Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Common Sense About the UN

I just noticed this column by Victor Davis Hanson , who wonders if it may not be time for the UN to make a radical change:

Well, here we are in 2005 with nearly 60 years of the U.N.—and more people have been lost in wars since 1945 than during World War II itself. Americans now distrust the U.N.'s record as much as they might applaud its idealism in theory. Why?

A half-century of Soviet bloc politics poisoned the body. Dictatorships that had killed millions of their own won an equal say to many Western democracies. Third-World countries were silent about the 80 million butchered by Stalin and Mao—and the millions more lost in tribal and religious wars in Africa and Asia.

Instead, over 400 U.N. resolutions gratuitously targeted tiny democratic Israel—without equal condemnation of its autocratic neighbors or commensurate concern for China's annexation of Tibet or Russia's absorption of the disputed Sakhalin Islands.

The terrorist Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly with a holster—to applause. Autocratic Cuba, Iran, Libya and Syria sat on or even chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. U.N. blue helmets could not do anything to save innocent millions in Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans and Darfur.

Elected governments replaced autocrats in Panama, Nicaragua, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq only because of American action—not U.N. resolutions. The multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food disgrace dwarfs the Enron mess but shares the same symptoms of influence peddling, shredded documents and funny insider accounting.

Any council is only as good as its membership; thus allowing a Sudan, Cuba, Iran or North Korea into the General Assembly de facto gave them as much legitimacy as a democratic Brazil, Holland or South Africa.

If the United States nearly 150 years ago fought a war to end slavery, why does the U.N. still welcome in a country like Sudan that will not? Many delegates vote only when they come to the U.N. They would never offer their own people the same rights that their spokesmen take for granted in New York.

Read the entire post and its proposal about where to move the UN. I certainly have my own ideas as to where it can go.

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