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UN Names N. Korea Chair of Disarmament Committee

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the team-america-world-police-was-a-documentary dept.

The Military 182

LibRT writes "The irony-challenged folks at the UN have named North Korea chair of the Conference on Disarmament, which is heavily focused on the prevention of a nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament. The Canadian government has boycotted the convention, calling it an 'absurd' turn of events: 'North Korea is simply not a credible chair of a disarmament body. The fact that it gets a turn chairing a United Nations committee focused on disarmament is unacceptable, given the North Korean regime's efforts in the exact opposite direction.'" Note that Libya was once president of the UN's Human Rights Commission, and only recently removed from its successor in interest, the Human Rights Council.

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I smell a bar bet. (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36727970)

In other news, UN Secretary General as quoted today as saying "The reprsentative from Burundi owes me 10 euros", followed by laughter broken up with occasional phrases like "suck it", "who's your daddy", and various other remarks.

Re:I smell a bar bet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36727982)

Nah, that's kimchee breath.

Dismantle the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728000)

All this does it highlight how it is not representative of the people of sovereign member states.

LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728024)

OMG, the UN is Useless....

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729058)

Anonymous Coward likes this

Re:You Fail ,it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728524)

You heartless mods. Somewhere there is a bot, training endlessly to create English sentences. It uses slashdot moderation as scoring, and you are killing any chance of improvement! Look at the phrase "I don't completely before posts." All it lacks is a verb - is that not worth a +1, Good Effort?

Re:You Fail ,it! (0)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730390)

I am so dumping this into Cleverbot. [cleverbot.com]

Maybe they're thinking like the Nobel committee (2)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728056)

a little preemptive reward to push them in the right direction maybe? We know it worked out last time.

Re:Maybe they're thinking like the Nobel committee (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729520)

The UN has a number of small committees that don't matter, that small, isolated countries care about because they feel it gives them some power. And it does give them recognition, even if nothing more.

Re:Maybe they're thinking like the Nobel committee (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729736)

Here is an interesting talk on the N.Korean nuclear program by a former director of the Manhattan project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIdRSl7Dc88 [youtube.com]

His conclusions regarding the reasons of the developments, nuclear security and how to reach a diplomatic solution are highly interesting.

The news for nerds streak continues ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728070)

Are we on fark.com or something? The snarky BS belongs there, or to the Idle section.

Its very simple (-1, Troll)

dottpot (2366362) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728082)

They just bribed [thoughts.com] them, thats all

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728096)

...sheep rancher Nimrod Doofus just traded his Collie for a wolf.

considering that Obama (1, Insightful)

1jpablo1 (595061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728104)

won the peace nobel prize, I say: what the hell.

Re:considering that Obama (4, Informative)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728154)

The world is just one big joke. Those of you who are still taking it seriously just didn't get the punchline


20 years ago.

Re:considering that Obama (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729212)

And yet, compared to W/republicans, I would have to say that Obama has been peaceful. Heck, we are on the verge of being out of Iraq and even Afghanistan is winding down. So, yeah.

Re:considering that Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729310)

Stop kidding yourself.

Re:considering that Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729716)

The military-industrial-congressional complex is powerful in this country.

Re:considering that Obama (0)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729854)

You're either ignorant, or a partisan hack. Take your pick. Obama not only 'upped' those wars before deciding that it's time to wind down. He started 4 new ones. Peaceful my ass.

Re:considering that Obama (0, Troll)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729870)

And yet, compared to W/republicans, I would have to say that Obama has been peaceful. Heck, we are on the verge of being out of Iraq and even Afghanistan is winding down. So, yeah.

BZZZZT! Try paying attention, instead of filtering media information for just the information that fits your hopes / ideology. Like the New York Times headline, which announced "Obama Orders Rapid Withdrawal of Troops". What they call "rapid" is somewhere around 10% withdrawal in 6 months, and another 20% of current levels a year later. This "rapid" withdrawal would mean that, 3 years from now, there will only be DOUBLE the number of troops left in Afghanistan than there were when he first took office.

That kind of plan, a new war in Libya, and all the saber-rattling from State Department head Lucifer Clinton about Syria and Yemen is not any closer to "peaceful" than anything that went on during the Bush administration. In fact, Obama isn't different than Bush enough to matter, and I would go even furtherand say he's not just a continuation of Bush-the-warmonger-statist-police-state-tyrant, he's more like Bush-on-steroids.

But good luck convincing yourself that "change is coming".

Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (5, Informative)

Villain (19081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728122)

If you bothered to RTFA you'd realize that the chair rotates among all the nations and North Korea will only hold it until August 19th.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728220)

The objection is based on the idea that DPRK should specifically be excluded from what would otherwise be a routine rotation through the member states for chairmanship of the committee, because of its explicit goals toward proliferation. From a diplomatic perspective, being permitted to participate in the rotation is a reward for DPRK's bad behavior.

A lot of times, to regular joes, diplomatic actions bear little connection to how people behave in reality. Heads of state become unduly offended by perceived slights or inequitable treatment, and nations use things like committee chairmanships to foist their own legitimacy onto the world stage. From outside, diplomats often look like whining, screaming children who throw temper tantrums at the drop of a hat, but nevertheless, it's how the game is played for some reason.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728304)

What are the chair's powers?

I'm guessing it's not much of a perk, and to snub them would be to give them reason to quit altogether.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728356)

I wouldn't loose too much sleep if N. Korea was no longer in the UN.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728418)

I wouldn't loose too much sleep if N. Korea was no longer in the UN.

I wouldn't tight too much sleep either.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728498)

damn you! That was 35 year old single malt!

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729976)

I wouldn't loose too much sleep if N. Korea was no longer in the UN.

I wouldn't tight too much sleep either.

I wish someone would loose some sleep on me.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728660)

I wouldn't loose too much sleep if N. Korea was no longer in the UN.

(It is lose, not loose). How is shunning the country going to help to encourage them to become better members of the world community? If you stop listening to any group of people then it causes resentment to fester. This is never a good thing at any time, but especially when talking about nuclear weapons.

North Korea should have a role in a dispute of which they are part, especially at a time when the country is falling into disarray need to be given shown the path of enlightenment(1). The alternative is to have a country with nothing to lose by going to war.

----------
(1) Yes, I know that sounds a bit hippie!

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728766)

How is shunning the country going to help to encourage them to become better members of the world community?

No one can really answer that, since the world community has been trying to engage them diplomatically for decades.

We can, however, ask what the decades of trying to engage them got us: less than nothing. They got nukes anyway. Their participation has always been a sham that benefits only them.

I in no way intend that to mean we shouldn't have tried. Diplomacy did wonders for relations with many other nations in the same time span. You have to try first to find out whether it'll work. But on the other hand, there does eventually come a point where failure has dragged on long enough that one must consider changing their approach.

The alternative is to have a country with nothing to lose by going to war.

Well, that's silly. North Korea has known since the beginning that they have everything to lose from a war and nothing to gain. That's why they dance around the edge instead of actually doing it.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728978)

We can, however, ask what the decades of trying to engage them got us: less than nothing. They got nukes anyway.

But they only destroyed two Japanese cities with them! I think they still deserve to be in the UN. Wait what country are we talking about again?

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729450)

But they only destroyed two Japanese cities with them! I think they still deserve to be in the UN.

Gotta love that moral equivalence...

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (4, Interesting)

Boronx (228853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729596)

NK went ahead with bomb productions when George Bush stopped dealing with them, cause they's the bad guys and he's the good guys, I guess. They immediately broke the UN seals on their Plutonium stockpile and started refining them. When they'd tried something similar to Clinton, he threatened to bomb them if they didn't back down, and gave them lots of goodies when they did. Bush, typically, did nothing.

If NKs stance towards disarmament should disqualify them, then shouldn't the US be disqualified if the Republicans gain power again? The Bush administration tried to set a policy of increased nuke capability and even floated a plan for decreased threshold for using them.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729046)

North Korea should have a role in a dispute of which they are part, especially at a time when the country is falling into disarray need to be given shown the path of enlightenment(1). The alternative is to have a country with nothing to lose by going to war.

----------
(1) Yes, I know that sounds a bit hippie!

What garbage. I'm sure if people just listened to Hitler's Jew Extermination plan then that wouldn't have turned out so badly either?

Some people just cannot be reasoned with, they are defective and lack the capacity to reason either logically or empathetically [or both] (see "psychopath"). N. Korea is a despotic state, the thing with these is that if someone could just assassinate the leadership then the whole thing would collapse like a house of cards[1]. The problem is that we don't know whether the artillery will start bombarding Seoul even without the authorisation for the guns. The only reason they haven't been glass cratered is because the important parts of S. Korea are just too damn close to do it safely so the world is stuck in this retarded diplomacy dance.

[1] The other problem is that the leadership could collapse at any time if some of them die from illness or accident (or just plain go [more] nuts) so it's really just a question of now or later but everyone likes to pretend they can just get along and delay the inevitable indefinitely.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729572)

The only reason they haven't been glass cratered is because the important parts of S. Korea are just too damn close to do it safely so the world is stuck in this retarded diplomacy dance.

Actually, the reason that N. Korea has not been taken out is because China has an interest in maintaining it as a client state. I am not entirely sure what that interest is because every time I start to think I understand the relationship between the two countries, one or the other (usually N. Korea) that does not make sense in that context. However, I think that ultimately it comes down to China feeling that, even though the current N. Korean regime is an unreliable client, the risk is too great that any replacement will be more inclined to reunite with S. Korea and move into the U.S. sphere of influence.
The funny thing about that is that a united Korea would be significantly less in the U.S. sphere of influence within a generation than S. Korea remaining separate will be over the same time frame. S. Korea would like to steer a more independent course (although they would remain within the U.S. sphere of influence because their national interest lies within that area), but because of the threat of N. Korea, they need to maintain the U.S.'s kneejerk reaction to come to their aid should N. Korea attack. I'm not sure how long that U.S. reaction would last, but almost certainly for S. Korea to withstand the initial onslaught and be able to deal with whatever force N. Korea had left at that point (basically, S. Korea is perfectly capable of defending itself against N. Korea once it has time to mobilize its forces).

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729704)

The only reason they haven't been glass cratered is because the important parts of S. Korea are just too damn close to do it safely so the world is stuck in this retarded diplomacy dance.

Actually, the reason that N. Korea has not been taken out is because China has an interest in maintaining it as a client state.

Nope, GP had it right. Your post was only relevant in 1950 until around the time of the Sino-Soviet split, when North Korea was trying to play one against the other to gain the maximum amount of military aid from both the Chinese and the Soviets when they had their split.

The reason war won't start on the peninsula now is because of a kind of "mutually assured destruction" situation there. North Korea is careful to keep its level of provocation low enough that not going to war is always less costly than dealing with literally tens of thousands of North Korean long-range artillery and rockets that are easily within range of and pointed at Seoul. If you want some interest reading on the closest war ever came to the peninsula after 1953, read this stunning Wikipedia entry on the death of two U.S. service members [wikipedia.org] at the hands of North Korea in the Joint Security Area.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

crazyeddie740 (785275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729722)

How is shunning the country going to help to encourage them to become better members of the world community? If you stop listening to any group of people then it causes resentment to fester.

I'd feel better about that if thought the DPRK's ambassador represented a people instead of just an illegitimate government. I don't have a lot of hope for the DPRK peacefully reforming. I'd like to be proven wrong, mind.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728404)

Why would you be concerned about them "quitting"? That would explicitly make a statement that continued membership masks: that they have no interest in participating in any kind of global governance, oversight, or community, and see the world as divided into two sections: those that are theirs, and those that are inferior.

So again, why would DPRK quitting the UN be a bad thing?

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728606)

As long as we're not shooting them, anything we can do diplomatically to soften them up is a good thing.

Not having them as participants in the disarmament talks means they have no reason even to hear what we say about it.

Not having them in the UN means they have no choice but to continue to treat the entire world as their enemy.

Letting them have participation in democratic institutions will maybe open their eyes to their own hypocrisy, a little bit every day.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729560)

As long as we're not shooting them, anything we can do diplomatically to soften them up is a good thing.

Do you really, *actually* believe that 20 years of diplomacy has softened them up at *all*?

Not having them in the UN means they have no choice but to continue to treat the entire world as their enemy.

Haven't you been paying attention for the past 2 decades?

They don't want talks w/ the UN. They want bi-lateral talks w/ the US.

Letting them have participation in democratic institutions will maybe open their eyes to their own hypocrisy, a little bit every day.

Bwah HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (2)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729724)

North Korea had their best shot in the 90's with the so-called Agreed Framework [wikipedia.org] . What's interesting is that it broke down when the U.S. accused them of having a clandestine uranium enrichment program. And that one sentence is all we still know today publicly about it.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730406)

We now know that they actually *do* have a uranium enrichment program, and it isn't clandestine any more. I don't know if they had it at the time of the agreement failure.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729276)

Don't worry; the UN is just suckering them in. For their next act, they will get Steve Ballmer to throw the chair.

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728398)

Ah, well, that makes it all good. Nothing wrong with a state, that is arming itself with illegal nuclear weapons as fast as it possibly can, heading the Disarmament Committee as long as it's their *turn*.

It's just life at the UN, nothing to see here...

Re:Alternate Headline: North Korea is in the UN (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730058)

The problem is, they're only "illegal" because the UN says so. There is no international law except for that which nations agree on through organizations like the UN. So, all the posters who just want North Korea out of the UN don't seem to quite grasp what that would mean. As for North Korea being head of this committee, can anyone tell me if the US, France, UK, Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa (while it had nukes), China, USSR/Russia/Belarus/Kazakhstan/Ukraine have ever headed it? With the exceptions of the former soviet republics and South Africa, none of those nations have given up their nuclear weapons. If they're seriously discussing disarmament like adults, then I think it's appropriate for any of those countries to be on the committee and even chair it. Same should go for North Korea. On the other hand, if the nations with nukes are just being high handed towards countries that don't have nuclear weapons, then none of the nuke possessing countries should be allowed to chair the committee or even be on it.

Why..? (3, Interesting)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728128)

Can someone please explain why the U.S. should host, subsidize, or be a member of the U.N. given its current condition and activities? In all seriousness, I can think of no reason whatsoever.

Re:Why..? (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728168)

Can someone please explain why the U.S. should host, subsidize, or be a member of the U.N. given its current condition and activities? In all seriousness, I can think of no reason whatsoever.

To keep an eye on the idiots?

Re:Why..? (1)

Villain (19081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728180)

The US can exert more of a force on the UN from within, rather than trying to reform it from the outside. That's all I got.

Re:Why..? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728420)

I'd be more impressed by this reasoning if I saw any evidence that we were having success changing the UN from within. So far, I don't see it.

Re:Why..? (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729010)

To the war it is then!

Gentlemen, fetch me mine monocle!

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36730070)

Well, there's a whole wikipedia page on reform efforts since the 1990s [wikipedia.org] . I assess the progress as "limited", but there is evidence of change.

I especially like this suggestion for reform, attributed to Paul Hawken:

"A tax on missiles, planes, tanks, and guns would provide the UN with its entire budget, as well as pay for all peacekeeping efforts around the world, including the resettlement of refugees and reparations to the victims of war."

But you can imagine who would oppose that sort of arrangement (answer: major arms manufacturers and users, especially dictators, totalitarian regimes, and other countries spending large fractions of their GDP on weapons).

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728244)

Saves on air fare.

Also gives us a chance to influence members 24-7 on our home turf, rather than in somebody else's office during scheduled meetings.

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728328)

Maybe not, but the UN needs to keep an eye on the US.

Economic benefit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728348)

The money they bring in more than offsets the cost of hosting.

Re:Why..? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728386)

What's your alternative venue for the countries of the world to talk to each other rather than shooting at each other when there is an issue that straddles across their borders? Also, any time the US wants to opt-out and leave international politics entirely to the other countries of the world to sort out on their own, go ahead. It's a free planet, and the rest of us might be better off.

Oh, wait, but that's not what you meant. You meant you would still be able to be the global bully and/or meddler if you wanted, but with no responsibilities, accountability, or repercussions in the UN if you are?

Grow up. It's the best system we've got so far. Yes, it's flawed and imperfect. Yes, member states of the UN aren't always going to agree with your country, but that's no different from an ordinary democracy where people who disagree with each other still mostly manage to get along. Yes, the dictators and despots get their seat there too, but the assholes in a democracy also get a vote. There's a lot of general support and respect in the UN for what the United States does, and the United States has relied on the UN many times to help resolve issues of concern to it, not the least military issues. And if you think North Korea has plenty of support in the UN, that's not what the UN resolutions imply. They aren't a global pariah for no reason, and there's a long list of unanimous condemnations. This is more like "Even the crazy assholes get a voice, even though we don't have to listen to it."

I agree that this particular situation is ridiculous, which is why the rules should be changed so that hypocritical appointments like this don't happen. That's what Canada is proposing -- a change in the rules. If there are problems with the UN, then work on fixing them with the rest of us so that it is more effective. Before you say "screw the whole thing", at least realize that the world situation without the UN would probably be a lot worse.

Re:Why..? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728574)

The alternate venue is called diplomacy. Countries maintain these things called "embassies" in each other - you may have heard of them.

Re:Why..? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730220)

You meant you would still be able to be the global bully and/or meddler if you wanted, but with no responsibilities, accountability, or repercussions in the UN if you are?

What responsibilities, accountability, or repercussions does the UN impose of the US?

Re:Why..? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728474)

Because the UN can't actually do anything of any substance without the US agreeing to it?
Because (although it's against the rules) the US likely gains a ton of intelligence by spying on the diplomats in New York?
Because the UN occasionally give international stamp of approval to what the US is going to do anyways?
Because it makes the smaller countries feel less butt-raped by the US?
Because if the US withdrew, and the UN decided to do something the US didn't like, instead of issuing a nice veto in the Security Council, they'd have to fight WWIII to stop them?

I can keep going. Even Mr Realpolitik himself, Henry Kissinger, admitted that there were some uses for the UN.

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728554)

There is always a possibility that current U.S. condition and activities improve. Give them a chance.

Legitimacy - and the Korean War (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728652)

Can someone please explain why the U.S. should host, subsidize, or be a member of the U.N. given its current condition and activities? In all seriousness, I can think of no reason whatsoever.

The U.S. tends to look down on the U.N., as do most truly powerful countries. But the U.S. also is incredibly undereducated about the U.N. compared to many other nations, in part because we look down on the U.N. and our media provides information so slowly that snails eclipsed their information store long ago, and in part because as a powerful country with our own independent foreign agenda, we frankly tend to have more news that's related to what we are doing than we do about what the U.N. is doing.

But the U.N. is still important--it provides support for some important humanitarian work, for one (UNICEF and UNODC come to mind). It provides an international mechanism for justice and oversight of elections and regime change when countries are ready for those things. (The International Criminal Tribunals and later the International Criminal Court, for example.) It also determines whether wars are legal or illegal under International law, and arbitrates certain small disputes under international law. The legality of a war will influence the legitimacy of that war in the eyes of the world.

The Security Council was effectively neutered for the cold war by the perpetual split between Russia and and the U.S. China had no rep for a while in the 50s, and because of that the U.S. got approval for the Korean War (i.e. the UN action against North Korea). China learned its lesson and started sending representatives to the security council again. The U.S., similarly, as one of the only world powers with a veto over security council resolutions--a power that would NEVER be given to the US in a new, similar international body today--has a great interest in maintaining its presence in the United Nations.

In addition, the level of isolationism in the US is frankly frightening. It's nothing like North Korea, of course, but there are a LOT of Americans who are incredibly insular. It isn't as bad as some of the numbers suggest--the very few Americans having a passport is more a testimony to the fact that you have to go farther to cross a border than you do in Europe--but it's bad. Most people in the US know effectively nothing about modern international affairs, and only a small percentage know anything about international history. During the presidential election, for example, then-candidate Obama expressing his willingness to go into Pakistan if necessary was a relatively small bit of trivia here, and most people had no freaking clue how upset his statements to that effect made pretty much everyone in Pakistan. Fast-forward a few years, and you see the consequences of that ignorance--the public's response to Pakistan's being upset with the actual raid isn't "We know how big a deal this was for you, we felt we had to do it, and we'll make it up to you," it was "if you're upset it must be because you were hiding Osama!"

We need more international involvement, not less. Better education. Why the hell we don't have every schoolchild in America watching good conferences on major international issues via the web and answering quizzes on them I have no idea. Not every day--but do four conferences a year on different subjects, and they'd learn a hell of a lot.

Re:Legitimacy - and the Korean War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729024)

> China had no rep for a while in the 50s

China had representation. They were just exiled to Taiwan. The Communists came crying how they were the true legitimate representatives of China and then the representation was switched to the mainland for better or worse.

Looks like... for MUCH worse.

Re:Legitimacy - and the Korean War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729102)

most people had no freaking clue how upset his statements to that effect made pretty much everyone in Pakistan.

As apparently most people in Pakistan have no freaking clue how upsetting their leaders' own statements this decade look to the well-informed members of other nations, including the US. (In particular, Musharraf has said a lot of things in the past decade that blow the mind). The internet, and human nature in general, is funny that way.

It's horrifying if you consider yourself informed, and then see something absolutely crazy about another country. (And unfortunately, since everything in the US is on the internet now, it's bared to the whole world, whereas the US doesn't get to see so much of the dark closets of the rest). But then something interesting happens if you keep digging... you see shocking insanity coming from all directions. Then it almost becomes reassuring - you've learned that there are weirdos everywhere, and that they do not represent their whole country - and your expectations are reset back to positive (but a little wiser for the journey). Slashdot is good for this; people from everywhere post here, and they also link to other sites; you don't have to look for the crazy, it comes directly to you, and you also get to see the good stuff from everywhere at the same time.

The UN is supposed to be the best of everywhere working together. Sometimes it actually works out that way. If we only heard the worst from the worst of each place, it would have gone straight into world war 3 instead. The downside is that, well, there are still a bunch of authoritarian states who we're not allowed to talk to the best of, and whose citizens are only allowed to hear the worst of the world. Difficult. A lot of times, the UN ends up just being a stage for nationalist theater. It's better than war, but far short of what it could be.

Problems Specifically WRT International Justice... (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729122)

The international criminal court and international criminal tribunals have a pretty big problem in the fact that neither of them are recognized by the the world's current lone superpower.

The US does not recognize either of these bodies. That is a pretty fundamental problem for a supposedly international organization.

Re:Problems Specifically WRT International Justice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729420)

The International Criminal Court is a joke. It's the European Court for Trying Africans: colonialism 2.0. If you don't behave the way your former colonial masters (usually the French) want, they arm your enemies, invade under the name of "humanitarian intervention" or "stopping you from killing people" for trying to fight the civil war your enemies (whom the Europeans armed) started in the first place; then, the Europeans haul your ass up to Europe, because your fellow Africans obviously aren't civilized enough to know what to do with you. The Europeans put you on trial until you are acquitted or die Kafka-style as the proceedings drag on (NOBODY has ever been found guilty by the ICC; the Kafka thing is what happened to Milosevic too--a heart attack after five years on trial--it's European Justice).

There are good reasons why the US, China, India, and Russia don't want anything to do with the ICC: mainly, because they're neither European colonial powers nor African neo-colonies.

Re:Problems Specifically WRT International Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729422)

Oh, we recognize the international court, but only when it does something we like.

Re:Problems Specifically WRT International Justice (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729438)

It's not like anyone needs a court to find out who in US is a war criminal.

Re:Problems Specifically WRT International Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729786)

You can't blame the rest of the world for trying.

Re:Legitimacy - and the Korean War (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730018)

China had no rep for a while in the 50s, and because of that the U.S. got approval for the Korean War (i.e. the UN action against North Korea). China learned its lesson and started sending representatives to the security council again.

Umm, no.

The USSR was occasionally boycotting the UN about then, in order to express their displeasure with it. During one of its boycotts, the UN approved a resolution calling for aid to South Korea to repel a "bandit invasion" from North Korea.

Since the USSR wasn't around to veto that particular proposition, they suddenly decided not to boycott the UN anymore.

Note, by the way, that at the time of the Korean War, China was a veto power in the UN (it still is), but was represented at the UN by the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Re:Why..? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728716)

How about because we pay for the silly shit! I know that's kind of lame, but who else is stupid enough to foot the considerable bill for the UN, while being treated like the scum of the Earth by a bunch of 2 bit dictators that can't even pay their membership dues?

Re:Why..? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728802)

I know americans love to gripe about the UN, especially the cost, but you actually don't pay for it at all. Look it up, your dues have been in arrears for the last 25 years. If there was any justice, you'd have lost your vote long ago.

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729206)

Because crooks and crooks go well together?

If you think you're better, look at your 3 wars, > 100,000 murderings in the process, countless out-of-the-country torture camps, biggest military budget of any country ever, destruction of the constitution, forming of a fascist (= merger of industry and government) system, classical propaganda TV under control of the government (FOX = Reps = certain companies, MSNBC = Dems = other companies), etc, etc, etc

The only difference between the US and North Korea, is that the world still believes in the US. Because the delusion called "the American Dream" is so strong.

Let's see how things look in 10 years or so.
(Not that I wish anyone anything bad. I would much rather like to see the US be a great and successful country and all that. Just please, smarten up guys. I can't stand the stupidity any longer. War budget -> education budget = WIN.)

Re:Why..? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729650)

The only difference between the US and North Korea, is that the world still believes in the US.

Every time I see a conservative say/write something more stupid than I ever thought possible, within a week I invariably see a left-wing fool like you write something so completely fucking moronic that I keep voting conservative.

Re:Why..? (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729826)

Way to make up your own mind.

Re:Why..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729910)

"... given its current condition and activities..."

Was there ever a time when we should have hosted, subsidized, or been a member of the U.N.? Realistically, how has it EVER really HELPED the U.S. (not just apparently helping, but truly helping)?

I say the sooner the U.S. leaves the U.N. the better... Most things the U.S. is told it should be doing or must do are not said to any other nations on Earth. We're the world's feeding trough and scapegoat all-in-one. Let the rest of the world fend for themselves! We can trade with the world, but let them handle their own economies, politics, etc.

Predictably incomplete summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728130)

This has nothing to do with being irony-challenged and everything to do with representation.

1) the UN is an international body which encourages participation from all. You don't make peace with your friends, you make it with your enemies.

2) the Conference On Disarmament is not like the Security Council

3) the chair of the Conference On Disarmament is appointed on a rotational basis, so the UN has not deliberately and fecklessly chosen North Korea; they are a member of the Conference (they need to be so we can discuss disarmament with them) so the chair comes to them eventually.

4) the chairmanship period is ONLY SIX WEEKS LONG

5) without such bizarre situations it would be difficult for the world to stand up and mention the bitter irony and discuss North Korea's record, now wouldn't it?

I appreciate this isn't going to stop the armchair John Boltons of slashdot, and I consider this a service to others who might otherwise feel the need to raise their blood pressure to deal with the inevitable idiots. I got this one guys; you can deal with it when Israel gets the chair.

Re:Predictably incomplete summary (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728438)

While all of this is true, and important to know before reacting, I think it also worth noting the situation as an example of how the UN is impotent at accomplishing certain goals because of the immovable structure of procedure that has pervaded the entire body from top to bottom.

What the UN is really good at is illustrating just how nationalistic the world still is.

Re:Predictably incomplete summary (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728794)

Thanks, I appreciate the hard work. My blood pressure is a lot lower now as a result of your comment.

Who cares? (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728158)

The only political body in UN that has any relevance whatsoever is the Security Council, and even then only its permanent members. The rest of UN political organizations are there mostly for lulz (I don't know any other reasonable explanation for the current membership of UNHRC), and in any case, all they do is write strongly worded condemnations - mostly of Israel.

Now, UN is not entirely useless in a sense that it does have a bunch of non-political organizations that actually do useful work, like UNESCO. It's probably worth keeping it around for those, with political circus being an unfortunate attachment.

UNATCO anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728486)

Nah, we all know they're just manipulated by the private sector's elite under the guise of a "think tank". They're called the Majestic 12.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729672)

The rest of UN political organizations are there mostly for lulz

You forgot, "graft" and "veneer of civilization".

"Named", sure, but purely ministerial (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728162)

TFS implies that there was some kind of specific decision to choose North Korea to preside based on an assessment of merit, but this is not the case. The rules of procedures for the Conference of Disarmanent state (in rule 9): "When the Conference is in session, the Presidency of the Conference shall rotate among all its members; each President shall preside for a four-working-week period."

I've said it before and I'll say it again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728200)

The UN is like 3 wolves and a sheep voting on lunch.

UN: How to become irrelevant 101. (0)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728242)

*cussing rant deleted by author*

Wow, just when you thought the UN couldn't get any more worthless and a complete waste of every country's tax dollars, they top themselves.

I agree with Canada on this one. AND, I think we need to cut them off of every penny we give them until they wake up, as in ALL aid to anyone gets cut off while Norks chair anything but an electric chair.

That's as silly as if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728448)

we let a country with thousands of nuclear weapons dispersed around the world, maintained in constant readiness, many of which can be armed in minutes and delivered with pin-point accuracy to any spot on the globe, chair a disarmament commission.

Re:That's as silly as if... (3, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728604)

The US is reducing its nuclear forces, including massive reductions (a large majority of its total nuclear arsenal) since 1991, while fielding no new warhead designs or nuclear delivery systems. Or were you referring to the Russian Federation, which has reduced its total number of warheads while continuing to actively develop new nuclear first-strike platforms, like the RS-24 and the Bulava?

Too bad Flight 93 didn't drill the UN. (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728666)

It's a worse-than-useless joke that literally merits destruction. All its does is tie the hands of the fools who take it seriously.

Re:Too bad Flight 93 didn't drill the UN. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36728982)

Too bad Flight 93 didn't land on you. Then, your idiotic comment wouldn't be wasting my screen space. Man, what a jackass you are.

Too bad you're even allowed to post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729616)

If slashdot were worth anything, they'd permanently ban you.

Canada's just jealous (2)

choongiri (840652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728770)

Canada's just jealous because their persistent [torontosun.com] stupidity [thestar.com] at the UN finally turned other countries against them [theglobeandmail.com] last year.

Change of Name (2)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36728936)

Please note that the Canadian Government has been re-branded Harper Government. And to that end, I would like to note that a lot of Canadian's don't supports its foreign policy.

Re:Change of Name (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729884)

"I would like to note that a lot of Canadians don't supports its foreign policy."

I imagine we could all say the same for our own respective nations.

A more sensible chair (5, Funny)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729060)

The United States deserves the chairmanship, on a semi-permanent basis.

In terms of volume, the United States is doing more to disarm itself than any other country. We presently have disarmament operations underway over Afghanistan, Libya, and to a lesser extent Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Re:A more sensible chair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729228)

im not much for book leanin' but since when do all of those countries possess nucular weapons?

Re:A more sensible chair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729366)

I will drink to that!

Lets see if DPRK can persuade US to give up its Nuclear program.

Re:A more sensible chair (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729780)

Haha, I'm about as pro-U.S. as they come on Slashdot, and that's pretty funny.

Re:A more sensible chair (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729900)

"In terms of volume"

...

Not even a UN member (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36729738)

But North Korea is not even a member of the UN, for crying out loud!!! Yeah, I know that Libya headed the human rights council, and Iran or Syria headed another similar UN committee - I'm forgetting which - but in this case, N Korea, as a non member, can't even be there.

That was the one time the UN was right and effective, and that too due to a Soviet walk-out and the fact that China's permanent membership was then w/ the KMT - as a result, nobody vetoed the UN resolution in question, and North Korea got expelled.

Good Choice (3, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36729936)

I don't think anyone gets why North Korea is actually an ideal choice for the UN Disarmament chair. Check out the website [un.org] and you'll get a clue. Sure, there's lip-service from the council on WMDs and nuclear weapons, but the major effort right now is toward disarming the civilians of every country. And in that regard, North Korea is an excellent example of how thoroughly it can be done, and a perfect choice to lead the effort in teaching other countries to do the same.

Despite Eric Holder's efforts with ATF's "Gunrunner" and "Fast and Furious" programs seemed to have backfired, and the disarmament media effort in North America will be significantly curtailed due to the inept handling of that false flag effort. A country like North Korea - probably the world leader in successful disarmament of its citizens, is the perfect choice for restarting the international effort, and assisting the United States in making better progress in that regard.

maybe if the US Gov did not (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#36730228)

do stupid stuff like selling weapons to mexican drug smuggler gangs and many other stupid things the UN would not be voting against the USA and not be so contrary towards the USA

HAHAHAHAHA ... snicker snicker ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36730420)

BAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA .... gulp,
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,

Dem cracker-niggers be digg'n bunkers in da back yard now, real fast,

--\

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