Stop President Bush Before He Wrecks the UN





Mr. Meyer, the author of The World Court in Action (2002), is a writer for the History News Service.

HNN FUND RAISING DRIVE Please make a donation today!

"Just for a scrap of paper Great Britain [is] going to war," Germany's chancellor, Theobold von Bethmann-Hollweg complained as the First World War began. The "scrap of paper" was the treaty that Germany disregarded when it invaded Belgium.

Because of such dismissal of international agreements, the esteem that Germany had enjoyed until then among neutral nations quickly changed to hostility and fear. Britain and France exploited the "scrap of paper" remark in the United States, where there then was respect for international treaties, which the 1787 Constitution had elevated to the "supreme Law of the Land."

Today we must ask, is the United States about to treat the Charter of the United Nations as a scrap of paper? We would be doing so if, without the authority of the U.N. Security Council, the administration were to launch American armed forces against Iraq.

The Charter is a treaty, an exchange of pledges among nations, overwhelmingly ratified in 1945 by the U.S. Senate. The U.N.'s Security Council, now debating war against Iraq, was established by that Charter. We agreed with our fellow member nations that the Security Council should have sole power to decide whether peace is threatened or whether there has been an act of aggression. The Charter forbids the use of force by one nation against another without the authorization of the Security Council except in self defense against an "armed attack."

The United States played a major role in planning the United Nations and drafting its Charter. Restricting the use of force was the culminating achievement of a sustained effort by American statesmen and diplomats to achieve world peace through law.

When President George H.W. Bush, in 1990, went to the Security Council to request authority to lead a coalition to rescue Kuwait, he complied with the Charter of the United Nations. He did so before he requested consent of Congress to send in our forces. The Security Council's approval helped win congressional support for "Desert Storm." The coalition's success in that effort restored for the United Nations prestige that had diminished during the Cold War.

High regard for the United Nations continues in the rest of the world. Most recently, as it began to seem that the United States might "go it alone" in Iraq, 15 European nations declared (Feb. 18) in positive terms: "We are committed to the United Nations remaining at the center of the international order."

As the move toward war on Iraq began in 2001, the White House acted as if its plans needed neither congressional approval nor that of the United Nations. But immediate domestic opposition overcame the idea of bypassing Congress.

Also believing it unwise to disregard other countries, Secretary of State Powell persuaded the president to address the United Nations about Iraq's defiance. The Security Council then agreed to warn Iraq to yield. It was not willing, without a further resolution, to legitimate the use of force by the United States.

The White House continued to maintain that it needed no authority from the Security Council. Recently, however, the administration changed its strategy. It decided to press the Security Council for an authorizing resolution, letting it be known that war would be started without the Council's permission if the United States decided that Iraq had ignored the Council's warning.

Such a resolution demanded an intense effort. While an effective resolution required unanimity of the five permanent members (three of them doubtful from the start), pressure was exerted on the ten non-permanent smaller members. Even if those votes were gained for the U.S.-British-Spanish resolution, they would produce only an illusory majority; no resolution is effective under the "veto" terms of the Charter unless all five permanent members -- Russia, China and France, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States -- concur or abstain.

International law and the Constitution's clause establishing treaties as the "supreme Law of the Land" render the use of force by the United States against Iraq illegal without a legitimate Security Council resolution. To warn that the Security Council will be disregarded if it does not bow to the White House is to disregard international law and threaten violation of our Constitution.

Educators, other professionals, and business and labor leaders should give attention to the impending violation of the Constitution's clause on the supremacy of treaties. They should remember the contributions of the United States to building the rule of law among nations, and the institutions that administer it. If they don't, the nation's potential to defend peace and freedom will be sadly diminished.

The government of the United States has pledged to respect the rule of law and is bound by its own contributions to the law of treaties. Its leaders are bound by the Constitution. But the administration now in power threatens to disregard those obligations. Attention must be paid before it is too late.


This piece was distributed for non-exclusive use by the History News Service, an informal syndicate of professional historians who seek to improve the public's understanding of current events by setting these events in their historical contexts. The article may be republished as long as both the author and the History News Service are clearly credited.


comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:


Libertarian - 6/8/2003

Hitler was not a socialist in the strict sense of the word; this can be shown by his definition of 'socialist', which differs from the norm:

Whoever is prepared to make the national cause his own to such an extent that he knows no higher ideal than the welfare of his nation; whoever has understood our great national anthem, Deutschland, Deutschland, Alles, to mean that nothing in the wide world surpasses in his eyes this Germany, people and land, land and people - that man is a Socialist. (Bullock 76)
Hitler's meaning of socialism, therefore did not refer to a specific economic system, but to "an instinct for national self-preservation" (Fischer 125) or nationalism. Concerning the Socialist aspects of the 25-Point program, Hitler made promises "because in 1920, the German working class and the lower middle classes were saturated in a radical anti-capitalism; such phrases were essential for any politician who wanted to attract their support" (Bullock 75).



Hitler had an overall disregard for the masses and refused to accept trade unions or the working classes. Once Hitler was in power, he broke all promises he had made to the workers. Hitler and the Nazi Party did away with collective bargaining and the right to strike. He replaced trade unions with an organization called the 'Labor Front', but this organization was fundamentally a tool of the Nazi Party and did not operate in the workers' favor. According to the law that created the Labor Front, "Its task is to see that every individual should be able to perform the maximum of work" (Kangas 13).


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/17/2003

"The Constitution mandates that for U S to go to war requires a declaration of war,debated as such."

This perhaps overstates the case (under one interpretation of 'war'). Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution says the Congress shall have power "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"

This clause relates to the legal niceties of war -- the declaration of war in particular having legal implications for third parties. It does not explicitly state that military action cannot be conducted in the absence of such a declaration (if there be a distintion between military action and going to war). Tellingly, since most armed hostilities are outside of a formal declaration of war, the conventions concerning prisoners and the conduct of hostilities do not limit themselves to formally declared wars either.

Of course, the latter point relates to international law, not the Constitution directly. The Constitution, though, is not silent altogether outside the declaration of war clause. The same Section 8 of Article II gives Congress the power "To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations;" This could put it in conflict with the UN Charter, under some interpretations. Which prevails?

This is a little-appreciated part of the Constitution. It gives Congress the power to punish offenses against international law -- such as violation of 17 UN Security Council resolutions, and use of chemical weapons perhaps? Lawyers will no doubt argue whether the vaguaries of 1441 demand a second resolution, and whether action in its absence violates the charter.

There are yet other potholes in the way of a blanket statement. Take the final clause of Section 9 of Article II, for example. It essentially repeats a list of prohibited activities on the part of the states which, were they carried out, would usurp the sovereignty of the US -- and then it states that in an emergency (well-defined) the states can indeed do what was just prohibited them (it substitutes 'compact' for 'treaty', so as to give the power to the states in an emergency without implying that it is fully the same power normally reserved the federal government).


Bill Heuisler - 3/17/2003

Mr. Meyer,
There was a press conference in the Senate Office building after Congress voted the war authorization resolution. You should've been there to object because Senator Joe Biden disagrees with you. The Senator disagrees with you in spite of his party and philosophical differences with W. His qualifications and his conclusions seem impeccable. Here is the question and answer.

"My question is this, do you foresee the need or the expectation of a Congressional declaration of war, which the Constitution calls for, and if so, against whom?" (Scattered Laughter)

JB: "The answer is yes, and we did it. I happen to be a professor of Constitutional law. I'm the guy that drafted the Use of Force proposal that we passed. It was in conflict between the President and the House. I was the guy who finally drafted what we did pass. Under the Constitution, there is simply no distinction ... Louis Fisher(?) and others can tell you, there is no distinction between a formal declaration of war, and an authorization of use of force. There is none for Constitutional purposes. None whatsoever. And we defined in that Use of Force Act that we passed, what ... against whom we were moving, and what authority was granted to the President."

"...no distinction..." "...against whom we were moving..."
Do you also consider Senator Joe Biden stupid and inane?
Bill Heuisler


Howard N Meyer - 3/16/2003

That a provision of the U S Constitution has not been enforced on one or a number of occasions -- i.e. the Fourteenth Amendment--does not vitiate it.
THe same is true of the Treaty Clause.
We have no second-class citizens and should have no second class provisions in the Constitution.
Bill refers to a "resolution" by the House and Senate.
The Constitution mandates that for U S to go to war requires a declaration of war,debated as such.
Two strikes on the Bush idea of going to war: No Declaration as the Constitution provides; no compliance with Article VI enforcing prohibitions of U N Charter, WHICH WE WROTE.


Howard N Meyer - 3/16/2003

That a provision of the U S Constitution has not been enforced on one or a number of occasions -- i.e. the Fourteenth Amendment--does not vitiate it.
THe same is true of the Treaty Clause.
We have no second-class citizens and should have no second class provisions in the Constitution.
Bill refers to a "resolution" by the House and Senate.
The Constitution mandates that for U S to go to war requires a declaration of war,debated as such.
Two strikes on the Bush idea of going to war: No Declaration as the Constitution provides; no compliance with Article VI enforcing prohibitions of U N Charter, WHICH WE WROTE.


Mike Hill, Sr. - 3/15/2003

What would be so bad about that? Check it out. What has the UN done in the area of its main purpose (world peace) since its inception? Boo Diddly Squat!!!
We foot the bill for a forum to shove it in our faces. I say just shove it!
Saddam could give them some prime real estate on the banks of the Tigris River. We can re-possess the East River property and put it to productive use, not anti-American espionage and shrill, weaselly anti-American diatribe.
MH


Dave Thomas - 3/15/2003

The United Debating Society is collapsing under the weight of special interest politics my friend. If you were a student of history you would see this happens to most cooperative communities, i.e. the Congress of Vienna and the League of Nations. Sooner or later Real Politik takes over and individual countries decide their individual interests outweigh the collective interests. Chirac has no more background that the Vichy French who felt turing in Jews to Hitler and leaving in a fascist regime was a small price to pay for peace.


Steve Brody - 3/13/2003


Let me say at the outset that I'm not an attorney and do not play one on TV. I don't claim to be a Constitutional expert. But, Mr. Meyer seems to have taken Article VI's "supremacy" clause as it relates to treaties out of context.

A complete reading of the relevant portion of Article VI is as follows:” This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the Supreme Law of the Land and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State notwithstanding" Thus, the passage seems to relate to the supremacy of the Constitution, Federal Laws made in accordance the Constitution and Treaties over State Law. I'm not sure that anything in Article VI makes it a crime for Bush to act in the Gulf.

To carry Mr. Meyer's argument to its logical conclusion, any military action that any US Administration wished to carry out would be a crime if France, Russia or China demurred. If China invaded Taiwan, we could not intervene if France exercised its veto in the Security Council. If we did, the President would guilty of a crime. Not likely.

Perhaps Mr. Meyer could supply a relevant US Supreme Court decision that interprets Article VI in this way.

Further, since Mr. Meyer has chosen to brush off any example of the UN's failure to act as "irrelevant" or "tragic, but irrelevant", perhaps he could supply an example of some significant military action taken by the UN that was not prompted by the goading of a US president. I mean, let's be honest, The UN would be doing nothing to enforce its edicts now if it wasn't for the pressure Bush exerted on it last October.


Bill Heuisler - 3/13/2003

Enough Mr. Meyer. We stupid Americans who happen to hold inane views need some respect. Could you spare us a brief moment?

My school-crossing guard explained how Article VI of our Constitution referred to "all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States...". When I mentioned the United Nations resolutions, she laughed at me.

Well I'm sick and tired of being laughed at. Are the U.S. and the U.N. still different, Mr. Meyer? Or have we become one big conglomerate country? Please help the less fortunate: didn't our U.S. Representatives and Senators authorize war against Iraq if necessary? Did they all vote on those pesky U.N. resolutions too?

It's all so confusing. Maybe we should just submit entirely to Kofi and his good folks on the East River. We could let Syria monitor human rights and Iraq will make sure everybody disarms.
Oh well, maybe someone in your learned position might understand my confusion about the differences between the U.S. Constitution and a United Nations Resolution. Thanks for your support.
Bill Heuisler


Howard N Meyer - 3/13/2003

I understated my unease about the contrarian commentary so far posted.
The character the commentators seem to have in common is UNbashing.
What is especially disappointing in commentary from historians is the absence of knowledge about or feeling for the U S Constitution in general and Article VI ("treaties ...the supreme Law of the Land.")
The author's title for this article on the double illegality of the Bush intention to launch the missiles whether or not the constituted authority consents, WHO WILL DEFEND THE RULE OF LAW ?
Past violations of the Constitution do NOT extenuate current vioations. An alternate title might be
"Who will support protect and defend the Constitution."


derekcatsam - 3/13/2003

Bill --
Sounds tempting. I'm in the belly of the beast (DC) for break instead. Still think of it more as home (lived here the last two years) than my current residence, largely because of fairly important personal ties here. Right or left, if you love politics, this is such a fantastic city that really does not warrant most of the "Inside the Beltway" criticisms it receives. I hope such groups make it to universities across the US and that they don't get drowned out, tarred, or co-opted by the anti war organizations.
dc


Howard N Meyer - 3/13/2003

The "socialism" chattering seems directed at some other piece.
Bosnia raises a different question, not relevant to the present situation. Rwanda is irrelevant, tragic as it was.



























Howard N Meyer - 3/13/2003

The "socialism" chattering seems directed at some other piece.
Bosnia raises a different question, not relevant to the present situation. Rwanda is irrelevant, tragic as it was.



























Steve Brody - 3/13/2003


Right you are, Ryan. These absurdities further point to the dangers of participating in some of the high minded international bodies. If we were to sign on with the International Criminal Court, could we be sure that Idi Amin wouldn't come out of retirement to be its Chief Justice?

Anyone who truly believes that the UN is capable of handling tough, dangerous problems should be prepared to explain the Security Council's refusal to accept jurisdiction of the North Korea situation. Bush directed this problem to the UN months ago. Now, the very people who whine that Bush is being unilateral with Iraq (he's not) demand that he accede to North Korea's demand for bi-lateral, rather than multi-lateral talks. No reason to let foolish consistency get in the way of an opportunity to bash Bush.


Bill Heuisler - 3/13/2003

Bravo, Derek!
I'll be looking for a similar organization at the U. of A., A.S.U. and Pima College. And relax, half the fun of HNN is keeping our blood pressures above room temp.
Come to Tucson for your break, we'll sit on the veranda and whine at each other while sipping San Miguel or Pacifico and admiring the Catalina Mountains.
Best, Bill


derekcatsam - 3/12/2003

There you go again. Where did I whine? I disagreed with you. That's all I did. No more or less whining than you engage in. How did I change subjects? we were having a conversation about fascism and socialism and I threw in my two cents. I guess disagreeing with you counts as changing opinions. Meanwhile, I have no idea what you mean by "rarefied opinions" or why you use the scare quotes around foremost scholars. these are the most respected scholars of fascism, both of whom would agree with you that fascism is not simply a movemnt of the right but also of the left, but who would agree with me that the findamental contituency of fascism was right wing. You can try to taint the work of good men and good scholars all you want, but i think their arguments deserve to be taken seriously, unless we are so arrogant as to say that we know more than they do. Puzzling. It's not elitist condescension to say that ideas and issues are complex. but claiming that something is elitist condescension is one of your favorite accusations. As for humoring the proletariat, I'm afraid I find my roots still to be proletarian enough to feel like I'm not stepping down a weight class. But why do you insist upon bringing up my status as a "nascent PhD" (I've been upgraded from PhD candidate in some of your recent class warfare posts. Thanks.) Are you that insecure? It's obvious that you read tons and take a more than passing issue in these interests. You constantly cite other sources. Why must you get so techy when I cite scholars who deal in these fields, especially when they would enrich the argument -- and when I certainly don't cite either as a knockout blow, but rather to buttress my straightforward argument that using American left-right terms is insufficient and clouds more than it uncovers when it comes to terms and histporical concepts such as fascism and communism and socialism and nazism and a whole array of other isms. For the love of God, don't be so sensitive. I'm on spring break getting away from whiny students was part of the deal. I didn't expect the same thing from a former marine!

By the way -- you'll be happy to know, as I am, that an organization called the Institute for the Defense of Democracy (a post 9-11 anti-terror org) is organizing a drive to set up booths and kiosks to allow students to send letters and sign petitions of support for our troops. I would hope that everyone, irrespective of how they feel about this current issue, left or right, pro-war or opposed, dove or hawk, Republican or Democrat, can turn down the heat long enough to get behind this. lots of young men and women are going to go into the fire on this one, and even for those who oppose the effort, I think they damned well ought to support those wearing the uniform in the field. even you and I should agree on that one.


Bill Heuisler - 3/12/2003

True to form, Derek. You whine, change subjects, cite rarified opinions of "foremost scholars" and neglect the real argument. To say either Payne or Griffin would "utterly oppose" my claims refutes the "complex question, not easily reduced" portion of your comments. In fact, "utterly oppose...Fascism is Left..." neatly catagorizes your scholarly paragons as having a defensive Leftist predisposition to such "complex" issues. That the issue is too complex to be reduced to ordinary words by ordinary people is self-consciously elitist condescension.

My rather detailed argument took the pure economic model and asked which ism was closest. Surely not too difficult for a nascent PHD to grasp. Academic niceties must discourage response to such callow simplicity, but why not humor the proletariat?
Bill Heuisler


derekcatsam - 3/12/2003

Where has there every been "pure capitalism," in your definition? "Pure socialism"? Why start your post with the word/query "Sensitive?" as if we are not simply engaging (and disagreeing with) you in a dialogue on an internet site? The foremost scholars on fascism -- Payne, Griffin, eg. -- would utterly oppose your claims that fascism was a phenomenon of the left. Both have been clear in their extensive and well-regarded books that these are complex questions, not easily reduced. You can (name calling and attacking infinitely, it seems) claim that Ralph and I don't understand plain old grade school English, though I'll throw my mastery of the language up against yours any day of the week, but in plain English, you are reducing complex historical phenomenon into simplistic terms, always to the service of your own ideology. Yes, words do have meaning. just not the ones you ascribe to them.


Bill Heuisler - 3/12/2003

Mr. Luker & Mr. Catsam,
Sensitive? This happens every time the true collectivist nature of National Socialism and Fascism is revealed. Why burn up good synapses defending the Socialist fraud? Civilizations throughout history have measured the distance between vassalage and chaos - most choosing hierarchies to enforce order. France and the U.S. experimented with the radical idea of individual freedom, but most modern societies have not taken up the risk. Reacting to unfettered, "unfair" free market Capitalism they've fallen back on the hierarchal model - and they call it collective will. Long live the aggregate. For the past half-century, recreant Leftists have disingenuously tried to distance themselves from all the evil isms spawned by this "new" collectivist myth.

Right Wing, Mr. Luker? Reductionism, Mr. Catsam? No, plain Grade-school English. The terms are easy to define:
Pure Capitalism - Private production, private money. Individual Freedom to invest, buy and sell. Operated for private profit.
Pure Socialism - Public production, collective finance. State control of cost and distribution. Operated for use, not profit.
Shall we argue these definitions? Or should we try to apply them to historical realities? Which "pure" term is upheld or degraded most by Hitler's vastly intrusive government? By Mussolini's?

Private or Public, Individual or State: words mean something.
You may argue the degree to which modern man has been seduced by cradle-to-grave Statist theory that posits the individual as a hungry hole and Government as God, but then we discuss degrees of evil, not its existance.

Utopias differ. Perhaps we can agree on the inherent sanctity of the individual and the dormant depravity of government coercion. To gauge Evil we must decide to what degree results have been said to justify means and - more importantly - who made the choices. Viewed this way, Communism, National Socialism, Fascism, Social Democracy - and our own Democratic Republic - become more Evil as the Individual loses his freedom for the "greater good".

Mr. Wilson is correct. We only dispute the scope.
Bill Heuisler



Frank Lee - 3/12/2003


Query:

How is it possible to "defy simple categorization" of complexities into "left- and right- wing" banalities on this website, without the complete replacement of all HNN directors and staff ?


Ralph E. Luker - 3/12/2003

Mr. Heuisler,
Like much right wing rhetoric from the 1950s, your simple categories conflate the meaning of "ownership," "control," and "regulation." All government action in economic affairs becomes "socialism." Please alert the Bush administration that it is a source of Mr. Wilson's and your "evil." I agree with you that its policies are devilish.


derekcatsam - 3/12/2003

So by their calling it "National Socialism" it means that they were socialist? And (once again) I have to assume that you also believe that the German Democratic Republic was Democratic, that the People's Republic of China is a people's republic, and that the "Weathermen" were meteorologists. You also have this peculiar view that only the left believes that the State can control or otherwise dominate the economy. It provides you with a nice self-fulfillment whan you criticize every loathsome regime as socialist, but of course the right-wing apartheid regime controlled and constricted the economy in a million different ways.
Nazism, fascism, socialism, communism -- these are all complex terms that should defy our simple categorization of them as left- and right- wing terms, especially in the American context. Communism (which, by the way, is NOT THE SAME THING as socialism whether historically or philosophically any more than Nazism is the same thing as fascism) can also be seen to have "right wing" aspects -- in some cases extreme "rightist" nationalism pervaded Communist regimes.
But of course all of this would be to recognize complexity in history, and none of us would want to do that -- this is, after all, HNN, and in a forum as life and death as this there are points to be scored!


Rambostein - 3/12/2003


RED ALERT ! RED ALERT !

Never mind reading the article about Bush and the U.N, we've got to act: the genocidal socialists are on the march ! While wimps cower under their beds in fear, we need all good marines to help save us. Hurry, we're napalming Madison, Wisconsin tomorrow !


Bill Heuisler - 3/12/2003

Mr. Luker,
If Hitler was not a Socialist, what was he? Is this association aversion from the Left or does National Socialism mean nothing?
The National Socialist German Workers' Party was founded in 1919 and took control in 1933 as a last bulwark against Communism.
On Oct.24, 1934 Nazi Labor Front was formed, all unemployment was eliminated and the State assigned certain employers to control respective factories and industries. Industry was more and more brought under government control and peasants and farm workers were attached to their assigned land. Okay, the official German Socialist Party was dissolved on Oct. 14, 1937, but a great number of its representatives joined the Nazis. So, since the Nazis gradually seized control of German production, they were, by definition, membership and name, Socialists.

Scandinavian? Perhaps when you put the word Democratic in front of Socialism it transforms the ultimate evil into a severe - and eventually terminal - economic wasting sickness.
Bill Heuisler


Ralph E. Luker - 3/12/2003

Mr. Heuisler,
a) Hitler was not a socialist; and
b) Wilson and you both ignore the democratic socialist traditions of Great Britain, France, Germany, the Scandanavian countries.
If you ignore reality and impose the abstract term "socialist" on all regimes that do evil and deny it to all regimes which are more or less benign, then, voila, socialism is the ultimate evil. It just doesn't mean anything to say so.


Bill Heuisler - 3/12/2003

Mr. Dan,
Civics class taught you Christianity is the same as Socialism? Your education is obviously vast and your arguments impregnable.

For instance, you continue, "One "could say" a lot of things. Making sense, like creating, is much more difficult than jsut being destructive, or mindlessly negative."
Adding anything to that would be like shooing a dead horse.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 3/11/2003

Mr. Moner,
History did not begin with Hans Blix. Cease Fire means exactly that, Cease Fire does not mean Armistice or treaty. No one asked Iraq to invade Kuwait; no one asked Saddam to beg for his life and sign a Cease Fire Agreement. Our troops drove the Iraqis from Kuwait toward Baghdad and only halted for the Cease Fire.

When you state, "No one has asked us to attack Iraq, least of all the UN." you are forgetting the U.N. asked precisely that twelve years ago. Many resolutions later, we are still bound and released by that original resolution. That resolution, after all, has admittedly been broken often throughout the decade.

Argue the technicality of Cease Fire if you want, but show me
one instance in history where a broken Cease Fire has become a treaty simply through the passage of time and the charity of the victors. Rush to war? Twelve years. Surely you're joking.
Bill Heuisler


Gus Moner - 3/11/2003

Mr Heuisler, the premise of your argument, that “we're enforcing international law by enforcing the Cease Fire Agreement” is flawed. No one has asked us to attack Iraq, least of all the UN.

The question remains how, and when we get this accomplished. Clearly, lies, innuendo and exaggerations aside, the violations are there. That is why 1441 is being enforced now, ant that process is unfinished. A crescendo is building for closure and all the nations involved in the UN decision making process can reach an agreement on criteria and deadlines that is, from all appearances, less than 2 months.

Why the rush to war? Who made the US the sole and final arbiter, judge and jury?


dan - 3/11/2003

So you are saying Christianity is evil? Sell that down South!

One "could say" a lot of things. Making sense, like creating, is much more difficult than jsut being destructive, or mindlessly negative.


Bill Heuisler - 3/11/2003

Mr. Luker,
Does evil mean killing millions? Does evil mean killing human beings on a scale undreamed of by Temujin or Torquemada?

Sneer if you like, but, in our lifetime, Socialism - State control of the means of production - hasn't produced anything that could be described as "good" or beneficial to humanity. Those of us over the age of thirteen have shared our lives with National Socialism and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1938 Japan passed the National Mobilization Bill allowing State dictation of almost all phases of Japanese economic life. The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity scheme was derived from a need for government to control the means of production - rather than compete in free markets - throughout East Asia. One last example, Pol Pot could not have achieved his vast horror without total government control over the benighted Burmese economy.

Generally speaking, Pol Pot, Tojo, Stalin and Hitler could be said to have slaughtered hundreds of millions to fulfill the Socialist delusion. While Capitalism and economic freedom have historically accompanied human progress and social benevolence, the precise opposite is true of Socialism.
Bill Heuisler


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/11/2003

The UN Charter recognizes the right of self-defense, and assisted self-defense, through pacts. The usual way to finesse this will be to say that NATO was defending Europe. I know, it's rather weak. Your point is right on. Just as Annan has achieved a studied silence on Bosnia and Kosovo (and Rwanda), I anticipaye Meyer will follow his lead. Maybe though, he'll surprise me.


Richard Cook - 3/11/2003

Did not NATO step up to the plate to save the oppressed Muslims of the Balkans without Security Council approval? Was this, then, a scrapping of the UN Charter?


Bill Maher - 3/11/2003

The United Nations is a farce. "A great moral aura attaches to Kofi Annan," Martin Peretz writes, "even though - as a lesser U.N. official in both bloody Bosnia and bloodier Rwanda - he kept multinational forces under his command from impeding the macabre work of mass murderers." Such is the order of things. Let France have the United Nations. Move it to Paris. Or what about the Sudan? Judging its past record in Bosnia and Rwanda, the U.N. will truly have found a home.


Bill Maher - 3/11/2003

The United Nations is a farce. "A great moral aura attaches to Kofi Annan," Martin Peretz writes, "even though - as a lesser U.N. official in both bloody Bosnia and bloodier Rwanda - he kept multinational forces under his command from impeding the macabre work of mass murderers." Such is the order of things. Let France have the United Nations. Move it to Paris. Or what about the Sudan? Judging its past record in Bosnia and Rwanda, the U.N. will truly have found a home.


Alec Lloyd - 3/11/2003

I'm hard pressed to find a single UN success story. Every one of its police actions has ended in stalemate or worse.

I say this as a former supporter of the UN, indeed a past president of the local UN club. The more one delves into it, the less one can understand why we put up with it.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/11/2003

"socialism is the ultimate evil in the history of the world."
Mr. Wilson has lived a sheltered life.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/11/2003

It would be a terrible thing to wreck an institution that stood by while 800,000 people were hacked to death in Rwanda. Got a question, though. What happens when a signatory nation to the Genocide Convention acts to stop genocide without UN permission -- in fact, against UN authority. What happens to your pretty little picture of a world governed by legal syllogisms when confronted by a contradiction?


James Wilson - 3/11/2003

The UN charter has been a dead letter since Katanga. Thus far the UN has failed in just about every one of its endeavors. It's nothing more than the ghost of the League of Nations. Everyone who was paying attention knew in 1993 that Hussein had certainly violated the terms of the cease-fire, and therefore we have been in a state of renewed conflict ever since. This is not a new war, it is the same war, and the UN has dithered and sputtered and done nothing while action was required. Bush has been trying to save the UN, which I think is futile, but he has given and opportunity to stand up and fulfill the charter, and it appears that failure is once again imminent. There was never any hope for the UN, however, because socialist countries were included in terms of equality, and socialism is the ultimate evil in the history of the world. Peace and security were always impossible in a body which included such vile and murderous "partners." Perhaps a new version will come into being in a few years that will actually have some value, but the UN has been nothing but a shill for evil for far too long, and there is no sign of change. It's too bad, but it was obvious from the moment Stalin got his three votes at Yalta.


Bill Heuisler - 3/11/2003

Mr. Meyer,
The United Nations hangs by a thread...held by the United States.
The U.S. is not wrecking the U.N., we're enforcing international law by enforcing the Cease Fire Agreement that caused the 1991 fighting to cease and allowed Saddam to stay in power as long as he followed the Agreement. Saddam hasn't followed the Agreement. Further U.N. action is not only superfluous, but gratuitous.

Meyer says, "The Security Council then agreed to warn Iraq to yield." Wrong. The Security Council did not "warn" Saddam; with SC res 1441 the U.N. Security Council gave Saddam another ultimatum and gave Saddam 30 days to comply.

Mr. Meyer has apparently not read U.N. SC Resolution 1441.
Dated Nov. 8, 2002, sections 3 and 4 are quite clear:
"3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the Government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material;

4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations..."

Sixty Husseini Missiles? Drones with a seven meter wing-span?
Material breach of Cease Fire Agreements means the firing may resume without further action. Material breach of 1441 is only one more reason to take Baghdad and kill Saddam. We do not need any more reasons; we do not need any more resolutions.

Mr. Meyer, toothless U.N. Mandates will wreck the United Nations. Ironically, the United States may finally save the U.N. from itself by adding substance to years of empty words.
Bill Heuisler


Ryan - 3/11/2003

Which establishment has Libya as head of it's Human Right's Committee?
Which establishment has Iraq in line to oversee disarmament?

You guessed it the UN.

But don’t you dare call the UN a joke...


Ryan - 3/11/2003

Which establishment has Libya as of it's Human Rights Committee?
Which establishment that has Iraq in line to oversee disarmament?

You guessed it the UN.

But don’t you dare call the UN a joke...

Subscribe to our mailing list