Civil war and the UN

As forces move in to Libya, I feel the world is on the brink of WWIII. I hope the UN has made the correct decision. Should the “outside world” interfere with what goes on in a sovereign nation? Can this be done in an unbiased way? What if, as my husband writes at http://www.derykhouston.com/?p=867, UN Security Council is misguidedly taking sides in a civil war and its voting strategies are based more on hopes of future oil deals than on protecting innocent people?

I can only address this by comparing it to the scenario of a domestic dispute in a family neighbourhood. What if I knew that violence was taking place in a house down the street? Would I care who started it? No. I would call in the police rather than wait for the situation to resolve itself. And I would expect it to be dealt with fairly and with as little harm as possible to all who are involved.

Perhaps Terry beat Gerry and Gerry struck back. Perhaps it’s the other way around. Perhaps Gerry AND Terry have both called in some reprehensible friends for “support”. It might be very messy. All I want is for it to stop. And I especially want to end any harm that might be directed towards the other family members who only want to live their lives in peace and quiet.

I’ve heard that police fear domestic disputes more than most of the other situations they encounter.  I know they do some wonderful work to resolve things but it’s also sadly true that there can be failures and tragic outcomes. Sometimes police have to force certain individuals to leave the household. Perhaps one or more of the violent family members will end up in prison.

We’d be unlikely to worry that such decisions would be made based on anything other than the facts of the situation. Our legal system is certainly not perfect but we probably can trust that, for instance, children won’t be left in a violent household because a parent bribed a police officer.

Why can’t the world work like this?

And here’s what Amnesty International has to say about Libya in particular: http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/libya but note that their site is an amazing resource for learning about human rights all over the world.

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3 Responses to Civil war and the UN

  1. The problem is that we do not have anything even remotely close to a world police body that is fair or democratic.

    Such a democratic world body needs to be set up… or we will always be on this brink of war.

  2. I agree about the need for a fair “policing” body. With transparency, which we’re getting more of all the time, I think this will eventually come into existence.

  3. Just adding the latest from Gwynne Dyer

    http://www.straight.com/article-382483/vancouver/gwynne-dyer-today-libya-tomorrow-syria

    “If it’s not too tough and powerful to take on, then it will not be allowed to murder its own people. And if it is too big and dangerous, then all the UN members will express their strong disapproval, but they won’t actually do anything.

    Consistency is an overrated virtue.”

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