The UNSC and the recent North Korean rocket launch


Here's a list of U.N. Security Council resolutions of 2009.

One resolution is missing - naturally so, because it doesn't exist; a condemnation of North Korea's recent rocket test.

How could this be, how was it possible that the supposedly "world leading" United States were not able to get such a condemnation passed?

The superficial answer is simple, and nicely covers up the political disaster:
"The PR China is protecting North Korea with its veto right."

That's true, but misleading about the overall situation. China wasn't the only great power that blocked the American foreign policy in this affair.

Two other reasons were also at work, and tell us a lot about our modern world.

1) Hypocrisy

Not everyone is going mad about a Third World country launching a malfunctioning rocket into space. Other nations have different media, different pundit and different political establishments. The national barriers between the nations slow down or prevent infection with craziness about marginal threat.

It's extremely hypocritical to ask for a condemnation of North Korea for its rocket launch into space while having thousands of ballistic missiles, thousands of hydrogen bombs, a history of being the only nuclear weapons user and a history of wars of aggression that makes North Korea's behaviour look nice.
It's utterly ridiculous to begin with.

Obama and Clinton really wanted North Korea condemned for something that's pretty much their right and done on a routine basis by many other U.N. members?
That's either extremely hypocritical or outright nuts.

2) Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me

You cannot walk through human history, cheat on others and expect to do dirty tricks again, again and again. Instead, you should even expect to face resistance when you don't have a hidden agenda when your track record is poor.

There's no lotus effect for sins, no matter how much you believe in your exceptionality or in the supreme privilege of size and power.

The USA wanted a condemnation with strong words about Iraq's supposed WMDs and resistance to inspections. It lied to the world, outrageously. It got the condemnation and was brazen enough to mis-interpret it stubbornly for a carte blanche to attack Iraq.
Foreign diplomats publicly stated that this won't happen again.

Just like with the Iraq embargo of 1990 that was never meant (by non Anglo-American UNSC members) to be everlasting until the Americans finally agree to lift it (although it was indeed legally open-ended and the USA had the veto right to prevent its termination). Diplomats told us publicly in the 90's that there would never again be such an exploitable embargo/resolution.

Well, is it a surprise that other great powers were not willing to give the U.S. diplomats the condemnation of North Korea that they sought so much?
I see absolutely no surprise here.

The U.S. has escaped many usual consequences of its sins, but that doesn't work all the time. Especially not so in the United Nations. Maybe that's why the U.N. is so much respected in the world - except in the U.S.. It doesn't submit itself to the U.S. as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Well, not entirely.
That's likely related to the fact that all other nations have a voice in its general council and many other nations have a voice in the security council - even veto rights.

Some journalists, pundits and bloggers (not surprisingly usually American or British) interpreted the UNSC's behaviour in this case as a sign for the United Nation's weakness.
Their world is surely a strange place, I'm glad I'm not in it.

P.S.: Related article of this blog: 2007-10 "Leader of the free world"

edit: Oops, added the UNSC resolutions link.

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