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Vampiel
http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/11/19...ytwo/index.html

QUOTE
LONDON, England (CNN) -- French President Jacques Chirac continued a fence-mending but at times edgy state visit to Britain Friday reaffirming that the U.N. should decide on foreign interventions.

"It's not for any given country to consider that a situation is open to stepping in and interfering," he told a question-and-answer session with students at Oxford University, according to the UK's Press Association.

"It's up to the international community to do so and particularly the U.N., which alone has the authority to interfere," he said in remarks apparently aimed at the United States.

The French president -- who backed a U.N. solution over Iraq -- added that if countries took such action of their own accord, it would "throw the door wide open to hosts of reason to wage wars under the guise of legitimate interference."
...
But later the French leader took on a harsher tone, warning Blair that his drive to spread democracy across the world alongside U.S. President George Bush could be confused with a new colonialism.
...
"For although our memory is sometimes short, the peoples submitted to the West's domination in the past have not forgotten and are quick to see a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism in our actions."



I'm having a knee jerk reaction to this currently. Before I comment I would like to hear objective views and will lay out the last question under a precedent.

Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

This is more of a "theoretical" question, and you may or may not agree with the premise of the question.

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
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Ultimatejoe
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

That's not what Chirac is suggesting. He is suggesting that a nation cannot AGRESS without U.N. approval. And I think it is a fair suggestion. Say what you will about Iraq, it is clear now that the country posed no immediate threat to the United States. In the long-term, perhaps it did. But who is to say that if the U.S. hadn't gone to the UN with actual evidence, and pleaded her case, then there wouldn't have been a problem?

Now, this instantly sparks the "putting our security in the hands of foreigners" rhetoric... to be honest I think that's crap. The only way you can make that statement is if you prove that WAR is the best way to enhance security. And I've yet to see anyone make a convincing argument to that effect.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Just to clarify, Chirac isn't suggesting that there is a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism; he is saying that people that have been victims of colonialism in the past might interpret U.S. and British efforts abroad AS imperialism.

The Middle East has been conquered and reconquered by everyone from the Mongols to the British, the Turks, the Egyptian and Macedonians. Any time a foreign army comes in, REGARDLESS OF INTENTIONS, it is going to raise emotions. To be honest I can't for the life of me understand how ANYONE doesn't appreciate that.

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

Only if Americans (and Brits) let it. The way I see it, if Americans want to get their panties in a twist, that's fine. But it's also pretty immature. The last time I checked differences of opinion are sort of a fundamental aspect of a free society. As this site demonstrates, two rational people (or groups) can look at the facts and arrive at two seperate conclusions. France has a different reading of the International Game than the U.S. does, so why should that be a problem?

Vampiel, your last question is almost incomprehensible. Can you please rephrase it? I don't know what you're asking.
Vampiel
QUOTE
Vampiel, your last question is almost incomprehensible. Can you please rephrase it? I don't know what you're asking.


The question is theoretical.

I will clarify and you may or may not agree that this is currently not the case.

To water it down, it seem's that the UN security council (which in no way represents every country's interest) vote's on what is in their own self interest.

Now if they took with a grain of salt their own self interest and looked to what would be best for everyone else, should they then decide what war's should be waged.
yehoshua
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

No. I think the American people voted no to a global test. Chirac is back peddling hard against the war as new reports of his countries involvement in bribes is exposed. Did Chirac ask permission of the UN when he decided to keep his troops in the Ivory Coast? Here is a man saying America, Britian, everybody else but France, you must pass a global test and pass everything through the UN: double standards.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

In Chirac's mind it is a time of imperialism. Here his country occupies the Ivory Coast when the people of the Cote d'Ivoire are asking for a revolution against the French occupiers. I think Chirac needs to take a long hard look at himself before he demonizes the rest of the world.

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

Foreign relations with France are harmed as long as Chirac is president.

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?

The big "IF" in this is with regards to the interest of the world. The nations in the UN have self interest or regional interest. The fact that you have four countries that can and will veto anything that is not in the best interest of their country just goes to how unfair a vote is in the UN is. It would be more like the Senate where you to have four states that can veto any bill that comes and is voted without allowing for a 2/3s majority vote to override the veto. Once something is vetoed in the UN there is no majority vote.

And what of the rogue country. If the US decided to go to war without the UNs vote, who would stop them? Who would fight the US over the issues of what best protects the US?
Ultimatejoe
Vampiel, before you reply to my post, PLEASE visit this site:

Cliche Dictionary, and in particular this page.

Now as for your question (even though you don't actually ask one and there is no question mark.)

The security council cannot vote in its own best interests because that body by and of itself HAS no best interest. The individual states that occupy it do, on the other hand. Since it is a 15 member panel, with the U.S. and two allies (three if you count Russia) occupying three of the 5 permanent seats, the balance of power does favour "western" countries. On the whole however; the size of that body pretty well means that you are never going to have one party to a conflict in complete control of how the council votes.

All of this is of course immaterial to a degree however for the simple reason that, again, Chirac is only talking about aggression. If a country were to attack the United States, then America would be well within her rights to respond, and nobody has suggested otherwise. On the other hand, Chirac is rightly suggesting that when a nation does simply march into war without justification or cause (as agreed upon by the international community) it poses a threat to global peace.

If that doesn't answer your last question it is because you formulated it too poorly to be understood or responded to. I am still unable to respond to your last question adequately, because the grammar and spelling range from poor to incomprehensible.

On edit:

Yehoshua, it appears you and I are fated to continue this dance...

QUOTE
No. I think the American people voted no to a global test. Chirac is back peddling hard against the war as new reports of his countries involvement in bribes is exposed. Did Chirac ask permission of the UN when he decided to keep his troops in the Ivory Coast? Here is a man saying America, Britian, everybody else but France, you must pass a global test and pass everything through the UN: double standards.


So much misinformation, so little time... Ok, you are absolutely 100% wrong on several things here. First and foremost, on the Ivory Coast: you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Either your judgement is clouded by your own personal feelings about the United Nations (and French), or you just get your news from a very bad source, but you're really missing the boat on this one. The French Peacekeeping Force WAS SANCTIONED by the United Nations, and the U.N. supports there actions. Here:

QUOTE
The UN Security Council condemned the attack, and voiced support for French and UN forces in Ivory Coast.


Ok, so what's next on your cavalcade of confusion...

QUOTE
In Chirac's mind it is a time of imperialism. Here his country occupies the Ivory Coast when the people of the Cote d'Ivoire are asking for a revolution against the French occupiers. I think Chirac needs to take a long hard look at himself before he demonizes the rest of the world.


Ok, Chirac DID NOT say that we were living in an age of Imperialism. I won't divulge in the political situation in the Ivory Coast because there is already a thread for that; but I will implore you to actually read up on the subject. The war in the Ivory Coast is between a "rebel" army and a group led by the sitting President. The French Peacekeepers (assigned by the UN) were there to hold the ceasefire. When the PRESIDENT's faction broke the ceasefire by attacking the rebels, they ALSO attacked the French, a group that they had originally agreed to permit in the country. The popular support against the French comes only from the President's supporters, and has nothing to do with the underlying conflict.

QUOTE
Here is a man saying America, Britian, everybody else but France, you must pass a global test and pass everything through the UN: double standards.


To quote a former member, FALSE. Again, you are mischaracterizing Chirac, either out of ignorance or a deliberate desire to discredit him. France didn't exclude themselves, and they said NOTHING about "passing everything." They were talking about STARTING A WAR. As I said in my first post on this subject; until it can be demonstrated that STARTING A WAR is in the best interests of security, then it seems like a reasonable position.
nileriver
The u.n again is a body of nations trying to deal with issues in a diplomatic fashion. Germany and mexico cannot use the u.n to say whom can be voted for in montana, it does not work like that. Like with the first gulf war, the nations that make up the u.n used the u.n to work with each other, like it is intended for. No nation right now is going to hand over its ability to make decisions completely to the u.n, and its not something that is going to happen anytime soon.

Would it be better if war had to be run through the u.n, maybe, it has never been tested before. As to make the u.n something solid that is, not just a network for diplomacy or international relations.

Until whatever things the u.n comes to hand down are actually put in stone, like violations receive punishment across the board or what not, however you would like to work it, the u.n will always be that impossible to reach path to a more organized peaceful reality to live in. This will only come when nations in the proper place in the world are prepared to lead in that direction, like for the world or humanity and not self. The last thing you have to take into account in my opinion is the fact that governments change in terms of personal running them and also the culture's' of those governments.

As for whatever chirac has to say, well its dominance of some kind being employed by an outside government. That is the condition in iraq, a group of nations decided to make iraq how they feel, i dont know what words that qualifys for. I think for the next four years at least and then some, relations with france are not going to be very healthy, i can only hope they do not continue to deteriorate.

On a final note again, the u.n does not have any power, or money or anything, it works if the nations decide to make it so, or you get the other effect.
Vampiel
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe @ Nov 19 2004, 01:28 PM)
Vampiel, before you reply to my post, PLEASE visit this site:

Cliche Dictionary, and in particular this page.

Now as for your question (even though you don't actually ask one and there is no question mark.)

The security council cannot vote in its own best interests because that body by and of itself HAS no best interest. The individual states that occupy it do, on the other hand. Since it is a 15 member panel, with the U.S. and two allies (three if you count Russia) occupying three of the 5 permanent seats, the balance of power does favour "western" countries. On the whole however; the size of that body pretty well means that you are never going to have one party to a conflict in complete control of how the council votes.

All of this is of course immaterial to a degree however for the simple reason that, again, Chirac is only talking about aggression. If a country were to attack the United States, then America would be well within her rights to respond, and nobody has suggested otherwise. On the other hand, Chirac is rightly suggesting that when a nation does simply march into war without justification or cause (as agreed upon by the international community) it poses a threat to global peace.

If that doesn't answer your last question it is because you formulated it too poorly to be understood or responded to. I am still unable to respond to your last question adequately, because the grammar and spelling range from poor to incomprehensible.
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hmmm.gif

Other's seemed to have understood it quite well.

Despite your rant of "incomprehensible english" due to your overt sense of grammer, spelling and technical definitions of meaning. I will attempt to critique my statements to fit your overt skill of interpretation when in discourse with you because "common talk" seem's to become allusive and confusing.

To make the question comprehendable to such intrepetations in direct responce to your answer I will rephrase it.

The UN security council decides what action should be taken through the member nation's interest's and not the interest's of the greater good for the world. If each of the member nation's where to decide on what action's would be in the best interest of the greater good as opposed to their own self interest's, would it then be your opinion that the decision of the member nation's should be the only proper discource of action?
DreamPipEr
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?
No. The last thing that I would ever want is to be at the mercy of any other member state of the UN. While nations, other than the US, may be able to bite on this idea that the UN has the sole authority on matters of intervention, I donít see the American people accepting this, not anytime soon.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?
Not sure but it is certainly food for thought.

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?
I donít see these comments changing the relationship between France and the US. President Chirac hasnít said anything that he hasnít said before. I don't fault him for being consistent in his message.

The UN security council decides what action should be taken through the member nation's interest's and not the interest's of the greater good for the world. If each of the member nation's where to decide on what action's would be in the best interest of the greater good as opposed to their own self interest's, would it then be your opinion that the decision of the member nation's should be the only proper discourse of action?
If I understand this question properly I think it is impossible for any nation to not act in its own self interest. Altruism, in my opinion, is a desirable yet impossible goal. Therefore I can't see this scenario as a possibility.

edit because I type faster then I think (missing some words).. smile.gif
Horyok
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

I think conflicts need to have the UN's approval at least. The UN is here to actually prevent conflicts from happening. It's a place where negociations can take place, instead of the drawing of weapons.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Yes to some extent. France has had a long colonial history, with its load of sadness and oppression against foreign nations. I think this experience grants us the right to say that we know typical imperialism and colonialism when we see them.

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

No, I don't. Relations have been hurt enough. With respect to my American friends, I believe that it's beyond a simple Bush vs. Chirac fight, it's a question of principles. Let's face it : America and France have different principles. You can't negociate with principles. And you can't argue with them either.

The UN security council decides what action should be taken through the member nation's interest's and not the interest's of the greater good for the world. If each of the member nation's where to decide on what action's would be in the best interest of the greater good as opposed to their own self interest's, would it then be your opinion that the decision of the member nation's should be the only proper discourse of action?

If such place existed, it would be called paradise. Unfortunately, we are selfish humans and that's not about to change anytime soon.
j10pilot
QUOTE(Vampiel @ Nov 20 2004, 01:19 AM)
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

This is more of a "theoretical" question, and you may or may not agree with the premise of the question.

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
*



1. Of course, althougth the UN is imperfect, that's all we got now. Just like a 12-member jury can wrongfully convict or acquit a person, a 15-member security council can very well make a wrong decision, but that's better than the days when every nation can attack every other with impunity.

2. I think others before it have made it clear enough, to the local people this may have very well been the case.

3. Friends can disagree and have fights and still remain friends, no?

4. Should a voter vote for what he/she thinks is best for himself/herself or for what is best for EVERYBODY when given the chance to vote?
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Hobbes
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

Interesting philosophical question, but one with no practical importance. Wars, by definition, supercede such legal restrictions. Why would any country willing to go to war decide not to do so simply because the UN didn't sanctify it? Sure, they could impose ramifications...but they can do that already anyway.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Short answer...no. Again, refer to Colin Powell's previous answer to this very question:

QUOTE
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in.


Also, Chirac himself on the same topic, from the opening post:

QUOTE
For although our memory is sometimes short, the peoples submitted to the West's domination in the past have not forgotten and are quick to see a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism in our actions.


His memory is short indeed, as it appears that he has forgotten that the country he represents only exists currently because of Great Britain's and the U.S.'s fight against such imperialism. So, while the peoples may not have forgotten, it is quite apparent that he himself conveniently has. Perhaps a little time spent in the Normandy cemeteries might refresh his memory?

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

No. It's not like its any different than anything expressed in the last couple of years.

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?

See answer to first question. Then, add in the fact that so far, no nation has been willing to abdicate its security concerns to that of the U.N....nor to provide it with the authority this question assumes. Also, that's a huge IF the question starts off with...exactly what would leave us to believe that anyone in the UN is putting the world's good ahead of their own? So, wonderful philosophical discussion...but one for a different time and place than the one we currently reside in.
lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Vampiel @ Nov 19 2004, 12:19 PM)
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

This is more of a "theoretical" question, and you may or may not agree with the premise of the question.

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
*



1) Absolutely not. The UN is not an authority and should not be treated as one.

2) No i do not agree with Chirac. I mean, when you are as unpopular as he is in France, you'll say just about anything. This colonialism and imperialism stuff has to stop. If that was our true intentions we would have turned the entire country to rubble and built from the ground up.

3) Who cares?

4)The UN should never decide when wars should be waged, it should only be concerned with mediating pending conflicts. The UN has no power and no authority and is just a sophisticated debate society. Whats the UNdoing in the Sudan? Nothing.
ConservPat
QUOTE
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?
Nope. The UN and other like organizations [The League of Nations for instance] are notorious for their weakness against imposing threats [cough, Hitler], slow to act and weak when they do act.

QUOTE
Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?
No.

QUOTE
Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?
rolleyes.gif

QUOTE
If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
The UN, including its arms and comittees should not be telling the rest of the world when to wage wars period.

CP us.gif
psyclist
QUOTE
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?

Yes, as we continue to journey on as a global society all countries must realize their actions will affect more than just them and whomever they are attacking.

QUOTE
Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Yes. If you don't, read: Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival, America's quest for Global Dominance. Our total disregard for the UN and International law is a major part of his argument.


QUOTE
Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?

Just France? Bush was perceived by the Europeans as the number 1 threat to global peace.

ps: "Who cares?" Great attitude for a "global leader" or say a "leader of the pack" rolleyes.gif

QUOTE
If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?


Yes, see answer to #1 above.
ConservPat
QUOTE
Yes, as we continue to journey on as a global society all countries must realize their actions will affect more than just them and whomever they are attacking.
In the case of Iraq, the case that was made for war [right or wrong] was that Iraq was a threat to the country, no one has the right to tell a country that it cannot take out a perceived threat.

QUOTE
ps: "Who cares?" Great attitude for a "global leader" or say a "leader of the pack"
Well, we're not global leaders...I'm pretty sure that lederuvdapac, and certainly myself know that Bush is not going to take the same position as we do. That being said, what is the big deal about France? Am I missing something? Why do we have to be allies with the French? Because we always have been? I don't get it, someone help me out.

CP us.gif
psyclist
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Jan 17 2005, 08:02 PM)
In the case of Iraq, the case that was made for war [right or wrong] was that Iraq was a threat to the country, no one has the right to tell a country that it cannot take out a perceived threat.


With this mindset, any country could attack any other country under the auspice that "they were a threat to us."

QUOTE(ConservPat @ Jan 17 2005, 08:02 PM)
Well, we're not global leaders...I'm pretty sure that lederuvdapac, and certainly myself know that Bush is not going to take the same position as we do.  That being said, what is the big deal about France?  Am I missing something?  Why do we have to be allies with the French?  Because we always have been?  I don't get it, someone help me out.

CP  us.gif
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Odd, It seems to me that people on both sides of the fence agree that America is a global leader. Why don't you think so? Obviously this is an opinion but I find it hard to ignore the fact that America can pull its global weight around and thus might want to consider the interests of not only themselves but other countries. And while their is a more detailed explination for this (and thus off topic), common sense would say that:

having allies (French or otherwise) = good.
enemies = bad.
ConservPat
QUOTE
With this mindset, any country could attack any other country under the auspice that "they were a threat to us."
Psyclist, that would only be the case if we were the only ones who thought that Saddam was a threat. As you know, most intelligence agencies thought so to. So no, any country could not just attack on that basis, if it's obvious that they are attempting to do so, the UN would jump in [maybe].

QUOTE
Odd, It seems to me that people on both sides of the fence agree that America is a global leader. Why don't you think so?
No, that's not what I said...Maybe I wasn't clear. When you said, "ps. who cares is a great sign coming from a global leader" I said that we, as in lederuvdapac [to whom you were directing your post to] and I were not world leaders and do not expect our leader to do and say what we would.

QUOTE
having allies (French or otherwise) = good.
enemies = bad.
Given, but my point was, why such the infatuation with the French. I don't see it as a big deal if we aren't great friends with the French.

CP us.gif
Ptarmigan
QUOTE
Given, but my point was, why such the infatuation with the French. I don't see it as a big deal if we aren't great friends with the French.


Umm - well, it's one of the richest countries in the world, has one of the worlds most professional and advanced armies and (currently) is the most influential member of the European Union (much as that annoys me).

Nowhere is remotely as strong or as powerful as America, but that doesn't mean that France is unable to affect America's interests and do so with relative impunity. Also the ability to influence European Union policy is not a small thing, given that it's now the largest economy in the world. (Albeit not growing much).

You don't really have to be great friends with the French, but they were able to scupper any chance of getting UN support for the Iraq invasion - the result - American troops having to do most of the work...

And finally, it's a liberal democracy. It's part of the free world - if America really is the great country that you all seem to think it is, then France makes a far more logical ally than - say - Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
Paladin Elspeth
QUOTE(Ptarmigan)
And finally, it's a liberal democracy. It's part of the free world - if America really is the great country that you all seem to think it is, then France makes a far more logical ally than - say - Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.


I like the way you're thinking, but let's put this issue into as crass terms as possible. France does not have the oil Saudi Arabia does, so our Fearless Leader treats what France thinks about the situation as irrelevant. Never mind the fact that human rights abuses take place in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan; he only cares about human rights abuses going on in places that are potentially conquerable. He cannot do his "nation building" in France. Pakistan and Afghanistan are places for the oil pipeline and therefore strategically useful.

The United States abides by what the United Nations says when the leader of the time determines that it is useful to his ends. That does not exactly render the United Nations useless, because it serves as a forum for the countries of the world to bring up problems.

But it does render the United Nations weaker than it could be. I am not suggesting that the United Nations direct the actions of the United States, but it would be nice if there were something a little closer to consensus when we do move against another country. It has already been brought up that if our nation was under attack, we would wait for no other nation to give us approval before we defended ourselves, but that's the way the Righties like to paint the scenario in their "Let's diss the UN" mode.
AuthorMusician
Should wars only be fought with U.N. authority?

No, only those wars of aggression where a bad guy is the target. The determination of who is and who is not bad enough to take out should be done by a UN-like authority. I do see room for improvement here, but ignoring the UN isn't the right way to handle things in a global community.

So now we suffer the aftermath of indiscretion, in terms of lives and dollars. We still have a President who thinks that Iraq is worth it. Apparently, so do most Americans. I think we need the UN to save ourselves from ourselves.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

Yep. Imagine if Iran invaded the US to take out President Bush and install its own favored government. Imagine also that the US military power was in the hands of Iran, and we had Iran's capabilities. In other words, can we put ourselves in others' places? It seems to me that the US has a deficit in this area.

I can easily see how Iraqis and the whole ME would see the US as imperialistic and colonistic.

Might I point out that few world leaders, or maybe none of them, are criticizing our actions in Afghansitan? That was an act of defense after attack. Not so with Iraq. That was an act of defense before attack, and so there you go. Preemptive invasion by any other country would have the US up in fits of rage.

I do believe that Gulf War I was to counteract Iraq's preemptive invasion of Kuait.

So the message is suck it up, world. We have the power; you do not. That is, unless the world gangs up on us, like a schoolyard ganging up on the one bully.

We might want to consider this possibility.

Could this hurt foreign relations with France?

What, my agreement with Chirac? Nobody's listening. Chirac's statement? Maybe someone is listening out there. They ought to be.

If the U.N. powers that decide what wars should be waged in the U.N. security council look to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what wars are waged?

Sure. Why not? The UN SC is supposed to look to the interests of the world instead of self-interest. The US needs to do more of this.

Overall, we need to stop talking and start listening. Chirac has a good point, and oh, hey, if we had listened to France before heading into Vietnam, that thing would have been different -- less of a strain, to put it into polite terms.
loreng59
QUOTE
Should wars only be fought with U.N. authority?

Not a chance. The UN is on a par with the League of Nations. Any leader of any country that is willing to place it's foreign policy in the hands of the UN needs to be removed from office and probably needs their head examined.

QUOTE
Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?

There is very little that I agree with President Chirac about and this is just one of a multitude that I do not agree. The resurgence that is occurring is one of Fascism this time by Islamic terrorism, not imperialism or colonialism. Islamic Fascism

QUOTE
[BCould this hurt foreign relations with France?[/B]

Like France really matters? No I think that as long as France continues to ALWAYS side with the Arab world their opinion will not matter to the US>

QUOTE
If the U.N. powers that decide what wars should be waged in the U.N. security council look to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what wars are waged?

There is no way that any of the members of the UNSC will not support their own national interests.

There has been a considerable amount of comment on the US attacking Iraq, but the fact is that Iraq has committed several acts of war against the US. I do believe that the attack on the USS Stark which killed several US Naval personnel was an act of war, and was the attempt on the life of former President Bush. The US was more than justified in returning fire at the Iraqi forces, so that point is moot and to a war of aggression.

The US government must never place their defense and/or foreign policy under the control of any other group. Their job is to represent the United States, not the United Nations
Amlord
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?
No, absolutely not. The UN is made up of a group of people with their own interests at heart. In that case, it is easy for the majority to side with "what is easy" and do the wrong thing. Aggression by Germany was not handled by the League of Nations. The UN is very slow in acting in pretty much every single situation. Although the UN condemned Iraq's invasion of Kuwait the day it invaded, it did not authorize the use of force for over 3 months. That situation was as clear cut as it gets (I would think). Imagine a situation where minor shooting incidents were common. Could the UN act if the situation were more complicated (as most shooting wars are...)?

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?
Certainly not. Imperialism (and its flip side, colonialism) implies countries who control the resources of other countries using military strength. I suppose if you stretch the definition of Imperialism to make Europe an American colony (I doubt many would go that far, even though the US has a huge influence on the EU economy) then we could consider this. The US has no interest in traditional colonies. Free trade with democratic allies is much better in the long run, with much fewer hassles.

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?
I don't think so. Everyone understands that Chirac is no die-hard friend of the US. Why should his continuing to question our policy or methodology come as any surprise? It certainly won't heal any wounds, but this is nothing out of the ordinary.


If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
All UN representatives think of their own country first. Nothing else would be acceptable. If this were the case, with so many possible vetoes in the UNSC, no war would ever be sanctioned, although no outlaw country would see that as a hurdle. The League of Nations failed precisely because it could not (or would not) act when it was most urgent. Austria was invaded in 1938 without so much as a word from the League (which the US was not a part of). What to do when a rogue nation (in that case, Germany) flouts the international community and nothing is done? It has happened before.

A truism: lawbreakers do not care that they are breaking the law. They do not seek the approval of others for their actions. Only law-abiding citizens (or nations) respect the law. Only law abiding nations would seek this proposed UN approval. If a nation were denied (or a stand still occurred in deliberations), a sufficiently pressed country would act anyway, regardless of UN approval.

This system simply would not work.
Ultimatejoe
I didn't realize that people were allowed to rabidly misquote whomever they wanted whenever they wanted, so long as they wait two months. As I said before (and everyone seems to have forgetten); Chirac is NOT suggesting that there is a rise of Imperialism. I realize that most of the people in here dislike and read all sorts of junk into his words, but come on, this is bordering on satire. It's quite clear what he is in fact saying, and I am disappointed by each and every poster in here who has ignored the truth for the sake of politics and convenience.

QUOTE
But later the French leader took on a harsher tone, warning Blair that his drive to spread democracy across the world alongside U.S. President George Bush could be confused with a new colonialism.
...
"For although our memory is sometimes short, the peoples submitted to the West's domination in the past have not forgotten and are quick to see a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism in our actions."


Read the underlined portion. Do you see what I'm getting at? He's not saying that the U.S. or Britain is engaged in Imperialism. He's saying their actions could be confused as such... and that is exactly what is happening in many parts of the world. Please, take the time to read these stories properly next time. dry.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Amlord @ Jan 19 2005, 08:23 AM)
All UN representatives think of their own country first.† Nothing else would be acceptable.† If this were the case, with so many possible vetoes in the UNSC, no war would ever be sanctioned, although no outlaw country would see that as a hurdle.† The League of Nations failed precisely because it could not (or would not) act when it was most urgent.† Austria was invaded in 1938 without so much as a word from the League (which the US was not a part of).† What to do when a rogue nation (in that case, Germany) flouts the international community and nothing is done?† It has happened before.
*

Exactly so. Before the German invasion, the League was also powerless to stop the French from occupying the Ruhr when Germany failed to meet its reparations payments, and Italy from waging war in Corfu six months later, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the Italian invasion of EthiopiaÖ.In fact, the no-war without international committee approach was attempted in the late 1920s. The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed by Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, India, the Irish Free State, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Belgium, France, and Japan and about 50 other countries. All agreed to never wage a war of aggression against one another. hmmm.gif

The UN cannot even form a consensus to place sanctions on Iran in the face of its clear violation of its NPT agreement. It won't place sanctions on N Korea...though the country lobbed a missile over Japan to demonstrate weapons capability. How is it going to agree on a just basis for war (unless it was in the best interest of the countries in the UNSC)? What if conflicting national interests arise?

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France? As compared to when? huh.gif France and the US are both pragmatic, realist countries. Neither is under any delusions about the other. Sometimes we disagree, sometimes we work together. This is hardly a wonderous, unprecedented moment in our relations with one another.

If the U.N. powers that decide what wars should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged? No. The security of a nation should never rest entirely on what other countries, with their own (often conflicting) interests at stake, decide is justification for defensive action.
Julian
Do you believe that war's should only be fought with U.N. authority?
No, and neither does Jacques Chirac. Had a squadron of Iraqi long-range bombers flown across the Atlantic and emptied their payloads over New York and Washington, or even over America air, naval or army bases inside the Middle East, that would have been a legitimate act of war and the UN charter would have nothing but support for all necessary retaliation. There would be no need to go cap in hand to the UN, security council or general assembly, to ask for authority or permission, sinc ehte action would be obviously legal.

Need I remind anyone that nary a peep came out of the UN in response to the war in Afghanistan that was a direct reply to the 9-11 attacks? Or that it was French newspapers that announced to the world that "we're all Americans now"?

Chirac's beef was with the legality of the Iraq war. Now there may have been lots of sady self-interested reasons why French individuals in high places might have opposed the war, but I don't think anyone has ever managed to demonstrate Chirac was one of them. His opposition was on a point of principle - Iraq had not attacked America, and had begun to comply with UN resolutions on WMD disposal and inspection (albeit with a large build-up of troops on their borders as an "incentive").

No evidence of WMD had yet been found in this new era of Iraqi cooperation, and the inspectors were still there (having been readmitted - again under duress, but they were there) and actually visiting suspect sites. We didn't know it at the time, but there certainly do not appear with hindsight to have been any WMDs left in Iraq as at the time of the invasion.

In essence, Chirac's position is that in borderline situations where it is not clear that international illegalities are taking place, sovereign states should be given the benefit of the doubt. He's more than willing to put his troops and money where his mouth is, as recent events in Cote d'Ivoire illustrate (whatever the other reasons for the deployment there, and however much that undermines his point on neo-imperialism). When it was clear that real international crimes (i.e. crimes against international law, not just cross-border crimes) were taking place, he sent in his troops.

I'm not saying he's a genius or that he's always right (in fact I'm vaguely queasy at defending him on this forum sour.gif ) but I can see that he has a point.

Do you agree with Chirac's comments about "a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism"?
Yes, but remember he was addressing the British Prime Minister. This was a dig at Britain, who until the foundation of Iraq (by the British!) were the colonial power in much of the Middle East. There will be some people in the region for whom the presence of British (and British-looking - i.e Americans & Australians, other Europeans; maybe we all look the same to them?) troops today is a direct and painful reminder of colonial times. We may SAY we are there for different reasons this time, but we are still the men with guns telling them where they can and cannot go. Who can blame them if they do perceive the coalition's presence as a resurgence of imperialism and colonialism.
(This, of course, is where Chirac is hoist by his own petard, having deployed French troops in French uniform into a former French colony - Cote d'Ivoire.)

If it also acted as a snub to America, he will have been no more (or less!) aware of the other interpretation than Bush should have been what he made his famous "bring it on" comments. That was supposed to be a morale booster for US troops, but could be construed as a challenge to Islamic extremists. Since he's now attempted to apologise for that second meaning, I can onnly assume that he's a less wily politician that Chirac (who, I bet, knew exactly how this would play with some parts of America)

Do you believe this could hurt foreign relations with France?
Whose? Again, he was talking in Britain about the British involvement in the Iraq War. I don't think it will damage Anglo-French relations in any significant regard. Nor will it make us into the international equivalent of a "loved-up" couple. It's just the kind of thing I think mature ally nations can say to one another without causing any real harm, and it's a sign of how healthy the relationship between Britain and France is that we can both criticise each other without it meaning we aren't friends any more.

Can America say that about any of their allies? (Actually I have a suspicion that this is a fundamental characterisitc of Americans themselves, and it goes some way to explaining the prevalence of therapists there. Americans seem willing to give and receive criticism only when a seemingly unbiased person is paid money to dish it out. When friends say the same things, which is only rarely anyway, they tend not to remain friends for long. Perhaps America needs the international equivalent of a shrink? But that's a whole other thread topic. hmmm.gif )

If the U.N. powers that decide what war's should be waged in the U.N. security council looked to what they believed was in the interest of the world instead of their own self interest, should they then decide what war's are waged?
I'll assume here that we're talking about the kind of war that would need specific UNSC permission (i.e. where overt agression had not already been received by the aggreived party).

I happen to agree that the UNSC tends to make decisions based more on self-interest of the representatives there than on the global interest. I also happen to think that the five permanent members are all more guilty of behaving this way than the rest of them. Including Britain and America.

So, yes, if the UNSC could set aside national interests in their decision making, I think that would greatly reinforce their authority, but how could that be acheived?

I'm just thinking aloud here, but how about no permanent members at all, no veto, and election by and from the General Assembly to the Security Council. Anyone elected to the UNSC would be replaced by another national representative, and would have to swear an oath on taking their UNSC seat to set aside petty national or sectarian interests. It wouldn't be ideal - ultimately I'd like to see the whole UNGA democratically elected by the populations of member states, but since many of them aren't democratic we're probably still centuries away from that - but it might be a step forward.

I also think a lot of the squabbling over which campaigns should or shouldn't take place and who should or shouldn't be in the coalitions that form from time to time culd be solved by having a standing UN army/navy/airforce. Quite how that would be constituted and funded would be a very thorny issue and I've no idea how to go about it, but I can see that it would be handy to have, especially for humanitarian crises linked to wars. (The existing order is quite good at such crises coming from natural disasters - I think the whole world can be justly proud of our response to the South Asian tsumanis - but we aren't so good where civil wars are part of the problem, as in the Sudan, for example.)
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