History, Trygve Lie, The United Nations Secretary-General
On first reading, Source A agrees with the hypothesis that The United Nations Secretary-General has never possessed any independent power. For example, it says that Trygve Lie had to operate in a UN which was still very much an East-West structure. this seems to suggest that the Secretary-General had to work within the constraints of the East-West structure that may have limited his independence. Even when the source states that there were external influences that boosted him, this may be interpreted that he required some form of support to function, which implicitly agrees with the given hypothesis. An example is The enlargement of the role of the Secretary-General [being] fervently backed at its very start in 1946 by none other than Andrei Gromyko, now Soviet Foreign Minister. However, it must be noted that upon cross-reference to contextual knowledge, one realizes that the reliability of Source A is questionable. It says that Lie largely because of his position on the Iran question was rather doubtfully regarded in Washington and that he was much less suspect in Moscow.
Yet to my knowledge there was in fact some disagreement over Iran between Lie and the USSR: the latter failed to withdraw its troops from Iranian territory by the agreed deadline, and its delegate walked out in protest. Hence the source may be simplistic, and even unreliable. Also, the provenance indicates that the source is by Andrew Boyd, a British journalist, from his book United Nations: Piety, Myth and Truth.
[...] In addition, if one were to analyse the source more closely, one would notice that it does not, in fact, support the hypothesis fully. Rather, it supports the hypothesis in an indirect way; it does not state otherwise, that the UN Secretary-General has “possessed any independent power” therefore one is more inclined to see the source as supporting the hypothesis, since it is, at least, furnished with examples of occasions whereby the UN Secretary-General had not possessed independent power, or at least did not appear to. [...]
[...] As can be seen, Source B may be one-sided and limited in its portrayal of the situation. This may be due to the fact that, as the provenance states, it is written by a “British ambassador to the United Nations”, and he may have harboured the intention of blaming the USSR for the limited efficacy of the Secretary-General, in order to exculpate the West. Furthermore, upon re-evaluation, one notices that Source B may not actually agree with the hypothesis after all. [...]
[...] This view is somewhat contrary to that expressed in Source A (Source was much less suspect in Moscow”), and is perhaps signs of some reliability present in the source (since Source A has been concluded to be of questionable reliability). However, in attributing the political death of Lie to the “Soviet boycott” only may be an oversimplification. The situation was more complex than this: for instance Lie's political survival was threatened as well when he failed to oppose firmly enough the over-zealous activities of US agents. Also, he incurred the wrath of the US when he strongly endorsed the seating of Communist China in the UN in 1950. [...]
[...] Rather it is due to a lack of information otherwise, that might disprove the hypothesis. In fact, in my opinion, it is quite difficult to have a source agree with such an extreme hypothesis. As long as there is any little detail in the source that may be perceived as depicting any independent power of the UN Secretary-General at all, the hypothesis is not supported. For example, although Source E is largely dismissive of the www.oboolo.com Secretary-Generals and their powerlessness, one still cannot conclude that it agrees with the given hypothesis so as long as it acknowledges the independent power of one Secretary-General (Hammarskjold). [...]
[...] This is contrary to the more extreme view of Source that the Secretary-General has power that is to at least a large extent independent. Hence Source D does appear, upon cross-reference, unreliable. Furthermore, there is a bias, or slant, in the diction. The source oversimplifies (“there can be little doubt that the only important winner in the intra-institutional power struggle had been the Secretary-General”), and is even sarcastic in tone General Assembly could make more noise, the Security Council could act more decisively, If ever there was unanimity among permanent members This leads one to the conclusion that the writers are seeking to convince us, rather aggressively; they are law professors, as the provenance indicates, and this may mean that they are adept at argument, and indeed persuasion. [...]
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