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The USA and the UN:

The Pinky and the Brain

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WHAT IS THE FUSS ALL ABOUT?

Since its formation, the UN had been under huge influence from the USA and it had followed it and supported in many events throughout history, although there are some exceptions.

Here is just a small list of events in which the USA had exercised its power in the UN: (you may click on them for more information)

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Korean War (1950-1953)

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Suez Crisis (1956)

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US involvement in Nicaragua (1986)

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Gulf War (1991)

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Post-Gulf War conflict (1991-?)

As we are going to see, the USA had violated the UN Charter, International Law and Human Rights, and had in fact been condemned by the International Court of Justice in 1986.

But how does the USA have this large influence on the UN and the whole world?:

There are several factors contributing to America's influence:

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the Veto and the UN's organization

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America's economic strength

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America's political influence on other nations and puppet governments

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America's military strength

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Terrorizing other nations

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The weaknesses of other nations

This articles will explain and prove the above points.

WHAT IS THE VETO?

To answer this question, we need to look briefly at the organization of the UN.

Above is a chart showing the organization of the United Nations.

The 2 most important organizations are the General Assembly and the Security Council. They are the only 2 bodies which take decisions.

What are the differences between them?

Security Council General Assembly
Decisions (called Resolutions) are obligatory (i.e. must be obeyed) Decisions are not obligatory (i.e. it is up to the members to obey or disobey the decisions)
Responsible for international peace and security and it may settle disputes by:
bulletdiplomatic sanctions
bulleteconomic sanctions
bulletusing military force
Resolutions are just suggestions or recommendations.
Meets frequently. Only meets once a year and in special sessions as required.
Consisted of 11 (now 15) members:
bullet5 PERMANENT MEMBERS: USA, UK, USSR (now Russia), France and China
bullet6 (now 10) NON-PERMANENT MEMBERS, elected by General Assembly
Consists of all members of the United Nations
Each member has one vote Each member has one vote regardless of size
Decisions needed a 'yes' vote from 7 (now 9) members including ALL FIVE permanent members Decisions must have a two-thirds majority                                                    
 

But until now we have not mentioned what is the veto!

Well, the veto comes in the last point mentioned in the above table.

The veto is the right given to the 5 nations to prevent any decision taken by the Security Council. Since those 5 nations are also permanent in the Security Council, any decision must be agreed by them.

Basically, the USA, the UK, Russia, China and France are controlling the United Nations!!!

Those 5 nations have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world 40 times.

Those 5 nations also possess a lot of power and influence over the UN through other methods, not just the veto, which will be mentioned later.

But the truth is that it is the USA which has the most strength amongst these 5 nations:

bullet"For more than half a century, the United Nations has been the main forum for the United States to try to create a world in its image, maneuvering with its allies to forge global accords about human rights, nuclear tests or the environment that Washington insisted would mirror its own values." (SOURCE: The Passion for Free Markets: Exporting American values through the new World Trade Organization, by Noam Chomsky)

WHAT HAS THE VETO DONE?

bulletBetween 1967 and June 2002, the USA had used the veto 75 times (25 of them, i.e. one third, were against Arab nations)
bulletsince the 1960s, the USA is far in the lead, the UK is 2nd and France is a distant 3rd in using vetoes
bulletin 1986, the USA had "vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law (scarcely reported), and voted alone (with El Salvador and Israel) against a General Assembly Resolution calling for "full and immediate compliance" with the Court’s ruling—unreported in the mainstream" (SOURCE: The Passion for Free Markets: Exporting American values through the new World Trade Organization, by Noam Chomsky)
bulletin 1987, the repetition occurred with the General Assembly as the USA had also voted alone (this time only with Israel)
bullet"the U.S. had vetoed UN resolutions on a wide range of issues including international law, human rights, environmental protection, and so on" (SOURCE: The Passion for Free Markets: Exporting American values through the new World Trade Organization, by Noam Chomsky)
bullet"When the question (Israeli settlements in Jerusalem) moved to the General Assembly, the U.S. and Israel stood alone in opposition, again a standard pattern." (SOURCE: The Passion for Free Markets: Exporting American values through the new World Trade Organization, by Noam Chomsky)
bulletduring the Qana massacre of 1996 by Israel in South Lebanon, the USA had threatened to veto any decision to investigate the massacre and the same happened in 2002 during the Jenin massacre
bulletThe General Secretary of the UN, Butrus Ghali demanded a report to be written on the Qana massacre committed by Israel against the UN refugee centre in South Lebanon where innocent civilians were killed. As a result, the USA decided to sack him.

The above were just a few examples of the American use of the veto.

A clever reader may ask himself, "If the USA has a lot of influence on the members of the UN, why does it have to veto? Why don't the other members vote in favour of it?"

We will answer this question, but first we need to look at the other factors contributing to America's influence.

AMERICA'S ECONOMIC STRENGTH

Unarguably, the USA has the strongest economy in the world.

America had managed to use its economic strength in 2 ways:

bulletForeign Aid
bulletMulti-national Corporations

First of all, the USA, the USSR and other western nations, had given (and some still give), economic aids to poor nations through foreign loans.

But these loans are not given for free. Not only do they have to be repaid with huge interest, but also they require poor nations to comply to the loaners' economic and political demands.

AMERICA'S POLITICAL INFLUENCE

AMERICA'S MILITARY STRENGTH

WEAKNESSES OF OTHER NATIONS

WHY THERE IS MORE RELIANCE ON THE VETO?

BUT THERE IS SOME HOPE