[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Sat Aug 28 00:49:13 UTC 2004

"The Avantguardian" wrote:

> > So what you are saying, then, is since Chirac said
> > that France would
> > "never, never" vote for the UN to go to war that the
> > UN is therefore
> > without any teeth, and international law no longer
> > exists on a de facto basis????
> Nah, I interperate this to mean that the last French
> head of state that had any testicular fortitude was
> Napolean Bonaparte and he was a megalomaniac.


> Since WW-II seems to indicate that France won't even
> go to war to defend themselves against invasion, I have to
> question WHY they are on the U.N. Security Council to
> begin with. 

They had a thing called the Marginot line, which I understand
the unobliging German's went around rather than over. Rommel and
his blitzcreiging panzers did meet French resistance but the French
were prepared to fight the last war (trenches) not the then current

The French fought. And there was a resistance. They were a war

If you going to have an international law body dedicated to maintaining
international peace and security you can't have a cast of thousands on
it or it wouldn't work. It would take too long to make decisions. 
To be legitimate (in the eyes of most people in the world)
it needs to represent most people in the world. 

Its like the no taxation without representation thing. 

If your going to have 5 permanent security council members I think
you have to have the US, China and Russia's power and populations
give then a place, and the last two could be any number of countries
but the UK and France are as good as any other so far as I can see.

If I was planning to build a UN that was good for the US I'd be pleased
to have the UK and France on it. They have a lot in common with
the US. It is unlikely that another representative UN would suit the US
so well. 

>I mean isn't this a little bit like hiring
> a hari-krishna to be your body guard? 

Could be.  

>I like the U.N.,
> I support its mission, but I think it definately needs
> to "clean house".

It's a club. A club of nations. Only the club members
can fix it and like in any club some members have more
influence than others. The big 5 have a lot of influence
but no one has more influence than the USA.

At this point in history the USA can make or break the
UN. But what worries me is that to make it work requires 
enlightened self interest on the part of the US over the long
term wheras the US like most liberal democracies is only
used to thinking ahead in 4 year terms. 

The people that have the most power to fix the UN are US
citizens but they are unlikely to see it as something that it is
worth their while to attend to, let alone fix. International law
is just not something most people (US voters) minds seem
to stretch too. 

Brett Paatsch

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