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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: OT: US Pres election

Originally Posted by JimMorrison View Post
Originally Posted by Gandalf Parker View Post
The key point being "a country that doesn't really matter".
It does seem as though the ideals spoken of in the US involvements only seem to come into play in certain worldly incidents. Mostly those of money benefits to the US.
Well there is a great irony there, really. For example, the US has historically paid 22% of the funding for the UN, yet of course only comprises 5% of the world population. The US also tends to shoulder most of the financial, material, and human costs of these so-called "peacekeeping" actions.
Irony for sure. I cant believe you brought that up. The UN dues is not due to population (that would be ridiculous since the most populated are often the poorest). Its set by the nations economy as the US help to set it up to do. Besides which, the US has continually been one of the biggest defaulters refusing to pay their dues in order to try and force the UN to swing in US concerns.

If I were the cold-hearted, business-minded politician that we generally see running the US, I would be hard pressed to send our young men out, armed and funded entirely on the back of the US tax rolls, to be the moral fiber of the world.
I totally agree altho probably for an totally opposite reason. I would have no problem with sending US troops out to be the moral fiber of the world IF they went out in support of UN actions instead of their own idea of what is "good and right".

Perhaps if other nations were to invest similarly (in proportion) of their blood, sweat, and toil, to achieve a more peaceful and proud world, then we might see these other "non-economically beneficial" situations dealt with more readily.
There are nations whose entire military history for the last few decades is entirely in support of UN actions. Those are the nations to look up to.

As it stands, if you look at the wartime costs of the US military budget, as well as the state that our military personnel are in, I can hardly see how anyone could complain about which problems the US gets their hands dirty in.
Ummm... are you trying to say that because we are big and bad that other nations should shut up about what we do to other nations? Or maybe that the cost of such conflicts justifies the fact that the conflicts provide some cost-benefit back to the US?

Now, that said, I refer back to my earlier postulate, that if the other members of the UN had invested a comparable and proportionate amount of their budget and manpower towards resolving the conflict - it likely would have been long over, as even if we had borne 22% of the load (as we pay 22% of the cost of the UN itself), and the rest of the world had shouldered a comparative load, then we would have been looking at 4x the number of feet on the ground, and it seems unlikely that the true instigators of inter-continental terrorism would have been able to hide from that.
OK I might have slipped up. I remember that Bush started this without a declaration of war from Congress. That he used his access to reserves because he had no direct access to the deployment of active duty. I dont remember it being a UN action at that time.

But it still bears mentioning that if in the future such military engagements were more focused, thought out, and called for - that they would be awfully quick procedures, if the rest of the world cooperated in making such actions involve such overwhelming force.
I totally agree.
During the years of peace in the US I said that they should allow voluntary temporary duty to the UN. Many of the active US military would have taken up on that in order to use their training in real conflicts. They should allow voluntary maintaining of a UN uniform with UN insignia and voluntary participation in UN actions just as they now allow voluntary maintaining of a full-dress uniform for voluntary participation in formal and diplomatic dress balls. Allow the assignment with full US pay and benefits. It would benefit our troops in their training and experience, and benefit the standing of the US in world opinion.

Heck, if the evil-doers of the world saw how ferocious and thorough the good people of the world could be in eradicating such civil abuses, they might just start to straighten up themselves, knowing there is no way they can get away with doing wrong for very long - or escape from the rule of law once it comes their turn to be removed from power.
Beware of what you ask for. There are many such situations in the US which the world wishes to enforce actions on.
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Last edited by Gandalf Parker; November 14th, 2008 at 11:41 AM..
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Old November 14th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: OT: US Pres election

In my internet searches, there seemed to be a clear distinction between UN "dues" and UN "funding". I do agree the US has played a cat and mouse game with their dues, but there seems to be more to it than that.

I suppose I should clarify, that I wasn't just talking about money though. Also, I did point out that even after the cost of running the UN, the US generally just deploys, and has to foot the bill for its own participation.

Ummm... are you trying to say that because we are big and bad that other nations should shut up about what we do to other nations? Or maybe that the cost of such conflicts justifies the fact that the conflicts provide some cost-benefit back to the US?
Absolutely not. All I was saying, was that with the amount of money that the US pours into helping keep some semblance of world order (not just through military means, really!), that in general terms, if each action were in fact justified, but America could only address 50% of all problems, that it's somewhat justifiable that they focus on the problems that will garner monetary rewards, that will help offset the cost of operations - it only stands to reason our military can achieve more if that's the way things are approached.

Again, I agree that at times the US and the rest of the world have not seen eye-to-eye on what is actually a problem, and where military force is justified at all. I was positing more on how we could handle ourselves in the future, considering the mistakes of the past to apply the same economic principles (go figure), but without the ethical standard that we should be adhering to.

My point was Not that we can do whatever we want, just that if more nations contributed more (and if their economy is weaker, they can contribute more materials and manpower - not saying grunts on the front line to die, but support personnel, truck drivers, mechanics - I don't care as long as they show up for the party), eventually we could get the system worked out to where UN actions could effectively occur at all real trouble spots in the world.

Granted, I agree in some aspect with the attitude that I often hear - that the UN is broken and/or dysfunctional. First, the UN spends far too much time legislating. Our own government is already too large, and pushing too many rules on too many people - the last thing we need is some body making more and more laws to affect 6 billion people. Simple things, sure, like not dumping toxic waste into international waters, and not torturing people. But the list of things that should really be set as "law" are kind of short. If the UN refocused, and made sure that it didn't do anything unless it was the right thing, -and- made sure that when it decided that the right thing was to end a terribly wrong thing, it did so very decisively - I think worldwide support would expand rapidly.

I have a new slogan for the UN - "Stop killing eachother before we kill you!". Okay, that's a little tongue in cheek, and a little dark, but seriously, we (the world "we", not the US "we") allow some really disgusting people to stay in power, and to do horrendous things to millions of people, every day. I'm not saying that killing solves anything, but they should be deposed, forcefully if necessary. I used to believe that a populace should handle that themselves, but try telling that to North Koreans, who are almost entirely sheltered from outside influences, so they can be fed a diet of raw unpasteurized fascism juice.

Honestly, I think if the UN had the balls and the spine to take care of business, they would have approached GW Bush several years ago, thusly - "Evacuate your unlawful occupational troops from Iraq, or we will be forced to remove you.". Of course in such a case, it only stands to reason that things would not come to a forceful conclusion - for economic reasons if nothing else. But if 95% of the world had stood up and told us that it cannot continue, I think a lot of us would have breathed a sigh of relief.
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