The Dartmouth Observer

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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Oh, come on already

John Stevenson writes:

This is a post for all those who think that the US should listen to the UN. I will ask now, and continue to ask, why should we listen to a group of slave-owning thugs and crackpot dictators about how to conduct our international affairs.

I ask myself (and John) - is this really a sound argument? Self says "not a chance in hell." I hope John thinks so, too. The reason being, very simply, that just because other nations fail to live up to the international laws (and yes, sometimes even common morality) promulgated by the United Nations is no reason that we should join them in their lawlessness. It is our mistake to embrace states like Syria, yes, and it shows how this country sometimes does not practice what it preaches. That is no excuse for us to throw out our norms altogether, rather it is an example of why we should push harder to live up to them - starting by not defying the United Nations and essentially breaking the treaty we signed (aka, the UN Charter). If Iraq defies the UN inspectors again, we will have a legitimate grievance. As long as the inspectors have unfettered access, we have no grounds for war. If you wish to argue our grounds are to liberate the Iraqi people, we can start by liberating any number of other countries that are in equally dire straits and do not pose such a foreign relations problem at this time. In the meantime, our military has better things to do. They can start by buttressing Afghanistan so we have a strong ally and example of the good will the US can bring to other nations, rather than the cowboy style of government this administration so enjoys.

Of course, one could confront the statement in a more facile way by asking why we allow racists, bigots, neo-Nazis, homophobes, and other assorted bozos to be enfranchised in this country, helping to decide how we conduct ALL our affairs. A democratic system is a democratic system, bad with good.