Nov 13, 2006

[World Affairs] The US Veto at the UN

One of the things that always bothers me about how the United Nations is set up is of course the U.N. Security Council. Of course, I'm not questioning why we have a council but this is primarily referring to the five countries who have permanent seats on the council and therefore veto powers. No matter what everyone else votes, as long as one of the five don't like the resolution, they have the power to stop it. It may be primarily a check and balance system of sorts, but in these times it just doesn't make sense.

Recently it has been reported that the US, through its representative John Bolton have once again exercised their veto rights on a recent resolution condemning Israel for the recent attacks against Palestinian forces that demands for a complete pull-out of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

The US explain their vote against the resolution it because the resolution was "biased against Israel and politically motivated." Given that there were ten votes in favor with four abstains, I don't believe the resolution was that unreasonable. A US veto of course is not a surprise - they've been very strong supporters of Israel all throughout recent history given their desire to maintain a strong presence in the Middle East through a nation more stable than Iraq is these days. This is the second veto this year alone related to Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip against Palestine.

In the future, this may change with John Bolton's recess appointment becoming due at the opening of the new Democratic congress this year. They've already announced plans not to have him continue as representative next year, a change which begs the question of who will be nominated to replace him then?

The new Democratic House and Senate promise to make the next few years very, very interesting.

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