Friday, January 14, 2005

I believe the U.N. is 'unrepresentative swill', to quote a minor Australian political figure whose name escapes me. Look at its record as an Israel-bashing club.

Right or wrong, biased or unbiased, representative or not matters little to my argument, the UN embodies a certain moral authority, and can act on events reasonably independently, so its collective opinion matters, regardless. There are also some conflicts that will only be resolved with such multinational institutions in play. I am arguing that using the military for "criminal" justice is wrong, defining the intifada as a "war" serves both sides equally well, as both sides see that all's fair in war (to varying degrees) while crime needs due process. Nothing is going to stop any peace being another opportunity to arm for the next intifada except good will gestures. These will only happen if there is a big natural disaster which involves the whole area. I see no hope for Israel and its surrounds until a big tidal wave washes over the whole area, basically. Aceh has real hope; Israel's is a false hope that the other side will just capitulate (if you're going to call it a war), just because it is "wrong".

1 comment:

Dr. Clam said...

The UN cannot act on events reasonably independently; it cannot act on events at all, without the grudging unanimity of the Security Council. It has no military arm and no ability to act except so far as its member countries act. It can only agree on vacuous generalities and embodies no moral authority whatsoever. The UN has never resolved any conflict that the warring sides did not decide to resolve themselves. Only a global hegemon with real military power (and sadly, with more intelligence than the US has shown lately) can do that.
You cannot fight an enemy in the criminal justice system if your law enforcement personnel cannot operate where the criminals live without being killed. The US did not send a process server to the bin Laden residence in Afghanistan. The conflict in Palestine is just as much a war as the recent civil war in Algeria.
I see much more hope for Palestine, which has the most educated population in the Arab world and a thriving economically active diaspora, than I do for Aceh. The TNI has been far more brutal in Aceh than the IDF has been in the Palestinian territories, and the Acehnese are far less educated and have a narrow 'dig it up and sell it' economic base. Your view of the magnitude of the problems in each region is distorted by the degree to which reportage has been possible in each one: i.e., continuous coverage of every tiny wrinkle of the al-Aqsa intifada over the last four years vs. a near complete press blackout in Aceh until a few weeks ago.