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BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.

Peace 16 Aug 06 - 01:53 AM
Peace 16 Aug 06 - 02:02 AM
Paco Rabanne 16 Aug 06 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,JTS 16 Aug 06 - 04:05 AM
Stu 16 Aug 06 - 04:29 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Aug 06 - 04:54 AM
Grab 16 Aug 06 - 06:50 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Aug 06 - 07:18 AM
Bobert 16 Aug 06 - 07:32 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 08:11 AM
Greg F. 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 09:26 AM
Greg F. 16 Aug 06 - 09:49 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Aug 06 - 11:21 AM
Bobert 16 Aug 06 - 12:37 PM
Ringer 16 Aug 06 - 01:06 PM
Ebbie 16 Aug 06 - 01:38 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Aug 06 - 02:14 PM
Bobert 16 Aug 06 - 02:14 PM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 06 - 02:17 PM
DougR 16 Aug 06 - 02:27 PM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 06 - 02:38 PM
Don Firth 16 Aug 06 - 03:29 PM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 06 - 03:52 PM
Peace 16 Aug 06 - 04:10 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Aug 06 - 04:18 PM
Grab 16 Aug 06 - 04:18 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM
Old Guy 16 Aug 06 - 11:12 PM
Little Hawk 16 Aug 06 - 11:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Aug 06 - 11:24 PM
Peace 16 Aug 06 - 11:29 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 16 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM
Old Guy 17 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM
Slag 17 Aug 06 - 02:24 AM
Ringer 17 Aug 06 - 04:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Aug 06 - 08:04 AM
Old Guy 17 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM
Ebbie 17 Aug 06 - 11:54 AM
pdq 17 Aug 06 - 12:04 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 17 Aug 06 - 12:31 PM
bobad 17 Aug 06 - 12:51 PM
Grab 17 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Aug 06 - 07:39 PM
dianavan 17 Aug 06 - 07:58 PM
Peace 17 Aug 06 - 08:19 PM
Bobert 17 Aug 06 - 08:48 PM
Old Guy 17 Aug 06 - 11:23 PM
Little Hawk 17 Aug 06 - 11:44 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Aug 06 - 07:10 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 18 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM
Little Hawk 18 Aug 06 - 12:35 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 18 Aug 06 - 12:39 PM
akenaton 18 Aug 06 - 12:41 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 06 - 01:02 PM
dianavan 18 Aug 06 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Kofi Annan 18 Aug 06 - 02:15 PM
Ebbie 18 Aug 06 - 03:37 PM
pdq 18 Aug 06 - 03:56 PM
Little Hawk 18 Aug 06 - 04:04 PM
Bobert 18 Aug 06 - 07:58 PM
Don Firth 18 Aug 06 - 08:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Aug 06 - 08:20 PM
Bobert 18 Aug 06 - 08:35 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Aug 06 - 08:50 PM
Ron Davies 18 Aug 06 - 08:53 PM
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robomatic 19 Aug 06 - 05:15 PM
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ard mhacha 20 Aug 06 - 01:01 PM
Don Firth 20 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM
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Don Firth 20 Aug 06 - 04:47 PM
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Grab 20 Aug 06 - 07:01 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 07:05 PM
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Peace 20 Aug 06 - 07:41 PM
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Peace 20 Aug 06 - 08:03 PM
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Bobert 20 Aug 06 - 09:01 PM
Don Firth 20 Aug 06 - 10:21 PM
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Peace 20 Aug 06 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Woody 21 Aug 06 - 12:07 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Aug 06 - 06:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Aug 06 - 07:10 AM
Bobert 21 Aug 06 - 07:41 AM
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Subject: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:53 AM

????


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:02 AM

Looking at so many situations he's had to handle, I get the impression he'd screw up a one car funeral.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:45 AM

Bring back Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros Gali... erh...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: GUEST,JTS
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:05 AM

Very few Secretaries General in the past has had to contend with a full court slime press by the Neocons the Israel lobby and The Murdoch organizations. Make no mistake its the UN that they are attacking Annan is just the symbol. Also realize that the reason that they are attacking the UN is because the UN's purpose is to prevent wars and the prevention of wars inhibits empire building.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Stu
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:29 AM

Kofi Annan inept? Hmmm.

Annan's most recent problems began when he insisted the US and UK should not invade Iraq without UN support - which they subsequently fialed to garner and invaded anyway.

He also raised the ire of the Bush administration and it's close allies when he suggested the invasion of Iraq was illegal. The fact that the US has started to treat the UN as either a tool for pursuing it's own agenda abroad or as an irritant when the UN won't be it's patsy is at the current root of Annan's problems. By portraying him as an ineffective leader, inept and incompetent, the US is trying to weaken the UN itself which the neocon administration would probably like to see sidelined or even disbanded altogether.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:54 AM

He does a very realistic impression of ineptitude from where I'm sitting, mind you he is the toothless head of toothless organisation.
The UN will never succeed while the US continues to sabotage it by one means or another. The US want to call the tune, and if the UN doesn't dance to their tune, then the music will stop.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Grab
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 06:50 AM

"Inept"? No. "Ignored"? Yes.

And it's a sad state of affairs when two G8 countries will ignore the democratic principles of the UN (and in one case refuse to pay their fees to it). It's a bad precedent to set - if the US doesn't have to follow what the UN says, why should North Korea or Iran care?

Although it's quite simple - imperial nations are only democratic *internally*. Externally, it's always been "might is right". Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal did that when they had empires, and the US is just following the same example. Sadly the US is doing this 50+ years later, after a series of wars which you'd really have hoped would have got the message across that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 07:18 AM

Inept? maybe. Corrupt? absolutely. Why pay dues to something so fucked up it is totaly useless?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 07:32 AM

Kofi-Annan is more like a race car driver trying to drive a race car that has been tampered with by the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Bolton/Rice war machine... Yeah, Bush would love nuthin' more than to pin the the messes that he has created on someone who is completely powerless to stop Bush's appitite for war...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 08:11 AM

When the Kindy kids are hyped up on red cordial by their parents, it's a bit rude to try to pin the blame on the Day Care Supervisor...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:22 AM

Why pay dues to something so fucked up it is totaly useless?

1. Because the U.S agreed to do so. Shows you how the U.S. honors its committments & keeps its promises, don't it?

2. Because one of the main reasons it is currently "fucked up" is BEACAUSE the U.S. is witholding funds. But its hardly "useless".

3. Because its the right thing to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:26 AM

4. The us is one of the major players in 'fucking it up' when that suits its purposes the best - why do you think the headquarters is in the USA?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 09:49 AM

Corrupt? absolutely.

But apparently not half as corrupt as the Republican party.
Recall Abramoff, do you? DeLay? All the rest? Or have you a bad case of situational amnesia?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:21 AM

Well let us see how the UN fucks up again in Lebanon. The success of the ceasefire in Lebanon hinges on a condition that Lebanon and Hizbollah both insist will not happen. Hizbollah is supposed to disarm, but says bluntly that it will not do so. The Lebanese government says it will not force Hizbollah to disarm. So what's going to happen? It appears that Israel is going to hold the UN responsible for carrying out its peace deal, and disarm Hizbollah. To that end, Israel will withdraw its troops from Lebanon, and leave it to UN peacekeepers to do what they are obliged to do. But here's the catch, not enough nations are stepping forward to supply the initial 3,500 UN forces, much less the eventual 15,000 UN force. However, it is likely that, eventually, enough nations will supply troops. But many of those contingents may not be willing to fight Hizbollah. Israel says it will not completely withdraw from Lebanon until the UN force is in place.

The Israeli strategy appears to be to allow the UN deal to self-destruct. If the UN peacekeepers can disarm Hizbollah, fine. If not, Israeli ground troops will come back in and clear everyone out of southern Lebanon. At that point, it will be obvious that no one else is willing, or able, to deal with the outlaw "state-within-a-state" that Hizbollah represents.

I suppose Bush will be blamed for this too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 12:37 PM

Well, yeah, Dave...

You plant weed seeds don't complain when weeds come up and Bush has sewn plenty of weed seeds...

When his attorneys were able to convince a Republican appointed Supreme Court to appoint Bush as president bush thought that all he had to do was the opposite of what Clinton had done... He ***quit*** Clinton's policy of trying to broker a peace agreement between the Isrealis and the Palestinins which destabilized thet region...

Then he not only attacked one Arab country but two destabilizing those areas as well...

He sent Powell to the UN with a bunch of lies to get a resolution then showed no respect for either the UN resolution or the one by Congress in his mad-dash-to-attack-Iraq at a time when Hans Blix was not only not finding WMD's but reporting that the Iraqis was being cooperative... This destabilzed the UN...

Now he sits back and allows Isreal to destroy Lebanon's infastructure and doesn't say a danged thing about it until the job is completed... More destabilzation...

So, yeah, he's made his bed and now he has to lie (pun intended) in it...

You reap what you sow...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ringer
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:06 PM

I wouldn't put it quite that bluntly, Dave (tam), but I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment.

The trouble with all trans-national organisations such as the UN is that they're just talking-shops (the European Union - spit, spit - is just as bad). They are all viewed by the right-on wishy-washy trendy liberals who loathe the Western culture that spawned them as God's gift to the universe. But these tranzi organisations don't differentiate between the good and the bad. Any organisation that wanted to be taken seriously wouldn't give Zimbabwe or Sudan or China equal weight with democracies such as Britain or the US; so I don't take them seriously.

And UN "peacekeepers" have been implicated in sex-for-food scandals in the Congo as well as the better-known oil-for food scandals associated with Iraq.

And Koffi Annan is father to the well known, and corrupt, Kojo.

We'd be no worse off without the UN.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:38 PM

But if we didn't have the United Nations body, we'd have to create another one. There has to a way for nations to communicate with one another and a way to bring the weight of nations' opinion to bear on an individual nation.

So why not fix what we've got?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:14 PM

I agree with the concept of fixing it Ebbie, but the best solution is a system based on the NATO model, and is not one that would be popular with third world nations. As Ringer succinctly stated above; every attempt to develop a democratic UN model, (which will include such cliques as the EU) (spit spit) the beaurocracy fails to produce achievable goals.

By allowing nations that are not democratic to have a say you introduce corruption to the great ideals of the UN. Greed and avarice for undeserved power and riches made available and under the UN authority leads to abuses. Power held by power cliques, and ruthless non democratic individual dictators and their entourages, undermines the very foundation and principals of the UN daily.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:14 PM

Agree with you all the way, Ebbie... And this shouldn't be a liberal v. conservative issue... For one, George Bush is no conservative... He is an imperialistic radical...

I know there is this sc hool of thought that goes, "Well, we've always had war and we always will..." but my thinkin' is that with this ever shrinking planet and interconnected economies that we are soon running out of room for the *luxary* of war... When man realizes this man will put more investment into orgainizations, like the UN, that have a single purpose of conflict resolution...

But it won't happen until the Wall Streets of the world discover that war is no longer profitable...

Will it end all war??? Maybe not but it sure ennough will head off the kinds of wars that the US and Isreal have been initiatin' of late...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:17 PM

My opion? What could my opinion possibly have to do with it? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: DougR
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:27 PM

Inept and as Dave said, also corrupt.

As the the UN, I would favor moving it into Greg F.'s back yard.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:38 PM

Now, THERE's a definite opinion! Very good, Doug. You get a nice shiny new penny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:29 PM

It's really pretty simple. The United Nations was originally formed with the idea that if one nation has a beef with another nation, instead of sending the bombers or launching the missiles, they could go to the UN and make their complaint. The UN would provide an international forum, the problem would be discussed, and a peaceful solution presented. Should the nations involved in the dispute not like the solution and want to go to war anyway, the various other nations would provide peace-keeping forces and simple not allow the war to happen. A war, especially in the dawning nuclear age, could be detrimental to more nations than just the two involved, and these other nations would have the moral and ethical right—indeed, the duty—to prevent the war. The United States was one of the countries that pledged to supply peace-keeping forces to the United Nations when they were needed. This was ostensibly the case in the Korean "police action."

But if a small, Third World country has a complaint about a Superpower such as the United States or the Soviet Union stepping on their toes or, more likely, going in and exploiting their resources, and they take their complaint to the UN, and if the UN rules against the Superpower, that might interfere with profits, or efforts to gain geopolitical power, or both. Now, of course, as one of the few, if not the only Superpower right now (even though we're sincerely dedicated to democracy and self-determination for all nations), we can't have anybody interfering with our acquisition of power and profit! So we break our pledges, ignore our principles, ignore the UN, and exploit the Third World country anyway. We're certainly not going to fulfill our commitment to supply peace-keeping forces to stop us, now are we?

I like Bobert's analogy of Kofi Annan being like a race car driver. There he is, suited up, helmet on, belted in, and sitting at the steering wheel of what could be an excellent vehicle. But the United States has refused to supply him with wheels, so that fine car just sits there on concrete blocks. No matter how enthusiastically Annan tries to put his foot through the firewall, the car isn't going anywhere.

If the UN is "useless," then whose fault is that?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:52 PM

The U.N. is useless because it is merely the tool of a few great powers. They use it to rubber stamp things they have already decided. It's a PR device. It has no real power of its own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:10 PM

"It has no real power of its own."

Therein is the travesty. Dave (tam) mentioned above that the NATO model would be something to aim for. Leadership passes from one country to another on a rotating basis. IMO, we need something like that with this updated League of Nations.

There have been Canadian peacekeeping commanders who have rejected orders from the UN in New York. Romeo Dallaire comes to mind. If Sainthoods were handed out for courage, he'd qualify, IMO.

"Gen. Romeo Dallaire defied U.N. orders to withdraw from Rwanda. Without the authority, manpower, or equipment to stop the slaughter, he saved the lives he could but nearly lost his sanity.

In an indifferent world, Gen. Romeo Dallaire and a few thousand ill-equipped U.N. peacekeepers were all that stood between Rwandans and genocide. The Canadian commander did what he could-did more than anyone else-but he sees his mission as a terrible failure and counts himself among its casualties.
After a 100-day reign of terror, some 800,000 Rwandan civilians were dead, most killed by their machete-wielding neighbors. Dallaire had sounded the alarm. He'd begged. He'd bellowed. He'd even disobeyed orders. "l was ordered to withdraw...by [then-U.N. Sec. Gen. Boutros] Boutros Ghali about seven, eight days into it. .. and I said to him, 'I can't, I've got thousands' -by then we had over 20,000 people-'in areas under our control,"' Dallaire said in a recent interview with Amnesty Now. The general's hands, always moving, rose beside his face as if to block the memories. "The situation was going to shit....And, I said, 'No, I can't leave."'"

What price glory? I guess I don't really know, but there are 20,000 Rwandans who could attest to the price. There but for fortune . . . .

The article about Dallaire can be read at this site.


The UN is a screwed up organization because it has no teeth. Instead of getting rid of the only real method of nations/peoples communicating, maybe it's time to give it teeth. If some of the 'giant powers' don't want to play ball, f#ck 'em. There are enough of the rest of us who could, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:18 PM

Little Hawk you are partially right, it is a beaurocracy gone insane with very little power; and frequently misplaced confidence in the power of negotiation with people who refuse to listen. Interference in the affairs of corrupted, non democratic coutries,is often frustrated by failure of UN mandate; and syphoning of funds into the wrong hands. Abuses by military observers and peacekeepers are not reported, and often ignored by senior officials of the supporting countries. I do not blame Democrats or Republicans in the USA for this it trancends politics, but is merely a sad reflection of the human condition itself. Noble intent is not enough, we need honourable and wiser people to run international affairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Grab
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 04:18 PM

Where it's done well, peace-keeping works. East Timor, external troops had a real effect. Sierra Leone absolutely *loved* their Brit peacekeepers who kicked ass and turned the country around.

Where it's done badly though, and the soldiers aren't armed well enough or provided with the political backing to *be* soldiers, it goes very pear-shaped. Bosnia was the classic example of that - for all that the Northern Irish may (validly) complain, the British Army is the best in the world at peacekeeping actions, but Michael Rose and co were ordered not to fire a shot to defend anyone, which kind of screws up the point of the exercise. Another great example was Somalia, where the US Army got their arses kicked big-style because (a) they couldn't connect with the people,(b) they couldn't fight in towns, and (c) they didn't care enough to stay and finish the job when things got bad.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 10:46 PM

"By allowing nations that are not democratic to have a say you introduce corruption"

There's than enough corruption to go around in the 'democratic countries'...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Old Guy
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:12 PM

How does a country that is not a Democracy have a say?

Kofi couldn't pour piss out of a boot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:21 PM

Why would he want to do that? Seriously, man, only rednecks pour piss out of a boot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:24 PM

"How does a country that is not a Democracy have a say?"

Simple - the Dick-tater thinks he's in charge of the country - well he usually IS in charge of the Army, which is usually near enough to be good enough the same thing...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:29 PM

"Seriously, man, only rednecks pour piss out of a boot."

HA! Lots YOU know. We DRINK it outta boots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM

Iran,
Iraq,
North Korea,
Syria,
China,
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Swaziland
Tonga
United Arab Emirates
Libya
Turkmenistan
Vietnam
Laos
Somalia (transitional)
Myanmar (aka Burma)
Zimbabwe (questionable)
Mauritania
Haiti (transitional)
Cuba
Eritrea
Pakistan (military dictator)
Sudan

are all recognised by the UN and have a say do they not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Old Guy
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:28 AM

The full description is: He is so stupid, he couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the directions were written on the heel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Slag
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 02:24 AM

"Let us build a tower up to heaven." Nimrod, The Hunter of Men's Souls

I'm with you and your albatross on this one Dave. Not inept: CORRUPT.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ringer
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 04:23 AM

Inept and corrupt. Worst of both worlds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:04 AM

"... are all recognised by the UN and have a say do they not? "

Not as BIG a say as the USA.... :-)

(Hey! That rhymes!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Old Guy
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM

Non Democratic countries might have a say at the UN but want they say is what the dictators say, not what the country as a whole would say.

For example, What do the people of Sudan say at the UN?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 11:54 AM

For bad or good, the US is expected to pay 25% of the entire UN cost. They/We reneged in protest but everyone still expects them to pay up eventually.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: pdq
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:04 PM

The US is 4.56% of the world's population and we pay 25% of the UN dues? Sounds about normal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:31 PM

Foolestroupe, Both China and Russia (Soviet) have UN Security Council Veto power, and have used it several times. Russia is now classed as a democracy. Most of the countries I have named can and do constitute a non democratic vote in the UN...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: bobad
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:51 PM

pdq

The tables on this page may help you understand why the US's financial contributions to the operation of the UN is at the rate which you state.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Grab
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM

Actually the US dues are 22% now - they re-adjusted a few years back, and promised to pay if they did. And they *still* ain't paying. A bit of background about the US reneging on their debts here. (OK, it's Wikipedia so use your own judgement.)

For comparison of who pays what, perhaps a comparison of who has how much money would be worthwhile.

World GDP 2003

So the US has 21% of the world's GDP and pays (or actually "is supposed to pay") 22% of the UN budget. If we suppose that poorer nations need to use proportionally more of their GDP for essentials, that ain't too far out of whack, is it?

As far as peacekeeping not being effective, you could get a whole lot of peacekeeping for 607 million dollars. And you could do a whole lot of work providing fresh water and hospitals for the other 607 million which they don't even *intend* to pay. I wonder, what's more likely to get you some friends? 1 billion dollars on cruise missiles and bombs to invade a country and start a civil war? Or 1 billion dollars on peacekeeping (*real* peacekeeping, not deposing governments we don't like) and hospitals? Hmmm...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 07:39 PM

"Both China and Russia (Soviet) have UN Security Council Veto power"

Sorry, I know that, but I couldn't come up with rhymes...


"peacekeeping (*real* peacekeeping, not deposing governments we don't like) and hospitals?"

Hmm, Hezbullah has built hospitals, schools,.... they seem to be popular....


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 07:58 PM

Exactly.

Hezbollah provides social services that would not be there if it weren't for them.

What have your politicians done for you lately? Seems to me they are busy figuring out ways to 'cut-back' your social services to fund their war.

The U.N. would work if the the U.S. would co-operate but co-operation is a one-way street as far as the U.S. is concerned. Sorta like 'free trade' and 'democracy'. Free trade means the U.S. gets it most of it for free and democracy means ...

I'm not sure what democracy means anymore. I think Bush might have killed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:19 PM

"Hezbollah provides social services that would not be there if it weren't for them."

And bullets, missiles, rockets, terrorism, etc. Nice friends you have there . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 08:48 PM

Hey!!! What is all this crap about freedom n' democracy that a few folks keep throwin' out as if these twerms actually mean anything???

Exactly which country is it that you those of you who use these words are talkin' about???

And I'm perfectly serious...

Geeze... You certainly can't be talkin' about the ***incarceration capitol*** of the supposed "free" world: the good ol' US of A where so-called democracy goes to the highest bidder...

Yeah, I'm callin' you folks out who throw these words around like they actaully represent anything but narrow minded, true-believer parroting of propaganda...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Old Guy
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 11:23 PM

Democracy means idiots can spout of bullshit criticism of the government without fear of reprisal.

It means they can buy and sell a bunch of properties and make a shit load of money and still try to undermine the administration that made it possible.

Most people would call that hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 11:44 PM

I think there are many different aspects of what could be termed "democracy".

Freedom of speech is one. We have that in a lot of places now. We don't have it in some. Freedom of the press is another. Freedom of assembly is another. Freedom of religion is another. Freedom of cultural expression is another. Racial equality is another. Gender equality is another. Being free of a police state is another. The right to change governments through popular vote is another (but it may not mean much if all the political parties are really controlled by corporate money...).

Most societies in the developed world have a good measure of all these types of freedoms...with variations here and there.

There are a lot of less developed countries where those freedoms are severely restricted. Some are allies of the USA, some are enemies of the USA.

I don't honestly think geopolitics has much to do with spreading democracry, I think it has to do with controlling resources and financial power. When the kindling of a democracy is seen as beneficial to corporate strategy, it is done. When a democracy is in the way of corporate strategy, it is brought down and replaced by either a corporate-friendly dictatorship (as in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States) or a corporate-manipulated & controlled democracy.

Some of it's real democracy....some of it's just a facade.

It is by no means a simple, cut-and-dried, situation.

Some people are fortunate to be born into an affluent and safe situation...some are not. You and I, Old Guy, were among the first group.

It is the duty of all people, even fortunate people like you and me, to be watchdogs on their own government and to criticize it if it gets out of line. If they didn't do that back in 1775, remember, there would BE no United States of America today.

(and Canada would be almost twice as big...) (grin) And YOU'd be eating real MAPLE SYRUP!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 07:10 AM

"Nice friends you have there . . . . "

Now that's underhanded debating tactics! 'Guilt by association' - they're not MY friends!


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM

I will just say that we have seen improvements when countries work towards democratic ideals. Peace keeping only works when both sides want peace. Peace making can involve killing a lot of people before peace keeping is possible. For those of you lost in the world of idealism remember this fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:35 PM

Naturally. Shutting down organized crime usually involves killing some people too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:39 PM

"Hmm, Hezbullah has built hospitals, schools,.... they seem to be popular" Yup Fool mate they make great covers for missile silos and ammunition depots; and when the Israeli's hit em with bombs great sites for propoganda machines from western media too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: akenaton
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 12:41 PM

Hawk said it all.... The United Nations is a PR exercise.
They are inept because they have no power...Economic power rules the world and soon all bodies like the UN will be swept away, leaving the great powers do do as they please. Not only with weaker nations but with any sections of their own who don't "toe the line".

Be afraid........Be very afraid.....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 01:02 PM

Inept, no. Undermined by the US (mostly), yes.

The UN can only be of value if all countries are to co-operate. When the most powerful nation rides roughshod over the organisation, it hasn't got a hope in hell.

Still it does at least show to the rest of the world the disregard the US has. This of course is the reason the US do not like it and are playing thier discrediting game...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: dianavan
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 01:25 PM

Kofi Annan inept?

That what the U.S. administration wants you to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: GUEST,Kofi Annan
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 02:15 PM

DougR is inept. Pathetically inept. If he were in charge of the U.N., we would be sending peacekeepers to Iceland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 03:37 PM

I have no idea of the truth of the matter regarding Hezbollah building hospitals and schools.

I do know that the Black Power movement fed people in some of the most poverty-ridden areas of the country.

That said, I also have to agree that rarely is that kind of activity as altruistic as might be claimed by some. I also know that it is easy for opponents and enemies to minimize the contributions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: pdq
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 03:56 PM

Al Capone paid for soup kitchens and homeless shelters in Chicago during The Great Depression.

Many poor people considered him a hero.

Every group (or leader) needs 'power base' and Hezbollah is no exception.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 04:04 PM

That's an intriguing analogy, pdq! ;-) Yep, controversial figures like that are always wise to curry as much favour with the locals as they possibly can, and it helps build them a strong power base.

If they win in the long run, then they are hailed as heroes by most people. If they lose in the end, they are damned by most people, although they may remain heroes to a few. The gangsters of the depression were folk heroes to a lot of people, and so was Jesse James before them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 07:58 PM

And as fir phrases I don't understand it's "peace keeping"... Heck, if folks is peaceful then you don't need folks with guns to keep them peaceful...

Yeah, I wish folks would use their own words to make their arguments rather than the words that ad-man and propagandists provide for them that, other than sounding flowery and nice, usually mean absolutely nuthin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 08:12 PM

Peace keeper. "So you want to fight? We'll, we're not going to let you. We'll sit on you and you can talk about it, but fight over it? No! So, get talking! We're not leaving until you work this out peaceably!"

It has actually worked form time to time, particularly if the peace keeping forces don't favor either side.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 08:20 PM

... and dispose of the absolute 'hatred filled nutter' types who try to blow away the 'peace keepers'...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 08:35 PM

Well, if you want true peace keepers then send in Buddists with no guns... Or even real Christians with no guns... Or friggin' athiests with no guns... Guns kinda mess up the entire concept of peace keepin'.... And send in ad-men to put up billboards that promote peace...

Guns and peace just don't mix...

That, of course is my HO...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 08:50 PM

Ya got a good point Bobert - unrealistic, but still a damn good point nevertheless...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 08:53 PM

It's absolutely true that Hezbollah has a strong base among poor Shiites--and has had it since long before the recent short war. I've discussed this on other threads, based, as usual, on articles from the Wall St Journal. It's due to two separate but complimentary threads.

Firstly they have built a deserved reputation in delivering social services--more efficiently than the actual Lebanese government--of which, since last year, they are now a part--and with virtually no corruption. And they do it in depth, with the personal touch--rather than dumping the food or supplies and leaving, as does the government often, according to an article in the WSJ today. The Hezbollah representative stays around to take a list of the needs of the people he is serving.   In fact now, both the government and Hezbollah are co-operating in Lebanese reconstruction--while rivals for the credit. It seems to be an unequal contest--especially since Hezbollah's sponsors have dramatically loosened the pursestrings--while the US, for instance, is dragging its feet in getting funds and help to the affected areas of Lebanon.

Secondly they have made the pitch that the US, and Israel, its proxy, have a plan for the Mideast--first Iraq, then, Syria, then Hezbollah.   "And we must resist". That was a winning platform in the 2005 Lebanese elections--Hezbollah and a few parties allied to it took all the seats in Parliament which were allocated to Shiites. And the US and Israel have played right into their hands. The Shiites can see the US is deeply involved in Iraq. Now Israel has attacked Lebanon. Israeli apologists can argue forever that it was necessary to destroy bridges, roads, and the Beirut airport and infrastructure all over Lebanon to prevent resupply of Hezbollah. But that cuts no ice with the ordinary Lebanese, who see nothing but senseless destruction---and are driven even further into the arms of Hezbollah.

This 2-prong approach is proving a model for other Islamic groups--like Hamas and al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and in Egypt, the Muslim Brothehood.



As for Kofi Annan --don't forget that Bush owes his 2004 election to the UN. Kofi Annan put the good of the world above his own self-interest--by acting as honest broker between the Iraqis and the US--and making possible an Iraqi face on the opposition to the insurgency--thus giving the lie to the Vietnam redux theory--at least before the election. Kofi Annan would have been much better off if Bush had been removed from the scene.

I would challenge any of the brilliant critics of Kofi Annan to say exactly how they would have done his job better--given the constraints, political and financial, that he works under.

And don't give us the tired Oil-for-Food scandal accusations--tell us how you would prevent the bloodshed and suffering now going on--with no more money and no more power than he now has.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Aug 06 - 09:01 PM

The WSJ article referred to was actually on 16 August.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Slag
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 04:47 PM

Ahhhh. Don't go debating the UN, etc. That's off topic and qualifies for a thread of it's own. Stay on the narrow and blast Kofi---or praise him. Let the UN float in it's own sepsis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: robomatic
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 05:15 PM

Kofi, like the erstwhile Hawaiian missionaries, seems to have done well if not good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: oggie
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 05:24 PM

The Sec-Gen of the UN is there as a servant of the UN, he has no mandate in his own right. He can cajole, persuade or rant but at the end of the day he has no intrinsic power. Where member countries do not want to co-operate he can do nothing, where a country invokes it's veto he can do nothing, where a country ignores the UN and does it's own thing he can do nothing. In the current polarised world the occupant of the post doesn't matter, until a new consensus emerges any Sec-Gen will appear inept, corrupt or incapable and the UN will be equally irrelevant.

All the best

Oggie


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Aug 06 - 08:43 PM

Sorry, Slag--sure didn't plan to get in a slagging match with you right off the bat. But, as Oggie points out, discussing the Secretary General of the UN without discussing the UN is, to say the least, pointless.

And if anybody would like to make the accusation that Kofi Annan is using the UN to get rich, it would be appreciated if they would make the accusation directly, and not in the snide manner beloved of some Mudcatters.

And with some evidence--if that's not too much to ask. And sources specified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: ard mhacha
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 01:01 PM

I keep reading on this Thread of Kofi Annan being inept and corrupt all of this from US citizens with an inept and corrupt fool, supposedly in charge, manipulated by a gang of evil warmongers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM

Solid point, Bobert. The idea of "peace-keepers" carrying guns seems inconsistent in the extreme. "Fighting for peace is like fornicating for chastity!" But—

Realistically, the peace-keepers need to be stronger than the would-be combatants. The situation would be analogous to parents (or other grown-ups) stepping in and stopping a couple of children from beating the crap out of each other with baseball bats. If this means that the adults have to use their greater physical strength to separate the kids, stop the fight, and, if necessary, lock them into their respective rooms until they simmer down (knowing that if they start fighting again, the grown-ups will just haul them right back to their rooms), then that's more than adequate justification for the use of physical force.

The peace-keeping forces act in loco parentis, keeping the immature from harming each other or themselves.

The problem with the U. N. is that it is the immature have too much influence in the organization.

To change the analogy a bit, the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

The United Nations was a great idea—and still is. And it has worked well in a number of instances. But it may be that to make it work well consistently, it needs to be totally independent. In short, actually be a form of World Government.

One thing right off might be to seriously consider rescinding the veto power rule for members of the Security Council, so that one recalcitrant nation can't render the U. N. impotent in a given situation. Another would be to require members to supply the U. N. with a standing military force, under the command of the U.N., not the supplying nations, so that it would not be toothless in situations where it might need to go in and loom over potential combatants, or go into places like Darfur and bring such genocides to a screeching halt. Basically, it needs to have the power of a World Police Force, to do what police forces are supposed to do:   maintain the peace.

But darned few nations would be willing to give up even a smidgen of their sovereignty, even if it promised to put an end to all future wars. Why? Because there are certain governments extant (you don't have to look very far to find them) that see war as an essential tool of their economies. And, of course, the "black helicopter" paranoiacs would go even crazier. With the Brats in charge, the squabbling will probably continue endlessly.

The idea of the U. N. was excellent, but with a few exceptions, and for reasons I've just mentioned, the execution of the idea has fallen far short of what it could and should be.

For those sincerely interested in world peace, but who bad-mouth the United Nations, you might want to learn something about it before sounding off.   Read this.

By the way, does anybody remember the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still?" Maybe we need a race of powerful, indestructible, and impartial robots, like Gort, who gives us one warning through Klaatu:   "We have determined that you constitute a potential danger to the rest of the galaxy. Unless you cease your hostile behavior and learn to live in peace, we will destroy your planet. This is your only warning."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Slag
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 02:50 PM

Brevity is the soul of genius. I know. I DO go on, don't I? OK, I'll cede the point. Kofi, sans the UN is an uninteresting topic to all but, say, the Annan family.

As far as the UN goes (as directed by Annan), there is GREAT power in as much as money is power. There is great influence and the ability to focus world attention on certain situations and AWAY from other situations.

But... ( Don Firth )...What about national soveriegnty? If you arm the UN what happens to independence and national soveriegnty? Who decides who lives and who dies? Who gets to keep their dictatorship and who remains a democracy? WHAT constitutes fair and equal representation? What is the basis for statutory law? The Ten Commandments?

The version I saw of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had Klaatu and Gort leave Earth and at about two parsecs out they turned and fired a couple of planet-buster bombs at us. We just weren't worth the risk. Seriously though, I wonder if leaving Galactic security in the hands of an alien robot was the inspiration for Fred Saberhagen's "Berserker" sci-fi series ( which I KNOW was the inspiration for the "Battlestar Galactica" series on TV ).

Truth is, we have to do it ourselves. Someone has to be the cop because there will always be bad guys. You have got to have rules or there is no game. We would just degenerate into tribalism and worse. You've got to have a moral compass, a moral basis for conducting your affairs. You've got to have a heart for you fellow man and share the wealth in such a way that it doesn't destroy the "wealth-getting" machine. We need intelligent, good-hearted people running things, i.e. the machinery of civilization. They should have a servant's heart. They also need a clear concept of what the rules ARE and the amount of force needed to enforce those rules. Now the temp pool we have to choose from are all imperfect human beings so roll your sleeves up and let's get busy!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 04:47 PM

Nations would retain their own autonomy, except in certain situations. The U. N. would step in only in those situations such as when one nation is aggressing against another. Similar to the police leaving you alone unless you're breaking a law.

Now, I'm sure that you can come up with instances in which police officers have hassled private citizens for no good reason, but that doesn't mean that the principle is unsound.

The exceptions as far as a nation's internal affairs are concerned, would be in the area of human rights. The U. N. charter would allow it to interfere in the internal affairs of a country only if the government in power was blatantly violating the rights of its citizens. I shouldn't have to give examples of this happening, because they're in the news all the time. Case in point, Iraq under Saddam Hussein. With the U. N. operating well, the Bush administration would not have had an excuse to invade Iraq. Any terrorist activity would be treated internationally by the U. N. as criminal activity (not declaring a "war on terror"), making use of the intelligence forces of its member nations to attempt to prevent future attacks and track down the terrorist leaders and bring them before a duly constituted international court. And if those like Hussein are oppressing their citizenry, this also would be handled by the U. N., avoiding the excuses and abuses of some country like the U. S. using it as an excuse to invade primarily for the purpose of gaining geopolitical power and control of resources in the area. Had this been the case, we would not be up to our ears in another "Big Muddy," and the Middle East would not be in the mess it's in now. Nor would Iran and North Korea feel they need to have nuclear weapons as a deterent against future aggression from US.

Yes, in the same way that Montana, Ohio, and California give up some of their sovereignty for the advantages of a federation of states, the whole world could operate the same way. There haven't been many wars lately between Kansas and Nebraska.

Incidentally, that scene didn't exist in the version of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" that I saw, and I've seen the movie several times. And the story was actually suggested by a short story entitled "Farewell to the Master," by Harry Bates back in 1941. I actually read the story in an anthology before the movie came out. Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert J. Sawyer writes the following comments about the movie:
Most fans of science fiction know Robert Wise's 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. It's the one with Klaatu, the humanoid alien who comes to Washington, D.C., accompanied by a giant robot named Gort, and it contains that famous instruction to the robot:   "Klaatu borada nikto."

Fewer people know the short story upon which that movie is based: "Farewell to the Master," written in 1941 by Harry Bates.

In both the movie and the short story, Klaatu, despite his message of peace, is shot by human beings. In the short story, the robot — called Gnut, instead of Gort — comes to stand vigil over the body of Klaatu.

Cliff, a journalist who is the narrator of the story, likens the robot to a faithful dog who won't leave after his master has died. Gnut manages to essentially resurrect his master, and Cliff says to the robot, "I want you to tell your master ... that what happened ... was an accident, for which all Earth is immeasurably sorry."

And the robot looks at Cliff and astonishes him by very gently saying, "You misunderstand. I am the master."
And the short story ends there. Robert Wise expanded it for the movie to include the message he wanted to put across.

But back to the original subject. I was not suggesting building an army of Gorts as a reasonable option, even if we could. You are right. We have to do it ourselves. And most individuals do have a moral compass. But it seems to be the nature of groups, including nations (including the United States with all its stated ideals), that they are ruled primarily by selfish interests to the detriment of other groups and individuals.

I think that one way that merits exploration (since the organization already exists, and since that was its original intent) would be to clean up the U.N., reorganize it, and expand its powers to include teeth. It's actions would be governed by the General Assembly and Security Council, and all member nations would have a say in those actions. And the veto power issue should be revisited, so that a single nation (such as the one committing the offense in question) can't render the U.N. inert.

As a species, we are still pretty damned immature. We (speaking particularly of collectives, such as nations) need to grow up a lot. And among other things, that means learning that if we're going to live in a civilized world, we can't always have our own way.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 04:58 PM

Oggie said it all: salient point: Kofi Annan "has no mandate in his own right".

This may explain the suddenly deafening silence on the part of the formerly oh-so-vocal critics of Mr. Annan-when challenged directly to say how they would do better than he has in dealing with bloodshed and suffering---given that they would have no more power than he has.

Bushites--and perhaps others--are wonderful at trenchant criticism--except when confronted with facts.

But Bushites have never had much time for facts--after all, propaganda is all they ever need anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Grab
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:01 PM

Don, the *big* problem with international criminal courts for criminals on the level of Saddam Hussein is sadly the US. And more specifically, US actions in Vietnam. If this kind of court was ever set up, then Kissinger and many other top government and military folks would be first on the list for war crimes.

It's an interesting list, the countries who say they won't ever sign up to the International Criminal Court unless their citizens/armies/governments are immune to prosecution. Major omissions are North Korea, China, Israel and the US. Draw your own conclusions from that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:05 PM

Places like Argentina and Chile were signatories, I think' and they 'disappeared' their own citizens for years. Fifty thousand in Argentina and 10,000 in Chile. International law is a joke, IMO. Either place the UN above the influence of all countries or stop pretending it's a force for good rather than an instrument for manipulation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:24 PM

Just UNICEF, WHO and a place disputing countries can talk instead of fight makes the UN a force for good--even if it never stops one war once it's started.

Anybody who expects the UN to be able to stop wars participants want to fight is either self-deluding or hopelessly naive---but don't blame the UN for unrealistic expectations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:25 PM

Lecture someone else, Ron. What I said is clear. You are wanting an argument, and I just can't be arsed right now, but thanks anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:39 PM

Peace--UN is just an "instrument for manipulation"--not a reasonable criticism--and I'd think you'd see that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:41 PM

It is being manipulated by folks. And YOU are certainly smart enough to see that, Ron.

You have few intellectual superiors on Mudcat, but I think you're blind a bit with regard to the UN.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:49 PM

It is manipulated by some--but that is not its only function. To say it is not a force for good is a typical Bushite--tunnel vision--sentiment.

I just want people who criticize the UN to say exactly how they would do it better--with no more power than the UN now has.

And of course I'd like them to acknowledge that Bush owes the 2004 election to the UN---or say exactly why not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:59 PM

Without more power than it has now there isn't much it COULD do better. Yes, the WHO and UNICEF (and other aid organizations of that nature (and do NOT pull the pedantic card and say that the WHO isn't an aid organization because I will have to respond pffffft to you and say it's a 'helping' organization and really who cares about the semantics and don't tell me I'm anti-Semantic because I've heard that one before)--fact is, until the UN has the power to tell people to stop the fighting, it ain't gonna stop. And now, before you tell me I am naive or a day-dreamer or that I did too much stuff in the '60s when I did just enough, I am aware that the day is unlikely to come when the UN has the power to tell people to 'drop the gun'. And do not ever again accuse me of being pro-Bush in any way at all, or I will send you more messages with bad words in them than you have ever had before, and I can say bad words in seven languages including some curses from Old English. And if you didn't call me a pro-Bush guy then I will lift the pox from your house and for the next eight generations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:03 PM

BTW, Ron: You could make a bishop put his foot through a stained-glass window. I have to leave, so have a good day. Nice bantering with you--as always. And lest you think I have taken any of this stuff personally, here is a
link for you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:24 PM

Gee whiz Peace--I was trying my darndest to establish that my criticisms aren't aimed at you--as in fact they aren't. That's why I kept mentioning Bushites--I know you're the farthest thing from one of those troglodytes---but there are some--possibly even on this thread--who are also critics of the UN.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:01 PM

Yes, peace keepers need to be "stronger" but not better armed... That's called war...

That5's what a lot of floks here are missing... You say6 that I'm not being "realistic"... Oh, bigger guns is the answer to peace???

Like Einstein said: "A problem cannot be solved with the sme consciousness that created it..."

Bigger guns = peace???

Yeah, right... Don't take the Wes Ginny Slide Rule to see thru this... Hey, just look at the US murder rate where the cops have big guns and the UK's where the cops don't... Hmmmmmm?

A lotta you folks need to do some serious rethinkin' 'casue the bigger gun theory ain't workin'...

Peace,

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:21 PM

Two points:   

Graham, I'm aware of that, and that, of course, is why it will probably never happen.

And Bobert, more often than not, the mere presence of a U.M. peace-keeping force, as it was originally intended, would take all the fun out of it for the agressor and the whole thing would end without a shot being fired. When the teacher shows up on the playground, it's amazing how fast the schoolyard bully starts to make nice.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 11:18 PM

A squad of Janjaweed go out to wipe out a non-Baggara village, kill the farmers, and rape and kill the women. On their way, they find themselves blocked by a regiment of blue-helmeted peace-keepers. The peace-keepers are well armed, which, to some, may seem like a horrible contradiction. But they constituted an imposing force. And the Janjaween squad knows full well that to go ahead with their intended mission, they're going to have to get through the regiment of blue-helmets first. They'll never make it. They decide to go home. Nobody fires a shot.

Every time they go out with the same intention, they encounter a group of blue-helmets, much larger and better armed than they are. The genocide stops. No more non-Baggara are killed. The peace is kept.

With an international military—or police—force, supplied by member nations and under the command of the U.N., no matter how large the aggressor force is, they would encounter a larger, better armed group ready to stop them. War would become impossible.

Other than a major change in human nature (not in the foreseeable future; let's be realistic), does anyone have a better idea? If so, let's hear it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Slag
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 11:34 PM

Gee Don, I thot you'd pick up on the fact that I was KIDDING about the last scene in "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I've read much, much SF but I somehow missed "Farewell to the Master"-Bates (more snickering).


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 11:40 PM

Thanks, Ron. However, I KNEW that. Just buggin' you, that's all. Take more than the UN, Bush and a few A-bombs to make me even come close to considering the possibility of contemplating beginning to think bad of you. I find your posts to be well-thought out, even when we disagree, seldom as that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 12:07 AM

Big Stick Diplomacy was the catch-phrase for describing U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States should assume international police power in the Western Hemisphere. Roosevelt borrowed the term from an African proverb, Speak softly and carry a big stick, implying that the power was available to retaliate if necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 06:49 AM

Bobert, without guns and the people with guts to use them, you would not have the right to own a West Ginny Slide Rule.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 07:10 AM

"Either place the UN above the influence of all countries "

... but there's a whole bunch of militaristic nutters in the U.S.A. NOW who claim that IS their agenda...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 07:41 AM

Yo, Dave,

Can you prove that theory of yours that without guns I wouldn't own the Wes Ginny Slide Rule???

No, you really can't...

Others,

Oh, horrors... The thought of peace keepers not having the right to blow yer ass up??? Horrors...

There are better ways to get folks to behave than blowin' 'um up...

What if instead of guns the peace keepers carried cameras with live feeds to a satilite which in turn broadcast what the peace keepers were seeing to allts of the planet???

(Hmmmmmm??? Now here's a friggin' thought...)

I mean, lets get real here... Folks behave better when they know that their planet mates are watchin'... Now adays wars are won or lost in the hearts and minds... At least that that seemes to be the concensus not that the US is losing both wars it has initiated...

Like I said, if were are truelu going to try to promote ***peace*** we are going to have to reprogram Earthlings toward ***peacefull*** conflict resolution and run the 20th century modle thru the shreader because it was the bloodiest century in history...

In the words of the late Waylon Jennings, "We need a change..."

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 08:19 AM

Wonder if your Founding Fathers would agree with you Bobert? The only mistake they made was making the Second Ammendment (it should have been the first) ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 01:33 PM

Well, Bobert, what you'd have then would be a whole lot of dead peace-keeper/camera operators, and a pile of destroyed cameras and attendant electronic equipment.

I'm sympathetic to your viewpoint, but I'm afraid it just ain't practical in the real--and often quite nasty--world.

And no, I'm not a cynic. I'm just looking for a practical way of implementing ideals.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM

I would rather we had good guys 'armed to the teeth' with a mandate to enforce the peace--much as police do--rather than self-appointed groups like Hezbollah or countries that purchase the latest and greatest piece of equipment and decide to kill anyone they choose and take over their home. In a perfect world we would have no weapons. In a perfect world we would have no hunger, starvation. No homeless people, no parentless children. No hatreds, no sickness. In a perfect world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 02:58 PM

Okay, Don, here's another idea... You throw leaflets over the area where you are going to send the peacekeepers an' tell folks that since wars are won in hearts and minds that they have an opportunity to show just how decent folks they are and let them know that the peacekeepers, having these camers, will be there so that the "bad guys" can air their grieviences...

You also us television and radio to tell the same message and then you even drop billboards out the back of C-140's with parachuutes with the same message... And you send in with the peacekeepers people who are equipped to provide services for the Bad guys as well as the general population...

Okay, maybe a few guns but not this big ass threatenin' show of force...

But if you do what I have suggested yoyu have a greater chance of success... The 20th century taught us that...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 02:59 PM

and 100...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 04:55 PM

That sounds good to me, Bobert. Get 'em talking instead of shooting and they might actually work something out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 08:20 PM

"Well, Bobert, what you'd have then would be a whole lot of dead peace-keeper/camera operators"

We got that now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 10:49 PM

It's true--the multinational force envisioned--in Lebanon for instance-- will have to be able to defend itself. The main question is whether it will also be given the task of disarming Hezbollah--and if so, exactly how this is planned to be done.

Without Nasrallah's OK---good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kofi Annan--inept or not? Your opinion.
From: Peace
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 10:51 PM

True to that, Ron.


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