The UN is not a government.


Some points regarding the UN:

1.  It has no effective power to enforce anything.

    a. It has no money of its own.  The members make voluntary donations.

    b.  It has no army.  Members volunteer troops for "peace keeping" duty.  Blue Helmets are just spectators everywhere they are placed.  The only exception is in Korea which is an accident of history.  But, Blue Helmet duty is VERY popular with soldiers everywhere because the UN supplementary pay is JUST WONDERFUL.  (as is UN civilian pay).

2.  The UN pretends that its "Resolutions" are something like laws.  They are not.  These multitudinous  documents are useful to the major powers (US, Russia, China, India maybe) when they want to justify some action they wish to take.  The various "Resolutions" on Iraq that the US managed to wheedle out of the Security Council come to mind.  And, the "Resolutions" are oh, so useful as rhetorical devices with which to denounce your long-standing enemies.  The Muslim/Arab states and the Israelis are particularly good at this.

3.  The real value of the UN lies in its role as a coordinating body for its subordinate specialized agencies;  IAEA, UNHCR,  ICAO, etc.  But, in fact, some of them are of no  real value, and exist largely to line the pockets of their staff.

4.  The international courts and investigations run by the UN are a joke.  They have no power whatever against the aforementioned major powers.  War crimes trials?  Yes, the losers get tried after denunciation by the winners.  Once again, the lawyers, investigators etc., live well in the process.  The farcical UN investigation into the murder of Rafiq Hariri is a wonderful example.  It went on forever and guess what!  Hizballah done it! (probably with a wink and a nod from the Assad)  Who woulda thought?  An effort was made in the midst of the investigation to get me to participate.  The pitch was made by a sometimes famous ex-CIA  pundit guy who said that my intimate knowledge of the low personalities among the Lebanese Shia and Hizballah would be the key to making the case for their guilt.  Then, the next day the chief UN investigator called to make the same appeal with a lot of money attached to it.  But, alas, I slithered away without taking the bait.

Perhaps we should bring back the League of Nations.  They also were useless and they have all those empty marble palaces in Geneva.  Maybe with Bill De Blasio in charge the UN might wish to leave New York City.  pl

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53 Responses to The UN is not a government.

  1. walrus says:

    Ah yes! UN salaries used to be at least New York executive salaries on steroids! As a young freshly minted MBA and an engineer , I was briefly tempted by a friend to get into the U.N. consultant business as he was doing.
    He showed me a listing of consulting contracts and explained how you get on that gravy train. You apply for the smallest and most miserable contract in the most God awful place in the entire third world. For example “teaching alternative methods of recycling used colostomy bags into hair nets in rural south sudan’ for twelve months. You do the job and voila! You are now an experienced and validated “U.N Consultant” and you are on the list! You can now apply for successively longer contracts in more pleasant locations. You can then keep networking your way up – UNHCR, the world bank, IMF, etc., etc. as you build your resume.
    And what a gravy train it is! A New York class salary – tax free, paid to your favourite tax haven account. ! A U.N. diplomatic passport, access to the full diplomatic social circuit in wherever you are. Diplomatic standard free board and lodging, great leave and healthcare provisions, free travel, etc. etc. however I had a young family and these jobs are for single guys and gals.
    I am reminded of the time I met a lovely lady who had been doing just such U. N. work in the back blocks of New Guinea while I was there diving. Being a dutiful husband, I introduced her to the single skipper of our dive boat.

  2. Fred says:

    I reccomend Mogadishu as the new HQ city. Omar’s clan can have the construction contract provided she and her refugees go back.

  3. Deap says:

    walrus, thank you for the first genuine laugh I have had in a long time. Put “free money” on the table and it will get picked up. Even Paul Krugman got that one right.
    pl, thanks for the sober UN reminder, that we can’t get enough of too..

  4. turcopolier says:

    Deap et al
    I am glad that walrus included the World Bank in his tirade. When I was still at DIA, a vice president of the WB requested my assistance on a study on 3rd world disarmament and a program of incentives for that. he sent a letter to the Director of DIA asking for my part-time help. To my surprise the Pentagon big-wigs approved that as an off duty consultancy. I would be embarrassed to tell you how much money the WB insisted on paying me tax free (net of pay). They just give people money and it is then up to the payee as to whether or not they pay tax on it in their country of citizenship.

  5. Polish Janitor says:

    Several years ago a friend of mine was assigned to Darfur as an observer and security consultant and as everybody here alluded to it, he got paid free UN money doing ‘N.O.T.H.I.N.G”.:)) In fact his supposed ‘work’ at the local UN mission there consisted of socializing with other personnel at the compound, watching movies, exchanging jokes, skyping with the wife and children, and a daily boring almost 2-hour long daily briefing alongside fellow UN personnel from Uganda, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Russia, making lunch and dinner-sometimes for others too-, according to him the daily UN 24-hr civilian rations were so terrible that they would just pile them up and donate to the local poor whenever they would go out of their compound. I remember him telling me all kinds of bizarre stories about the local population, the backyard local moonshine operations made from sorghum, cassava and basically whatever they could lay their hands on (despite being a sunni muslim country) their customs, music and all kinds of other stuff. The people there danced a lot too and showed me really odd but funny footage of their dances. He would tell me that there was so much free time and the pay was ‘top notch’. In fact he ended up buying a studio from the payment he had received for doing absolutely nothing, and a new car from the left-over money. His mission lasted two years, with on and off intervals in-between.

  6. Polish Janitor says:

    A small studio apartment I meant.

  7. Deap says:

    Samantha Powers always regretted “we” should have done more in Rwanda to stop the brutal ethnic genocide – did she mean supporting the UN troops more, who were there as “peace keepers” or to bring in US troops? Could anything have stopped the sweeping tribal brutality? I fear our inner cities need to learn from such recent history.

  8. Babak makkinejad says:

    Samantha Power did not ask the right question.
    Which was this:
    “How did France aide and abet the genocide in Rwanda?”
    Could there have been genocide in Rwanda without France?
    I wonder.

  9. Babak makkinejad says:

    You can laugh as much as you like about UN but it remains, without a doubt in my opinion, one of the last barriers to another global war.
    Vladimir Putin has staunchly defended International Law and UN on multiple occasions, 2007 in Munich and 2014 at UNGA.
    Without UNSC, there would be a World War within 20 years.

  10. turcopolier says:

    3rd worlders nearly all have the same pathetic faith in the UN. Is it because it is your only hope?

  11. turcopolier says:

    Senseless babble.

  12. Yeah, Right says:

    1 Is very true.
    2 Is very misleading. The legal obligations comes from the Charter of the United Nations (“The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”).
    The Carter very definitely is an International Treaty, which means that a signatory has agreed to be legally-bound by Article 25. So if a Security Council Resolution uses the magic words “Decides that….” then member states are legally-bound by that decision.
    Which, obviously, is why so few SC Resolutions contain those magic words and – equally obviously – the members of the P5 jealously guard their authority to put the kybosh on such stuff.
    3 Is arguable. (though I will point out that the IAEA is *not* a UN agency). The Security Council itself is very useful for dealing with rogue nations that are not under the protection of one of the P5 (think Saadam Hussein. Or the sanctions imposed on North Korea or Iran). That is by design: if you are in a Big Power camp then you are protected, but if you step out of those camps then the Security Council can – and does – step on you like a bug.
    4. True enough. Again, that is by design, it is not a flaw (and I will point out that the investigation into Rafiq Hariri’s murder is an ad-hoc tribunal, it is not an established “UN agency”).
    The long and short of it is this: the UN is extremely useful as a tool for the Big Boys to beat up on any of the little guys who get uppity. It is designed to perpetuate the immediate post-ww2 power structure.
    It can not – and was never intended to – be a tool by which the little guys can gang together and beat up on the Big Boys or their hangers-on. Again, that is a feature designed into the system from the very beginning, it is in no way a flaw.

  13. Fred says:

    No one in Rawanda had agency, especially not the Hutus. It’s an old familiar refrain. Group identity and that other group is out to get us, that other group is the cause of our troubles. Right out of the marxist playbook. The same one BLM and the cultural marxists are reading from right now.

  14. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    I see now that Australia is essentially a 3rd word country, hoping always like the other 3rd world countries that this phony institution can restrain the major powers. It would seem that you missed the absolute veto the permanent members of the security council have over everything. That feature was not an accident.

  15. Polish Janitor says:

    With all due respect, but the idea that UN and its most powerful instrument UNSC’s existence is crucial to maintaining world peace is laughable and plain wrong at the same time. I don’t know how and why anyone could come to this kind conclusion.
    First of all, UN is where it is because it is a relic of the post-WW 2 America hegemony and gets all of this ‘all powerful’ image because nation-states arbitrarily give it power and legitimacy not the other way around, hence its nature as an inter-governmental institution. It is like a mother-in-law who always meddles into your life as long as you allow her to do so. The UN and the mother-in-law here are powerless and derive their powers from you if you give it to them. And when you do, the results are nothing short of disaster.
    Second, the UN has been utterly- and I mean it with every sense of the word, utterly incapable of acting as a stalwart against war and bloodshed. In several cases under the guise of humanitarian intervention (R2P), UN has been acting as multinational invading forces (Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Western Sahara, Southern Lebanon, Libya, the Sahel, Korea). Examples of its uselessness in preventing bloodshed include, Rwanda, Myanmar (under the Nobel peace prize winner UN-friendly and pro-human rights EU’s favorite female dictator Aung San Suu Kyi), rise of ISIS (frequent resolutions against Syria, multilateral sanctions, getting caught helping the ‘moderate rebels’ with arms and logistical assistance and with all of its NGOs forcefully evacuating poor Syrians from their homes to camps in Lebanon and Jordan, and in Afghanistan they are also incapable of maintaining peace and order there because all they care about is turning that tough place into a garden of liberal democracy and secular paganism. No wonder the U.S. recognizes the terrorist Taliban as the real bosses there and does its own negotiations with the organization in Doha without caring much for the utterly corrupt and USAID-dependent Afghan government in Kabul. I really wonder what would happen when (not if) the Taliban become legitimized and then 19+ years of secularization and nation-building vanishes into thing air…
    Third, the idea of Putin as the guarantor of international peace and its respect for int’s law is horse crap. Even Putin himself has violated int’l law multiple times: Chechnya in 1999-2000: illegal invasion, violation of Geneva convention, Georgia (2004/2008): illegal invasion, Ukraine (2014-) illigal invasion and occupation. Just because the neocons don’t take UNSC (and the whole UN for that matter) seriously does not mean Russia does the contrary and respects it. Russia has ‘gamed’ the liberal west and its institutions and organs so good that it seems to the outside viewer that Russia in fact is the good law abiding citizen of the world. I am not anti-Russia and appreciate realpolitik but I can’t use the Russia and respect for int’l law in one sentence.
    I ask you, where is UN’s role without which world peace is at stake? Where is UN when Trump literally gifted another country’s most fertile and rich land to the Israelis? Where is UN in enforcing two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Where is UN in respecting the terms of the UNSC’s 2231 in protecting the rights of P3+1 to buy oil (and do trade) with Iran?
    What about the Iraq war? Libya in 2011? Syria 2011? Israeli’s normal violation of Lebanon and Syria’s airspaces?
    It is one word my friend, “Power”.
    UN enforcement mechanisms don’t have any power and legitimacy to be effective as long as the members ignore them and since nation-states have their own interests to pursue and not UN’s, which at certain times become security matters, the UN cannot and would not do anything because it is useless and a topic of our ridicule here on SST.
    If it were up to me and people like me, we would have abolished it in 1989 with the fall of Soviet Union.

  16. Polish Janitor says:

    correction: P4+1 not P3+1


    Col. Lang:
    Russia is not a 3rd World country.
    I stand by what I wrote.
    When US left League of Nations and Italians’ invasion and occupation of Ethiopia was left unanswered by the League of Nations, another barrier to World War II was removed.
    If UNSC is useless, then any sensible country should become armed with hyper-sonic nuclear munitions. The path of North Korea will be the standard but not the exception.


    Pedantically: what was the proportion of agency that France had in Rwanda vs. Hutus vs. Tutsis?
    Would the genocide had occurred without the downing of the plane carrying the President of Rwanda?
    Who did that? Was it a French operation that had gone wrong?

  19. Yeah, Right says:

    “i see now that Australia is essentially a 3rd word country, hoping always like the other 3rd world countries that this phony institution can restrain the major powers.”
    You have completely misunderstood my post. I stated several times that the UN is not designed to do anything of the sort.
    It is deliberately designed to perpetuate the authority of the major powers as they existed at the end of WW2, and to be used as a cudgel against 3rd world countries that dare to “hope” otherwise.
    Oh, yeah, and also to provide a venue that can institutionalise the enmity between those major players so that they can spend their days staring daggers at each other without outright – and calamitous – war erupting between them. In that regard I believe Babak is quite correct, and your dismissal of him is unwarranted.
    “It would seem that you missed the absolute veto the permanent members of the security council have over everything.”
    What can I say except: read my previous post.
    Because I can’t see how anyone can read “Which, obviously, is why so few SC Resolutions contain those magic words and – equally obviously – the members of the P5 jealously guard their authority to put the kybosh on such stuff.” as anything other than a reference to the veto.

  20. Stueeeeee says:

    Your faith in the globalists’ bastard child, UN, is without basis. Did the UN hinder/stop the Iraq war? How about destruction of Libya? How about Syria? The UN does not prevent anything but provides “legal” or legitimacy for sanctioned interventions. Its other purpose is to whittle away the sovereignty of its unwitting member countries.

  21. scott s. says:

    I love the UN Special Rapporteur concept. Get that gig and you are set.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, right
    Good! You are not as bad as I thought, but the idea that the UN exists to perpetuate enmities is just childish.

  23. turcopolier says:

    Russia is not a 3rd world country? really?

  24. Deap says:

    Third world country: (1) raid the treasury and (2) hire the relatives. Ergo: Russia is a third world country. So is California. And the Detroit school system.

  25. English Outsider says:

    Colonel – it’s these accounts from the inside that are one of the things that makes SST such a valuable read. Is there anything else on the internet like it? I don’t think so.
    So I thought too when I read Walrus’ account. But Walrus, fascinating though your story is I like my stories to have happy endings. And I can’t work out whether you gave us a happy ending or not.
    As for the UN itself, bitter experience our side of the Atlantic with a supranational organisation we’re busy getting shot of at the moment (Yes, I know we’re being slow but we’re getting there) has convinced me of one thing. If you can’t vote the people who run one out of office then it’s guaranteed to become a monster gravy train.
    And the UN sets a magnificent example of that. Though since it’s kept a relative or two of mine in grand style I don’t often push that one too hard.

  26. mike says:

    Babak –
    I hope you are correct in your assumption that the UNSC will save us from another global war.
    But I’m not confident. How would that work if India and Pakistan start throwing nukes at each other? Perhaps at first the UNSC might put up a unanimous front. But I suspect that would deteriorate quickly if either New Delhi or Islamabad gained an advantage over the other.


    Col Lang:
    I would ask the commentator called Smoothie comment on this.
    Third World, proper, starts at the border of Iran-Pakistan or Egypt-Israel.


    UN was not setup to prevent any and all wars, only to reduce the chance of a major war among major powers.
    Its UNSC needs major reform, France and UK must be ejected, and only Russia, China, and US ought to remain as Permanent members.
    US war planes are currently buzzing the Russian Federation’s maritime borders in the Black Sea.
    If the Russians shoot down one of those planes, what would the United States do?

  29. Mark K Logan says:

    It wasn’t just Powers, the entire Clinton administration in hindsight deeply regretted not intervening in Rwanda. All but certainly she meant a US intervention. Many thought at the time that simply taking out the one radio station could have granted enough time to get some US troops in there. They had reduced their own people’s source of information to that one outlet and it was all but unguarded. Contributing to this hindsight is the fact that when the madness passed the people regretted it. It may have been preventable.
    Fred, The divide-and-rule playbook predates Marxism. It was SOP for imperial powers, pretty much. I think the Brits were the first who mastered the art but am ready to be corrected on that point. Old also is demonizing the “other”. In the case of Rwanda the Germans were the colonialists who created the Hutu and Tutsi ethnicity which did not, before they got there, exist. Once created they lived on after the Germans left. The Germans had done their work well…they had not idly made these divisions, they and had made Haves and Have-Nots out of them. That has sticking power everywhere.
    The Germans decided who was what by measuring the width of noses. Wide nose was considered inferior and the narrow nosed were deemed superior.
    Calling that crap Marxism would make Hitler a Marxist.


    Polish Janitor
    UN is not perfect but it is only forum in which problems of global security can be discussed.
    Many of the ills that you have enumerated took place after the end of Peace of Yalta, an institution of which UN was.
    The path forward, in my opinion, would be to negotiate another Peace to replace that of Yalta – let’s say the Peace of Makkinejad.
    The Peace of Makkinejad would be among the principal global powers – China, Russia, and US. UN would be re-purposed to serve this new Peace.
    I am not hopeful that this idea would be taken up by anyone; as power, know-how, and technique diffuse among many more states, those states would be pushing the envelope – to to speak – to crave out their own portion out of the carcass of the Peace of Yalta.
    The alternative is what obtained in the maritime realm for several centuries; Piracy, Letters of Marque, Proxy Battles – until the European states decided that piracy was not benefiting them.
    That is one thing.
    The other thing is that even with a Peace of Makkinejad at hand – how do you deal with situation when a deranged person has become the executive of a nuclear-armed state?
    (The entire Doctrines of Deterrence is based on ideas of Human Rationality etc.)


    All of us, like Willy Loman, live by Hope and Hope alone.

  32. Jimmy_W says:

    “UN is not perfect but it is only forum in which problems of global security can be discussed.”
    That is true and also irrelevant. Since the end of Colonialism, no country has a global security problem. [The American empire thinks it has a global security problem, but that is more a Borgist conceit.]
    The WTO deals with “economic security”, but does not derive its powers from the UN charter. The Paris Accord / Kyoto Protocol / etc global warming regimes also do not derive from the UN charter.
    Maybe you want to talk about asteroid defense, but the UN is not driving that train, either.
    Barring the future emergence of another Hitler-ish imperialist idiot [tho it may be soon], “problems of global security” is low on the list of concerns.

  33. turcopolier says:

    I prefer the motto of the von Senger family. “Neither fear nor hope.”

  34. Eric Newhill says:

    Hope for what?
    I know there’s an afterlife and that death changes nothing. In the meanwhile, I guess, as far as hope goes, I do find myself hoping for a good fight before I’m too old to be competitive in it. The Marxists and democrats are increasing that one hope. Otherwise good Bourbon and p**sy have always been readily available to me. What else is there?

  35. Polish Janitor says:

    Dear Babak, I understand your argument, but I believe that the answer to complex arbitrary and ‘enlightened’ man-made mechanisms of conflict prevention/resolution be it a forum, an intergovernmental institutions or else is not more of the same thing. You can’t heal a sick patient with more sickness. Your hypothetical proposal IMO sounds like building an apartment on the foundations of a half-ruined structure that itself needs to be dismantled before it starts dropping debris on people’s heads. I see UN as an excess, as something like a ‘big but hollow’ statement from the CFR types that has not lived up to its original expectations and probably never will. When there is excess of anything there is vanity and vanity is what UN has achieved since its inception with all its NGOs actors, forums, tribunals, etc.
    I do however see a role for the UN in matters such as natural disaster relief, very limited peacekeeping missions, pandemics, health, digging water wells in Africa, education and similar common-sense bread and butter issues not complex matters of war and peace.
    Before Yalta there was the League of Nations and that too did not prevent European great powers from projecting power in their region and tipping the BoP to their favor.
    The inception of UN coincided with the superpower status of the U.S. and thanks to Cold-War’s bipolar distribution of power (unlike in the 19th and early 20th century of great power competition’s volatility of power) the world became safer compared to the past so the nations around the world started developing and the lucky ones under the U.S. security umbrella were also able to develop into Fukuyama-style liberal democracies (social reform/democratization) like S.Korea, Japan, Germany and instead of spending on defense they spent their GDP in human development. The moment the U.S. pulls out their forces and evacuate its bases from these nations, they turn into their true national and cultural nature and liberal democracy will vanish.
    The peace and the prevention of war that you alluded to happened not because there was this hapless post-WW2 UN org., but because the U.S. was the policeman of the world and boy it was costly, misguided (pushed excessively for social reform instead of stability and order in undeveloped nations during the globalization period), and the blowback was so huge that it is exactly why there is Trump in the WH.
    And so here we are in 2020 and the great power competition much like in the 20s and 30s is back. In all honesty, do you believe UN will be able to play any positive role in maintaining peace globally? I think not Babak. But I will be curious to know your response.


    When B-52 airplanes are buzzing the maritime borders of the Russian Federation, when Russia has deployed a forward defense of hyper-sonic nuclear munitions, when China has deployed a 6000 km. of area-denial defenses; then I would say that there is a critical global security issue.
    “Borg” does not explain anything – it is a designation, a name, and not an explanation.
    John McCain, considered by many to have been a deranged man, was sent over and over again to the US Senate – one must include by an equally or more deranged constituency. Had McCain agreed to be the VP of Al Gore, he almost certainly would have been the President of the United States after Gore.
    I find that possibility – and its analogues – rather disturbing.

  37. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    But was the p**sy always good? I am driven by my obsessions to write more of the von Sengers. they were famously Fridolin le pere and Ferdinand le fils. they both were Rhodes scholars and members of a South German noble Catholic family. They were anti-Nazis and Grafin (counts). Their family was spread across Catholic Europe. Hitler hated Fridolin but his skill was such that he could not be eliminated. As General der Panzer Truppin, he commanded 14 Panzer Korps at Cassino. He was a 3rd order member of the community of St. Benedict. During the battle he went often to speak to his ecclesiastical superior, the abbot. His men fought us all to the death. Churchill, in the Commons, said that “across the fog of war it must be said that the struggle of the German 1st Parachute Division and 94th Panzer Grenadier Division are feats of arms that must be honored.” I had the privilege of spending some time with Ferdinand when he participated in a seminar at the US Army War College at the request of Colonel David Glantz. We got on well.


    Polish Janitor
    Thank you for your comments.
    Before Yalta there was no Peace, the prior one – the Peace of Vienna – had ended in 1914.
    This is the major difference between yourselves and me on the interpretation of the past.
    I also think it would be useful to make a distinction between the 1945-1991 period and the time since 1991.
    Prior to 1991, USSR and US were competing with each other to grab countries – like the days of the Potentates of Yore – the Tsar, the Ottoman Padeshah etc.
    Since 1991, the United States, in my opinion, has tried to make herself the Sovereign of the Planet – an impossibility on a planet that is 2/3 covered with water. That has clearly failed but at its inception, it had a lot of popular support in the United States as well as among her allies in Europe.
    On top of that has been the WASP culture-continent’s religious war for control of Palestine which will, in my opinion, go on for another century.
    The Peace of Makkinejad can reduce the possibility of accidental war among major powers – it will not eliminate it. The WASP religious war could be managed then through a set of cease-fires – like the one obtaining on the Korean Peninsula – but predicated on the lines of control at the time of the armistice.
    If you do not like the word “UN”, might I suggest “IUN” – standing for Improved United Nations.


    Eric Newhill:
    “What else is there?” you ask.

  40. turcopolier says:

    Neither fear no hope. You fight to the end.


    Col. Lang:

  42. Eric Newhill says:

    Yes. HOnor. That’s what the fighting is all about.
    Col Lang,
    Yes. Pretty high quality for the most part. I’m unusually discerning in that regard. More than just good looks; gotta have the right spirit too.

  43. Yeah, Right says:

    “You are not as bad as I thought, but the idea that the UN exists to perpetuate enmities is just childish.”
    Again, you misunderstand. It does not seek to perpetuate enmities as if that is in any way a good thing, or somehow a desirable state of affairs. But the diplomats who created the UN recognised that those enmities existed – how could they not in 1945 – and sought a way by which those enmities could be managed short of yet another armed conflict between globe-spanning military alliances.
    To put it crudely: the General Assembly was for the 3rd world countries and the non-aligned to let off steam, while the Security Council is where it was at as far as the major players were concerned. A they were very insistent that they could neutralise each other by veto.
    Again, not a happy accident. Quite deliberate.

  44. Jimmy_W says:

    “forward defense of hyper-sonic nuclear munitions”
    The so-called “Nuclear Holocaust”, while involving many states, never was, nor is, a “global security problem”. Even when South Africa and/or Brazil/Argentina had supposed nuclear weapon programs, Most of Africa and South America were not part of the Nuclear Holocaust scenarios. And much of Oceania, too.
    And the so-called “Nuclear Winter” would have been a blessing-in-disguise, if you believe in any of the so-called Global-Warming projections.
    While I sympathize with those of us obsessing over their personal fates in a nuclear Armageddon, that obsession is ultimately a psychiatric condition.
    You earlier spoke of every state wanting nuclear weapons, in the absence of the UN. For a good number of them, that is a perfectly rational desire, UN or not.

  45. Polish Janitor says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    It is pleasant engaging with you brother. I have no problem with the nomenclature and the IUN sound about fine, but as I said I’m not too optimistic about the prospect of a reformed UN. Nonetheless, one could see how UN might be able to fulfill some conflict resolution role under certain circumstances.
    With regards to the WASPs religious crusades, I agree with you. But unfortunately the WASPs along with their deranged dispensationalist sidekicks(Scofield Bible evangelicals) apparently do not respect any law (IUN or else).

  46. Fred says:

    Mark Logan,
    “divide-and-rule” The Romans were masters of the craft for centuries. The Inca and Aztec practiced their own versions, which is one reason Cortez found willing allies when he marched on Teotihuacan. As to Rawanda, Babak blames the French, you point out what the Germans did and I’m sure someone else will bring in the Belgians. All those people weilding all those machetes and none with agency to say no to all that killing.

  47. Eric Newhill says:

    I will look into von Sengers. Hopefully your writing on that topic will be available to us.
    In the realm of German military leadership, I like Guderian a lot. I studied him (the man) and his armor tactics and hoped, at first glance, he might even be Armenian, but, of course, he was not.

  48. Serge says:

    The UN? Speaking of anachronisms:
    Hamas recycles shells from British ships sunk off Gaza during WWI
    Salvage operation starts at 39:10. “UK Royal Navy’s HMS M15 warship was sunk off Gaza in 1917 during World War I.”

  49. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    Guderian? Sure, a grand theoretician of the armored theory, but the truly great men were Rundstedt, Manstein, Kesselring. After them came Manteufel, Rommel, Senger, Senger was notable because he was so Christian, as was his son. “Neither fear nor Hope.” As a veteran of VN I understand that.

  50. Mark K Logan says:

    For such matters IMO the question becomes who has the power to stop it. “Agency” becomes something for lawyers to argue about.

  51. Fred says:

    That sounds like an excuse for barbarism, but at least it empowers lawyers.

  52. Poul says:

    Babak, You forget the 100,000’s Hutus in Rwanda who had fled the Tutsi genocide on Hutus in Burundi in 1972. They were a group that happily would see Tutsis chop to pieces.

  53. Mark K Logan says:

    All violence is barbaric, I suppose. But stopping the hacking to death of 800,000 civies seems a valid excuse.
    There’s an old film with the late-great John Hurt called “Shooting Dogs” worth a view. It’s a dramatization of the true story of a Catholic priest who tried to shelter some folks when that was going on.
    A spooky aspect of this film is it was done at the actual compound where the priest had attempted to shelter people in Rwanda…and the extras they used were local men, many of whom had participated in the slaughter.

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