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Padraig

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  1. Right. Fico's commitment to democratic norms was certainly very questionable but this event doesn't help, whatever the motive. As for Spain's relations with the Middle East. More recent history plays a major role in that. https://www.euronews.com/2023/11/23/why-is-spain-one-of-the-few-eu-voices-supporting-palestine Spain only joined the EU in 1986 also. Most countries do have a presidential override, if a veto exists. It normally requires a super majority. But yes, things do seem to be going well for Russia right now.
  2. I really don't understand the level of schadenfreude here. Every day Ukraine seems to control less of its territory. The BBC had a very dispiriting article a few days ago. https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c72p0xx410xo The last 9 months have been extremely difficult. Maybe with increased aid things will improve but i'll wait till I see it on the ground.
  3. Sure. If you want to start from a "major global disaster" then yes, the UN could end up been replaced by something very different. Otherwise, the UN is far more likely to be reformed than replaced. Not that either is particularly likely in the foreseeable future. Limping along on crutches is far better than being in a coma, which is what I was responding to. I agree with Bironic's thoughts on the UN. A very flawed (i.e. on crutches) organisation but still useful.
  4. Dismantling and reconstruction could easily be termed as reform, so I think that's just semantics. Like the ICC, it is far better for the UN to exist than not exist. That's too simplistic. Depriving a country of a veto would presumably require the Security Council to approve it, which would obviously be vetoed. Other countries can't force the US (or any other country) to give up on their veto. Especially since Russia and China wouldn't want to give up theirs either, so you'll have 3 major powers all in full agreement (for a change). Practically, what can minor powers do to "stand up to the bullies"? The UN is designed to work for the major powers. If other countries get much more powerful, then reform may indeed happen (but it may not be the type of reform we'll like). The UN reflects us and the global inequalities that exist. If the latter changes, the UN will follow suit. But the UN is not going to lead the way. That shouldn't be viewed as a flaw. That is just a design feature. Either way, we do need a global forum.
  5. Uhuh. The usual. If not perfection, then nothing at all. Very convenient. I can't imagine there is anyone serious about international justice that supports the "no ICC" proposal. The proponents would be the usual mixture of reprobates and villains.
  6. No worries. I did genuinely try to understand you point. I thought I did the last time (that is why I thanked you for explaining it) but obviously not. But just to be clear, my first response on this thread to this line of discussion was "I think many countries are willing to get away with a lot of terrible things but the West has more money and can thus cause more dangerous mischief in aggregate." My stance is not binary but the internet does prefer binary stances, so I can appreciate why my stance got missed.
  7. Ok. Given the other posts in this thread about the cycle of violence, this is a very ironic post. I think you are saying that an escalated war will "solve" the problem and that the armaments industry will no longer have any weapons to sell because there will be peace in our time. Which is frankly hilarious. But at least I see now where you are coming from, so thanks for explaining. To be clear, the cycle of violence rarely stops. War begets more war. I can't think of any major conflict at the moment where I expect a resolution will lead to a complete de-escalation. The military industrial complex doesn't have to lose any sleep about a loss of earnings. Sure. I was hoping you were been less vague but ok. I was talking about both. Larder (the West) and appetite (Russia but there are plenty other countries). Of course. Nobody can pretend that every country is affected in the same way. And your point about the economic exploitation by Western companies just echoes my point about the West having way more means to negatively affect other countries. Similarly, of course the West is not better than everyone else. But Russia? Admittedly, a very low bar, so I wouldn't get excited.
  8. I think many countries are willing to get away with a lot of terrible things but the West has more money and can thus cause more dangerous mischief in aggregate. But morally, Russia (for example) is far more dangerous. It just lacks the means (relatively speaking).
  9. You are going to have to explain it more. If you wish. How is what is quoted above different from "they are also telling them not to commit too much violence because they don't want to sell too many weapons." The main point to take away from my posts is that influence definitely happens (as I said originally, I agree with a lot of what you say). But you can push it too far, where people become puppetmasters. Puppetmasters are very rare. It is often incompetence, misguided beliefs, lack of power etc. And I wasn't sure were you actually talking about the Pentagon. Good to know you were.
  10. You are reading way too much into my post. I do think what you said is silly, that these unnamed companies are encouraging these unnamed governments to commit violent acts, so that they can sell them weapons but they are also telling them not to commit too much violence because they don't want to sell too many weapons (or something). Its all very vague. But the advantage of been vague is that one can read truth into it (and I can see stuff in what you wrote that I agree with). But also disagreements. I choose not to invent a disagreement with you (because I have to put words in your mouth). If you want to be less vague, sure. I can say more possibly.
  11. That can mean whatever one likes, so i'll choose to believe you agree with me completely.
  12. Well, I do think that's all a bit silly. Wanting conflict to make money but not too much conflict! Nobody has that level of control over things. What you say is all a bit vague though and it depends on what people are thinking of. For sure, the West made plenty money from supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite it using those weapons against the people in Yemen. Things like that can (and should) be criticised but once you start layering in levels of complexity, you do lose me.
  13. Isn't that the problem that people are trying to solve? Setting up such an entity. Less rhetoric, more common sense.
  14. Very interesting. Erdogan won last year in similar conditions but he wasn't running himself this time, which probably did matter. There is a question about whether this is his last term. He is 70 years old and his final term is supposed to end in 2028. But there could still be shenanigans (e.g. apparently if they call for early elections, he is entitled to run since he didn't complete his full term). The repeated failure of his party when he doesn't run may give him pause for reflection. But he did say very recently that this was his last election. Before he lost.
  15. Pellegrini must be favourite for the run off though, as the guy who came third seems much more aligned with him than Korcok.
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