The United Nations?

Louis Proyect 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.

(http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=33&ItemID=4457)

You write:

 >>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. 
Stimson:

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.

Stimson: Yes.

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.

Stimson: Yes,

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...

Stimson: Yes

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 
asset...

Stimson: I think so, decidedly, because in the Monroe Doctrine and in- 
-and that runs into hemispherical solidarity...

McCloy: Yes

Stimson: we've gotten something we've developed over the decades...

McCloy: Yes

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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