U.S. arm-twisting at the U.N.
February 27, 2003 7:27 PM   Subscribe

A new study published by the Institute for Policy Studies examines the methods that the U.S. uses to bully, cajole and bribe other nations to support its policies in the U.N. Security Council. Full report [pdf]
posted by cbrody (15 comments total)
Ari Fleischer disgrees: "Think about what the implications of what you're saying! Of course we don't bribe other countries. :)
posted by inksyndicate at 8:37 PM on February 27, 2003

More lefty outrage over the United States acting in its own interest. Sweet cheese, you guys are tiresome. No wonder no one pays any attention to you.
posted by mojohand at 8:46 PM on February 27, 2003

More knee-jerk bipartisan dismissal. Sweet jeez, that's so tiresome. No wonder political apathy is so prevalent these days.
posted by PsychoKick at 9:06 PM on February 27, 2003

I think we've always paid off countries like this (and we are faaaaaar from the only nation to do so), but you have to admit that the public dealmaking that went on with Turkey last week was something that should have gone through backchannels and been a line-item deep in some congressional budget authorization. PR-wise it effectively said: "We've got heaping piles of cash as long as you shut the fuck up".

But of all the things to get truly pissed off about in this conflict, I would put bribery quite low - especially compared to out and out morality and common sense.
posted by owillis at 10:11 PM on February 27, 2003

cbrody, please don't post links to op-ed pieces like this.

They're basically just partisan rhetoric, even if they're referred to as a "study" by an "institute". They do little really analyze or inform, but instead just provide a collection of one-sided data for the purpose of making a one-sided argument.

I'm not saying this because I disagree with the politics (I'll say the same about right-wing think-tank "studies" if anyone posts them), but just because MeFi has become a dumping ground for op-ed pieces, and it would be nice to try to reduce that.

I don't mean to be a dick, I promise. Thanks
posted by oissubke at 10:17 PM on February 27, 2003

oissubke, this posse thing sucks, imo. How 'bout if we let matt be the host here?
posted by madamjujujive at 12:16 AM on February 28, 2003

Well, I hesitated before posting this, due to the ban on "opinion" pieces on the Iraqi/US conflict, but I think this is more than that. The IPS is a highly regarded public policy research institute, regardless of your political leanings.

Instead of attacking the poster, why not attack the piece, if you can? Oissubke, did you actually read it, or did you give up as soon as you found something that offended your hard-won ideology?
No one has yet tried to deny the thrust of the arguments made. Not even the U.S. Department of State:
As a result of Yemen's actions in the Security Council following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the United States drastically reduced its presence in Yemen including canceling all military cooperation, nonhumanitarian assistance, and the Peace Corps program.
Homunculus, thanks for the link.
posted by cbrody at 4:46 AM on February 28, 2003

The best friends money can buy. Just like our "democracy" today. Anyone ever heard the line "Milliions for defense but not a penny for tribute?" But then such is ancient history here in the pre-emptive doctrine days.
posted by nofundy at 4:53 AM on February 28, 2003

Turkey's case is interesting because it was bribing a goverment to go against the opinion of 94% of its country's population.
Homunculus' link about J.B. Kiesling's letter is big news here in Greece (the diplomat was serving in Athens). apparently Kiesling's wife Phyliss, caused a stir two weeks ago by taking part in the big anti-war demonstration in Athens.
It's worth a read.
posted by talos at 5:04 AM on February 28, 2003

Googling for more links on the subject:
Buying a Coalition [Nation]
Purchasing the Votes [Mother Jones]
The great arm-twisting race [MSNBC]
The cost of coalition building (part1) (part2) [UPI]
US and UK fight to win over waverers [Telegraph]
US uses economic muscle to persuade waverers to say yes [FT] (sub only)

It's not just the left-wing press reporting this, but then it was no big secret anyway, viz. the case of Turkey.
posted by cbrody at 5:36 AM on February 28, 2003

Votebuying? It's called diplomacy. It's been going on since the dawn of the state. Countries rarely do favors for each other for free (in fact, I would say that the US does more "free" favors than any nation aside from Britain, who still keeps their relations good with former Commonwealth nations by buying them stuff).

I fail to see what uproar this should elicit. South Korea's Sunshine policy involved paying almost 200 million to the North for the "meeting" in 2000. Why is this any different?
posted by Kevs at 8:47 AM on February 28, 2003

Why is this any different?

One sentence: "Coalition of the Willing" instead of the obvious truth: "Coalition of the Billing." Truth and hypocrisy to justify unpopular actions. IOW, using my money (taxes) to try to (unsuccessfully) justify actions I don't approve of. Remember "restore honor and integrity"? It's got everything to do with credibility.
posted by nofundy at 9:10 AM on February 28, 2003

"The US, in other words, seems to be ripping up the global rulebook. As it does so, those of us who have campaigned against the grotesque injustices of the existing world order will quickly discover that a world with no institutions is even nastier than a world run by the wrong ones. Multilateralism, however inequitable it may be, requires certain concessions to other nations. Unilateralism means piracy: the armed robbery of the poor by the rich. The difference between today's world order and the one for which the US may be preparing is the difference between mediated and unmediated force."
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on February 28, 2003

Another great link homunculus - it's going in my blog.
posted by cbrody at 4:44 PM on February 28, 2003

« Older AudioBLOGGER   |   It's Mardi Gras Time Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments