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March 08, 2003

30 Years of UN Vetos

As we hear conservatives thundering against French or Russian threats of using their veto, it's worth remembering that the US consistently used its veto over the last decades to thrawt UN enforcing human rights in both Israel and in South Africa. Here is a list of vetos compiled at Freerepublic of all places. In light of discussions of weapons of mass destruction, the US mouthing about the UN's responsibility to stop them makes these vetos from 1979 seem remarkable:

Veto - 1979 [UN calls] for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.

Veto- 1979 [UN vote to] Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.

So the US helped Apartheid South Africa develop a nuclear weapon program by blocking UN action to stop it. It was only with the triumph of the African National Congress that those weapons were dismantled.

No wonder the rest of the world has trouble taking the US seriously.

Posted by Nathan at March 8, 2003 09:02 AM

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Who's watch did that happen under?

Noble Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter (1977 - 1981)

Posted by: Steve at March 8, 2003 05:45 PM

You have it backwards, in the best leftist tradition. It is the United Nothing that nobody takes seriously. To borrow from Krauthammer, the United Nonsense has degenerated into "a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Arab League". It is indeed a sewer of anti-Americanism, anti-Israel and anti-Semitism.

For a collection of approx. 30 articles on this "august" organ, see


Posted by: Joseph Alexander Norland at March 8, 2003 08:12 PM

This is kinda getting old, so I don't remember the context of this. But taking the facts you've put down, one can say your conclusion does not follow.

That is, if the U.S. vetos a resolution on "end to all military and nuclear collaboration", it does not mean "so the US helped Apartheid South Africa develop a nuclear weapon program to stop it". That would only hold if the resolution said, "end to all nuclear collaboration." The U.S. was presumably vetoing the part about military collaboration, and the supporters of the resolution could well have put it the "and nuclear" to embarrass the U.S.

But there could be other facts which support your case - only as you've written it, your conclusion doesn't hold.

Posted by: Andrew Boucher at March 9, 2003 02:13 AM

However, it does prove that the hyperventilation that will emanate from the right wing if France vetoes the resolution will be nothing if not hypocritical.

Posted by: Steve Cohen at March 9, 2003 12:30 PM

The ANC was not responsible for the dismanteling of the SA Nuke program it was DeKlerk. And before anyone ets all high and mighty about the ANC, let me remind you they were Soviet backed Commies, ever since Apartied ended the SA Economy has gone down the shitter.

Posted by: Richard Morrison at March 9, 2003 08:02 PM

"let me remind you they were Soviet backed Commies, ever since Apartied ended the SA Economy has gone down the shitter."

So the "Commies" did more to end Apartheid than we did? Sheesh.

Posted by: ryan at March 10, 2003 10:39 AM

As is apparent wherever communisum has reared its nasty head, a communist backed South African government would have destabilized the region and caused a quick economic collapse. South Africa is one of the most advnced and industrialized African nations thanks to Aprtied. I am in no way advocating the racial methods used by the Aprtied regieme but rather stressing that Apartied was the lesser of two evils and ultimately helped moderate the leftist ANC to where it did not threaten economic destruction upon a South Africa under its control.
-- Richard

Posted by: Richard Morrison at March 11, 2003 12:03 AM

Hi again,
With all do respect to my friends on the left, when will they realize that the U.N. is not a sanctimonious organization out for the good of humanity. The U.N. has become the tool of other nations such as France to cause problems for the U.S. The French have never been out for peace; if they were, they wouldn't have sold Saddam that reactor back in the 80's knowing full well they would use it to make a nuke. -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 13, 2003 08:24 PM

Of course, you forgot to mention that we sold Iraq weapons in the 80's also.

Posted by: Davarro at March 14, 2003 12:24 AM

Yes, we sold the Iraqis weopons in the 80's, but they were along the lines of stinger AA-missles and small arms. Thats a little different than basically handing them a nuke. Plus, at the time they were fighting the Iranians at the time, who were considered the greater of two evils at the time. Foreign policy often includes dirty secrets, but still, you don't hand a nuclear reactor to a bloody dictator. I would have figured the French of all people would have figured that out already, oui Mr. Davarro?
Robert S.Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 21, 2003 03:26 PM

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