Despite the growing outrage among average Americans about the failures, ineffectiveness and corruption of the United Nations, a powerful political clique in Washington makes immediate withdrawal unrealistic.
Richard Holbrook, John Kerry’s would-be secretary of state, hosted a “secret” meeting in his apartment for Kofi Annan and his closest friends to map out a survival strategy for Annan and the U.N. Timothy Wirth, Bill Clinton’s State Department point man at the U.N., now head of the United Nations Association, said the U.N. oil-for-food scandal was “overblown” in the media.
John Turner, presently in the State Department, and Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, conspired to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, after it has been rejected at least twice before.
There is plenty of powerful support among liberal politicians to strengthen the U.N. and to subject the U.S. to its power. Until quite recently, the overwhelming majority of Americans didn’t know much about the U.N., and they cared even less.
The behavior of the U.N. Security Council during the run-up to the Iraq war got the attention of some people who thought France and Germany should be a little more cooperative. After the invasion of Iraq, when it was learned that high-level officials in France, Germany and Russia were on the take from Saddam, many people were disgusted.
Now that the extent of the Saddam-U.N. corruption is finally being discovered, American outrage is demanding changes at the U.N. The problem is: What is the appropriate action?
Some people are demanding that Annan be replaced. Others want Congress to reduce U.N. funding until the U.N. is forced to release its records of the oil-for-food program. Still others demand that the U.S. withdraw from the U.N. and kick the U.N. out of the country.
Neither of the first two suggestions are solutions. Rep. Ron Paul has introduced legislation in the last several congressional sessions to withdraw from the U.N. House leadership, even after the Republicans gained control, did everything possible to thwart debate and minimize the affirmative vote. This bill should be allowed free, full and open debate.
In addition, Congress should empanel a Select Committee on U.N. Evaluation, charged with the responsibility of evaluating the effectiveness of every U.N. agency in which the U.S. is a participant. The final report should document the cost-benefit ratio of U.S. participation.
A good place to begin might be the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, governed by representatives from some of the nations whose human-rights records are horrendous. This agency is useless; its primary function is not to advance human rights, but to bad-mouth the United States.
UNESCO is another agency that needs objective scrutiny. Its influence over educational curriculum and land-use management in the United States is little-known, but quite pervasive. It is responsible for promoting the “global citizen” idea and demonizing the idea of national sovereignty.
The World Trade Organization should be reviewed. Bob Dole was the Senate minority leader when this monster was adopted. He promised that if the U.S. should experience three adverse rulings from the agency, it would trigger an automatic withdrawal process. The majority party at the time quickly removed that trigger, and consequently the U.S. has experienced multiple adverse rulings. This U.N.-controlled trade mechanism provides no benefit to the U.S. that is not readily available through non-U.N. agreements. The U.S. should make its own deals with other nations and get out from under this burdensome U.N. bureaucracy.
There are more than a hundred other U.N. agencies, most of which provide no benefit to the U.S. but are dependent upon the U.S. for funding and support. An objective congressional review will identify those agencies that provide a worthwhile benefit and those that are worthless – from which we should withdraw.
Neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly should escape this review. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to identify sufficient benefits from either of these institutions to justify continued support and participation.
The world will not come to an end should the U.S. withdraw from the U.N., despite Richard Holbrook’s and other U.N. advocates’ claims to the contrary. The United States can, and should, shape its own agreements with those nations that choose to enter into mutually beneficial relationships. The United States does not need a big-brother U.N. to oversee, supervise or legitimize its actions.
The U.N. has failed. Period. It is time for Congress to recognize the failure and begin the withdrawal process. It is high time for the administration to realize that the U.S. must lead the world toward a new basis for international relations. Acceptance of the principles of freedom through representative government is the ideal foundation upon which to build a new future in the 21st century.
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