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U.N. = Useless Nitwits

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by The Brandon Five, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    You can't make it up.

    Who were the 19 countries that voted for Iran? Giving an equal vote to every nutcase government in the world is why the U.N. is a joke.

    BBC News - Iran fails to get seat in UN women's rights agency
  2. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    The UN is no longer relevant because this type of behavior.
  3. PatsFanInVa

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    Actually, that would be an improvement. Five nutcase governments have the permanent security council member veto. Us, Britain, China, Russia, and France.

    "But we're better because we're us" is not a very persuasive argument to people who aren't us. "American exceptionalism" is only persuasive among Americans. Similarly, Security council members' veto power is not considered particularly fair to those nations not on it.

    Now - how much of a "nut case" would you believe Iran to be if it not only maybe kinda was going to GET nukes, but if it already HAD 1000s of them, and used them in a variety of ways to back up their opinions on international squabbles around the world??? That's where the U.S. is. Ditto Russia. China, France, and Britain aren't at the same level, but the threat of mass destruction is always there if you cross them.

    I know I know, you want to trot out the rights argument next. Except you have to do that with China sitting on the council. It can also be pointed out that rights arguments are most often made by Americans trying to retard or even roll back the progress of civil rights in the United States.

    What do you think the rest of the world thinks when we elect guys who want to repeal rights guarantees put in place after the civil war, and undergirding all our progress on civil rights since 1964 (at least)?

    It may be a feel-good thing to incredulously ask what Iran would be doing on the council, but my guess is it's friendly (to Iran) nations who support them on pan-Islamic grounds. They would make the above arguments. I am merely pointing out that the structure of the organization inherently enables such arguments, and that we provide them with ammunition.

    Do I say their arguments are right? No, I still think we retain a certain edge on Iran in the categories of responsible behavior both within and outside our borders. Not as big an edge as it used to be, but an edge nonetheless.

    And there will always be people who just don't like us, or who just has an affinity for somebody we really hate. But to the extent possible, this is just one way it is useful to behave in ways that, while consistent with our own interests, are also consistent with positive outcomes for others worldwide.

    Believe it or not, all smug right-wing bromides aside, not everybody idolizes us either.

    Now, I understand that you proceeded from a desire to hate international bodies, because they are chock-full of foreigners and foreigners' points of view. In that regard, it is naturally useless to have international bodies.

    However, for foreigners to hear and have to act on our points of view, such a body is quite useful.

    But it doesn't get some moron to buy you a round down at the corner bar to think this through, so what, indeed, could be the point?

    PFnV
  4. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    US, Britain, France = Iran. I don't think I need to read any further, do I? This should be fun!

    How about we're better because we don't execute homosexuals or stone rape victims? If you want to treat Saudi Arabia and Iran as just two more pieces of the multicultural mosaic, go ahead. To do so while sneering at the those that do not is kind of ridiculous.

    Of those that you mention, only China matches Iran in likelihood to use them.

    You assume that I agree with this.

    How can there have been any progress on civil rights in the "nutcase" U.S.? Which is it? Are we: just as bad as the Chinese and Iranians, or headed there because people think differently than you do?

    Given that worldwide immigration is in one direction (from places like China and Iran to places like the U.K., France and the U.S.), I think that they must be missing the impending reintroduction of Jim Crow in the headlines.


    You are hilariously lacking in self-awareness.

    Actually, what is useless is trying to have any kind of civil discourse with you. If you want to support the position that the U.N. is an effective international body, you are welcome to it. There are plenty of others that disagree. In your arrogant view that can only be a function of either xenophobia or stupidity. Very fair-minded of you.

    I wish it also didn't get me another sanctimonious response from a hopelessly conceited and condescending boor. FTW!
  5. PatsFanInVa

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    Ah, I did not anticipate you typing "FTW!" No doubt, the 5.7 billion non-Americans in the world are therefore appeased.

    I note that in your description of all the bad terrible rights abuses in Iran and Saudi Arabia, you compare them to the U.S., Britain, and France, and leave off China and Russia.

    Any reason for that?

    LMAO.

    Rights arguments are stronger when we are going the right direction on human rights in the U.S. They are weaker when we are going in the wrong direction. Even our execution of the worst of the worst is considered a human rights abuse by many nations.

    Now then, you are upset that the Saudis execute people for adultery and homosexuality. Which is it, as you ask, should morality be enforced by the government, or should it not? Is it an absolute that morality is not the government's bailiwick?

    Or are you just upset over the punishments levelled for specific crimes?

    Eighteen countries executed prisoners worldwide. China - a Security Council permanent member - led the way. The U.S. was not first either per capita or in absolute numbers. Iran indeed executes way more people per capita than we do, and about seven times more in absolute terms.

    We are, however, the only Western democracy that executed anybody.

    So which is it? Is the death penalty bad? Do you want to abolish it?

    Or is legislating morality bad? Do you want to abolish that, with all the equal treatment for homosexuals that implies?

    "Wahhhhh someone voted for a country that's an American adversary," again, is only a valid argument in America.

    "Wahhhhh someone voted for a country with lower civil and human rights standards than ours" is only a valid argument if we are at the "top of the heap" as the indubitible gold standard of human rights and civil rights.

    To the extent we progress toward that position, our protestations become more convincing. To the extent we stifle human rights and civil rights in this country, those protestations become less convincing.

    To my eye, the sanctimoniousness comes from your side of this conversation. You are self-evidently declaring the circumstances in the United States as good, because you are an American, and the circumstances in whatever is our current bete-noire as bad, because they are the opposite of an American.

    However, the Chinese are worse than that, yet they enjoy a permanent seat on the council. How does that play into what we'll generously call your argument?

    I, too, am against the abuses that happen in countries we don't like. The difference is, I am also against the abuses that happen in our own country, and conscious of their role in undermining our "bully pulpit" in international settings.

    From your own lofty perch (that is not, by the way, sanctimonious,) that 5.7 billion-strong contingent of foreigners does not need to be considered. From my own somewhat more realistic (but of course, sanctimonious) viewpoint, if we want to affect phenomena worldwide, international bodies are in fact useful. The difficulty is, we can't make ourselves a pariah either by our own domestic activities or our international activities to make such aguments to other nations.

    PFnV
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  6. PatsFanInVa

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    Oh by the way, on the subject of nukes: you say of the permanent security council members, only China matches Iran in the probability of using them.

    Is that just another opinion that makes you happy and makes the guys at the bar buy you a round, or do you have any kind of analysis that backs it up?

    One nation on the face of the earth has used nuclear weapons. You're living in it.

    In the 80s, one constant source of disagreement between the Soviets and the U.S. was the doctine of no first use - which they were willing to sign, and we were not. The reason? We could not get what we want - a cheap deterrent to a conventional Soviet incursion into Western Europe - if we signed on.

    Our official policy is still not "no first use." It's "we'll do what we damn well please."

    We also have a far more aggressive military posture worldwide, with deployments in every possibile theatre of war. The Chinese behave as a traditional "middle kingdom" (their phrase, not mine,) where they could give two sh1ts about the rest of the world. They think Tibet's theirs, and half of Mongolia. I'm threatened.

    If I'm China, and I really really want to kill the goose that's laying golden eggs, I foreclose on the U.S., I don't nuke the U.S. Of course, that just turns your balance-sheet assets (receivables from the U.S.) into instant liabilities, via default. Yeah it screws us, but it screws them too. Ditto the effect of a "strategic default" on our part. Guess what buddy... China and the U.S. are inextricably linked in the present world. Granted it's more tango than waltz, echoing the antipathies that are part of the strange relationship, but this ain't your father's China-hatin' America. It's your China-codependent America.

    So again, why don't you back up how China is more unstable in terms of first use of nukes than the U.S.? That should be fascinating.

    PFnV
  7. TBradyOwnsYou

    TBradyOwnsYou Rookie

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    #1. Dave Chappelle, Black Bush. Look it up, it has a great commentary on the UN :)
    #2. MrP, come on man. No one outside the KKK wants to go back to slavery and/or segregated bathrooms, etc... stop trying to tell me that the shadow on the wall is the boogyman. It's just you.
    #3. There are 5.7billion other people on this earth. Equality for all is impossible. You either think you are better, or you think other people are better. As a proud American, I believe I am one of the luckiest people on this earth simply by birth.
    #4. I, nor anyone else here was allowed to vote on who the permenent members with veto power are, so saying "but CHINA!" holds no water. Permenent means I can't snap my fingers and make them go away.
    #5. The UN is pointless. What does it do? Nothing? Super, glad my tax dollars go there!
  8. TBradyOwnsYou

    TBradyOwnsYou Rookie

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    #1. Hypocritical much? (AMERICA WANTS TO GET RID OF CIVIL RIGHTS!)
    #2. DAMN RIGHT!
    #3. DAMN RIGHT!
  9. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    Sanction me......Sanction me with your Army.....Oh Wait?.....you don't HAVE AN ARMY!!! I guess that means you need to ShutThuhFukcUP!.....

    I know guccci when I see it....
  10. PatsFanInVa

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    First of all, particularly to TB, who is showing some glimmering of consciousness in his responses hereabouts, it's kind of worth noting that I am not for security council membership for Iran -- as I've said a number of times.

    Moving on.

    The point is not that Iran should have won membership. The point is that "ha ha this proves the UN is a joke" is a specious response.

    From what I can tell nobody responding here is against the death penalty. Nobody here is in favor of the crimes Iran punishes with the death penalty. We argue that gays in Iran should not be executed. Yet we also simultaneously argue that gays in America should have rights unequal to the rest of the population.

    Now then - why would Iran get 18 votes? Obviously 18 member nations think their interests would be well represented by Iran. Those are likely to include the Islamist theocracies, other nations America has put on the public sh1t list for this 15 minutes, and perhaps nations that have favor-swaps with Iran. Who knows.

    The objection that the UN does not have a standing army is an interesting one. Is the recommended remedy that the UN raise a standing army, or that its peacekeeping forces be beefed up and some of its prohibitive ROE be revamped?

    And precisely what proportion of the world's problems are solved at present by military engagement? We've certainly fixed the problem of terrorism that way - not. We've basically got a criminal gang we're trying to wipe out through military action... AGAINST THE WRONG COUNTRY, in Iraq's case.

    Let's substitute for that response a response in which member nations were pledged to bring perps to justice through international cooperation. Obviously if the old Taliban regime in Afghanistan were party to such an agreement, and it had teeth that would cripple the Taliban if they did not comply, that would be that. The war would be on their hands.

    We don't have that level of international cooperation. International economic cooperation goes through the G20 and the G8, not through the UN. We end up leaving huge gaps in the good that could be done in win-win situations by leaving most of the world out of it.

    The difficulty with leaving most of the world out of it is that we don't get anything done. The difficulty with including most of the world in the body - as in the case of the UN - is that viewpoints other than those of the US and its allies (either economic or geopolitical) will be represented. There are no representatives of Namibia in the G20.

    Whoever it was that acknowledged that by sheer luck we here were born Americans, good for you. It is sheer luck.

    We act like we have a birthright, via that sheer luck, to impose whatever point of view we find expedient that week on the rest of the world. We do not. We are one of 200 or so nations.

    By population, we are about 5% of the world's people.

    We are not the center of the world. We are one very powerful, not-small-but-not-gigantic nation among many.

    I am still waiting for reasons you would consider Iran more likely to use nukes than the US, since Iran does not even admit they want to GET them, and the US states forthrightly that use of nuclear weapons is a policy option we reserve for use whenever the mood strikes -- and since we have done so already in the past.

    And tell me a reason that works even for non-Americans. That's pretty important here, if your complaint is that non-Americans found Iran acceptably responsible.

    If I weren't "Us," how would I see our regular occupations and incursions into other nations' territories? How would I see the idea that every nation the US puts on "the list" is subject to invasion and occupation?

    How responsible does the U.S. look, really, to other nations?

    By the way, recent gallup poll says millions of resident aliens in the US say that if they could, they would migrate elsewhere: Some back home, but also to countries like Spain, Canada, and Britain.

    So much for how "everybody wants to live in America."

    And to TBOY - public campaigns for the repeal of the 14th Amendment? Really, you don't get the civil rights connection?

    You guys are funny sometimes -- smug elitists believing you're the "average guy" just because your elitism is phrased against other peoples in the world, or often victimized populations in your own country.

    But it's not elitism because "everybody knows it's true," with "everybody" being defined as the ruling caste to which you, by birth, group yourselves. You consider 95% of the world as of no importance, based on the power of the nation-state to which you're born, and pretend that makes you an "average Joe."

    So yeah, like I said, I know the marching morons hate anybody with a scintilla of concern for international relations outside the cowboy model. That makes you a guy w/patches on your jacket elbows smoking a pipe and drinking brandy with classical music playing in the background, or wait, I know, eating wine and cheese at a hollywood wifeswapping party.

    Uh, that's stupid.

    What I am is a guy who "gets it." I also get that sometimes we fight necessary wars, and that the guys we put in the line of fire whether it's necessary or not are not our own enemies. That ain't the question though. The question is whether there is a place in our approach for non-military solutions, and by what criteria we consider the United Nations "a joke."

    The subject criterion we are discussing is the fact that about 10% of the membership had the utter gall to vote for someone we very much do not like for temporary security council membership.

    The reason this is a joke is that they execute people, though not as many as China, a present security council member. Or that they have laws against homosexuality, although we have laws stigmatizing homosexuals. Or that Iran is belligerant and irresponsible, from our point of view. I merely point out that Iran has invaded nobody. Our own record is full of invasions and occupations. Iran has no WMD. Our own stockpiles are full. Iran's propensity to use a nuke does not actually seem particularly high, and I say this as a fairly staunch supporter of Israel. Our own propensity to use them is written into doctrine, and proven by actual uses of nuclear weapons.

    So yeah, you're the average Joe, just like someone that likes the Steelers is the average Joe in Pittsburgh. If you can't make your argument other than by rooting for the home team, you might convince me, but that would be useless if you are talking about the decisions of 10% of UN member nations to support Iranian security council membership.

    They voted their interests. Their interests were not universal enough to elect Iran. End of story. The fact that this is held up as proof that the UN does not work mystifies me.

    PFnV
  11. TBradyOwnsYou

    TBradyOwnsYou Rookie

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    Anyone have the Cliff's Notes version of the previous post?
  12. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Hey, MrPFinVA... Seriously: Brevity is the soul of wit.
  13. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    He wasn't attempting humor....

    and

    Reading Is Fundamental
  14. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    And I am not for membership for China, which I stated in my response.


    "We"? I don't remember you arguing for that. I certainly haven't. Who is we? I support civil unions. I have been to a gay wedding, where my wife was one of the speakers. Go f yourself.

    How about slavery and fascism?

    I see the ideas that you think are the most valid are those that are held by the most people. Good to know, given your contempt for most Americans.

    Because they have threatened to wipe Israel off the map, and have a leader who believes that the return of the "Mahdi" will result from the world being in chaos. Furthermore, I think that the culture that creates the "suicide bomber" mentality is impervious to the idea of mutual assured destruction. They don't care if the die. That is martyrdom.

    As for the Chinese:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/15/international/asia/15china.html

    Try to keep up.

    Why wait?

    You continue to miss the points of those campaigns. I get it that you refuse to recognize that some people are concerned about illegal immigration while you could not care less.

    Your humility is truly inspiring.

    Incorrect, genius. The embassy of any nation is the sovereign territory of that nation. Go back to grade school.

    If you are unaware of the other failures of the U.N. in the last 10-15 years, I cannot help you. Try Googling "u.n. congo sex scandal" or "oil for food". How about the movement towards a global blasphemy law?
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    UN = Irrelevent. It's been irrelevent for a long, long time now. It's a noble intention gone awry. China on the human rights council. Saudi Arabia on the womens rights council. Rapists in Africa. Meanwhile it's fat cats live the life, and it's organizational structure is one of the most corrupt around. Whomever it was that said the UN = Useless Nitwits, hit the nail on the head. It's too bad to. If it functioned properly, it would be a tremendous benefit to the world.
  16. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey


    :rofl: .......................... +1

    I fall asleep reading those sometimes ... he's too smart for me.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  17. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Don't you ever get tired of showing us all how clueless you are?

    In Shakespeare's day, 'wit' principally referred to intelligence, and the essence or soul of being intelligent is to convey your thoughts as briefly and efficiently as possible. - (Source: wiki.answers.com)

    So to MrPFinVA I say: "Brevity is the soul of wit."

    And to you I say: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
    Yes, indeed it is. I suggest you try it sometime.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  18. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey

    The U.N. should concentrate on human rights, poverty, aid for impoverished countries, aid for education in impoverished countries. Impoverished countries need access to social services that warlords really could care less about and that's what the U.N. should concentrate on.
  19. PatsFanInVa

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    And I did not say you are. And China has membership, permanent membership at that.

    China's security council seat is mentioned not to establish the strength of some Chinese moral claim to membership. It is to establish the weakness of the argument that Iran could not possibly be the choice of 10% of nations, because you do not like its morality.

    The belligerence of the last bit here is noted an disregarded. Take a valium.

    As to the remainder of the paragraph, I take it you mean you are in favor of gay marriage. You and your sister have been to a gay wedding, so you must be in favor of that institution, I take it - particularly since you trot out the instance as an example of your tolerance for equal rights in America? If so, kudos.

    My statement had to do with our stated purpose for invading Iraq: The 9/11 "link" - false - Followed by the WMD farce - false - blah blah blah ad infinitum. By the end of the tortured trail of excuses we got "because they broke UN resolutions."

    So there's one use we've made of the UN right there, and quite recently at that. Never mind any of our own behavior the UN does not like... in those cases the UN is irrelevant.

    No, I have contempt for some individuals. I don't like some, I do like others. I don't like lazy thinking. If you think anybody who doesn't lie down for your know-nothing slander of actual knowledge is necessarily "contemptuous", well, to coin a phrase, "go f yourself." Relax, stop being silly about it.

    I know my opinion on the UN is unpopular, so don't get too torqued about it. I think the standard opinion on international bodies is just plain myopic. I am also aware it's very en vogue, and has been for some time. Meh.

    Actually, the "threatened to wipe Israel off the map" meme comes from a speech in which Ahmanutinadinnerjacket said Israel would be "erased from the pages of history." This is very much akin to Kruschev saying "we will bury you." While not a very pleasant statement, its import is not that they will kill us; it's that they will survive, and we will not. However, I do count Iran as a fairly vigorous opponent of Israel, and have no love for their regime.

    We by contrast actually do threaten to wipe various nations (certainly Russia, the other big nuke holder,) off the map. That's our policy. Many US leaders have also believed that the return of Jesus would come "with a sword," and would similarly result in chaos. I do not understand your distinction here.

    I see. Now the Persian culture is reduced to the phenomenon of suicide bombing. Please enlighten me at what time they "created" suicide bombing. I am sure you have some reason to say they invented the tactic. Certainly the ones we see today are nothing new; the Japanese used the tactic in WWII against our own navy. Yet we have no serious objection to Japanese "culture."

    With one guy's quote in 2005?

    Zhu's a professor now:

    Zhu Chenghu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Yes, yes, pardon me for mistaking the stated cause of xenophobia for the unstated cause of defeating civil rights.

    But civil rights laws go back to the 19th century if you repeal the 14th amendment. Each state decides how much to disciminate, and against whom. Tell me all about how that won't affect Alabama from a perch in Massachusetts, and tell me I'm afraid of my shadow while you're at it. You are quite the trusting soul.

    All hail the conquering 3-decade-old technical "invasion!" I am duly chastened.

    Here are some actual U.S. actions since 1979. The list omits a bunch of small actions and only semi-belligerent actions like assistance to the Philippine government:

    1982-1983 - Deployed 1200 marines to Lebanon, after multinational force (including 80 Americans) departs.

    1983 - Granada. Beat the crap out of a medical school or something. Wait no, saved a medical school. That's the ticket. AKA, toppled the local government so we were in charge.

    1986 – Libya. Bombed Tripoli, because Libya, which is chock-full of empty space, only has terrorist training camps in the capitol city.

    1987 - Persian Gulf. Attacked two Iranian oil platforms in response to Iranian attack ancillary to the Iran-Iraq war (yay! One for you!) on a reflagged tanker, that therefore was entitled to US military protection and, evidently, retibution. A bunch of "reflagging"-oriented operations follow.

    1988 - USS Vincennes shoots down an Iranian air liner. When the Soviets shot down a Korean airliner, it was barbarism. I am certain other countries saw the distinction that made this one okay.

    1988 - 1990 - US buildup in already-occupied Panama, because CIA employee Manuel Noriega wasn't running his department well, followed by occupation of Panama as hostile foreign power and overthrow of Noriega government.

    1991 - US Invasion of Iraq That Other Countries Liked. Beat em up, kicked em outta Kuwait ("but we swear, you said it was okay" - Saddam), went away again.

    1991 - Iraq - introduction of US combat forces to protect Kurdish minority.

    1992 - 2003 - Iraq, no-fly zones. US suppresses all flight over most of Iraqi airspace. If you like us and hate Saddam (which everybody here does,) that's just what you should do. If you're a country other than the US wondering about our respect for others' sovereignty, not so much.

    1993-present, Bosnia-Herzogovenia. I actually like this one, because it's a humanitarian intervention without sketchy excuses and stupid unilateral lies as a basis for action. We're still there.

    1994-1995 - US military intevention in Haiti. 20,000 US troops eventually deployed.

    1995 - participation in NATO bombing of Bosnian Serbs.

    1998 - Iraq. US and Brits bomb for four days.

    1998 - Sudan and Afghanistan - US airstrikes against terrorist camps in Sudan and a chemical factory in Afghanistan.

    1999 - Bombing Serbia some more.

    2001 - present - invasion, overthrow and occupation of Afghanistan

    2003 - present - invasion, overthrow and occupation of Iraq

    This is about 1/3 of Wiki's list for the period. A lot of the other actions on that list, if taken by other countries vis a vis America, would be considered on this board the most eggregious violation of American sovereignty.

    Timeline of United States military operations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Pretty long list from the point of view of other nations around the world, determining who they should consider a responsible power.

    The point here is not that I prefer their judgment to my own. The point is that in an international body, all our explanations that make us very happy with our own behavior are not always shared.

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq was such a grand fail that W took to even vilifying long-time allies who had questions about the very questionable actions he took.

    I did not ever claim that the UN has never had a scandal, or that some member states do not engage in dumb movements.

    You, by contrast, did evaluate the UN as useless on the face of it, based on the idea that all members should evidently unanimously reject Iranian membership.

    But it makes no sense that you would believe others around the world would, certainly not unanimously.

    That does not mean I root for such points of view. That means, simply, that I am not a fan of creating such points of view through more moronic policy, then ignore the reality of international sentiment based on bumper sticker thinking.

    PFnV
  20. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Debates in your house must be amazing. :popcorn:

    Good post and history lesson.

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