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June 3, 2000
1:48 PM   Subscribe

Freedom of the press? You won't be needing that, says the United Nations!
posted by aaron (12 comments total)

 
Isn't it time for the UN to disband? I hope we never pay our back dues. At the very least they should move the headquarters to Europe, it does them the most good anyway. Let's have a nationwide vote! I'll accept the decision if the rest of you wanna keep throwing funds at that useless moneypit.
posted by thirteen at 2:59 PM on June 3, 2000


All my worthless life, the one thing I've had going for me is my ability to express myself, even when what I had to say offended, disgusted or alienated others. It is the one thing I like about living in the US, and I hate that I am now forced to view the UN with jaundiced eyes. I understand why they did what they did, I do, but I also know how it will look to others, especially when there were other steps that could have been taken (like, say, protecting their workers) rather than this one. I found like line 'in any other European country' especially chilling...has all this aggressive action been solely in the name of pan-European unity? Because if it has, why the hell were American planes involved? If Europe wants to bring Kosovo into the Community, it can do so on its own. As people from European nations will probably be the first to tell you, they hardly need the US for anything.
posted by Ezrael at 6:04 PM on June 3, 2000


By the way, what I just wrote is shit, and even I don't agree with the part about the EC in retrospect. I'm just glad I was allowed to say it without UN troops smashing down my door. :)
posted by Ezrael at 6:17 PM on June 3, 2000


I was just informed that Ezrael has been detained for questioning by people sporting silly light blue berets.

Be afraid, be very afraid.
posted by Mick at 6:35 PM on June 3, 2000


Isn't it true that even in the United States, freedom of speech doesn't extend to speech which incites violence?

The thing I get tired of is Americans complaining about the United Nations, yet still wanting the United Nations to carry out the U.S.'s national agenda. You can't have it both ways. If the U.S. wants to continue to wield influence with the U.N. it has to participate, and that includes paying the bills. If it doesn't, it can withdraw.
posted by owen at 7:30 PM on June 3, 2000


I don't speak as an American citizen here, but as a member of the global Internet community. The governments of flesh and land are more than aware the Internet makes it wholly impossible for them to presently control speech. Most members of the UN would love to see the Internet 'regulated' so cybercitizens such as you and me would not be able to incite anything, be it violence or peace.

I see this event as endemic of those still thinking in terms of material ownership and control: they will not shy away from doing the same thing to servers that they are willing to do to printing presses.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:01 PM on June 3, 2000


I don't think it's a great case to be basing the future, history, or ideals of the U.N. on-- curbing speech while a part of a country is under 3rd party military rule is not the same thing as applying pan-european curbs on speech. Perhaps more troubling was the US bombing of the Serbian national television building, in which several journalists were killed. Still, both actions come under a blanket of "war," which has different rules.
posted by chaz at 9:20 PM on June 3, 2000


Isn't America's influence around the world the reason that America is so unpopular? Despite our back dues, America still funds the UN to unbalanced degree. Our troops make up an unproportional number of the total available. If the government funds the UN, you and I are paying the troops that shut down that paper. We do have laws that prevent people from creating dangerous situations, and if someone breaks those laws, we enforce them ourselves. Under no circumstances would we accept armed soliders from other countries pushing us around. I suspect it would be a lost cause with so many Americans being so well armed. If the only way to persue world peace is with a stick, it is not worth it Disband the UN and N.A.T.O too. Alliances like these become dangerous when their orignal missions end, and they are forced to find new reasons to justify their existance.
posted by thirteen at 9:26 PM on June 3, 2000


Owen: In the US, the only way that paper could have been shut down is if he had actually said "Go kill this person" and even then it would be a hard sell. And I agree that America uses the UN too much to push its views on the world...but I'm beginning to think the EC is just as bad, if not worse. And you are right, we can't have it both ways. But neither can the EC. If it wanted to colonize Kosovo, it should have done so by itself. It has the troops, the airpower...it doesn't require US support for that. If Kosovo is to be independent eventually, you can't go around forcing them to be silent. What, pray tell, is the point of acting like Milosovich? Are we any different? Kosovo doesn't have to live up to the standards of 'other European countries' any more than it has to become a 'little US' and we shouldn't be there trying to make it do so.
posted by Ezrael at 9:58 PM on June 3, 2000


A little background on the story, from May 30.
posted by aaron at 10:19 PM on June 3, 2000


This should be tied in with the recent story of a radio broadcaster in Rwanda who was recently locked up for inciting genocide.

(And if you're not aware of what happened in Rwanda, read this book.)

Right now, Kosovo is still a powderkeg, so the UN's doing its job, which is policing an area subject to profound racial tensions. "Freedom of the press" doesn't quite apply in the same terms.
posted by holgate at 5:08 AM on June 4, 2000


The thing I get tired of is Americans complaining about the United Nations, yet still wanting the United Nations to carry out the U.S.'s national agenda. You can't have it both ways. If the U.S. wants to continue to wield influence with the U.N. it has to participate, and that includes paying the bills. If it doesn't, it can withdraw.

In my own experience, the two camps of thought rarely overlap. There's the New World Order crowd on one hand and the Black Helicopter crowed on the other.
posted by mikewas at 2:53 PM on June 4, 2000


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