Freesteel Blog » India and the Security Council

India and the Security Council

Monday, January 21st, 2008 at 5:13 pm Written by:

Our out-of-his-depth Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has hit the news with his support for permanent membership of India on the United Nations Security Council:

Britain is pressing for the Security Council’s five permament members to be increased to include India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, plus an African country. Diplomats refused to say which, for fear of offending the chief contenders: South Africa and Nigeria, both regional powers, and Egypt, which is backed by Arab states. One possibility is a permanent African seat rotating between three or more countries.

Under Mr Brown’s plans, the new members would not initially win veto powers similar to the existing five – the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France. Instead, places on the Security Council would be offered without blocking powers in a first phase, followed by subsequent changes that included veto rights.[1]

The Ambassador from India spoke at length on the subject last November,[2] referring extensively to the book, Surrender is not an Option (Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad), a recently published tome by John Bolton that has had rave reviews from the forces of war.[3]

There are many intelligent things which one can say about the dysfunctional workings of the Security Council, but none were said during those three days of debates.

The first thing to note is that the Security Council is the single body whose resolutions have the force of law regarding war, peace, and international economic sanctions. It is within the treaty obligations of the United Nations that members must respect the Chapter 7 resolutions passed by the Security Council.

Obviously, certain powerful nations with their “manifest destinies” aren’t going to put up with this type of thing, and have negotiated an exception to this rule for themselves. If there is any resolution about to come out of the Security Council which they don’t like, they can strike it out with a unilateral veto. Even if they are in a minority of one, the resolution will not pass, which makes them safe from any ruling. Technically, a nation with this veto power must be on the Council at all times, otherwise the world would merely have to wait until they were rotated off to pass any sanctioning resolutions against them. That is why they are known as “permanent members”.

The veto can also be used to prevent resolutions that “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” by an ally of the permanent member. That’s why Israel doesn’t violate very many Security Council resolutions: the United States vetoes them out of existance. Remember that when the next politician proves that Israel is more peaceful than Iran by counting the number UN resolutions against the respective countries. The judge is demonstrably corrupt. A raw count of the disproportionate attacks on neighbouring states gives a better picture. After all, it’s those which draw blood, not the resolutions in condemnation.

We can be pretty clear that had Iran been a permanent member of the Security Council, no resolutions would ever have been held against them. Iran was an ordinary member of the Security Council in 1955-56. In case you’re wondering what democracy has to do with the Security Council, their CIA backed coup d’état against their elected government was in 1953.[4]

The five permanent members of the Security Council are: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the meantime, there is another important component of international law known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which makes it illegal for all nations in the world, except for five, to develop or possess nuclear weapons. These five nations are: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Clearly, as with United Nations Charter, at least one these five nations doesn’t feel it confers any obligations upon it with regard to disarmament.[5] And another openly flouts the letter of the treaty which in Article III (2), says:

Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this article.

Those safeguards are embodied by the IAEA and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

And this is where it all comes full circle. The equivalence between the Security Council permanent members and the nuclear states is not an accident. Only three nations did not sign up to the NPT: India, Israel, and Pakistan. (North Korea withdrew in 2003 during the process of its largely irrelevant political narrative.) Israel, for all purposes, already has the representation of a permanent member. Pakistan built their bomb in response to India and is in record that they would disarm immediately once India does so. Which leaves India as the main front for nuclear proliferation. As a government official once explained

No-first-strike’ policy does not mean India will not have a first-strike capability.

So, what’s the conclusion?

I don’t know. I am not a professional journalist with access to politicians and in a position to bring important questions to the public’s attention, but choses not to. Questions like:

(a) Is Security Council permanent membership simply a nuclear club?
(b) Would India be willing to trade its illegal nuclear weapons for its permament seat, or is the world offering it for free?
(c) Why does the world need the UK on the Security Council at all?

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the Cold War actually happened, with all this continuing military build-up and mass threats of nuclear-death. It seems as if the process doesn’t require an terrifying enemy to stimulate this reaction — our dysfunctional political class seems able to prepare for armageddon all by itself. They’re clearly insane.

On the other hand, one wonders what the hell is going on inside the minds of the engineers who are still devoting their lives to putting these bombs together. Are they doing it only for the money? No way can they believe what they’re doing is helping the world. What do they think they’re doing?

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