Sunday, January 29, 2017

We are the world, dammit!

When I was young, like some of my schoolmates, I too actively supported the United Nations.  I still have a certificate for having participated in the UNO Day activities.

The older I got, the more I was concerned that the UN was not achieving any damn thing.  Yes, a few agencies were doing phenomenal work--the FAO, WHO, UNICEF, for instance.  But, think about the UN and we immediately only think about the Security Council and the General Assembly.  The votes and vetoes, where the permanent members play nothing but cold, calculated, political games.

Hence, unlike the young me, the older me has always been highly critical and cynical about all things UN.  But, I understand that for all of us around the world to work together, we have no choice but to deal with various kinds of chaotic, inefficient, and bureaucratic ways.  And given the larger goal of world peace and humanitarian work, well, it is worth it.

Towards this larger goal, I expect my country to also contribute a lot.  After all, with the wealth and power comes great responsibility.  I would any day spend more money to achieve peace and prosperity through such inefficient institutional structures than by bombing countries back to the stone age!

But, we have a new sheriff in the wild west.  The sheriff's deputy to the UN is a brown-skinned woman whose parents immigrated to this country.  From my old country.  But, she has completely whitewashed herself.  From converting to Christianity to parroting the lines of the white nationalist party, aka the GOP:
“You’re going to see a change in the way we do business,” Ms. Haley said. “Our goal with the administration is to show value at the U.N., and the way we’ll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our back as well.”
“For those who don’t have our back,” she added, “we’re taking names; we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
Think about this: "we’re taking names."  To make such a threat to the members of the UN when presenting her credentials and introducing herself?  Not the language of a diplomat who will want to work towards world peace!
The administration’s antipathy toward the United Nations has been sharpened since a Security Council resolution last month condemning Israeli settlements. Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley have criticized the Obama administration’s decision not to veto the resolution. And several Republican senators have supported legislation threatening to defund the United Nations unless the Security Council reverses the terms of the resolution, which Council diplomats say would be politically unworkable.
The GOP pivots on one main issue on the domestic scene, and one main issue on international affairs.  Within the country, whatever be the internal disagreements on issues, it is all about the egg that has been fertilized by semen. When they lift their eyes from this zygote, it is about the "holy land" of Israel.  The concern about the zygote does not mean worrying about the life of the child that is born--to heck with the living is the typical GOP response.  Similarly, the maniacal focus on Israel is less about the tortured history of the Jewish people, and more about the day of reckoning that the GOP faithful want to prepare for.

So, domestic politics gets reduced to the zygote.  And the UN gets reduced to Israel.  Everything else be damned!  Like the situation in Syria; remember this image?

Oh yeah, I forgot that we took care of that Syrian situation with an indefinite ban!


Ramesh said...

Is the support for Israel a party thing ? - after all most Jews in the US I thought in the US were East Coast types.

I had always thought the Jews were a powerful lobby in the US ad therefore any politician could not afford to antagonize them. The Palestinians consistently fail the Public Opinion war - electing Hamas in Gaza, past support for terror, etc. Therefore even when Israel does abominable things, they seem to get away with it in terms of American Public opinion.

Sriram Khé said...

There is a complicated theological reason for fundamentalist, born-again (evangelical) Christians here in the US to support Israel. In their belief, the Jewish people, who were nationless throughout history, now have a land of their own. The second coming of Christ, the apocalyptic end times, is only after Israel as a nation. So, a strong Israel means that the second coming is getting closer. In fact, speeding up the process is even better for that armageddon to happen sooner than later.

But, if you look at the voting patters of the Jewish-American population, they overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. And, many are also unhappy with the treatment of Palestinians. Which is also why the crazies like Netanyahu cultivates the support of fundamentalist Christian leaders more than he does the Jewish population itself ...

Most read this past month