Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see the bellicose calls for World War III and / or the use of military force against Russia — that the left is claiming — from anyone who has the authority to execute such a plan.  The Bush administration isn’t offering the use of our military to do any fighting, and even if it were, does anyone expect that the Democratic Congress led by Pelosi and Reid would approve any sort of military action against Russia?  I doubt it.  This is a tough situation for the current administration, and Russia will continue to defy the international community whether they have to deal with a President Obama or a President McCain.

What can we do to punish Russia for their invasion of a sovereign country?  There’s always international sanctions, a strongly worded letter from the UN, and getting them kicked out of the G-8.  Something must be done to show Russia that there are consequences to their actions.   I wouldn’t presume to know what the best way to deal with this situation is, but I don’t think that President Bush intends to take military action against Russia.  I’m not sure there is a way to contain Russia by diplomatic means, but we don’t have any other options.  The challenge we have is how to be a strong ally of Georgia and other allied countries in that region without taking steps toward war with Russia.

Sending humanitarian aid to Georgia is a good idea and we should be supporting them in that way.  But there has to be more we can do to show support for countries like Georgia who have been good and loyal friends to the United States of America.  We will be more likely to get international support for fighting global terrorism and the threat of radical lslam if we show that we can be trusted to defend our allies when it is required of us to do so.  The trick is attempted containment of countries like Russia and Iran without the threat of military force.  History tells us that this is impossible, but if the UN imposed enforceable sanctions with some real bite to them, it might delay any future aggression by Russia for a few years.  That would be a good place to start, but I don’t expect the UN to do this, because accountability for rogue actors is beyond their limited authority and ability.

monday’s good stuff to read

Ending the “Human Rights” Farce –NRO editorial on the United Nations and their Human Rights Commission (an oxymoronic group consisting of dictators with their own sordid history in this area lecturing the united states on how morally inferior we are)

Regardless of whether we participate in the new council, it’s time to create an alternative. The United States should lead efforts to found a new institution devoted to the protection of human rights, and involving eligibility requirements that would limit member states to genuine liberal democracies. Many multilateral organizations exist outside the U.N. structure — NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe come to mind — and they are effective precisely because, unlike the three rings at Turtle Bay, their member states are committed to common values. President Bush has already set a precedent for circumventing failed international bureaucracies: Faced with the ineffectiveness of the International Atomic Energy Agency, he created the Proliferation Security Initiative, which has been instrumental in, among other things, inducing Libya to give up its nuclear-weapons program.

many things could be changed to make the un live up to to a fraction of its utopian idealistic vision. read more here.

America Must Preserve Its Culture–california conservative

Europe’s abandonment of the Judeo-Christian foundations of its culture during the last century has left it devoid of any firewall against the enormous encroaching pressures of militant Islam. Certainly its insipid and fanciful premises of “social justice” and post-modernism are no match for Islamic zeal.

Now, the once-great continent is left scrambling to offer any believable reason why its institutions and culture should be immune to the prohibitions of the Islamists. And for the preservation of their future, Europeans have little more to hope for than the benevolence of an ideology that knows no such concept.

totally agree. while it is important to recognize where we came from and the characteristics that make us the unique people we are, those who are americans have committed themselves on some level to a common identity. this common identity which unites us has started to fade away with the new emphasis on multi-culturalism, and that’s a shame.

other interesting posts:

Europe’s Hidden Conservatives–weekly standard blog
Joe Wilson: pro-Iraq war once upon a time?–sister toldjah

that’s all. read now. 🙂

further evidence the UN is incompetent

further proof john kerry was wrong to suggest putting increased trust in the UN is contained in the following links. some are rather lengthy articles, but i think they are important to understand why the UN needs to be reformed.

Annan ready for oil-for-food flak — i’m sure he is.
The Oil-for-Food Scam: What Did Kofi Annan Know, and When Did He Know It? –his hands are far from clean. very long. very damning stuff in this report.
Exposé, At Last?— article from the author of the previous report, claudia rosett, posted at NRO. a condensed review of the important stuff.
UN veteran fired over oil scandal — kofi next?
A Miasma of Corruption:The United Nations at 50 — a very comprehensive analysis of needed reform from the cato institute
Russian UN diplomat charged with money laundering — nothing surprising here. eventually all of the UN will have their hands in a few cookie jars. as the second article shows, russia and france were enablers in oil-for-food…so they have a few other skeletons in the closet too.
UN asks Ukraine to leave Lebanon –financial misconduct by some of their peacekeepers

that should be enough support for my argument.

let’s keep our eyes on the ball here. we, as america, a powerful and influential voice at the UN, should push the UN for needed reforms. what i would like to see is more consistency in the application of standards for members of the human rights committee (i.e. no leaders that brutalize their people should be eligible for it), emphasis on common-sense alternatives to kyoto, a more defined role for peacekeepers and a harder line taken on rogue dictators.

i would also like kofi annan to spare us his pithy lectures about how america should run itself. tell ya what, kofi. once the UN can handle its own business and effectively threaten rogue elements in its membership, then maybe you will gain a shred of credibility with us. the failures of the UN have forced this unilateral response by the US to threats. why? because sanctions don’t work and neither do toothless resolutions.

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the UN and freddie mitchell

the president needs to sell his iraq policy — not to the anti-war crowd, because they can’t be convinced (no matter how much new evidence is brought into the mix). he needs to sell his policy to his supporters who are finding that the “loony lefties” are starting to make more and more sense. that’s scary. if mr. bush has a vision, and concrete plans to back up that vision, it’s not unreasonable to share part of that plan with the american people who supported him and voted for him. this article in the american spectator makes a similar argument.

do i know for sure that iraq will end up stablized, pro-democracy, and a peaceful neighbor to other countries? no, i don’t. i’ll tell you what i do know. i trust our military. i trust president bush and his military advisors. i don’t trust the UN, who has totally screwed up the handling of saddam hussein’s iraq from the very beginning. in the immortal words from IMAO’s UN slogans: “if this is an emergency, please hang up and dial america”. the UN has dropped the ball on international affairs so often that they should no longer be carrying it. if this was pro football, the UN would be the equivalent of freddie mitchell — all hype and limited production.

cindy sheehan has a voice. air america has a voice (at least for now). the president needs to find his voice. it’s his responsibility to sell his iraq policy to us. i hope he can.

on a lighter note, here’s a great dilbert cartoon which is unfortunately very accurate, and one interesting way to fight high gas prices. for the record, i do not agree with everything on the IMAO site, but it’s all quite funny.

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more on the UN oil-for-food disaster

we need to keep this story out there to emphasize the importance of UN reform. the average american may not see this as a major issue up there with the domestic ones (the economy, border security, etc), but it is. here’s why. it is the failure of the UN to handle its own responsibilities that has required the US to get involved in all these international incidents. the UN refuses to enforce its own resolutions, and allows dictators to get away with despicable acts against their people. not just iraq. rwanda. bosnia. there are many more examples of the UN dropping the ball. the point is that the UN as it’s currently constructed cannot do all the things we expect it to do. it needs to be reformed. maybe john bolton is the guy who can help bring this about. i hope so.

here are a few related links to the oil-for food story.
British MP denies oil-for-food charges
Q&A: Oil-for-food scandal
UN report deals serious damage
UN veteran fired over oil scandal

the UN should be held accountable for its mistakes. if no other country is willing to do it, the US should lead the way here, because it is in our best interest.

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