Make "Never Again" A Reality

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by NATO AIR, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    on the eve of what Reuters is suggesting will be Colin Powell's testimony to Congress calling the events in Darfur genocide, here is a fantastic proposal from a professor at Norte Dame in the Christian Science Monitor. I know I give the UN a hard time, but I do think this could be possible and Pres. Bush and Tony Blair could help make this happen, whether its part of the UN or independent and deployed by its own leadership (which I would prefer)

    and by the way, can the US military (or allies supported by us) please be allowed to do what many in the ranks would like to do and rescue Darfur from genocide?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0907/p09s02-coop.html

    Put teeth in 'never again' vow with fast, full-scale UN response

    By Robert C. Johansen

    SOUTH BEND, IND. – Cambodia, Yugoslavia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Congo, Liberia, Rwanda. Now, Darfur. After each genocide or major atrocity, everyone promises: "Never again." But mass murder has happened again, and yet again. The time to stop it has come.
    Here's how: Establish a permanent United Nations Emergency Service and base it, until needed, at a UN-designated site, ready with mobile field headquarters to quell an atrocity within 48 hours after UN authorization. Because it would be permanent, it would not suffer from current delays in setting up an ad hoc force. Because it would be made up of volunteers from around the world, it would not be held back by the chronic reluctance of UN members to deploy their own national units in risky situations.
    A 12,000- to 15,000-member Emergency Service could be expertly trained and coherently organized, so it would not fail due to a lack of skills, equipment, cohesiveness, experience in resolving conflicts, or gender, national, or religious imbalance. It would be an integrated service encompassing civilian, police, judicial, military, and relief personnel prepared to conduct all necessary functions in complex emergencies, so it would not lack the specialized professionals essential to succeed in peace operations. There would be no confusion about the chain of command, which would be headed by a designee of the UN secretary-general with the approval of the Security Council.

    In the past, even when the Security Council has been able to agree on authorizing a peace operation, three to six months often pass before a force is fully in position. In similar cases in the future, the proposed Emergency Service could make a big difference. Moreover, once a permanent UN force is established and earns a reputation for effectiveness, it would be easier for the Security Council to agree to deployments because council members would not face new start-up costs, complicating delays, and the danger of putting their own national units at risk (or the embarrassment of voting for a force and then not contributing to it).

    Because the UN has lacked the capacity to move promptly in the past, millions of innocent people have been killed and millions more wounded. Genocidal frenzies have forced tens of millions from their homes, destroyed entire economies, and wasted hundreds of billions of dollars.

    If the UN Security Council had previously established an emergency service, the thousands of people now being killed in Darfur and the 2 million who have fled their homes would probably still be alive and well and living in their communities.

    The service could protect families in secured villages against marauding warriors bent on "ethnic cleansing." It could gather evidence of crimes against humanity and arrest those committing them. It could hold detainees in a rights-sensitive international penal system until they can be indicted and tried by a tribunal operating under international standards of due process. The service also could begin emergency humanitarian assistance to victims fleeing previous raids, and provide security for humanitarian workers.

    The UN Emergency Service would, for the first time in history, offer an immediate, comprehensive, internationally legitimate response to crisis.

    Although the emergency force would cost an estimated $2 billion to establish, with an annual recurring cost of $900 million, those expenses are far lower than the costs likely to occur if conflicts are allowed to spiral out of control.

    According to data from the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict and from the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the international community spent approximately $200 billion in seven major interventions in the 1990s. It could have saved an estimated $130 billion of that expenditure with a more effective preventive approach.

    Leaders from some progressive national governments, human rights organizations, religious groups, and surviving members of victimized families around the world are calling for a rapid-deployment capability to protect the innocent from future atrocities. Yet because not enough governments have answered this call, members of civil society must press governments now to establish this UN Emergency Service.

    It could curtail violence in divided societies, deflect venomous attacks between those of different ethnicities and religious traditions, end a culture of impunity, encourage the concentration of scarce resources on meeting human needs rather than on harming one's neighbors, and bring an energizing focus to the meaning of human security. It could produce monumental benefits in lives saved, mothers and daughters protected against grievous violations, families still able to live at home, time and money never spent to kill and destroy, tolerance maintained, laws upheld, and communities at peace.

    Finally, we could give genuine meaning to "never again."

    • Robert C. Johansen is senior fellow at the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.
     
  2. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Nice idea but:

    1) Where does the money come from to stand up, maintain, train and equip this force?
    2) Who provides the logistics to project this entity anywhere in the world?
    3) Who decides which person is in the "cahin of command" for this force?
    4) Which nation provides the home base for this entity?
    5) Who sets the criteria and conditions for this unit's deployment? By that I mean some force has got to clear the way (read "make safe") for all the "peacekeepers" to get in and out and around the crisis area.

    I would also like to point out that the UN already has many organizations that are supposed to do exactly what is proposed in the article; why not draw upon those and streamline them?
     
  3. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    My guess is that you knew the answers before you even formulated the questions.
     
  4. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Awww, you are not going to let me have any fun with this are you. Party pooper!
     
  5. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    NAto air, the U.N. is a joke. NEVER AGAIN, should it be trusted to accomplish anything important.
     
  6. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    One - the UN will NEVER agree to such a scheme because it would mean abdicating what little power they have.

    Two - If the UN does NOT exercise direct control over this proposed force, then we have an autonomous military entity deciding when and where it will strike. Not a good idea.

    Three - Who pays for this? Rhetorical question. You know damn well who will end up footing the bill.

    Four - $900 million a year? Please. That won't even pay for the expense of a single deployment. Let's take a more realistic look. This scheme has soldiers, lawyers, judges aid workers, police and administrators in the mix. They are going to be doing hazardous duty in foreign countries. Just exactly how cheaply do you think they can be hired? Let's take a conservative number of $100,000 per year per person on average, including the shysters and judges, doctors, etc etc. For a total of twelve thousand folks, that's 1.2 billion on salaries alone, assuming the batteries on my calculator aren't dead. And - that's just to pay them to sit around and play soccer. That doesn't include equipment maintenance, training, housing, meals, and miscellaneous other necessities. Nope. Think that a more realistic tab for this little venture would be something on the order of 3.5 billion per year - and that's STILL not including any deployments.

    Five - Sluggish decision making is not a systemic problem within the UN. It is a problem of corruption, profiteering and cross-purposes of the membership. The UN is fundamentally corrupt. Now this egghead proposes arming it. Oh yes indeed. Very good idea.

    Six - He proposes a combination of "civilian, police, judicial, military, and relief personnel prepared to conduct all necessary functions in complex emergencies". So this force of 12 to 15 thousand will only have about 6 to 8 thousand military. That's not enough to do anything but surround a couple of towns. Certainly not enough to patrol a country. And that brings us back to that $900 million again - getting more ridiculous by the minute.

    Seven - LAWYERS and JUDGES deployed with a military force. Gee - the guys will be a bit conflicted on who to shoot, don't ya think?

    Eight - And this is my favorite passage from this whole naive, simplistic and ill-considered proposal "It could hold detainees in a rights-sensitive international penal system until they can be indicted and tried by a tribunal operating under international standards of due process." By all means, let's catch machette murderers and read them their rights. You bet. Want to venture a little guess on what this aspect of the good professor's scheme will cost?

    But all of the foregoing is beside the point. The UN is beyond redemption. It is proof beyond reasonable doubt that most nations of the world cannot be trusted to do the right thing and that given the opportunity to choose between corrupt pocket lining and human rights, the pockets win every time.

    Your world vision lacks the temperance of reality. Until that reality changes, we would be wise to keep our own counsel instead of looking to petty and corrupt thieves like Kofi Annan to administer the world.
     
  7. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I most humbly apologize. Forbearance has never been one of my strong points. :bow2:
     
  8. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    That's where I was heading, of course.
     
  9. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I knew that. :beer:
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Some of the details on the oil for food scandal are beginning to ooze out. I beleive on Sunday there is going to be a special on TV ( not sure whose airing it) detailing some of the ugly truth. I wouldn't trust the UN to mow my lawn.
     

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