Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vetoes at U.N. Security Council

The Chinese and Russian's double vetoes at U.N.'s Security Councilover Syria resolution have rightly generated great indignation and anger around the world and China was forced to put forth some sort of defense over its action.

It claims, through the Chinese Communist Party's main newspapers - the People's Daily and the Global Times.  They claimed that China (The People's Republic of China) had always been very careful over exercising veto right and had so far only vetoed eight times (excluding the one vetoed in 1955 by the Republic of China over new U.N. membership for Mongolia).

Above chart showed the eight vetoes it exercised (from Global Times).  The People's Daily gave a detailed account of those eight vetoes.

The People's Daily openly admitted that their vetoes in 1997 over Central- and South-Americas peace efforts, 1999 over Macedonia's situation, 2008 over Africa's peace and safety (Zimbabwe) were due to those countries/regions' diplomatic relationships they maintained with Taiwan (or The Republic of China) and the vetoes were the paybacks.

In 2007, China vetoed effort to solve Burma's situation and in 2011 and 2012, China twice vetoed efforts to stop killing of civilians in Syria.

Source: Guardian.co.uk

It is obvious that China has behaved very selfishly time to time, either to revenge/blackmail over its own interest, of to protect their geopolitical friends or allies.

However, condemning such behavior should not stop with China and Russia.

The United States of America has vetoed many times, particularly over resolutions to censure its chief ally in the Mideast - Israel.  Over and over, it made excuses not to pass resolution to demand Israel to stop building illegal settlement housing in the disputed land. 

All members entrusted with the supreme power to veto at the U.N.'s Security Council ought to behave absolutely responsibly.  Failing that, each such irresponsible vetoes ought to be condemned.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Very Caring Mitt Romney

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was caught saying that he "wasn't concerned about the very poor" because there is a safety net in place for them.

During an interview with CNN, he said that "I'm not concerned about the very poor - we have a safety net there," then, added that "if it needs repair, I'll fix it."

The safety net bit definitely made Romney less a stone-hearted uncaring person as otherwise.  However, his confidence on the safety net is purely self-serving.

First, our social safety net has broken for a very long time and his fellow Republicans are doing their utmost to dismantle whatever was left to serve the middle-class and poor, and the very poor.  Proof lies in how the ultra-conservatives lambasted Romney for admitting the usefulness of safety net.

Second, even during the time when the safety net was largely functional, it still failed to lift up the very poor people.  It did prevent them from dying from hunger en mass, but it did not help them to move up.  Social mobility had generally never included the very poor in this great country called the United States of America.

What Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans really want, is a fixed social structure, which would keep the poor in their places, which would keep them remain very poor.  The very poor have little chance to become middle class in this country, and despite being squeezed hard, the middle class are still decidedly far better off then the very poor.

Mitt Romney cares for the poor very much.  He would hate to see them die, but he would not lift his Midas finger to lift them up.

He would keep a window-dressing safety net and would not bother to sit down to mend it, because the net is broken and he has just forsworn whatever he had done as governor of Massachusetts, namely Healthcare Reform. 

To ask the super rich to care for the very poor, is like trying to borrow fur from a raging tiger.

This reminded me a story.  A beggar came to a super rich miser's house for alms.  The miser's son said that he would give him a little, in 200 years time.  The miser scolded his inexperienced son: "Why did you make any promise!"

The difference between Mitt Romney and the ultra-conservative is that Romney makes promises he either has no intention or/and is in no position to keep, while the ultra-conservative hate him for make a promise, however hollow.

Image source: abc.net.au