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OTHER ITA SITES:
Harper’s UN Gibberish
PM Harper’s first speech at the UN was not lacking in either audacity or hyperbole. He quite baldly claimed that the future of the world body depends on the success of the Afghan mission. Not only is Harper wrong he is dead-wrong.
The real crisis for the UN is whether or not it will survive the use and abuse of the USA with some semblance of integrity and credibility. Over the UN’s history the US has sought to use the world body to its own ends with varying degrees of success. Where the UN is the world’s most effective force for multilateralism-the US is the world’s most belligerent unilateralist.
There is indeed another subliminal war going on between the polarities of multilateralism and unilateralism.
Leading the US aggression on the UN is the ferocious ideologue John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN. He is a sworn enemy of the United Nations and is determined to destroy it. Because of this antipathy the US Congress was preparing to block his appointment, but as in so many other issues the president side-stepped Congress and Bolton was let loose to chew the legs off the UN.
With Afghanistan the UN gives, what is really America’s war, an attempted respectability.
A highly pertinent question at this point in time is: How can Canadians or other NATO contributors have confidence in the integrity or outcome of the Afghanistan mission when we see the atrocity of Iraq? Reckless militarism has utterly destroyed that country, making a bad situation into a monstrosity. Yet we are seeing the same reckless militarism in Afghanistan and we are supposed to believe in a positive outcome.
One of the explicit dangers of serial warfare is the first war had better be successful if you want to sell the second.
Further more, even now there is a fierce debate going on within the US administration as to whether there should be an all out attack, possibly nuclear, on Iran (See http://Truthout.org, Seymour Hersh/New Yorker magazine.) Ironically, many senior military advisors are against this attack because Iran has a very real ability to retaliate and the economic consequences of such an attack would be global and devastating.
The real problem the US has with Iran, like Iraq, is that it is sitting on one of the world’s last great oil reserves- and Iran has the audacity to be selling it to Russia and China!
So the USA is in the rather bizarre position of having made a mess of one war, is trying to sell a second war, and all the while laying plans for possibly one very big third war. When the US president tells the UN he seeks peace he really means it!
One of the most compelling reasons for a more peace-driven solution to the Afghanistan problem is the citizens of that country whether they are Taliban or not have no reason to trust Western imperatives. For the past several decades it has been ripped over, manipulated and abused. When it did establish a progressive stable government back in the 1970’s it was overthrown by the CIA. As Afghanistan is considered a “failed state” imperial powers have been major contributors to the failure.
The perpetrators of war have a huge credibility problem as their every utterance rings hollow.
Still another issue begs to be addressed. Major countries, especially the UN Security Council, must challenge the US and not allow the effectiveness and integrity of the world body to be debased.
Earlier this summer the British polling firm YouGov found that 75% of those polled flatly rejected the US “current reason for being.” 39% had little confidence in the US ability to deal with present world problems, followed by another 28% who had “very little confidence” and 16% had “none at all.”
74% felt present US policies were destabilizing the Middle East and Arab worlds.
34% rated George Bush as a “pretty poor leader” and 43% rated him a “terrible leader.”
Asked if they felt the US was a “beacon of hope for the world,” 77% replied in the negative.
72% believe that the US desire to spread democracy globally is really a cover for pursuing self interest.
-data from “Pox Americana,”
One reason, no doubt, Britons express such strong sentiments is they are tired of their prime minister being Bush’s poodle. Blair is now under heavy pressure from his party to take an early retirement for this very reason. It seems though Stephen Harper is determined to follow suit and be another obsequious acolyte. He might even consider traveling to London to be tutored.
But alas, we must pity poor Stephen! Doing George’s dirty laundry is a formidable and bloody task.
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