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Revealing Contrasts: Bush, Dean & the International Order

| 15 Comments
Mader Blog is on a roll. This post where he quotes Steyn is absolutely worth your attention: bq. "The one consistent feature of the post-9/11 era is the comprehensive failure of the international order. The French use their Security Council veto to protect Saddam. The EU subsidises Palestinian terrorism. The International Atomic Energy Agency provides cover for Iran's nuclear ambitions. The UN summit on racism is an orgy of racism." Word. I also liked Mader's analysis and deconstruction of Howard Dean's big foreign policy speech. Read that, then read his transcript and analysis of Bush's recent press conference. It will tell you more about the coming election that all the talking heads on CNN. Mader leans rightward, but I strongly suspect that a lot of other folks outside of Dean's base are going to have similar reactions.

15 Comments

Steyn also says, "I've come to the conclusion that the entire international system needs to be destroyed."

Those of us on the left know from the Trotskyist "smash the state" fringe that people who talk about destroying are more attracted by the destruction per se than in why, to what, or what will replace it.

So that explains why the Left shut down the State institutions for the mentally handicapped in the 1960ís, which turned a lot of very sick and poorly equipped people out on the street because they had ?? Nowhere else to go.

The international system is merely meant to protect the people currently in power in their own nations. You can't look at the UN and say it is working with a straight face. It has gone from a peaceful human rights organization to a dictator protection agency. Most of it's representatives are not even representative of the people of their own nations, much less the world community. It is time for the UN to evolve into something useful or disappear.

I favor a return to the League of Nations. Now that was an effective organization!

Who says anything should "replace" the U.N. and international systems. I think an instead of or also would be better. Like a League of Democracies. You get the benefit of a talking club but you also strengthen more decent countries like India and Japan at the expense of the Chinas and Syrias. Good deal there.

I was thinking about this very same topic the other day (i.e. what would be a better international order). The idea that I was toying with the most was a "Council of Democracies" that would explicitly state it it's charter that all of its decisions are nonbinding recommendations, no international organization can grant or deny legitimacy to any act, and that it may not meddle in the internal matters of any of its members (among other things). It's charter of individual rights would be similar to the Bill of Rights (i.e. right to free expression, yes, right to healthcare or welfare, no), and membership would be strictly limited to democratic states.

Dill, a screwup as monumental as the emptying of the mental institutions was a collaberation of the Left and the Right. The deal was that there were supposed to be community based group homes and halfway houses. The right wasn't real enthusiastic about funding them, so they were inadequet from the start. The Right bears that onus.
Then, of course, the Left pounded the final nail into the coffin by ensuring that there was no way to actually enforce the patient following the treatment. So the already inadequet staff in the too few group homes and halfway houses cannot make the clients take their meds.
As for those who talk about destruction being more interested in the destruction than the replacement, that may well be true of the hard or fringe Left. Hitler's Germany had to be destroyed. A lot of lives and treasure went into rebuilding it. Hussein's Ba'athist thugocracy needed to be destroyed. We are even now spending the lives of our young men and women and our national treasure in replacing it.
It's a good thing that Roosevelt and Churchill were not Trotskyites and neither are Bush and Blair.

Posted by Dill, Dec. 20, 2003

"So that explains why the Left shut down the State institutions for the mentally handicapped in the 1960ís, which turned a lot of very sick and poorly equipped people out on the street because they had ?? Nowhere else to go."

That was a bipartisan disaster. The institutions were closed down for good reason--they were snake pits. Legislators then made sure that the money saved from closing those institutions didn't go toward what would have been far more economical outpatient care for the many who could have been maintained.

I don't really care for the "League of Democracies", because France and Germany are democracies and yet are perfectly complicit in leaving dictators like Saddam around. We need to having something tuned to freedom.

That which will replace the "international system" is already replacing it - sovereign nations aligning themselves with like-minded nations to advance shared-national goals, e.g., the U.S., U.K., Australia and others to win the war on terrorism; France, Germany, Russia and China to defend the status quo and the prerogatives of dictators. As it was is as it will be.

As the UN has proven (and the League of Nations before it), the EU is proving, and NATO will very likely prove, broad-based multi-lateral organizations and treaties are very nearly unworkable and not altogether desirable when they do.

Sure, it would be nice to have a "league of democracies," or some such heart-warming organization, but what's the point? Collective security? We've seen that collective security only works when the threat is mutually self-evident. The war on terrorism enjoys no such mutual appreciation.

Advancing democracy? Notwithstanding that many European democracies prefer dealing with authoritarian and totalitarian governments, many of these same governments believe other peoples insufficiently evolved to govern themselves. Israel is a democracy; the ďPalestinian AuthorityĒ is an EU funded, UN celebrated terrorist organization no different than the Khmer Rouge or the Shining Path.

Free trade? While U.S. hypocrisy on farm subsidies is shameful, European farm subsidies consume more than half the EU's annual budget.

Protecting the environment? Notwithstanding the cancerous effect of Kyoto upon the U.S. economy, no such treaty that fails to treat all economies evenly is worth pursuing.

No, the future is bilateralism or small-group multilateralism - not that we'll ever defund the UN, as its better for us for the genocidal kleptocrats to think they've got a legitimate forum. It doesn't do us any good to formally recognize we really don't take them seriously at all by taking away the one international institution that does.

Don't believe me? Then how do you explain the Durban UN conference on racism?

Anyone?

Does anyone have a reference to democratic vs non-democratic countries in the UN? Besides the Freedom House studies. I am trying to do an analysis of the UN as a self-interested organization and want to establish certain parameters of the UN's characteristics.

I'm certainly not intrinsically opposed to a League of Democracies, but given the fact I agree with you that elections are only a necessary but not sufficient condition, I hope you're prepared to treat some difficult borderline cases.

For example, at what time (including 'not yet') did the following become eligible for membership: South Korea, Taiwan, Brasil, Mexico, Turkey, Croatia, Singapore, the Philippines, Slovakia, Russia, Chile (did the Allende years count?). Was Zimbabwe ever a member, and if so, when was it expelled?

I have no problems with a return to the League of Nations -- because the United States was never a member.

SDB,

Just read Deanís response to the WaPo's editorial: it's woefully inadequate.

Notwithstanding his lies, misrepresentations, half-truths, red herrings and equivocations, Dean displays a profound and troubling miscomprehension of our enemy and how we win the war on terror. Itís as if it was November 1941 in Deanís world.

If this angry wimp ends up as the Dem nominee, writing off '04, I don't see how they repair themselves for future elections.

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