Security Council members with pivotal Iraq votes receive billions in aid from U.S.
March 8, 2003 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Security Council members with pivotal Iraq votes receive billions in aid from U.S. Is this a good or a bad thing? After all, giving help to those who support you and withdrawing help for those opposed to you seems natural. And those opposed to you may in fact have agendas no better or worse than yours, making it wise and human to play the cards you have. Opinions?
posted by Postroad (34 comments total)
 
Opinions?

just one: humans suck.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:41 AM on March 8, 2003


Here's one:
'...the US appears to be using its military machine to extend its economic life. But it is not clear that the American people would permit their government to threaten or attack other nations without even a semblance of an international political process, which is, of course, what the Bush administration is currently destroying. '

'The Republicans' victory in the mid-term elections last November was secured with the help of $60m from America's big drug firms. This appears to have been a straightforward deal: we will buy the elections for you if you abandon the concession you made in Qatar.'

'If the US does not back down, the world trade talks will collapse at the next ministerial meeting in Mexico in September, just as they did in Seattle. If so, then the WTO, as its former director-general has warned, will fall apart. Nations will instead resolve their trade disputes individually or through regional agreements. Already, by means of the free trade agreement of the Americas and the harsh concessions it is extracting from other nations as a condition of receiving aid, the US appears to be preparing for this possibility.'
posted by asok at 4:44 AM on March 8, 2003


The US has a tendency to be stubborn and childish when not getting its way with other countries. We place conditions on our money payouts (like the billion we bilked the UN for, waiting for them to promise to adhere to our demand that they somehow guarantee none of the funds we owe them would be spent aiding abortion).

If we punish countries for exercising a semblance of their sovereign rights (by closely analyzing/weighing their decision to support our overturning another sovereign nation), then we'll represent a malicious ruler of the world.

This position will inspire countless fundamentalists to try and bring us to our knees. We've already made Iraq and Al-Qaeda strange bedfellows. Impoverishing/hobbling other nations' economies will only come back to bite us.

Let's not forget the large factor that international investment played in inflating the US's prosperity in the last decade.

Oh, and imagine what should happen if all these 'bad subservient countries' call in our debt to them? We ran up huge national debt in the name of defending them before. How willing would they be to allow us to ignore debts while we wage war without cause?
posted by Busithoth at 5:56 AM on March 8, 2003


The "coalition of the willing to be bought" marches on.

Seriously, though, diplomacy has always involved this sort of give and take. It's just that prior U.S. administrations were competent enough at it that it didn't show up quite so openly. Bush Sr. bought plenty of support for Gulf War I, but you never heard so much about it because it was all arranged quietly, behind the scenes, and by the time anything came to a vote everyone just lined up behind the U.S. position. The real scandal here is the total diplomatic incompetence of Bush Jr. and his crew; ever since they took office it's been one international embarassment after another for the U.S.
posted by Zonker at 6:22 AM on March 8, 2003


We've already made Iraq and Al-Qaeda strange bedfellows.

This is just not true. Not even close to true. This connection is just a bunch of hot Ari.
posted by srboisvert at 6:26 AM on March 8, 2003


*looks around*

Its all about the Benjies.

Now, with all of this money leaving the country, where is this money coming from?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:39 AM on March 8, 2003


"Bush Sr. bought plenty of support for Gulf War I, but you never heard so much about it because it was all arranged quietly, behind the scenes, and by the time anything came to a vote everyone just lined up behind the U.S. position. The real scandal here is the total diplomatic incompetence of Bush Jr. and his crew..."

George Bush Sr., Brent Scowcroft and the rest of the Bush one old guard not (currently working for GW) are holding their tongues but rolling their eyes, thinking:

"Hmmm....the Balls..... just declare a US Pax Americana, then go out and create it.... Just clean out the whole region, cow the world. Wolfy and Cheney, maybe Rummy too were always talking this way. Rummy and his little "tactics of empire" studies..... Holy crap, they're doing it...Rummy's a little slow on the uptake sometimes for somebody so fucking smart...hegemony Don. hegemony - getting others to do your dirty work...he mouthed the words, yeah. Then he'd turn around and say "all these pissant fucking rinky dink allies. Give me red meat boys. The 82nd, the 101st. If you want to get a job done..." then somebody would drag out that Sun Tsu quote and Rummy would just roll his eyes and fire off "China is our new great power rival. Don't fucking patronize me with Sun Tsu!!" It's like a herd of rogue elephants on angel dust trampling 5 decades of international relations work... Idiots. No subtlety. They think that pissing on all existing international institutions and going it alone will work? This is fucking brilliant - US garrisons in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan....what the hell. rah rah fucking "Democacy" - snap your fingers, make it so... They think this will work?.......They do. Oh well. Maybe they're right. Or maybe it blows up in their faces. These boys aren't backing down. It's going to be interesting"

Shit...I have to call my broker, arrange the defensive investment spread, bet on that sharp downturn...that's the word with the smarter GW boys. Down down. down. Bet on it, they say....you won't lose. Pricks. Oh well. It's their ball game."
posted by troutfishing at 7:11 AM on March 8, 2003


the bush regime better get on buying votes and allies 'cause obviously the money we are spending on intelligence is not getting us very far.
posted by specialk420 at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2003


"Now, with all of this money leaving the country, where is this money coming from?"

I can't speak for the rest of it but I got out of dollars this week, to the tune of just over $60k. Betting on the Euro, and getting that bad taste out of my bank account. And I know I'm not alone.

(You guys have read the theories that it's not about oil, it's about what'll be the international currency for the next century, right? Someone's posted those links, right?)
posted by Hogshead at 7:44 AM on March 8, 2003


All it takes is one veto by a permanent member to torpedo the resolution. Even if the U.S. successfully buys nine votes for a couple billion dollars, France or Russia will probably terminate it with extreme prejudice. And if that happens, we'll all meet again in a Mefi thread entitled "Bush declares U.N. irrelevant, declares war on Iraq for defying U.N."
posted by Ljubljana at 7:48 AM on March 8, 2003


Sadly, the U.S. seems to have modeled recent diplomacy on the Warsaw Pact minus the tanks -- we prop up your economy, you do what we tell you to do.

Of course, if you think that trade agreements are trivialities, like gifts of gold-plated china to the president's wife, then I suppose this just looks like political machinations, no better or worse than anything else. If, on the other hand, you accept that trade agreements and economic aids are tools with serious consequences, then this just looks like more reckless behavior, at the best.
posted by argybarg at 7:53 AM on March 8, 2003


Why exactly would you trust the Bush administration to deliver on its bribesassistance? It forgot to pencil in aid to Afghanistan and screwed over all the Democrats who bought into the 'bipartisanship' deal in 2001. No wonder the Turkish government wanted suitcases full of unmarked bills before putting its deal to the vote.
posted by riviera at 8:01 AM on March 8, 2003


im curious where the administration is coming up with all this money they are promising? oh. our collective future. and blaming someone else for the shortfalls here at home.
posted by specialk420 at 8:21 AM on March 8, 2003


by the way, my congratulations to the people of Turkey.
posted by nandop at 8:30 AM on March 8, 2003


What's stupid is who is/isn't on the security council. India, Brazil and Indonesia should be permanate members along with the US, China and Russia. Maybe a few others, but temporary memberships are diluting and open to "pressure". One country from the EU is more than adequate representation.
posted by Mack Twain at 9:07 AM on March 8, 2003




More on surveillance.
posted by muckster at 9:34 AM on March 8, 2003


The more Canada's economy continues to thrive while the US economy continues to dive -- an unusual turn of events, as our economy usually follows the US -- the more I think that perhaps the US government is in a bit of a panic over its economic future.

With umpteen trillion in debt owing, it is very possible that the US is going to go tits-up. It's a debtor nation with no sign of being able to outrun its debt.

That's going to suck.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on March 8, 2003


looks like some others will benefit from the war as well. more stench?
posted by specialk420 at 10:09 AM on March 8, 2003


One country from the EU is more than adequate representation.

I agree, and would think that one country from North America should also be adequate representation. I nominate Canada.
posted by kaemaril at 11:19 AM on March 8, 2003


One country from the EU is more than adequate representation.

As is one country from NAFTA. Now, since the US and Mexico are currently there, I say that Canada gets to take over.
posted by riviera at 11:48 AM on March 8, 2003


Damn. Double comment.

(kicks browser cache)
posted by riviera at 11:50 AM on March 8, 2003


"daddy! i done bought me a war!"
posted by quonsar at 12:59 PM on March 8, 2003


Buying off countries that oppose us is the American way [TM] and has been for many decades. Watch Turkey fold faster than Superman on laundry day when we throw a few billion more in their general direction.

I'm just amazed how many people have only recently learned this fact.

Now i'll go back to drinking my bulgarian wine!

(Just kidding, I don't drink wine.)
posted by mark13 at 1:21 PM on March 8, 2003




If we (supposedly) don't tolerate vote-buying in our domestic elections, why do we actively pursue such a course on the UN level?
posted by charlesv at 1:39 PM on March 8, 2003


Anything is possible. From 1945 until 1971 Taiwan not only represented all of China, they were also a permanate member of the security council. On October 25, 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which placed the PRC on the security council and kicked Taiwan out of the United Nations altogether.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:18 PM on March 8, 2003


Security Council members with pivotal Iraq votes receive billions in aid from U.S. Is this a good or a bad thing?

Actually - it's pretty much the same thing as France, Russia, and others receiving billions in oil contracts from Saddam Hussain for their votes.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:18 PM on March 8, 2003


Oops ... sorry - it's not quite the same thing. The US is trying to buy votes to remove a dictator whose own people want him removed for a record of large scale torture and murder of whole segments of his own country, while the French and Russians are willing to use their veto power to block UN action to do so - so long as significant dollars flow into their hands from Hussain.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:59 PM on March 8, 2003


Alright MidasMulligan, whilst the Iraquis may well want to be rid of a totalitarian government (who wouldn't), do they want that to be used as an excuse to bomb their country (more intensively) and install a puppet government?
The French and Russians seem to be playing the same game as the US.
posted by asok at 7:54 PM on March 8, 2003


Yes, and is the average Iraqi worse off under that vicious tyrant Hussein than they would become under a fragmented, gang-run anarchy?

Oh, but we wouldn't leave Iraq the way we have Afghanistan, would we. I forgot: Iraq has oil.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:43 PM on March 8, 2003


Yes, and is the average Iraqi worse off under that vicious tyrant Hussein than they would become under a fragmented, gang-run anarchy?

Well, on those rare occasions when they've actually been asked (the desires of Iraqis themselves are something the antiwar movement seems to avoid with ferocious intensity) - and are free to speak without threats to themselves or their families - they certainly want the chance to see.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:19 PM on March 8, 2003


Security Council members with pivotal Iraq votes receive billions in aid from U.S.

Isn't this a little misleading? How much do they receive in aid from France, Britain and Germany?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:52 AM on March 10, 2003


The general feeling on all sides in Chile is strongly against the Invasion and I just hope Lagos has the guts to stand up to the pressure.
posted by signal at 4:07 PM on March 10, 2003


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