The United Nations?
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 7 09:19:47 MST 2003
Dear Norman Solomon,
Have enjoyed your media critiques ever since you were with FAIR back in
the 1980s. I also encourage everybody reading this email to check out
your "Institute for Public Accuracy" website at: http://www.accuracy.org/.
I don't want to sound like an ingrate, but your latest commentary on
Znet repeats a serious error that is rather widespread on the left
today, namely that an antiwar position and support for the United
Nations taking over the task of occupying Iraq are compatible.
>>Unlike the “major” Democratic presidential candidates receiving
high-profile media coverage, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is asking such
questions -- and providing forthright answers. For several weeks now, he
has been promoting “a plan to bring our troops home and turn control of
the transition over to the United Nations.”
Kucinich points out that “sons and daughters of the U.S. are dying in
increasing numbers for the benefit of war profiteers with close ties to
the Bush administration. There was no basis for a war in Iraq. It was
wrong to go in, and it’s wrong to stay in.”<<
With all due respect for Kucinich, who obviously means well, the United
Nations occupation of Iraq would be just as bad as US occupation. It is
not up to this body to rule over the Iraqi people, especially since the
Security Council, which makes such decisions, is obviously a servant of
imperialist interests. Even with France and Germany's verbal protests
against the US war, it is clear that their own socio-economic interests
were paramount rather than concern about the well-being of the Iraqi
people. It was UN sanctions, after all, that starved hundreds of
thousands of Iraqi children to death.
It is useful to take a look at the history of the United Nations to put
these questions into context.
The England, United States and the Soviet Union formed the United
Nations within the context of diplomatic jockeying over how to divide
the spoils of WWII. These discussions took place at Yalta and Potsdam,
and influenced completely the decisions shaping the character of the UN.
Behind all of the human rights and democracy rhetoric accompanying the
creation of the UN, power politics lay beneath the surface.
The United States sought to capitalize on its impending victory in the
Pacific. Sumner Welles, under heavy criticism, disavowed charges in
March 1943 that "the Pacific should be a lake under American
jurisdiction..." Great Britain, for its part, sought to maintain its
imperial power. Churchill wrote Eden at the time, "If the Americans want
to take Japanese islands which they have conquered, let them do so with
our blessing and any form of words that may be agreeable to them. But
'Hands Off the British Empire' is our maxim."
To get a flavor of United States thinking at the time of formation of
the UN, let's eavesdrop in on a telephone conversation between War
Department official John J. McCloy and the State Department's Henry L.
McCloy: ...the argument is that if you extend that to the regional
arrangement against non-enemy states, Russia will want to have the same
thing in Europe and Asia and you will build up these big regional
systems which may provoke even greater wars and you've cut out the heart
of the world organization.
McCloy: That the whole idea is to use collective action and by these
exceptions you would...
Stimson: of course you'll, you'll cut into the size of the new
organization by what you agreed to now...
McCloy: Yes, that's right. That was recognized...and maybe the same
nation that had done the underhanded stirring up might veto any action
any action by the regional arrangement to stop it--to put a stop to the
aggression. Now that's the thing that they [Russia] are afraid of, but,
and it's a real fear and they have a real asset and they are a real
military asset to us.
McCloy: but on the other hand we have a very strong interest in being
able to intervene promptly in Europe where the--twice now within a
generation we've been forced to send our sons over some...
McCloy: relatively minor Balkan incident, and we don't want to lose the
right to intervene promptly in Europe merely for the sake of preserving
our South American solidarity [this is not "solidarity" in the sense of
Committee in Solidarity with the Peoples of El Salvador] because after
all we, we will have England, England's navy and army, if not France's
on our side, whereas the South American people are not particularly
strong in their own right, and the armies start in Europe and they don't
start in South America. However, I've been taking the position that we
ought to have our cake and eat it too; that we ought to be free to
operate under this regional arrangement in South America, at the same
time intervene promptly in Europe; that we oughtn't to give away either
Stimson: I think so, decidedly, because in the Monroe Doctrine and in-
-and that runs into hemispherical solidarity...
Stimson: we've gotten something we've developed over the decades...
Secretary: and it's in, it's an asset in case, and I don't think it
ought to be taken away from us....
So when we approach the UN hat in hand and implore them to occupy Iraq,
let's not forget that the words above reflect the true origins and
purpose of this organization. They are representatives of the United
States ruling class and their allies in the G7. When we appeal to them
we are implicitly appealing to the Board of Directors of General
Electric, Boeing, Chrysler, etc. In other words, we are addressing same
war criminals that brought us the Korean War, the Vietnam War, nuclear
brinkmanship, and a host of other inhumanities.
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