Monday, January 5, 2009

World Crisis Management Once Again Falls To The United Nations

The United Nations Security Council

The world once again finds itself in crisis, with the body that is tasked with handling it, the United Nations, being one of the more ineffectual and anemic institutions that we have at our disposal.

Made up of 192 countries, the U.N., since 1945 when it was founded, has done some very good things in its' humanitarian missions (and some not so well). It is when we get to the role of the Security Council and the management of world peace, that it finds itself lacking any semblance of teeth, and in many instances, particularly when Israel is involved, an unbiased approach.

The Security Council

Sorry about the history lesson, but the Security Council, made up of 5 permanent and 10 rotating members, is tasked: "as an organ with primary responsibility for preserving peace. Unlike the General Assembly, it was given power to enforce measures and was organized as a compact executive organ. " (Columbia Encyclopedia)

This is a very large responsibility, and one that has not been effectuated very well. Particularly when the issues involve the Middle East and Israel, the composition of the Security Council: permanent members United States, Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom, and the non-permanent members that now includes Austria, Japan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Viet Nam, Costa Rica, Mexico, Croatia and Turkey, have trouble being an unbiased arbiter of the problem.

Finding any consensus is difficult at best, with any permanent member having veto power, and resolutions, once passed, difficult to enforce and enforced only in spots. Two wars, the Korean and 1991 Gulf War were authorized by the Security Council, but countries, Israel included, can be in non-compliance for years of resolutions being initiated with no action being taken.

President Of The General Assembly

(CNN)Earlier on Saturday, the president of the U.N. General Assembly criticized both Israel's ground assault into Gaza and the U.N. Security Council's response to it.

"I think it's a monstrosity; there's no other way to name it," Miguel D'escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua said Saturday when asked about the Israeli incursion launched just hours before. "Once again, the world is watching in dismay the disfunctionality of the Security Council."

Brockmann blamed the week long violence in Gaza on the "unfulfilled resolutions of the Security Council," referring to the 1967 resolution that called for lasting peace in the Middle East after the Arab-Israeli War.

"I'm not coming hard on any member state. I'm coming down strongly in defense of the rights of a people that are being subjected to extreme measures by another member," Brockmann said when pressed to clarify his position.

"To say the violence now erupted because of some rockets fired by Hamas is to ignore the fact that there's been violence for decades and the very occupation itself of the territory is a violent thing."

The Humanitarian Side of the Conflict

Now there is no denying the fact that there is a huge humanitarian crisis that this conflict is bringing to the innocents living in Gaza. There has to be some power brought to bear to take care of and possibly evacuate those whose only "crime" is that they are being thrown in front of the bus by Hamas, who has as its' main goal the annihilation of its' neighbor and manipulation of world opinion.

By placing their munitions and soldiers among the citizens of Gaza, Hamas is opening them up to the danger and hardships that this incursion is creating.

The United Nations, although tasked with keeping peace in the world, should stick to what they do best and work along side other worldwide humanitarian organizations to get the civilians of Gaza, being used as human shields by Hamas, the food, medicine and shelter they need, and a method of getting to safety.

The lip service offered by the Security Council does no one any good other than offering a forum for anti-Israel and pro-Hamas rhetoric at the microphones of the U.N.

Much Talk Of Disproportionate Response

Contrary to the opinions of many in the governments and media around the world condeming Israel, I do not believe that collateral damage and death of civilians is in any way the goal of this exercise.

People bring up the concept of a disproportionate response by Israel, but it, like any country, wants to protect its' citizens and borders from the missiles that are indiscriminately aimed at it, with the sole purpose of KILLING MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

Make no mistake, if Hamas had more powerful missiles with greater range they would use them in the same way they are using the current ones. If they had other types of weapons they would use them too. Does anyone think that there aren't other countries that are feeding them arms, and that the nature of those arms will only escalate over time?

If one man in a train station has a grenade and is shot dead by a swat team before he kills and injures 200 people, is that a disproportionate response? Particularly if he plans to do the same thing every day?

What would world response be if instead of landing 12 miles inside the borders, they were able to reach Jerusalem.

Would there be an outcry when the innocent Israelis were killed?

Or would there be a disproportionate worldwide response of silence or lack of true concern? Think about the answer to that question.


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