[Marxism] Re: UN is part of the state apparatus of Capitalism andImperialism

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Tue Oct 18 23:00:18 MDT 2005

 >It [the United Nations] is an international forum to publicise, at  
least, the  evil results of
globalisation> --George Anthony

Of course, part of it is. For if it were not partially so, it would be  
a naked dictatorship, and it would be useless for, as Govindaswamy  
expresses it, the "saner sections of the capitalists." My only  
reservation to Govindaswamy's note is that both the saner and less sane  
sections of the imperialists are actually on the same page. The  
discussion below illustrates this.

The United Nations, like the League of Nations before it, was set up to  
answer the demand of the peoples of the world for peace and justice,  
without giving them the power to determine it. The power remains in the  
hands of the most powerful imperialist states in the Security Council.  
If the U.N. doesn't go along with what they desire, they conduct their  
operations outside of it as in Vietnam. The following discussion  
between the nominally extreme right-wing Jeane Kirkpatrick, who was  
thought of as an attack dog for the Reagan administration--somewhat  
like John Bolton today, and Richard Holbrooke, a representative of the  
Clinton administration, is a startling frank exposé of how the U.S.  
treats the U.N. and the rest of the world.

In October of 2002, there was pressure on the Bush administration by  
the British government and other potential military allies to get U.N.  
authorization for any action in Iraq. They needed it for home  
consumption and the "saner" heads in the U.S. agreed. The common view  
was that a U.N. resolution demanding on-the-ground inspection for WMD  
would be rejected by Hussein, thus setting up the scenario for the U.S.  
lead attack. The liberal Democrat Holbrooke and conservative Republican  
Kirkpatrick openly discuss how the U.N. can be used to achieve this  

Just as interesting as the harmony between the two representatives of  
the duopoly of American politics, is their description of France's  
interest. France wants to make a demonstration of opposition, but both  
Kirkpatrick and Holbrooke know that that's all it is. For example,  
although France wanted two resolutions, i.e., coming back to the U.N.,  
it accepted a single resolution and then later said, "oh, you bad boys,  
that's not how we interpreted it all." Yet they had the veto and could  
have stuck it out and crossed Bush's plans had they truly desired to.

As we know, Hussein surprised the world by accepting the U.N.  
inspectors. In the end, that didn't help him. For the U.N. resolution  
that was drafted was interpreted by the U.S. as allowing (along with  
previous resolutions) unilateral action by a member of the United  
Nations to go to war. As in many sports, if the inside game doesn't  
work, there is always an outside game to go to. Margaret Warner is a  
PBS correspondent. These are extracts; the whole discussion is  
exceptionally valuable:

Brian Shannon

MARGARET WARNER: After winning congressional authorization last week to  
go to war against Iraq, the Bush Administration has turned its  
attention to the United Nations. The U.S. and Britain have circulated a  
draft U.N. resolution imposing a tough new inspection regime on Iraq,  
and threatening force if Baghdad does not comply.

But France, Russia, and China, who all wield a veto in the Security  
Council, have balked. Tomorrow, after weeks of behind- the-scenes  
negotiations, the 15 member Council is scheduled to begin a two-day  
public debate.

For insight into all this, we turn to two former U.S. Ambassadors to  
the United Nations. Jeane Kirkpatrick held the post in the Reagan  
administration; Richard Holbrooke in the Clinton administration.  
Welcome to you both. Ambassador Holbrooke, how do you read the state of  
play right now at the U. N.?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE: I think we're not really talking about the United  
Nations as an organization, we never really were. And blaming the U.N.,  
as some administration officials have done for this situation, is quite  
inaccurate. It's like blaming Madison Square Garden for the poor  
performance of the New York Knicks have put on in the basketball  
season. The U.N. is just the building on the East River, Margaret. What  
we're really talking about is not all 190 nations, it's not even the 15  
nations of the Security Council, it is three nations, you mentioned  
them, France, China and Russia.

The Chinese are not going to be a final objector, they won't use their  
veto so it comes down to France and Russia. Tony Blair went to Moscow  
over the weekend to talk to Putin. The final decisions in this aren't  
going to be made in New York, they're going to be made in the capitals.  
And the Russians appear to be hanging tough only to protect their own  
economic interests. I don't think they really care about the substance  
of the issue.

The French are holding tough for a technical point, they want two  
resolutions instead of one. The first resolution would authorize a new  
tough notice any time, anywhere air tight inspection regime. And as I  
understand it from my contacts with European and American diplomats in  
New York, the French would then agree to a second resolution if the  
Iraqis violated the first one -- as they undoubtedly will, by the way.  
[This discussion was based on the hope that Iraq would not allow  
inspectors back in. When Iraq did, it merely delayed the issue, but did  
not fundamentally change it.]

Then we get to the U.S. position. You have no doubt seen and reported  
that the United States government does not want a two-stage resolution.  
Now, any good diplomat can work this out. You can write a first  
resolution with automaticity in it, a triggering mechanism, very tough  
language, so my prediction, and this is based simply on intuition,  
nothing I know from the inside, my prediction is that within a week or  
so, Secretary Powell and John Negroponte, the ambassador to New York,  
both excellent diplomats will produce an acceptable resolution that the  
French and the Russians sign into, and then we'll be on the way.

MARGARET WARNER: Ambassador Kirkpatrick do you read it in a similar  

JEANE KIRKPATRICK: Absolutely, I think there's no question about it.  
There's no question that the council is somewhat divided, that there  
are three countries, you know, who are our principle problems if you  
will, stumbling blocks -- we could call them that. I fully expect that  
these differences will be ultimately resolved. And I don't know exactly  
how they'll be resolved, but I think we've been working on it for quite  
some time.

MARGARET WARNER: Give also little insight into the French in  
particular, because they really have been the lead objector here.

JEANE KIRKPATRICK: A couple things to say. You know the definition of  
university professors -- or "people who think otherwise," you know the  
French are sort of "people who think otherwise." They all like to have  
their own position, which is never quite the same, or rarely quite the  
same as anybody else's position, least of all the United States  
position. And I think there's a significant element just of this  
thinking otherwise, the French position.
. . .
And the second thing is that the French want to have some kind of  
demonstration, as Jeane said, that they don't just run along behind the  
U.S. But I want to underscore something that Jeane and I have both said  
and it needs to be stressed. This is a technical diplomatist argument.  
This is easily solvable if Colin Powell and his French counterparts can  
reach a private understanding that if it's not all in one resolution,  
that there is automaticity, that is the consequences of violation of a  
new resolution are an automatic move within 48 hours to give  
authorization to use force against Iraq.

Now, that is a decision that will not be made at the U.N.; that will be  
made by President Bush. Right now the Bush administration has said very  
clearly they want a single resolution. The French have said they want  
two. President Bush's comments yesterday suggested he was trying to  
work with the French. I know he's been in touch with President Chirac  
directly. If President Putin comes around and supports it, it's hard  
for me to see how the French can be the lone holdout against such a  
clear menace to world peace as Saddam Hussein.


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