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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 06:40:53 +0800 "emir chen" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: >Yes, to many Arabs, the US and UN are one; but to me, >they are different! And, the difference should be made >more distinct than before, since an independent UN, which >is not manipulated by any one power, I believe, is very >important to counter imperialism and war. Am I right? > >Emir I think so. I also think that it's important that the UN get real teeth, both legal and military. If we look at history, the common story is small groups consolidating into larger ones: clans into tribe, villages into cities and states, city-states into nations, and at each step the formation of law and civil authority. It hasn't all been for the good -- the anarchists have some pertinent points on this -- but I see only two alternatives: constant war, on some scale, or reduction of population density to where people rarely come together. Not just a UN, but a form of world government in inevitable if we are to survive -- but it must be a just and democratic one, with built-in guarantees of diversity and human rights for everyone, including self-determination for groups and sub-groups -- not hegemony or empire! There is a basic conflict, it seems to me, in Iraq: on the one hand the Iraqis rightly want self-determination, but on the other there are factions who want to control the whole country and everyone living there, such as Saddam, and also radical Islamists. There must be a world-wide organization and mechanism to support the rights of all individuals, and counter the dictatorships, whether large or small, national, religious or tribal. Those people who want to form a group with strong central government and strict laws must be permitted to do so, as long as individuals can freely opt out. As it stands, the US tries to impose it's own visions of "democracy" on all people -- but it includes not only much more than the fundamentals of liberty and self-determination but also much which undermines those very ideals which it espouses. Liberty at gunpoint is not liberty at all. What, then, of a powerful UN? Even putting aside the fact that the US uses the UN as a tool of it's imperial expansion, there remains the problem of finding the point at which guaranteeing people's rights by force merges with totalitariansm. At what point does Iraqi self- determination permit the denial of Iraqi freedom. I submit that the best answer to this is Alan Watts observation that groups do not really have rights, but rather individuals have rights: if the rights of all individuals are upheld, the rights of individuals as parts of a group are also upheld. By Watts' criteria, the US statements that Iraq is now more free than before, while people are being deprived of basic liberty, is absurd. The core, then, of a functioning UN must be built around its human rights declarations and activities. The hungry, ignorant, sick, homeless, repressed, battered -- these people can not possibly be free. A UN as a "one power" in itself can be right and effective only if that power is on the side of the individual person, in equality with any other individual person. That is *supposed* to be a primary tenet of the US, but has been largely ignored. (The same rights must be applicable for all, and this tends to avert the tyranny of the masses, similar to the old method for dividing cake among two children: the one cuts the cake and the other gets first choice. With Iraq the same party - the US -- is dividing the wealth and then taking whatever parts it wants. To achieve a proper UN or world government it must derive its power from from both immutable principles of human rights within its charter and also from the *people* of the world -- not just the various governments, many of which have been corrupted. The invasion of Iraq could probably have been prevented by invoking the "united for peace" provision through the general assembly, but even the GA is controlled not by the people of the world -- who massively opposed the war -- but the governments of the world, composed of "leaders" open to corruption. We see a similar thing in Iraq with the governing council, which is not representative of the people, but a hand-picked clique of the US (and obstruction of elections). One absolute pre-requisite to an effective democratic system is that the people know: they need the education and information to make *informed* decisions -- not the peasants' conditioning, propaganda, and lies people are fed now. If a well-informed world population takes real power over a world organization, such as, perhaps, the UN, then there would be a viable alternative to power-hungry tyrants. Otherwise we would have -- as we largely do have -- a UN controlled by many smaller tyrants, and the people are then just pawns to be shuffled about to benefit whichever tyrant happens to be winning *their* game at the time. This will be true as long as most of the nations are not truly free and led by those who truly represent the people. Thus we see nations supporting the invasion even while vast majorities of citizens in opposition -- and finally collapsing in resignation -- and the UN acting counter to the people. It was not only the US, but the collapse of the people's representatives. ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! 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