Steve-Ross

Why Tony was right about the Sokovia Accords - a political perspective

If people are trying to be historical about the Sokovia Accords, I might as well add my two cents to the discussion (having studied the UN during my degree).

The Avengers are basically meant to be a crisis-response unit, right? The truth is that the UN does not really have one as of now, so there is a good likelihood that the Avengers would be governed by different rules than the rest of UN diplomacy.

Currently military intervention is only permitted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and needs to be authorised by the Security Council (UNSC). However, the Charter pertains to UN Member STATES. The Avengers are not a state, so it is possible that they could escape the inefficiency and politics of it all.

Firstly, because they would be governed by a new ‘panel, not the UNSC. The UNSC is notorious for its inability to do things because of a) veto power, and b) the fact that it reflects the post-WW2 balance of power. The UN is massively ashamed of this, and pissed off that they can do nothing to change the situation; they are really worried about things like the Rwandan genocide happening again because of the UN’s inability to act. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they would try to avoid the UNSC’s inefficiencies when devising the panel.  The Avengers have to respond quickly – it’s not like they’re humanitarian intervention: they go in, deal with stuff, and then leave. Otherwise they’re useless, so the UN must have designed the panel in a way that would allow the Avengers to act when necessary.

Secondly, the support of people such as T’Chaka indicates that the panel is far less politically convoluted than the UNSC. Most of UNSC’s problems arise because the US and Russia/China keep throwing shit at each other, and smaller countries (a lot of them African, like Wakanda) sit at the back and get angry at the big countries. I think that T’Chaka’s support for the Accords is an indication of their quality, and the fact that they are based on expertise, not just politics (like Steve was worried).

Thirdly, the Avengers are essentially a private organisation (largely funded by Tony). As far as I know, the UN does not have the right to just intervene with private actors as it pleases, especially if they operate inside the borders of a sovereign Member State (theoretically they are US-based).  They looove sovereignty (Article 2 of the Charter, anyone?) so I imagine that the Accords would be framed like something similar to a public-private partnership. This would have to leave the Avengers some wiggle room – they are not the Blue Helmets (i.e. effectively part of the UN from the start) so the structure of their responsibility would have to be different. (Especially given the fact that it would be very difficult to actually capture them if they misbehaved.)

I also need to clarify Tony’s comment about amending the Accords if necessary, which has been (unsuccessfully) rebuffed by #teamCap. The Accords could be amended easily, because an awful lot (if not most) of UN legislation is. Each resolution ends with something likes “we decide to remain seized on the matter”, so that the UN can react to its previous decisions if they had been the wrong ones, so don’t tell me that ‘duh, you can’t just ament UN legislation, Tony is stupid blah blah’.

I suppose that Steve is scared that another HYDRA might be hiding behind the Accords (let’s admit it – Ross is a creep, and Steve did have a good point with that), but you are forgetting something else. Tony Stark is a genius, like…a proper, certified genius. The kind of a genius that Einstein was. This means that he wouldn’t let anyone make him sign complete bullshit, even if he was grief-stricken, and even if he had little time to understand what he was signing. The likelihood is that the UN would have known it as well – the Avengers is a bunch of geniuses, spies and ex-government employees, and you can’t bullshit those people. Therefore, the UN wouldn’t have tried to pass a totally bullshit version of the Accords, because they would have known that no one would sign them then.

Therefore, stop complaining about how little time they had to read it, and how politicised the whole process was. Yes, the Sokovia Accords is a political issue, but not necessary one harmful to the Avengers and/or their work.

Happiness

In India, there are yogis who have the tiny, skinny bodies every anorexic teenager dreams of. Not because they want to look like gaunt runway models, but because they can’t afford to eat more than a handful of rice and a little boiled cauliflorwer once a day. On a visit to India, I asked one such scrawny yogi, “How are you?” He replied, “I am so hapy to see you here on this beautiful day!! How amazing is this existence, my friend, that we are here, where we are!” His eyes glistened, his face beamed. I asked  him, “Are you in need of anything?” His kind eyes filled with even more warmth (if that’s possible), and he replied through a wide, toothless grin, “Maybe a little food.” It hit me then and there: If this person is this radiant and happy in these conditions, what’s my problem?

Some of the yogis in India are barefoot, dressed in rags, and exists in “homes” that consist of dirty ground and a gutter. And yet, when you look into their eyes, they’re radiating more joy and love than any Wall Street executive or Beverly Hills millionairess has ever known….

Happiness isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s the opposite of complex: It’s the simplest thing in the world.

Steve Ross, Happy Yoga

So I tried to do a bit of a Star Wars poster style mashup for Civil War. Didn’t quite manage that feel, but hey, it’s a thing. A thing I did. Hope you like my thing.

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Stills from Captain America: Civil War

(courtesy of Empire Magazine)

Things I confirmed during my fourth viewing of CACW yesterday (don’t judge, each time as been with a different person and like I’m going to turn down an offer to go see a Captain America film no matter how many times I’ve seen it ;))…

The orders for all local law enforcement regarding Bucky as conveyed by Sharon to Steve after the UN bombing were ‘shoot on sight’.

After Steve finds Bucky and the whole tunnel chase happens, Steve asks Everett Ross point blank if Bucky is going to get legal representation. Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) laughs incredulously and condescendingly in answer.

After the airport battle and Tony accuses Nat of being a double agent, he gets the notification that the body of the real psychiatrist who was supposed to interview Bucky was found in his hotel room and figures out Zemo’s involvement. He orders Friday to send that information to Thaddeus Ross.

Upon landing on the Raft following that notification, Tony asks Thaddeus Ross if he’s going to do anything about Zemo. Ross gets belligerent and tells Tony 'why should I believe you (about Zemo)’ and makes it clear he’s still after Rogers and Barnes despite being in possession of enough empirical evidence for reasonable doubt regarding Barnes involvement in the UN bombing. 

When Clint accuses Tony of being a backstabber at the Raft Tony mentioned he didn’t know that Thaddeus Ross was going to put Clint, Wanda, Scott and Sam in the Raft. It is also revealed during that conversation that the MCU Raft, like the comic Raft, is meant for real hardcore, insane, sociopathic criminals. If we’re going by just the airport battle the worst charges Clint, Scott, et al would have against them would be resisting arrest, maybe aggregated assault (assuming someone from Tony’s team filed that charge), and destruction of property. None of which merits a Raft lock-up. And certainly, no charge, no matter how heinous, would merit a lock-up without due process.

To remind everyone, this is what due process means:

  1. An unbiased tribunal.
  2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.
  3. Opportunity to present reasons why the proposed action should not be taken.
  4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
  5. The right to know opposing evidence.
  6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
  7. A decision based exclusively on the evidence presented.
  8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
  9. Requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.
  10. Requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and reasons for its decision.

…I wonder if any of those 117 countries backing the Accords understood that Ross (both of them) intended to enforce them in a way that violated human rights.