JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DESPITE THE LOGIC AND ELOQUENCE OF THE WORLD’S FINEST FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA’S SERGEY LAVROV, THERE IS NO WAY UN HEADQUARTERS WILL MOVE FROM NEW YORK – EXACTLY WHY THAT IS SO – LAVROV’S WORDS COME ON THE HEELS OF THE UNITED STATES (AGAINST ITS TREATY OBLIGATIONS) REFUSING VISAS TO SOME OF LAVROV’S STAFF   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Lavrov Says Moscow Will Raise Issue of UN Location After Russian Delegates Denied Visas

“Geneva makes far more sense than Empire’s bosom”

 

I deeply admire Lavrov, and, as is his habit, he makes a sound logical argument, but I think there is no likelihood the United States will lose the UN headquarters.

Why? For the same reason that they obtained it in the first place, the threat of their taking their marbles and running.

The United States refused to join the previous League of Nations founded after WWI.

Knowing American attitudes, WWII Allies tended to support expectations of an American headquarters for the UN. It was viewed as a way of cementing America’s support, always lukewarm at best for any international institution or organization.

And just look at the series of American anti-UN actions in recent years, from Bush to Trump.

Hateful rhetoric and, for periods of time, just arbitrarily refusing to pay its treaty-obliged dues until it saw changes it wanted in the organization.

Only recently, several important UN agencies were cut off entirely by the United States, such as UNESCO.

The excuse that the UN is “unfair” to Israel is offed as explanation for high-handed behavior, as though the United States enjoyed a special privileged position in judging what was fair or unfair compared to the other 95% of humanity represented by the UN.

But that notion of unfairness carries a huge amount of political weight in Washington where the pressures of one of the country’s most aggressive lobbies are acutely felt.

Unfair? Well, the truth is that all Israel ever has experienced is criticism of its behavior, behavior so reproachable and opposed to founding principles of the UN that Israel, by rights, should have been expelled ages ago if it failed to change course. But any action like that, no matter how just, would just see the United States leave the organization.

You can’t win on arguments around principle where the United States or Israel are concerned, and that is for the simple reason that they both represent imperialism and the abuse of power

Israel not only hates the UN, as many past statements by its leaders demonstrate, it stands in defiance of a very long list of binding UN Resolutions, something that is true of no other state.

They are the very kind of Resolutions that might have been used by the United States as reasons for invading another country, one that it didn’t like. Instead, in Israel’s case, ignoring them is just fine and not to be commented upon.

Israel likes the UN only to the extent that membership confers some legitimacy to it, a country literally without borders, one refusing to adhere to borders set many decades ago. The UN also gives Israel the opportunity to make speeches on a large and influential stage. Otherwise, Israel ignores the UN in virtually everything it does, even going so far in the past as to kill official UN Observers during some of its aggressions.

No one wants the United States to leave the UN, but that would likely become a genuine threat with any notion of moving the headquarters.

The United States will keep pushing like the bully that it just naturally is, but I don’t think it will push too far.

If it does go too far, as in failing regularly to issue visas to people from countries it doesn’t like, it only means the UN has lost all political support in a very angry and aggressive United States, and it just doesn’t care what the UN does.

 

AFTERNOTE: Iran’s very fine Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, on his visit to the UN, was also just refused permission to visit a stricken diplomatic colleague being treated in a New York cancer hospital. The vicious pettiness of American officials is remarkable.

Posted September 28, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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