July 13, 2005

Harvard International Digest

A group of Harvard undergrads have started an international affairs blog. One of them, Alan Rozenshtein, has some good questions about the media's handling of the 10th anniversary of Srebrenica.

Posted by Gregory at July 13, 2005 11:10 PM | TrackBack (1)

Thanks for posting that Link Greg - they were interesting and relevant comments. However it does to me personally reinforce the need for a super-national body to take action on such issue and foce constituents to act regardless of whether its in their national interest or not. I read tday about the Rwandan genocide, and was shocked to remember that nearly a million people were killed in barely 3 months, with largely primitive implements. The savagery must have been horrific. Sbrenica and even the holocaust look "almost" tame by comparison. We've been saying never again for 50+ years... and its meant nothing...

Whcih leads me back to my thoughts on the UN. I know I'm on record as having stated this fairly often, and I know I'm a little naive about international relations hence my presence on this site.

I would like to think Iraq has shown the shortsightedness of unilateral action - at least in that nation building on your own is a bloody difficult assignment at the best of times. Therefore multi-lateral action in some cases offers significant benefits inlcuding shared costs of rebuilding, reduced reliance on a single population to fund military endeavouors as well as political legitimacy for military actions (in an international sense).

Thats said I accept that the UN is fundamentally weak and damaged in its current state. But hopefully the Iraq conflict will show that a multi-lateral action does have some significant benefits, and that should the key constituents pull together to create and strong unified UN that IS prepared to take action and not stand on the sidelines when humanitarian crises are occuring, there would be some significant benefits. Not leastr of all hopefully a reduction in the number of Rwanda's, Sbrenica's and Darfurs.

To be honest I'm not that familiar with the existing constraints the UN operates to, although I can appreciate the amount of petty politicking that must go on. Thats said the original premise of the UN is pretty straight forward. I guess the US in my opinion could do a lot for her future foreign relations if she were to devote some energy to helping reshape the UN into a useful and capable body, which is clearly focused on preventing humanitarian crises aroudn the world. Surely that is something worth putting national interests aside for on occasion.

I know I probably sound a bit naive about this, but I honestly believe the alternative to a weak or non-existant UN, will ultimately be another global international conflict which will make WWII look like tiddlywinks.

Posted by: Aran Brown at July 15, 2005 07:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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