Friday, March 18, 2011

International Relations: Has The Security Council Become a Military Junta?

By Baher Kamal*
Courtesy IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

MADRID (IDN) - It's amazing, just amazing, this international system! It presumably has a world Parliament made of delegates from all countries on Earth and called the General Assembly of the United Nations. Such a Parliament is led by a mini executive body of only five countries, called the Security and Peace Council.

But such a world Parliament is not democratic -- it does not listen to the voice of the peoples, but only follows the moods of their rulers, whatever these are and whichever way they came to power.

And it is not effective -- its acceptance or rejection of any kind of decision or resolution usually falls on deaf ears.

Why? Because the last word on all matters affecting human beings and determining their fate is, at the end of the day, in the exclusive hands of the so-called Security and Peace Council.

But this Council is also dictatorial and undemocratic -- it acts more and more from a purely military perspective.

No wonder. The Security and Peace Council has already moved away from the presumption of being a body responsible for keeping stability, preventing wars, and ensuring peaceful solutions to conflicts, as well as granting the safety of all humankind, to being a 'paternalistic' club of the world's militarily most powerful countries -- the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China.

Such a Council has usurped for itself the divine right to classify countries and peoples into 'good, 'bad' or 'insurgent' and, consequently, punish them (by way of commercial, economic sanctions, embargoes, etc.), and even hit them with its mighty military stick if they continue to 'rebel' (strikes, bombing, invasion, occupation and so on).

Perhaps the biggest evidence of this 'militarisation' of the Security and Peace Council that rules the destinies of human beings, is that its members are home to the vast majority of the 100 largest producing and exporting weapons industries in the world.

According to recent data by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the total sales of the 100 largest arms producers in the world amounted to 401 billion dollars in 2009, with an increase of 14.8 billion dollars compared with 2008 despite the continuing global economic recession.

SIPRI also indicates that 45 of the 100 largest arms producers are based in the U.S. alone, and 33 of them in nine countries in Western Europe: U.K, France, primarily (both permanent members of the Council), and Germany, Italy, Finland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The conclusion is simple: Western countries which are members of the Security and Peace Council are the world's largest producers and exporters of arms.

No wonder, therefore, that weapons sales bind the Council to an increasingly military approach.

But things do not stop there.

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised India to support its quest for a permanent seat on the Security Council. In prevision of that, the government in New Delhi has already rushed to purchase more and more weaponry, becoming the largest arms importer of weapons on the face of the earth.

All this because India 'needs' to be up to its 'prestige' when it sits in the Security and Peace Council as a permanent member enjoying the right to darn in deciding the fate of mankind? Maybe.

It should not be surprising, then, that the Security and Peace Council thinks of military solutions to the problems of the world, before anything else and above any other consideration.

And no wonder that this 'military junta' of the world -- and with it the military alliance NATO too, has decided to impose a military no-fly zone over Libyan airspace, and/or supply arms and training to the Libyan 'insurgents'.

And again no wonder that the 'junta' dragged behind it the so-called League of Arab States, most of whose members are the loyal guardians of 'His Master's Voice'.

No matter what, the fact is that the Security and Peace Council is now looking forward to take advantage of the tragic situation of Libyan people, to conduct a military field experiment in preparation for further similar operations. But where?

In Iran, Syria and against any other people who may 'insurge' against the 'free, democratic' world system. No wonder. (IDN-InDepthNews/17.03.2011)

*Baher Kamal is a Spanish-Egyptian writer and analyst specialised in the Middle East and North of Africa.