Thank you for your time to post a reply. I honestly didn't expect one, and I'm pleasantly surprised that it was not just a baseless insult.
Thank you for answering nicely, even though I tend to flame, and issue unnegociable truths :-)
The United Nations may disagree and pass resolutions all day to the effect that they do not agree with the United States' military incursion into Afghanistan (or any other country for that matter), but they do not hold any sort of power over the United States.
The problem that the UN is the only moral and legitimate way to handle such an international dispute ; it would be 3 phases: 1) ask the Afghanistan to arrest and extrade all the terrorist 2) if the demand isn't met, ask the UN for military action 3) once the terrorists are arrested judge them on the UN International Tribunal. For Milosevic 2) was skipped, but at least 1) (asking him to cease) and 3) were met.
The Council of the UN has the necessary power:
Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council's decisions.
The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use "all necessary means," including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.
I would think that a successful propaganda campaign combined with strong humanitarian and military presence would make evident those who are against us and those who would appreciate our help.
Bin laden has been searched for years. It's hard to find someone in 650000 sq km, especially since Afghanistan is mostly mountains and deserts (altitude ranges from 200 meters to 7000 meters... try to send an army at 7000 m...), and as no access to sea.
As for propaganda, no one is going to listen to American propaganda, and the islamic extremists are doing a better job anyway. The American-centric treatement ("this is not a war only America but also against the world" etc...) of the attack in American media is certainly discrediting them tremendously in Muslim countries. Especially considering many American past actions have been quite ugly... I mean, yes there could have been an uniform international sympathy not only for the victims as now, but also for the country if the country have been Switzerland. But the current loop nearly 24/24 on American attack, the american flag-waving, is probably starting to be sickening for other countries, considering the far worse events that happened in the world, and mostly unnoticed in American media ; especially TV, which is the worst : for instance on CNN only one expert mentioned US former support for bin laden, and didn't even admit CIA was involved.
This sentiment was extremely well summed up in this article two years ago.
For the record, the counter-focus in some arabic media, is contrasting the US media coverage of the US attack ; and of the Sabra and Shatila massacres (of 800 to 3000 civilians) in 1982
(see BBC recent reports, anarabic media report, and the official Israeli report)
First of all, we have a lot of know-how in the area of agriculutre that could be very helpful to address the problem of scarce food supplies in Afghanistan.
I don't think know-how in agriculture is the problem ; Afghanistan has never been a good area, and can't afford machines, pesticides, patented species to grow.
Secondly, a little education would go a long way. As long as these people remain as uneducated as they are, they will always be taken advantage of those such as the Taliban or other oppressive regimes. A people that cannot think for themselves is far more easy to exploit and control than one that is educated.
This is an excellent point and the crux. However, education is a "welfare goodie", something which US doesn't tolerate as such: under US pressure, the international organisation (IMF, World Bank), impose the drastic "consensus of Washingtown" on countries they are supposed to help: the result is something known as "privatise everything". This is something which suits very much the US, but is a major subject of contestation from the EU for instance (the European countries won't match most of the demands made on Third World countries). I saw a recent report in the New Economist about South America perception of "privatisation of public services" forced on those South American countries: in most countries, more than 50% people thought that it had been detrimental (or very detrimental), and in the last 5 years, this rate has increased. One example was that in some country, 80% of the teachers didn't have even a Bachelor degree anymore.
Helping funding public schools is not currently US politics ; "privatisation and then free market will lead to optimimality" is the motto.
Also note on the other hand, the rich Saudi Arabia is funding many "koranic", "fundementalist" etc... schools everywhere in the world ; Saudi Arabia being one of the only countries, US can't say much against, for they have 25% of the oil reserves in the world.
Regarding American interference: I guess that there are one of two choices -- we either get involved in these things, or we do not. For the US, it seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If the Americans get involved in a regional dispute, it's American interference. If we let it run its course, we're ignoring what's going on. So which is it? Case in point -- the US draws lots of flack over the fact that there is severe shit going on in Africa,
US (CIA) knew that a genocide was about to happen in Rwanda and did nothing (nor did warn anyone, as far as I knew). It's a bit like if the Taliban were warned of the date and nature of the terrorist attacks on the US and did nothing.
However, we try to serve as broker in the Israel / Palestine peace process, and then we're meddling and interfering.
This is a general problem. The US isn't a neutral broker between Israel and Palestine. It sides usually with Israel. Although the situation is very messy in Middle East (have a look to the general timeline), the Israel has done many condemnable actions, which US implicitely or explicitely supported them. Note that the Defense Israel minister when Sabra&Shatila massacres (which the UN agreed to call genocide) occured, was Sharon, which happens to be the prime minister today: you can imagine how pissed some Palestinian can be, and how arabic media can focus on these. Also note that Israel is violating some UN resolutions, and US speaking silence is to be somewhat contrasted to EU position and actions. But it's probably US differential treatement of Israel (don't push for implementing UN resolutions) and Iraq (bombing, comtempt of UN, and an embargo that now lasted too long, killing to many civilians, without any result) ; which is the cause of some disgust.
I guess we could stop all interference with these nations, but then again, I don't want the conflicts that we are involved in to turn out like the ones in Africa. Once more, if you have a more reasonable and intelligent solution, let me know.
UN are the intelligent solution. If they don't work, fix them. But don't bypass them.
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