Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guardian: International Law has Created World Peace

Norm pokes fun at a Guardian leader here. Always a worthy pastime, even if it's not a hard one. So I went and read the piece he finds so sloppy, and noticed an additional oddity in the article:
The current attorney general would do well to remember the damage done during the Iraq affair, when dubious interpretations of resolution 1441 were used to license the course the superpower was already set on. This created the sense that the UN's role was a fraud. Whether it has been right or wrong on Libya, it has proved capable of shared resolve, and shown it can have teeth. The new language of regime change may leave the council descending into accusations of bad faith – and the planet slipping back into a more lawless world. [my emphasis].
If I understand the argument, it seems to be saying that the rise of the UN and international law have made the world a more lawful, and thus more peaceful, place. I suppose this might seem compelling to an egotistical ignoramus in Europe, but does it bear any relation to the human condition? I didn't think so, and did a spot of digging around - well, about 30 seconds of digging, to be precise. Google directed me to this list of the wars of the 20th century, which seems to be hinting that there were more than twice as many wars worldwide in the half century since the foundation of the United Nations as in the half century preceding its creation.

This seems to indicate that abolishing the United Nations and discarding international law might dramatically reduce human suffering. At any rate, that's the plausible outcome if you concur with the Guardian that there's any connection whatsoever between the UN and international law on the one hand, and the human propensity to warfare on the other.


Silke said...

I was just told by TV-historian-celebrity Simon Schama about the same during his book talk at Carnegie council

not really a talk worth listening to except that I learned that he did a profile on Tzipi Livni and is now another know-all Israel-expert - here is the profile, a puff piece worthy of a women's magazine but in the FT? - the world is getting stranger and stranger

Sérgio said...

The UN is over, a walking dead or
political zombie.

I also hope americans will kick Obammamia out of office soon, as this fraud is a really dangerous guy: he´s a mix of ideological fervor with amazing incompetence, a perfect recipe for disaster.

NormanF said...

The UN is dominated by tyrannies who use international law as a weapon to undermine the West and justify the repression of their people at home.

The UN has done nothing to promote world peace and end human suffering. One can make a good case it has failed to achieve those aims.

But for the Caring Left, international brotherhood sounds good - until you discover the brethren are cannibals and terrorists.

Its just sickening such depraved people are given a welcome every fall in the UN as though they were the most upright and respected in the world!

The mystique of the UN is lost on me.

Silke said...

I wish the case of the UN were as simple as it seems, if one only looks at the GA and the Security Council.

But it has long evolved into an octopus the tentacles of which are meddling everywhere and possibly not everywhere in a damaging way.

My own (professional) experience was with UNO's WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) located in Geneva and there the Patent Cooperation Treaty. And though I have my doubts that it is wise of western countries to facilitate access to their intellectual property the way PCT does. I must admit that their standardising the bureaucratic procedures around the world looks like a gift to mankind to me.

Zaev said...

Post hoc ergo proper hoc?

Silke said...

once an institution has managed to become integrated into the systems that keep a society functioning they become almost impossible to kill.

and right now instead of curbing the trend to ever more internationalising the Zeitgeist demands that it shall take over ever bigger areas.

and the good that may have been done by all this treaty signing will be a huge impediment to any attempt of curbing the effort of letting the Goldstones of this world take over.

Barry Meislin said...

And of course, the most important priority right now is to create another failed Arab state.

(Or should that be two failed Arab states.)

Whose sole raison d'etre is to destroy an existing state.

(But so what....)