Sunday, 18 September 2016

We Know What We Don't Want But We Don't Know What We Do Want

Despite the ceasefire, so called, in Syria, American jets have been in action hitting the wrong target (probably). The US has expressed regret for hitting Assad's troops, allied to and supported by Russia, a couple of days before the US and Russia were, maybe still are, about to start a joint operation against IS.

Russia has called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the air strike and the US has described the calling of the meeting a stunt. Stunt or not it's certainly a complete waste of time, the UN is a waste of time and money as things stand and the Security Council is a large part, if not the largest part of the problem. The 'major powers', a title the once great Britain clings to even in bankruptcy have control and they are not singing from the same song sheet. In fact they're not even using the same book.

Aid conveys intended for the thousands of suffering civilians in rebel held areas of Syria are still on the Turkish border; try telling a child injured in the last few days that there's a ceasefire in place. The UN is impotent and the 'major powers' are to blame. The US and the UK have no strategy whatsoever, all they know is they don't want IS, or Russia in charge, so they go on fighting and killing for they know not what.

Russia is no better morally, supporting a mass murderer and war criminal simply to keep their power base in the region intact. The only thing you can say about the Russians is that they have an end game in sight and the military muscle to carry it out, as well as effectively the power of veto at the UN.

I've blogged repeatedly about the inadequacies and fundamental wrongness of the UN constitution, a voice in the wilderness, but it's no less true for that. The UN is a club of governments and that means vested self interest, what is worse is that five of those governments hold all the cards, it's an utter nonsense. Smarter people than me need to think about a new constitution and soon.

I can offer some suggestions about what needs to be considered though. One country one vote, or a number of votes depending on size of population. Maybe the constitution of the UN should ban any and all military action beyond ones own borders, meaning that defence actually becomes defence. In the case of civil war, only UN forces can intervene to keep the peace. They need to be a damn sight better organised than they currently are though as a previous blog post points out. Maybe organisations like Amnesty, Greenpeace, Oxfam should have some sort of vote. Perhaps human rights abuses 'at home' should reduce a government's say or voting rights at the UN.

Maybe, and I think this is a good idea personally, presidency of the UN should rotate just as the presidency of the European Union, so many Brits have given up on, does. I wonder how many 'Leave' voters in the UK really know how the EU functions. We need a joined up co-operative world if we're ever to end war and given the weapons which exist in the 21st Century we really do need to end war. Our planet and our species, not to mention every other species hangs in the balance.

I can well understand why some in Europe want a European defence force. In terms of Europe only France and Britain have a voice on the Security Council, Britain has no idea how to be a team player in Europe and the real power lies with Russia, China and the US. Europe united would still be a force to be reckoned with. Does Britain really want to move closer to the US if Trump gets in? Would a NATO commitment to Trump really be a good idea.

The world needs a UN fit for purpose and Britain needs to wake its ideas up.

Stand up for peace.

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