, an intergovernmental organization that has refused to promise not to prosecute Americans, is an important part of Dr. Barnett’s “

It features in his sixth stage of “successfully processing politically bankrupt states”

6. The final step in the process would involve the criminal prosecution of the indicted / apprehended parties in the International Criminal Court (ICC) located in The Hague, Netherlands (52)

And while Barnett argues for American, and International Peacekeeper, immunity from ICC prosecution

My prediction is this: While the U.S. Leviathan [blitzkrieg] force will never come under the purview of the ICC — because it will remain deeply embedded in military law — the far more internationalized SysAdmin [peacekeeper] force, including U.S. components, must reach some blanket-clause protection regarding its activities in the Gap. The reality is that the ICC was not set up to prosecute the “crimes” of peacekeepers and Core military personnel intervening inside the Gap, but rather to extend the Core’s principles of war crimes into the Gap and, in this way, provide some sense of international consequence for what in these chronic civil wars, long-running terrorist campaigns, and brutal dictatorships. (68)

He assures us the ICC won’t be complicated by entanglements with the United Nations:

Moving on to the last of the six pieces in this A-Z system, I personally place a strong emphasis on funneling any “suspects” we pick up in this process toward the International Criminal Court, an institution that is both free and independent of the UN system as was recently set up specifically to target individuals for prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and related war crimes. (67)

To make sure his point is clear, Barnett later reiterates his suggestion

As for the trials, prisoners will need to be funneled toward the International Criminal Court, which is perfect for this sort of thing. But again, the Untied States, plus the Core group as a whole, would need to reach some direct modus vivendi with the court, and if that didn’t work, the group would simply need to set up its own. But my guess is that the ICC would jump at the chance to be accredited in this additional manner, because so long as the United States considers it more of a threat to its ruling making than avenue for rule sharing with the rest of the Core, the ICC will remain vastly underutilized. And no, that wouldn’t get us in bed uncomfortably with the UN, because the ICC is independent of the UN. (132)

Hmmm… regular readers of tdaxp may recall a note from International Law & Organization which seems to contradict this…

UNSC can vote to delay ICC proceedings for 1 year, renewable

So what does the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court say about this? What does the ICC say about its relationship with the UN?

The States Parties to this Statute, … Determined to these ends and for the sake of present and future generations, to establish an independent permanent International Criminal Court in relationship with the United Nations system, with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, (Preamble)

Hmmm… that’s a little vague… and it does say “permanent”

The United Nations can refer cases to the International Criminal Court:

The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in accordance with the provisions of this Statute if: … A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations (Article XIII(b)).

And, like my notes said, can delay prosecutions… indefinitely

No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions. (Article XVI)

The treaty also mentions special roles for the SecretaryGeneral, the General Assembly, and other UN organs, but the Security Council’s power to start and stop prosecution hardly makes the ICC “free and independent of the UN system” or even just “independent of the UN.”

Except maybe in UN speech.

I am disappointed in Barnett’s misleading statements. Perhaps he did not read the ICC treaty and has not read any good summaries of it. Or he very selectively used one word in the (non-binding) Preamble, “independent,” while ignoring the substantial dependency of the ICC outlined in the treaty itself.

Bad News for Japan (No UNSC Seat this Year?)

Japan’s Bid for UN Council Seat This Year Frustrated,” Digital Chosunilbo, 12 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504120024.html.

If this is accurate, it’s frustrating

Representatives of 116 nations including Korea, Italy and Pakistan met in New York on Monday and agreed to oppose hasty reform of the U.N. Security Council, which could dash the hopes of the so-called G-4 — Japan, Germany, India and Brazil — of a permanent seat on the council.

The U.S. and China joined the meeting under the slogan “Uniting for Consensus” saying, “Security Council reform must be pursued by agreement without set deadlines.” Both are veto-wielding members of the council.

That in effect scuppers Japanese plans to enter the permanent council this November after getting it expanded by six members through a resolution in the General Assembly in June.

The group’s chairman, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini, said, “Each national representative expressed the opinion that consensus was important for Security Council reform, and they presented the opinion that it was illogical to set a deadline for such reform.”

At the meeting, nicknamed the “Coffee Club, Beijing’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya and Washington’s U.N. delegation minister Howard Stoffer also voiced opposition to a vote before consensus is reached.

This is disturbing. The United Nations Security Council, as it is today, is bizarre. It does not reflect geopolitical realities or contributions to global stability. Expanding the Security Council to include India, Japan, Germany, and Brazil is a sensible first step towards reorganization. America’s stalling slows down our friends and appeases pseudo-allies like Korea.

I first heard the news over at The Acorn, but I was hoping it wasn’t true.

Even Vietnam was on board! And France!

Frustrating!

Russia Backs Indian Security Council Seat

Russia Tells Pakistan: India ‘Deserving UNSC Candidate’,” Daily Times, 31 March 2005, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_31-3-2005_pg7_45 (from The Acorn).

I blogged before on Russia’s responsible attitudes toward China. Part of the reason is Russia is excellently placed for Asia’s future — Moscow’s Cold-War-Era times to New Delhi should come in useful. The latest good news? Russia support’s India’s quest for a United Nations permanent seat:

Russia told Pakistan on Wednesday that India was a “deserving candidate” for an expanded UN Security Council seat, PTI reported. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s special envoy Riaz Khokhar was told this when he called on Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov, PTI said. Khokhar met Saltanov to convey President Musharraf’s personal message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The conversation focussed mainly on international and regional issues. “In the context of a upcoming UN reforms the Russian side affirmed the well-known consistent and principled position of Russia on expanding the UN Security Council membership. Moscow sees India as a deserving candidate,” said Russian sources, reiterating Putin’s statement in December last that Russia would back a permanent UNSC berth for India. However, Saltanov called for a consensus on UNSC reforms.

The Acorn adds his thoughts

Moreover, by leaking news of what was supposed to be a ’secret meeting’ the Russians did not lose the opportunity to score points in New Delhi.

Pro-U.N. Republican Spam Bot

Let’s Accept Hezbollah: Annan,” Associated Press, 9 March 2005, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1046733.cms.

United Nations Secretary Genreal Kofi Annan calls for normalizing Hezbollah. Does Annan read tdaxp?

The United Nations must recognise Hezbollah as a force to be reckoned with in implementing the UN resolution calling for the withdrawal of all Syrian forces from Lebanon and the disarmament of the country’s militias, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said later on Tuesday.

He was responding to a question about the disarmament of Hezbollah, which showed its strength on Tuesday at a huge pro-Syrian rally in Beirut attended by thousands of people who chanted anti-US slogans.

Annan said the world needs to accept that in every society different groups may hold different views. “Of course, we need to be careful of the forces at work in Lebanese society as we move forward,” he said.

But even the Hezbollah — if I read the message on the placards they are using — they are talking about non-interference by outsiders… which is not entirely at odds with the Security Council resolution, that there should be withdrawal of Syrian troops,” Annan told reporters.

It’s good Annan recognizes Hezbollah’s move for what it is.

For this (rare) insight, Templar Pundit calls for defunding the U.N.:

Funding ought to be revoked from the UN for their recent behavior.

Defunding the U.N for for its evil acts? Possibly. For trying to bring about peace on democracy in the Greater Middle East? Never?

Of course I’m just a Republican spam bot, so what do I know?

The Brutal Colonizer

The War We Haven’t Finished,” by Frank C. Carlucci, New York Times, http://nytimes.com/2005/02/22/opinion/22carlucci.html, 22 February 2005.

First, I was angry. Then I was horrified. Then I was resigned. Then I knew.

The world reacted in horror six years ago when the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic embarked on an ethnic cleansing operation against Kosovo’s Albanians, forcing 700,000 people, nearly half the population, to flee the province. Reports of massacres and images of mileslong lines of refugees fleeing into neighboring Albania and Macedonia compelled the world to act. The NATO air campaign against Serbia that followed convinced Belgrade to give up its brutal assault, and Kosovo was put under United Nations administration.

And so it remains to this day: an international protectorate, legally part of Serbia, but with a 90 percent ethnic Albanian population that would sooner go to war than submit to Belgrade’s rule. Kosovars seek an independent state, and the seemingly endless delays over final-status talks are only causing deep frustration and resentment.

Their discontent is not simply a matter of hurt pride over national sovereignty; Kosovo’s unsettled international status has serious repercussions for daily life. Because it is under United Nations administration, Kosovo is in economic limbo: it cannot be part of the international bank transfer system, it is ineligible for sovereign lending from development banks, and it can attract few foreign investors. With 70 percent unemployment, the province is being starved of the commerce it badly needs.

The United Nations’ brutality once confused me. Whever blue helmets go, horrible suffering follows. Few organizations would disarm civilian populations and heard them into ghettos to be slaughtered, but the U.N. did. Few organizations would allow its peacekeepers to fire at refugees while the refugees are being slaughtered by machete-wielding thugs, but the U.N. did. When I thought at the uncalculating evil the United Nations represented, the only moral response seemed to be withdrawal.

But the violence is calculating. The evil is intentional. Whether or not corrupt aparatchicks like Kofi Annan know this isn’t an issue. The U.N sends a clear message to the world: Act up and we will mess you up.

Tom Barnett wrote of a Wolfowitz Reconstruction as a veiled threat, but U.N. peacekeeping is far worse. The U.N has abetted ethnic cleansing, genocide (by its surreal standards), “emergency sex, and countless other evils.

The United Nations offers a hobbesian, criminally reckless system administrator to the world. By implementing Barnett’s vision we can do better. In the meantime, the U.N. is better than a vacuum.

But not by much.

Autogenocide

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” by the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations, http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html, 9 December 1948.

Where Have All the Children Gone?,” by Pavel Kohout, Tech Central Station, http://techcentralstation.com/012705D.html, 27 January 2005 (from The Corner).

Note: This post morphed into something unexpected as I was writing it. In its final form, it uses a TCS article on pension reform to attack misuses of the term “genocide.” While I generally agree with the article, one poorly worded sentence undermines its credibility and cheapens history. This post also criticizes the United Nations for helping cheapen true genocides. — Daniel

Second Note: Zen Pundit ways in with his thoughts on the Auschwitz remembrances. As always, he is very worth reading. He has a different take on some examples I use, but our feel is the same. His third sentence sums everything up: The best possible tribute to the victims of Nazi genocide would not be ceremonies or pious incantations of memory but for the world to actually try to stop the next one.

The U. N. defines genocide as

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

* (a) Killing members of the group;
* (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
* (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
* (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

* (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In that context..

The question of why fertility has been falling so dramatically in continental Europe has been food for thought for both demographers and economists. The answer must be looked for in several important factors, which, to further complicate matters, do not simply add up in their impact. Nevertheless, it can be said with a fair amount of certainty that the existence of pay-as-you-go pension systems has had a very negative impact on birth rate. The National Report on Family published by the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in August 2004 says:

“In terms of intergenerational solidarity, the importance of the child as an investment for material support in old age has been limited by the social security and pension insurance system, which has eliminated people’s immediate dependence on children. The importance of the child’s role in relation to its parents has transferred to the emotional sphere, which reduced the direct material indispensability of children in a family, while also allowing for them being replaced with certain substitutes bringing emotional satisfaction.”

When a modern young European has to choose between setting up a family of his own and a comfortable life without children, he is very likely to pick the latter option — unless he belongs to a social class which regards children chiefly as a source of social benefits. A high amount of taxation combined with ill-functioning labor and housing markets is a truly genocidal mix. That is the case of Italy, but also Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Its impact cannot be corrected by all sorts of government subsidies paid out to young families. On the contrary, under certain circumstances the benefits for families may even lead to a drop in birth rate.

Clearly pension reform is important. And poorly designed public institutions may negatively affective the birth rate. But to call it “genocidal” cheapens the term. The murderous government of Sudan has been called genocical, when its not, just as Monty Python’s Black Knight Milosevic was, when he was not. The most eggregious case of this is the so-called Armenian Genocide, where oriental incompetence and multicultural adoption laws are compared to the Holocaust.

There are real genocides. The Shoah was on. And there are real autogenocides, like Pol Pot’s nightmare in Cambodia. One Free Korea and NK Zone have been documenting the crimes of the DPRK, which may be an autogenocide.

But let’s save the meaning of words. Social Security is not genocidal. Not even this is.

Amerikabomber

Hitler’s ‘Amerikabomber’,” by Dieter Wulf, The Atlantic Monthly, http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200405/wulf, May 2004 (from NWO).

U.S. terror war ‘over-reaction,’ top judge says: Gives criminals special status,” by Olivia Ward, Toonto Star, http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1105917010890&call_page=TS_World&call_pageid=968332188854&call_pagepath=News/World&pubid=968163964505&StarSource=email&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes, 17 January 2005 (from DU).

The American-led war on terrorism is a threat to international justice and a challenge to the rule of law in the 21st century, says one of the world’s most eminent jurists.

Sept. 11 led to a major overreaction by politicians in many countries,” said Richard Goldstone, the first chief prosecutor at the war crimes tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

“Terrorism must be fought for what it is, that is, criminality. To use the analogy of a real war is to elevate the status of the terrorists, and hand them the advantage,” says Goldstone. In a time of crisis, he added, “the role of the judiciary is always weakened, and that is exactly when you need it.

I’m not going to comment on the sophistry of the judge’s comments, or how system perturbations require rule set resets, or any of that.

But when a declared enemy succeeds in creating an Amerikabomber

medium_amerikabombersm.jpg

It’s a pretty good indication that we are in a war.

A Global Failure

Maldevelopment – Anatomy of a global failure
Samir Amin, Ed.
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu32me/uu32me00.htm
United Nations University Press, 1990

You can always trust the U.N. As the rest of the world was ending the Cold War and welcoming globalization, the United Nations continued prattling in pseudo-Marxist pseudo-intellectual hooey. Two excerpts follow.

The first is a contorted non-defense of OPEC price manipulation. More important than any argument it makes is the realization that allowing a sizeable fraction of governments to make oil be their main source of revenue leads to clap-trap like this. Almost incomprehensible, it argues that most OPEC dollars went to the west anyway, and the Oil Shock was mis-named and completely coincidental. It is from Chapter 2, The decade of drift: 1975-1985, Structural costs; the stakes; the struggle for the NIEO [New International Economic Order].

The claim of the NIEO coincided with the most serious post-war crisis. It was even argued that the oil price rise – the first (and as yet sole) indicator of the implementation of the Third World programme for the NIEO – was the ’cause’ of the crisis. A veritable campaign was orchestrated on this theme in 1973 and 1974, using every kind of argument and despite all the facts: the beginning of the international monetary crisis and the appearance of US external deficits since the mid-1960s, the precedence of stagflation, the scale and persistence of inflation rates irrespective of the calculable increase attributable to oil, the (still massive) placing of oil revenues on the Western finance markets, the modest role of petro-dollars in comparison with the movable assets of the transnationals in speculative fluctuations, and so on. The campaign has of necessity long hung fire: erosion of the oil price in the 1 980s and the reversal of the conjuncture (‘the end of the era of OPEC’) have never allowed it any funkier take-off.

funky?

The second is best read after Thomas P. M. Barnett’s weblog and The Pentagon’s New Map commentary. While some our trying to create a free global world, others prefer ghettoization. Few things are worse than infantilizing entire nations. But that’s what the U.N. does. The quote is also from Chapter 2, in particular The efforts of radical African nationalism: adjustment or delinking?

The discouraging prospect afforded Africa by capitalist expansion explains the frequency of the rejections and the high level of effort to ‘do something else’, to escape the simplistic logic of capitalism. But at the same time the objective conditions caused by this historical legacy make the task particularly difficult. This difficulty could be expressed in the formulation that the especially unfavourable external factor is combined with fairly unfavourable internal factors that have been largely shaped by that very external factor.

The response to the challenge of our age that we propose is celled ‘delinking’. The concept is to some extent half of an equation ‘adjustment or delinking’.

We shall not expand here on the theory of delinking but, to avoid any misunderstanding, say merely that delinking is not synonymous with autarky but only subjection of external relations to the logic of internal development (whereas adjustment means binding internal development to the possibilities afforded by the world system). In more precise terms, delinking is the refusal to submit to the demands of the worldwide law of value, or the supposed ‘rationality’ of the system of world prices that embody the demands of reproduction of worldwide capital. It, therefore, presupposes the society’s capacity to define for itself an alternative range of criteria of rationality of internal economic options, in short a ‘law of value of national application’.

Searching Google for “law of national application” reveals one result — that page. Fortunately this attempt at world sabotage seems unsuccessful.