Landsberg on relevancy of the UN

by Yule Heibel on April 6, 2003

In today’s column, Michele Landsberg points out that:

“It’s idiocy to pronounce the U.N. ‘irrelevant’ when, in most of the developing world, it is seen as nearly an alternative form of government, and sometimes the only government. Which is, of course, why the neo-con extremists hate it so much. They hate all government that is not geared exclusively to the convenience and enrichment of corporations. The mere existence of public-health policies like vaccination and clean-water programs probably strikes them as a Commie conspiracy.” (click on title for link)

I appreciated being reminded of all the positive work the UN does. It’s also necessary to be reminded that the UN is not irrevelant, particularly as this administration increasingly shows its contempt for constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties as possibly irrelevant.

And while I’m at it: can someone explain to me why certain philosophers conflate being opposed to the unilateral invasion of Iraq for purposes that aren’t really linked in the main to the liberation of the people of Iraq, with being opposed to freedom for the people of Iraq? See Andre Glucksmann’s interview:

I wish Saddam Hussein to hell where he belongs, and I think it’s unfortunate for the rest of the world that he didn’t meet fate in the shape of an early forced retirement years ago. But does that mean I should shut up and endorse the methods of this current administration? Or endorse its goals, which I don’t think have much to do with the liberation of the Iraqis? Andre Glucksmann uses his formidable powers of analysis and synthesis to establish the identity of Dostoevskian nihilism and Osama bin Laden — in fact, an identity of “Long live death!” nihilism with all Islamic extremists, as well as Nazis, Stalinists, et alia — yet he fails to cast his critical light on the neo-conservative Right in America and their friends in the west, who appear to be playing by the same “above the rules” nihilism and cynicism as the forces they oppose.


Betsy Burke April 7, 2003 at 5:12 am

Partisan Potatoes

Today’s Guardian mentions US backlash towards Canada’s statement of non-participation in the war (but furtive actual participation) in the renaing of French fries to freedom fries south of the border- o donnez-moi “un break”,7792,920918,00.html

Betsy Burke
Florence Italy

Betsy Burke April 7, 2003 at 5:15 am

Typo- renaing; should read renaming

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