Beyond the Cusp

June 7, 2013

When the Going Gets Rough the UN Goes Running

The United Nations is once again displaying remarkable consistency. The Syrian border with Israel heated up even further today and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers began running. Actually the governments who sent their troops to be peacekeepers ordered them to start running; running straight home. The UNDOF troops had been monitoring a basically silent border since 1974 until the recent events actually might have required them to perform peacekeeping. This should not come as a surprise as this is basically what United Nations peacekeepers are renowned for doing in the face of violence. In their defense the initial decision by the Austrian government to withdraw their 380 peacekeepers came after clashes in which two UN peacekeepers were slightly injured. The Austrian government official statement stated, “The Austrian army’s participation in the UNDOF mission can no longer be maintained for military reasons.” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and his deputy Michael Spindelegger said in a joint statement. “Freedom of movement in the area de facto no longer exists. The uncontrolled and immediate danger to Austrian soldiers has risen to an unacceptable level” This was the final death knell for the UNDOF mission as it followed the reduction of the troop numbers to 900 after the March withdrawal by Croatia which followed following similar moves by Canada and Japan.


This situation is not honestly much of a surprise as United Nations peacekeepers that have been stationed on Israeli borders have a history of either ineffectiveness or departing at the earliest signs of violence or immediately after the leader of the Arab nation bordering Israel requests they get out of the way of their attacking militaries. This was the case in 1967 when Egyptian and Syrian troops massed on Israel’s borders. Avoiding trouble and turning a blind eye to Hezballah activities has been the apparent mission directive of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In all honesty United Nations efforts as peacekeepers have left much to be desired throughout their history but only when deployed. The other side of this unseemly coin is that in many instances where United Nations peacekeepers would have actually been useful and have saved innocent lives they have been reticent in sending them in in a timely manner. The genocides in Rwanda and Darfur are prime examples of too little too late if at all. The only thing less effective of this world depending on the United Nations to be a place where peace is kept by the cooperation of the member nations through reason and negotiations as the means for solving problems would be a world where even the ineffectual United Nations did not exist thus removing any recourse other than the historic means, open warfare at even the slightest of provocations. Unfortunately, the one accomplishment of the United Nations that has prevented far more world carnage is about to become violate, the prevention of the general proliferation of nuclear weaponry. Once that principal accomplishment is dashed and nuclear weapons become generally available to any country or other entity with sufficient funds and desire, then when the world enters another period of heightened tensions, any resultant conflict would contain a level of threat for an unacceptable conflagration of unimaginable destruction. I pray that such a future is avoidable but judging from human history where no weapon no matter how horrible has not only been used to end one war but more often than not became the principle weapon used in the next war. Some claim this is due to progress while others contend such progress will eventually result in the end of the human race and potentially an almost immeasurable percentage of life on the planet. May such a consequence be avoided though the current state of the world is not exactly promising when the organization responsible for mitigating such threats, the United Nations, refuses to have its peacekeeping forces remain in place running from even the slightest raised level of violence.


Beyond the Cusp


1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Comment by OyiaBrown — June 7, 2013 @ 5:56 AM | Reply

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