A Faceted World

We can’t agree on everything but now, we don’t agree on anything. We don’t agree on our origins, we don’t agree on our boundaries. We don’t agree on who broke global climate and global economy nor on who should pay for these. We–at least the Americans–don’t agree on healthcare nor on anything at all.

I was so cynical today because today and yesterday, I was doing a security simulation for a class. For those who aren’t familiar with security simulations or its inferior counterpart, the Model UN, it is a role playing ‘game’ where you assume the ambassadorship of a country and negotiate peace, war and everything except the kitchen sink. Sounds foolproof right?

No, when you are tackling an issue as large as nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and you represent North Korea–whose leadership was as rational as a one-legged pirate in a tutu–and there are 27 different countries representing. We were off to a good start–there were six-party talks, P5, EU3+3 and Arab League negotiations. Then we realized that the final agreement (which contains as diverse issues as condemning Israeli’s weapon program, international fuel banks and no first use policy that no ones agrees on) had to be voted in consensus by all delegations. The U.S. and Iran are as likely to vote together as Rush Limburgh and James Carville.

It is like a replay of Copenhagen Conference that I attended last December. Nations denouncing each other. Deliberate Blocking by some superpowers. Muscle flexing by others. Final agreement is an empty one, no different from the one that came before it and rings more-or-less hollow as the last minute deal at Copenhagen. Even then, it was agreed only because the sun was down, and we, being diligent Stanford students, wanted to retreat to our dining halls and study holes. Five minutes before this all ended, Russia fulfilled Godwin’s Law by noting German delegation’s persistent defense of Israel was motivated by the guilt over the Holocaust.

(Footnote: We as North Korea spent the most of the conference trying to extort others, to proliferate to Syria, Iran, Burma and Cuba, and to demand six-party talks of inordinate remunerations).


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