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The Discussion Questions in unit nine week look at the role of government,
the economy, and people on peace and violence in the international system.
The international system itself is often blamed for why we cannot achieve a
less violent world.
Edward Jackson
3/30/2013 11:02:01 PM
What are the causes of conflict in the international system? How can the
states and the global society work to resolve conflict situations?
The main causes of conflict in the international system are competition for
power on a global scale. Power can mean many things…sometimes different
things to different countries. For instance, for countries like America, it is
about having the greatest military power on the planet. For countries like
Russia, it is about things being big and powerful…in the past have been big
planes, big ships, and of course being the largest country on the planet.
Some even say that the Russian stockpile of nukes was just posturing,
basically playing the “big” game with America. I believe countries like China
and India are more concerned with providing services and products to
become powerful on the world stage. Countries like North Korea want to be
recognized as a powerful nation; however their methods are somewhat
tyrannical; they want to take the world by force.
The end result is of course competition…but how countries arrive on the world
stage can be on many different paths. How can we do and be better? We can
coerce countries to be and play fair by forcing countries to comply with
uranium laws, nuclear power plant laws, keeping countries like North Korea in
check, and encouraging countries to join organizations like the NATO.
Educating the countries how war and international conflict affect every
country is a good start. There is a saying that no man is an island unto
himself…well…that also works for countries; no country is an island unto
itself; we all depend on one another.
On the topic of “How international law and international organizations may
serve to avoid or resolve international disputes,” that is indeed complex.
Organizations like NATO and the United Nations can force “bad” countries to
comply by asking member countries to pass sanctions or trade embargos on
unruly countries…but when do they get involved, and when do they stay out
of a country’s affairs are the difficult questions. I can only guess as the entire
world becomes more and more endowed with nukes, it will only be a matter
of time before one is setoff…perhaps even leading us into World War III.
Quite scary really. I would hope the international organizations are working
extra hard to spread peace.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: Causes Of
Conflict In the
Edward Jackson
3/30/2013 11:13:05 PM
Why should a nation like Haiti be treated equally? Because it’s the
right thing to do. Unless you’re suggesting that only the powerful
countries should rule the planet? Not only do I not like that idea, I
believe it breeds resentment, and could possibly lead to international
conflicts that can cause wide sweeping problems for even powerful
countries like America. It wasn’t all that long ago when America was
attacked by just a handful of terrorists. Many questions were raised
about how this could happen, or why it happened. But believe this,
people felt like they had been wronged in some way…terrorists aren’t
born, but created. So we should include all nations in an effort to
reduce international threats from those that believe they have been
wronged or cheated in some way. It also builds trust and alliances
with countries, which is only a good thing (especially if the majority of
nations are at the table).
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: Causes Of
Conflict In the
Edward Jackson
3/30/2013 11:23:47 PM
Devin, you and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to
the idea of socialism. It’s not a system that would work for
us…but not because it’s a poor system, but because of humans;
it’s humans that have corrupted such a wonderful ideology. I
always wonder though…on the world stage…if America is going to
maintain its strength. Both China and India are coming in like a
freight train…supplying the world with cheap and large quantities
of services and products. Where does that leave a country where
we import more than we export? Not in a good place I say. We
do have the most powerful military force of the planet; I wonder
if we can just sell that? We need to bring manufacturing back to
this country in a big way. I believe it’s the only way we’re going
to maintain our global power status; military is good, services
and products are better. On your final question, I would choose
to be poor and happy, rather than rich and unhappy (and I have
really). I have passed up opportunities to make more
money…merely on the idea that I am happy with my life now.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
Post Unit 9
Edward Jackson
3/30/2013 11:36:21 PM
Welcome to the world Lola Jane!
You're right about religion, culture, and location; those can shape your
recognition and perhaps even control your status on the global stage. For
instance, if your country is a democracy, where Christianity is your main are perceived quite differently than a country that is ruled by a
totalitarian government and has Islam as a religion. What I wonder, does it
really matter? In the long run, why should your religion dictate your status on
the world stage? Wouldn't it be better just to acknowledge countries based upon
their deeds and not their beliefs? 99% of Muslims are peaceful, yet we associate
Muslims with terrorism. Much of this has do with our media's lack of coverage of
the "good" parts of Islam. We are basically shielded from the world, other than
what makes the news when something violent happens. Do you think countries
should just be judged on their international deeds?
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
Edward Jackson
4/1/2013 10:37:15 AM
The sovereignty of states is probably the number one reason, but also as alliances are
being made throughout the world, these alliances want to take a soft hand approach
when trying to enforce international laws...for example, rather than the U.S. just
smacking down an aggressive country (even though it may need it), we have to answer
to the international community---call it international peer pressure to not be aggressive.
So yes, it is sovereignty, but it is also having to answer for our actions, and those are the
reasons why we have such limited power when trying to avoid international conflicts.
Our book also says use military sparingly…which I totally agree with. The best way to
handle international conflict (in the long run) is through diplomacy and peaceful action.
We need to actively seek out more alliances around the world; perhaps we could start
with Cuba.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
Edward Jackson
4/2/2013 11:41:27 AM
If a serious diplomatic effort fails...then sometimes sanctions may be
necessary. However, there should be time limits on sanctions; they
shouldn't be forever. It should always be the United States' mission to
establish peace. Period. We, as Americans, like to brag how great our
country is...well greatness comes in many forms. The ability to bring peace
to countries like North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan should direct all our
main efforts; not war; not military occupation; not world domination.
On your question about sanctions, international sanctions are much harder
to enforce. The best we can do is hope for our allies not to disagree with us
when we impose sanctions. But like I said, we really should be trying to
seek peace through diplomacy. We can start with Cuba.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
What are the difficulties of the current international system? What makes getting things done so
difficult? How can it be changed, or should it stay just as it is? Explain your position!
Edward Jackson
3/31/2013 6:46:59 PM
The main difficulty of the international system is enforcement. For example, let’s say
a country is not following international law; perhaps the country is invading a
neighboring country. How exactly do you enforce peace? The country is obviously
breaking international laws, severing treaties, maybe even blatantly being
aggressive…what exactly can the international community do to bring peace? It’s
harder than we can imagine, and many times the efforts of diplomacy fail.
From our book, on pages 347-348, the authors mention organizations like the United
Nations and NATO are large international communities whose main focus is
understanding and applying international law. However our text does state that there
is no organization that can actually stabilize all the troubles in the world. So where
does that leave us? We have to learn to be more diplomatic. We need to keep
emotions and extreme measures out of the international decision making processes.
But most of all, especially for our country, we need to use military force “sparingly”
(a term from book).
Speaking as an American, and pointing out unilateralism, we need to do much better
on the international front when it comes to treaties and trying to be peaceful. Our
allies can’t be the enemy…and sometimes they are right. Right from our text, it
states that the U.S. has a tendency to do things our own way…which isn’t always the
best way because we lose allies. It really does seem like we like to strong arm other
So, should things change? Definitely. Things should change by less war, more
diplomacy, and more peace. Period. We need to actively seek out treaties, a balance
of power, and stop trying to force other nations to be like the United States. It’s okay
for another country to have a different religion or a different culture. Nations should
be judged on their international and global deeds, and not what god they worship. As
far as enforcing international laws, if powerful countries like the U.S. became
peaceful nations, I truly believe there would be less tyranny being bred inside
countries like North Korea.
Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A., Roskin, M. G., & Jones, W. S. (2010). Political Science:
An Introduction (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Longman.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: The current
Edward Jackson
3/31/2013 12:00:12 PM
What you’re saying about the U.S. losing…is totally correct. The super power we once were
was built around a few things. One was industrialism. Two was the military machine. The U.S.
was an industrial powerhouse at one time…many said we were the most productive country in
the world. Do you still think that is true? The world is changing around us, but the U.S. has
lost its industry…and only maintains the war machine; the need for such an expensive machine
is losing its value day by day. It won’t be long before the Chinese (and India for that matter)
surge past us as the new super powers on the block. What can we do to still stay competitive?
The solution is easier than you think…but will be nearly impossible to implement; we need to
bring back industry. We need to put Americans back to work. Our obscene military size and
bloated government cannot exist in its current form if we’re going to step into the future as a
leader in economics.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: Difficulties
of Nations
Edward Jackson
3/31/2013 7:13:11 PM
You nailed it; we need to figure out what North Korea wants, rather than
just reacting to what they are doing. And, you know what? It’s that way
pretty much everywhere. For example, Israel and the Palestinians…the
West Bank and a people that just want a place to call home; we all react
rather than do. The answer is to just redraw the map, move some people
humanely, and provide international security to everyone involved. But
what do we do? Nothing. We support hate, war, and violence by being
oblivious. Once again, the international community and the U.S. has
missed the mark. We’re not even trying to reach a solution that works for
everyone. Israel, the U.S., and the international community have all
drawn lines in the sand…and then we wonder why violence erupts almost
monthly. Serious diplomacy is what we need…and from the highest
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: The current
Edward Jackson
3/31/2013 7:22:06 PM
I understand your take on Fidel Castro, but do you really think we should still be
punishing the whole country now? I believe we have made the decision to ban trade with
Cuba because of the whole Bay of Pigs incident which made us look bad. So we struck
back with a heavy hand...something I don't believe was right at all...but definitely needs
to be fixed now. One poor leader doesn't make a country...and we are also punishing
every single person in Cuba for the actions of a single person. It isn't right, and doesn't
build trust with countries that are extremely close to us. A little history lesson, and you'll
realize that Russia and Cuba should not ever be friends. We should do our best to make
Cuba our ally, obviously.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: International
Edward Jackson
4/1/2013 10:46:53 AM
I believe the main source of problems, from a U.S. perspective, is that we think other
countries should be like us. We think they should be a democracy, their religion should be
Christianity, and that their economics should be capitalism; how wrong we are on all
accounts. We should be more concerned with how a country acts on and in the global
markets. It's none of our business how a government choses to run their country. I wish I
could speak from other countries' perspectives...I just don't know enough about them to
make that call, which is exactly the stance the U.S. should take. Diplomacy and peace
should be our only mission throughout the world. Our military should come and protect
our borders...and the sovereignty of our own nation. We, as Americans, need to focus on
fixing the integrity of our country; that means repairing the fabric of this country
(economics, moral, education, and overall health).
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: Causes Of
Conflict In the
Edward Jackson
4/2/2013 11:57:44 AM
Which nations have nothing to offer? Your points of view seem
highly contemporary. Meaning, what countries have to "offer" are
cyclical; basic history tells us no country remains great forever,
and that almost every country has had its period of greatness. So
are you suggesting that only countries that are great today, should
have a seat at the international table? It doesn't make sense. We
have one planet; we have one global market; we have the
potential to tap into a multitude of resources. It would only be
logical that all nations would have a seat at the international table
(for mere equality and resources), thus demonstrating to the world
that there is no need for tyranny, and it will not be accepted. As
more and more nations come and sit at the table, there will be
strength in numbers. As more and more alliances are forged, the
resources we do have can be better utilized. There would also be a
certain international peer pressure for nations to contribute to the
global market and perhaps even establish more peaceful
nations...which, isn't this exactly what we want?
Every nation has something to offer, even if they don’t know it yet.
So, what I'm saying, don't be so almighty; there is a good chance
that the United States may be one of these fallen nations in 20-30
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: The current
Edward Jackson
4/2/2013 12:20:07 PM
The United States dropping atomic bombs was the darkest day in
American history. There is not a single international study that agrees
with what the United States did. Your opinions seem like they have
been formed by our own country's biased history and media. You think
the bombs were good...because they "saved lives" (good one); when in
reality, the Japanese were about to surrender due to the large amounts
of deaths within their own ranks. As far as Black Rain, I don't let
American movies shape my world knowledge...I try to focus on world
history for that.
The fact remains, we killed thousands of civilians...all in the name of
the war machine. We struck back in retaliation and revenge rather than
seeking diplomacy, and no matter what you say, it wasn’t the right to
do. We suffer from the military industrial complex...and it’s not
anything to be proud about. Our strength should come from diplomacy,
not war. Right from our book, it states that unilateralism isn't a good
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: Unit 9:
Edward Jackson
4/2/2013 3:55:42 PM
Yes and no. Yes the UN may be unsuccessful if it continues as a debating society (page
342). However, the UN could potentially harness the diplomatic power it does have by
trying to better understand the types of national interests that exist in the world, and
then actively working with countries (forming alliances and creating treaties) to create a
stronger international community. I always try to side with equality...and organizations
like the UN have the ability to accept countries (on equal standing), spread peace through
diplomacy, and provide a cornerstone of support to the entire world.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page
RE: The
System Today
Edward Jackson
4/2/2013 4:10:38 PM
International trade is on the upswing; meaning countries like China and India will produce
more products and services than the United States ever produced. This means that global
markets are seriously shifting in favor of the larger countries that produce more of everything.
So, how will this affect international trade relations? It will change the political dynamics by
shifting focus from the United States, to other countries that wield greater power on emerging
markets. This really means that the United States power and influence will be significantly
decreased as time goes on.
I noticed that some of my classmates suggested that the countries that offer nothing should
have less of a voice on the world stage. I do not agree with this. We need to maintain equality
as far as international representation is concerned (in organizations like the UN and NATO). It
should be paramount that we leverage all the resources we have in maintaining the economics
of the global markets. We won’t be able to do that if we only give “powerful” nations a seat at
the table.
----------------------------------------------------------Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies university page