tv [untitled] December 25, 2013 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
but that's just my opinion. hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle the phrase international community is often bandied about in western media as if its meaning was clearly understood by all in fact when western politicians and media invoke the phrase international community it almost always reflects the thinking and agenda of washington and its closest allies around the world used in this
manner the international community is in fact a very small minority. to crosstalk the term international community i'm joined by my guest george samuel in new york he is a fellow of the global policy institute of london metropolitan university and in tampa we cross to ruff is a day he is a political scientist and president of the international american council right gentlemen cross-talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want i very much encourage it if i go to you in tampa when you hear the term the international community when politicians and evoke invoke it when western media says the international community says this or represents what it was that mean to you that's a great question peter i think you hear a lot of the politicians usually throw out the term international community and it's really very depends on the context you're using it but from my perspective.
the concept international community community is really too elastic to define it for the sake of i think our discussion and our debate there are two main you can say to finish and for the international community which are used the classical one international community includes all sovereign states all nation states independent entities and there are relatively with equal power again debatable and open to question the more contemporary i think definition of international community which i use in my contacts is not only the inclusion of the. sovereign states across the world but also the inclusion of non-governmental organizations into transnationals the. transnational corporations and non-state actors not only they have significant political power
or social power in nationally inside their country but also they have some kind of leverage on on the inter national politics so this is really the second the finishing that i. really mean we focus on but again as i said earlier it's really to elastic the term to national well as you know i think it is probably a lot of. the last week on purpose here george if i can go to you and maybe give an example of what i'm getting at here is that you heard from western capitals that in reference to syria the international community will not allow chemical weapons to be used against civilians in syria but then the international community you know reported by western mainstream media doesn't like to talk about for gods or or agent orange matter i mean this is what i'm getting at go ahead george no no that's absolutely right i think president obama said something along the lines that while
i was in the. who drew the red line over chemical weapons the international community drew the red line well of course that is you're absolutely right in your introductory remarks peter the international community has come to mean the. self-appointed group of nations led by the united states and various of its close allies and satellites and it provides a rationale for their policies now if one were to really to look at what is genuinely in the international community one would find that actually the united states is. very much outside of that kind of consensus of the international community i mean one example springs to mind is for instance the. the conflict between israel and the palestinians well there's a view of the international community which is a two state solution with east jerusalem as the capital of a palestinian state who has been the who both ardent opponents of
a genuine two state solution well obviously the united states in other example is iran now there is the nonproliferation treaty to which most states in the world have signed on with the exception of. us close u.s. ally israel but part of the you nonproliferation treaty is that states this nuclear. power states help other states the non-nuclear weapon states to develop their peaceful use of nuclear energy well that part of the nonproliferation treaty has been abandoned and is there the united states. leads a kind of a campaign to prevent iran the peaceful use of nuclear energy which is supposedly nonproliferation treaty and little about georgia saying if i go back to majeed in tampa is that you know the international community the term international community is george is applying it here is really the washington consensus isn't it
. i think that's a great point that. i think we're raising i think it's again depends on the context that we're using and we have to define and really know to be able to build up upon our arguments i think i think the international community from the western perspective the phoenician of it is really different from let's say from. you can say from the more developing or while noble country is the definition of the international community again what i'm saying that is there from the western perspective i think the international community the mantle you can say of the international community is united nations so this is and if you want to look at the united nations from the prism of the u.n. security council then we have here five powers russia china united states france and germany which. the five members which are actually the the ones that have the veto power with china that they want to have the veto power
in order to really enforce some executive powers. but again from the for instance from the perspective or from other countries some other countries or you can say from the syrian perspective the international community is is not the u.n. security council the international david they believe that it is system. that they really inclusive it's actually exclusive they believe that the international community in other words in the more i think academic or professional awards it's more the general assembly or member of a magazine that's fair and i would agree with you on that ok because every september there's a vote in the general assembly for recognition of a palestinian state and i'll have to check the numbers but it's one hundred eighty something against two or three or whatever pacific island is bought off by washington in israel that particular year ok that's in my mind. the international
community but it's not the one she didn't consensus is it george though that's absolutely right and of course when the united nations was set up it deliberately set up two bodies the general assembly and the security council because the architects of the un didn't want to repeat the mistakes of the league of nations so they wanted to make sure that there was a consensus among the great powers that the way to avoid war is that the that you have a body in which the great powers are in agreement and that the great powers never act in a way that jeopardizes the legitimate interests of the great powers hence the creation of the veto and that's fair enough i think it's a little very reasonable to have a body like the security council that represents of the will of the great powers but what we have talk of when we talk about the international community i mean in
fact when the united states. and its close pals they defy the will of the general assembly and the security council so the security council was clearly not of one mind on syria it is and did not support the obama administration and david cameron line on syria and the security council it didn't even support the the u.s. policy in libya because in fact the resolution of the security council that obama so proudly invoked stated that there would be protection of civilians an arms embargo and genuine moves towards a peace agreement well those two parts of it were just forgotten and it's there the obama and cameron and on the on the other guys. you know just trumpeted the. security council we have the international community behind us i know but then
we have you know you're absolutely i imagine if i go do you remember susan rice said. it's quite amazing and i think it was about libya is that the international community is against russia and china how does that make any even linguistic sense to you. as i said i think. we have to understand i think every country is using the term international community really to serve their own job political and strategic interests or the national interest i think is the first purpose of the national interest and this is i think the strategic interest i think you can say that the main interest of every country that they pursue so the term international community will be use in different contexts i give you example for instance you're absolutely right for instance united states think that the international community is in favor of for instance passing a resolution in order to. intervene in syria ok that's that's that's the argument they use and from their perspective they argue that there are three members in the
in the security council agree with them two members disagree with them they argue ok most of the arab countries in the region agree with them and from the e.u. iranian perspective or you can say from the other countries perspective they also would use the international community they would say well the international community is against intervening in syria why because there are these countries which disagree there are two members of the security council which disagree with the international committee so i think the issue is really complicated and we have to be very very cautious no no i don't i don't think it is complicated i think whether you know they don't have the votes they'll say we're the international community and we're going to intervene illegally in iraq if we if we want and no one can stop us and you know what the hell with the international community if they're not on our side and that's exactly what happened with the invasion of iraq who cares about the international community if they are not going out you are exactly right that's what happened that's it that's exactly what happened in the case of iraq where the international community became the coalition of the willing
in. case of yugoslavia the international community became george i'm going to have to jump in here george i have to jump in here or going to go to a short break jan so get out to a short break we'll continue our discussion on the on the term international community stay with the tea. leaf. is a. busy street interesting. strategic mission told try. a longer covert team of journalists trying to release which leads documents about to how the united states is trying to. make me
a global media more pro-american they encounter fear ignorance and pressure. the country blocks the way to information freedom. media stop on our t.v. . come into the. reasons he has put is already being plenty to celebrate this december on this month's show feeling how the future tense so lazy section stone cold to make movies with an instant messenger on the river lucia exoskeleton makes life work of a real estate. here on. the contrary. these labels are big chunks our hair braving the elements in order to stand on a us oil giant chevron. this
comes after him. hunger strike that returned the world's attention to the place that some have dubbed the gulag of our times. it's an undeclared global battlefield in which a young man is just one of the front lines. please. welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing what the term international community means.
ok george i want to go back to you were discussing when the international community whatever that is is important isn't applied to when we've heard two and when it's not go ahead george yes if you want to say that. iraq was invaded by a coalition of the willing led by the united states then you should say that it was led by a small group of countries led by the united states and i want to say it was the international community just like in the case of yugoslavia it was. it's not obvious and he was again it was a policy that was pushed by if you will the nato powers so you have no real business deeming this somehow the will and the actions of the international community as well as a kind of there's a dishonesty in the use of this international community there is no way that you can actually solve the international community when you only represent
a very small group of self interest that powers ok georgia and i'd like to clarify here when we look at libya not even all members of nato participated in that operation so it's even less than what nato was i'm certain members of nato mind you but if i go to talk about iran because it seems like the international community if you look at that the term beyond the washington consensus is very much in support of iran's position on having civilian nuclear power but if you look at the israeli position obviously in the american one it's very much at odds with what i would call the genuine international community go ahead right again i think it depends on what we mean exactly by the international committee i think from the iranian perspective is the alignment members of the united nations are not in disagreement with the iran pursuing peaceful i think nuclear proliferation and even i think from the western perspective i don't think the i think there is
a problem with iran pursuing peaceful civilian nuclear which is very it's very green but isn't that area here for a critical that's very hypocritical isn't it if you read the nonproliferation treaty every country that signs up to it has the right to civilian nuclear power except for rand apparently according to the united states and according to israel that's really into critical in wrong isn't it. well i think it's a little bit more complicated i think iran has shown that some sort of like really built like distrust in the international economy and the reason i'm saying this is that because of the revelations of several i think calander stein i think place it was not just two thousand won that the whole. took place in nats hands and iraq where i think revolved it was also in two thousand and nine i think excuse me in two thousand and seven the nuclear facilities in in for the in south after her on was not iran was not transparently golding to the nonprofit you can't pursue but
you have to be transparent and. when you establish order for you you go you put you build a place in order to enrich uranium so you know it's this i think kind of command information but again i don't want to go into detail into the know but i i do agree with what i what i was saying is that if you look at how countries view the western assault on iran for the last few decades most countries in the world disagree with it very strong majority against it it is the perception is is that the again the americans and it's a close allies hijack what we mean by the international community and you know what they could even be bombed to hell in the name of the international community which would be an absolute fraud george go ahead. yes exactly and in the case of iran the i.a.e.a. has never found that iran had a nuclear weapons program that he was diverting any enrich uranium towards
a nuclear weapons program even the us intelligence agencies have not found that iran is has a nuclear weapons program so therefore this this use us israeli policy against iran has absolutely real no basis at all on the law or on evidence and. as i said earlier the nonproliferation treaty specifically. states that the nuclear weapon states have an obligation to help the non-nuclear weapons states develop their peaceful use of nuclear energy i mean so you know there was always the two parts to the nonproliferation treaty and as usual that part was forgotten and i think this is what will really work what happens with this international communities of the other was. when when we when the americans talk about the international bodies are they going to kind of pick on your one or other thing that they get they're trying to like and then ignore all the all the other
bits so they would talk about. terrorism. by israel but. you know that when it when it comes to the. israeli blockade of gaza israeli attacks on gaza then that suddenly becomes acceptable so there's always this you know they want to take the individual bits and pieces that the. americans like and ignore all the rest of you know george i agree with him go back to march he didn't why doesn't countries like that you know why does it brock obama say myself and mr netanyahu were are in support of or against this or that instead is that invoking. and margy by go back to president elect or. barack obama said that in two thousand and eight that no country should be subject to missile attacks from an outside entity which of course he was talking about gaza but the same sitting president right now drones the hell out of the world but you know what are the same words you know the international community will not stand another country
firing missiles at you but the united states shoots missiles at countries all the time right again as i said i think into the term international community use in the by each country i think first of all in order to advance their own national interest there is no i think doubt about it so. you want to be think that it's dishonest if you think it is them on the truck is a fierce honest to use a term like that when you're just pursuing your national interest is it dishonest using that term. i think i think it's a very as i said it's a very elastic with term it has to be really defined and the thing is that all the country i think it's like every country around the world seems to be using the term international community to read a little mind even though i don't see that i'm sorry to disagree with you my friend i do not see china saying that i don't see russia saying that i don't say india is saying saying that i don't see brazil saying that it comes out of western capitals george jump in i'm very very emphatic about this and we go ahead george yes. yes
exactly and if one thinks of the various international norms that may be said to be expressive of the will of the international community i mean again as we find that united states is actually frequently odds with those norms i mean we have the convention against torture which is actually one of the few conventions of the united states actually signed and ratified against clearly united states was in violation of that during the war on terror. we have the protocols of that was additional to the geneva conventions i was a very important protocol that was signed in the nine hundred seventy s. again united states has never ratified that we have the the cluster munitions weapons ban again the united states has never signed on to that the mind bans united states and signed on to that so when we actually look at these various international agreements we can talk about all sorts of like the covenant of the social economic cultural rights again you know united states never signed on to
that you know we actually find that here could be said to be the you will of the international community but we find that the self-appointed spokesman of the community haven't actually signed on to these important agreements you want to jump in there. yeah i think a few days ago i was i usually follow the news also from not only from the west and also news outlets but from the eastern one and i use the term international community is used in the if you in the iranian. media particularly press t.v. or so it's being used to really i think you can say loosely cross the war but again i think. i think the term is without doubt is a western concept which was you can say a post-war war to legacy. which basically i think there are different here branches and we have to focus on again if you are talking about the international
committee are we talking about you know u.n. security council and the five members or are you talking about the general assembly so and i think there are also different categories i think we have to say different discourse here is which is why i am ok my. point i completely agree with you on that point but george it isn't the general assembly that goes to war and it doesn't have a private army called nato does it. you know that's that's exactly right and. what's happened is that after the cold war there could have been at the margins of a genuine international community they could have emerged some kind of a. consensus among the great powers and and to which much of the general assembly could have here instead we have. a policy of going to present the world domination by nato led by the united states and this is really
sabotage any real hope of the mergence of an international community i mean what you would really need to have it for a genuine international community is to respect. you know on the one hand you have to respect the interests of other great powers. and not just go off by expanding nato right up into russia's borders not to build a ballistic missile defense right on russia's borders and then go to the russians as oh well please can you help us out of syria. probably due to our what are saying we're doing we're doing name of the international community which i don't think would go down well why do you want to give you the last word i want to give marjie the last word on the program here what would you like to see the term international community really me. i think we i think i would like really to see more legality in the term of the international community the way the legal framework particularly i think for instance there from the internet based it should be really interesting to
international for instance the us intervention in iraq was completely illegal because it was not true with the un security council approval. but for instance the intervention in kosovo also was illegal but there is also other perception which is a generally ality for a fascinating discussion will run out of time many thanks to my guests in new york and in tampa and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at the scene and remember crosstalk.
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