The UN as a Peacekeeping Force?
By Bonnie Weinstein
I have been following and participating in a national United for Peace and Justice E-mail discussion about whether or not the U.N. should be a peacekeeping force in Iraq until the Iraqi people can govern themselves.
One letter in particular engendered quite a discussion. The author of the letter argued, I share a concern that the United Nations has in the past acted as a shield for U.S. interests
Yes, I remember Bosnia, and even going back far enough, the Korean War
But what worries me most is that right now there is no governing force in Iraq except for the U.S. and
the U.S. will try to repress any new force
the UN is the closest we have to a neutral body.
I did not quote the entire letter. There were other arguments given. But I thought the shamefaced pro-UN argument above typifies the E-mail arguments in favor of calling for the UN to be the peacekeeping force in Iraq.
I sent the following response to the E-mail discussion:
- Dear Sir,
- You list one catastrophic UN operation after another and say, ...Its better than no governing force... Are you saying that the Iraqi people cant govern themselves if left alone? Do you believe a higher authority other than themselves must govern people? Just who is that authority? Is it the UN with the track record of serving U.S. interests you yourself point out? Show me the great humanitarian authority in the world fit to govern any people, from above, and with a police force capable of full strength military might! Isnt it obvious that the U.S. has been that force? This is not freedom, democracy or self-determination!
- I agree the people of Iraq cant and shouldnt be left alone now. They should be given material aid and lots of it. The entire U.S. military budget should be made available to the people of Iraq to rebuild what the entire U.S. military destroyed! And the corporations that stood to profit from this war should be forced to foot the bill for this entire budget, not the American people! This is the least they should be forced to do.
- The U.S. troops that are there should be stripped of their military authority and put to work to repair the damage they have done to the infrastructure of an entire country. They should work under the Iraqi peoples direction and do the work of the men and women they killed. Then, perhaps, they could learn some useful careers. U.S. troops can become homebuilders, electricians, road and hospital and school builders, plumbers, engineers, ditch diggers and farmerswhatever is needed by the people of Iraq to rebuild their country the way its people want! At least those young men and women who misguidedly joined the military to get a career would be gaining a useful trade instead of studying the ways of war!
- Our government has committed a heinous crime against humanitypre-emptive murder to gain control of the wealth that comes from oilIraqi oil. Occupation is not self-determination. Occupation by any force is a racist lack of faith in a peoples ability to govern itself. This war had nothing to do with the Iraqi peoples supposed inability to govern itself. The Iraqi people are struggling just as we are struggling in this country today against an unjust, greedy government that controls its own people and the resources of a whole nation by force of violence!
- This war has everything to do with the U.S. superpower having control over the worlds resourcesoil, water, air the land and all that live on it. How? Through the threat of death and destruction of the entire planet if they dont get their way!
- Every drop of oil that comes out of the ground in Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq! Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq!
- U.S. out of Iraq! U.S. out of the Middle East! Bring all U.S. troops home now! No blood for oil! Money for human needs not war! A better world is possible!
- Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War