Monday, April 25, 2005

What are we doing in the United Nations?

"The United States is the world’s best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her powerful good, and endanger her very existence. Leave her to march freely through the centuries to come, as in the years that have gone. Strong, generous, and confident, she has nobly served mankind. Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance — this great land of ordered liberty. For if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin."

— Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge

In 1919, Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts successfully led the opposition to U.S. entry into the League of Nations. We could use someone like Lodge today.

The dog-and-pony show Senate Democrats have been putting on in recent weeks over the nomination John R. Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations masks the real discussion we should be having.

Namely, what is the U.S. doing in the United Nations? Haven’t we had enough abuse from irrelevant countries over the past 60 years? Why are we paying for the privilege of being abused by tinhorn dictators from unpronounceable nations around the globe?

The U.N. is a bureaucratic nightmare. The U.N. is a haven for spies. The U.N. is the most corrupt organization on the planet. The U.N. is taking up valuable real estate in this country. Is there a crane big enough to pick up the building and drop it somewhere in the vicinity of France?

The whitewash of the massive oil-for-food scandal is just the latest example of corruption inside the U.N. In case you haven’t been following developments, two senior investigators probing the oil-for-food program resigned this week because the so-called independent panel led by longtime Kofi Annan pal Paul Volker downplayed Annan’s involvement in the scandal. What else would you expect when the fox is appointed to investigate why chickens are disappearing from the hen house?

How many wars has the United Nations prevented since 1945? The answer is zero. How many people have died in violent conflict or from disease or starvation since the U.N. was founded? Tens of millions. Millions are suffering and dying today while Kofi Annan and his diplomatic corps live it up in New York. Ironically, many of the people who are being slaughtered or starved to death are in Africa and Asia, where the secretary general of the U.N. is usually picked. So much for helping the people who need it the most.

The purposes of the United Nations, according to its charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

I don’t know what planet Democrats like Barbara Boxer and John "Global Test" Kerry are living on, but none of that is happening on planet Earth.

The U.N. is just as ineffectual as its predecessor, the League of Nations, which lasted from 1919 to 1946, when it was swallowed up by its "new and improved" version, the United Nations. The U.N. has proven to be the same paper tiger that the League of Nations was. The difference is that the United States had enough sense to stay out of the League of Nations. We’ve been paying the bill for the U.N. for the past 60 years. How much more in U.S. taxpayer dollars should we sink into the rat-hole?

President Bush could nominate singer Michael Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. It’s not going to make any difference. At least John Bolton is going into the job firmly grounded in reality. He sees the U.N. for what it is — a failed concept.

"There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that can occasionally be led by the only real power left in the world — and that is the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along."

John R. Bolton said that in a 1994 speech. Bolton got it right. The U.S. doesn’t need the United Nations for anything. We should drop out and use the billion dollars we throw away on U.N. dues to help the people of our own country.

E-mail Tony Phyrillas at

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