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24 March 2008 Blog Home : March 2008 : Permalink

Liberal Notes Uselessness of UN

Marty Peretz at TNR's "The Spine":

Let's face it: no one with real power in the world gives a damn whether the people of Darfur eat or starve, live or die. The United Nations and its cheerleaders least of all.

Darfur is not the only place in Africa where massacre as policy is an ongoing reality. But massacre as policy has been going on in Darfur longer than in any place else on the continent. The government in Khartoum, that is, the government of Sudan, initiated it and keeps it going. And the Arab League supports the genocide and protects it in international agencies from the U.N. Human Rights Council to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (which has as members 56 pious Moslem states.)

Lydia Polgreen has written a desolating but cool dispatch in this morning's Times. At bottom, there is a shortage of troops and supplies. But no one will provide them. No one. That's why people also talk as if one can rely on the U.N. Rely on it for what? For giving cover to talk.

You know this was exactly why Neocons and their hangers on (which includes people like me) dislike the UN so much. The UN, as we have so often pointed out, treats all governments more or less equally whether they be reasonable democracies or kleptocratic tyrannies. This lets the tyrants and their apologists delay action indefinitely. Of course it also doesn't help that few nations apart from the Angosphere (and France) seem to have a competant military that they are willing to deploy on UN peacekeeping missions and that even fewer nations are willing to actually try and use a UN mandate to blow up the actual troublemakers (in this case that would be the Khartoum leadership I think). I don't know what the complete answer is but I'd guess a part of it would be to recruit a mercenary force whose incentive based pay would have number of dead arab militia fighters as one of its KPIs.

The problem is that all these solutions involve actions that
  1. demostrate the impotence of transnational talkfests conferences and negotiations
  2. demostrate the benefits of powerful "western" imperialism
and it is an article of faith amongst "liberals" that neither of these things is possible.