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I wouldn’t want to belong to an “international community” that would have me as a member

I wouldn’t want to belong to an “international community” that would have me as a member

The word community has been devalued.  Once upon a time it meant something specifically geographic—not unlike neighborhood—as in, “We live in a really nice little community.”

Then in the ’60s community was adopted as a synonym for people.  So instead of saying “black people believe,” you said “the black community believes.”  It betrayed the same prejudices but was acceptable because—and here’s the key—community referred only to those of approved politics and sensibilities.

That’s why the “black community” doesn’t include, say, Allen West; the “gay community” doesn’t include conservative gays; and, hilariously, the feminist community doesn’t include Sarah Palin.

Community usually corrupts the modifier that immediately precedes it, much the way People’s inverts the meaning of what follows in the names of countries and organizations.  For instance, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

Which has, it just so happens, launched a long-range rocket.  And what do you know, the “international community” is upset:

The move comes as a surprise to the international community, which has consistently called on North Korea to abandon its efforts….

National Security Council spokesman Tom Vietor called the launch a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security.”

Hey, Tom.  You know what threatens regional security—and, for that matter, world security?  The dangerous fiction that there is indeed such a thing as an “international community.”

There isn’t.  There are individual countries with competing self interests that have nothing to do with shared values.  So while the idea of an ICBM capable of reaching San Francisco from Pyongyang is scary to us, the Russians and Chinese probably see things differently.

For that matter, the “European community” may be rooting for any blow to the perception of America as superior.  Just last week at the United Nations, every European nation either abstained or voted in favor of granting elevated status to the Palestinians.

The only exception?  Courtesy of LukeHandCool:

The Czech Republic’s vote delighted and surprised Israeli officials: It was the only European country to vote against the Palestinian statehood bid. “They have been consistently one of our best friends in the EU,” the official told The Times of Israel.

Berlin actually tried to pressure Prague to at least abstain in Thursday’s vote, to present a more-or-less unified European position. “But they don’t care what anyone else says; they’re ballsy,” the official said.

Too bad one good country can’t heal the whole international barrel.

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Comments

It never fails to surprise and disappoint me how many (usually not well-informed) people put a great deal of faith in the U.N.

I’ve long likened it to the Disneyland ride and song, “It’s a Small World.” Who among us, riding with our small children, seeing “Hello!” written in various languages, enjoying the innocent atmosphere of the world’s children in their various costumes singing a charming song of goodwill, doesn’t come away with a fuzzy sense of hope?

As an adult, you might feel a bit silly at feeling that way. But the feeling isn’t entirely misplaced. The world’s children are the future, and the more they interact as early as possible, the more likelihood of their developing into truly tolerant adults.

The U.N. has a sort of “Small World” veneer. Seeing all those flags side by side … just like all those singing and dancing dolls representing the world’s children …

But as George Will points out, the U.N. is more fictionalized than the Disneyland ride:

“Indeed, the phrase ‘international community’ is metaphoric and misleading. A true community exists only when there is consensus about certain matters—the meaning of freedom, the nature of rights and duties, sources of legitimacy. Thus the phrase ‘international community’ denotes no reality. Rhapsodizing about the U.N. as the ‘international community’ incarnate obscures this fact: The U.N. is composed of representatives of regimes most of which rule in ways repellent to the U.N.’s democratic minority.”

Now, rumor has it that Professor J. once dated a Czech girl, (the Czechs produce more supermodels than any other country per capita) and that is why the “Czechs are such great friends of Israel.”

Maybe this is so.

And if my little anecdote to follow makes this all seem like a friendly competition not unlike grown men acting as little boys comparing scars (with Luke as Richard Dreyfuss and the Professor as Robert Shaw well, let’s see whose scar is bigger.

In the mid-1980s, living in the tough port city of Ube, Japan, I came across some Soviets from Vladivostok shopping in town as their ship was docked.

They invited me to board their ship that night, and they fed me unfiltered cigarettes they’d rolled and some kind of potent, potent, firewater.

At the end of the night, I got kisses on both cheeks from all as I left the ship.

I was sick as a dog the next day. But it was worth it.

The Iron Curtain came crumbling down soon afterwards.

I’ll leave it to the “professional” diplomats to connect the dots.

    GrumpyOne in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I remember the senior high school class trip in 1958 to NYC where the featured spots to visit were the UN and Radio City Music Hall. We took the train and had the last car all to ourselves.

    The UN was impressive and perhaps not so dysfunctional at that time and RCMH, well that was just plain impressive.

    I have stated on a number of occasions that the UN should be disbanded or at least tossed out of this country with the structure converted into a shelter for homeless veterans.

    It’s become a total loss as far as I am concerned.

I am a member of the 100%.

I am 100% American 100% of the time.

Liberals can’t deal with that ‘notion.’

I speak for the international community when I say “Let’s all join hands and say “Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!”

FreshPondIndians | December 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Groucho couldn’t have said it better.

The Czech Republic has been one of the very few bright spots in the otherwise socialized European “community.” (Sorry, but I could not resist)

The also have the right mindset regarding globule warmin’ and I sure like their president…

Too bad one good country can’t heal the whole international barrel.

But, we have a Nobel Peace Prize winning community organizer who can heal anything he touches.

North Korea would not exist one microsecond after China decided it shouldn’t.

They have been, are now and will be the North Korean’s enablers.

There is NOTHING that North Korea does that doesn’t have a Chinese okay on.

They’re starving and have little commerce with most of the rest of the world yet somehow, somehow they manage to come up with the wherewithal to launch a satellite into space.

Who do they think they’re kidding? Jimmy Carter maybe but not many others.

Ballsy, Beer and Hot Chicks. What’s not to like about the Czech Republic.

All those UN sanctions, all those UN resolutions and the Norks thumbed their nose at the UN and went ahead with their launch. And at the same time, we’re supposed to believe sanctions and resolutions will prevent Iran from developing a nuke?

Hahahahahahahahahaha!

huskers-for-palin | December 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Over 40 years ago, me and my family fled that part of the world after the failed Czech Revolt of 68. Now it seems they’re one of the few with the onions to resist the anti-Israel bull crap.

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