Sunday, July 13, 2008

Responsibility to Protect

The UN Security Council's decision to do nothing about Zimbabwe is remarkable and it isn't. It isn't remarkable to anyone who considers the UN to be a by and large useless, and deeply corrupt organization, the disappearance of which would barely be noticed by most people except those who have their hands in the UN salary troughs. Of course, the UN can only be so good as its weakest links, and there's plenty of weak links. South Africa's voice on the Security Council has fairly routinely been supportive of the worst criminals as far as human rights violating states go. China couldn't possibly bring itself to issue a vote condemning Mugabe's junta because it's in bed, pardon, in business with the kleptocratic dictator and his minions. Indeed, just today the BBC reports that China, despite an official UN arms embargo, has busily sold weapons to the Sudanese regime. It is still training the Sudanese army in the use of these weapons. These weapons have demonstrably been used to murder innocent people in the ongoing genozide in Darfur.

Thankfully many heads of states, from George W Bush to Angela Merkel are falling over each other to promise to the Chinese government that they will attend the opening of the olympic games. It is business as usual. So, surely, if permanent members of the UN Security Council are actively supporting governments like the Zimbabwean and Sudanese, we cannot seriously expect the Council to act in any meaningful way. Indeed, if it acted against Zimbabwe, why should China not be next on its list. It seems then that we cannot seriously expect the Security Council to enforce the UN's 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine - after all, we all know the saying 'don't throw stones while you're sitting in the glasshouse'. China, South Africa (and its President Thabo Mbeki) are anything but genuinely concerned about civil rights and the duty to protect citizens of UN member states from serious abuses of such. So, Bob Madhatter, go on... nobody is gonna stop you until someone finds oil in Zim. No wonder you declared, in view of the international community's failure to deal with you and your fellow thugs, that you're 'happy'. So would I be, if I was in your shoes.

1 comment:

  1. Zimbabwe is a pretty stright forward issue for both China and Russia. Any wording in a resolution that speaks to the validity of teh elections there will never gain traction with a Russia (know for its less than free and fair elections) and a China (known for its absence of democratic elections).

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