In his book, “Tower of Babble,” a former U.N. ambassador accused the United Nations of fueling global chaos because of its moral relativism.
Well, how bad is the U.N.?
Donald Trump has said he will send a message to the organization, and it is not going to be one it wants to hear or that it will swallow well. He said in his recent speech to AIPAC, “The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom.”
Only 75 of the 193 members are real democracies, according to Freedom House, who ranks such things. They are in for a shock under President Trump, who should cut our payments (25 percent of the whole budget) and drop out of much of what parades as rampant internationalism – and is truly a movement toward one-world government.
Make no mistake, the ideology of the U.N. is globalism and it has not worked.
With 17 specialized agencies, 14 funds, a secretariat of 18 departments, more than 40,000 overpaid employees, a budget of $5.4 billion a year, peacekeeping missions at $9 billion a year, another $28 billion a year for disaster and development, the U.N. is by any measure an utter and complete catastrophe.
Most of us have heard about the U.N. Population Fund, which pays for forced abortions and sterilization, but few know of the UN’s far-reaching tentacles – let alone its Human Rights Commission, which is anti-human rights. The members on that Commission include wonderful and open states like: Algeria, Bolivia, Congo, Cuba, Maldives, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Now, I know this up close and personal because, during part of the Reagan administration, I had the top U.N. job in Europe.
Believe me, the U.N. is a vast and highly politicized bureaucracy with a non-democratic character that is the most ineffective of all international organizations. In all honesty, it has had very few real successes since the days of U Thant.
The U.N. has missed just about every opportunity given to it and especially the more recent ones aimed at reforming itself. It can’t stop ethnic cleansing or genocide and certainly has zero effect on Islamic jihadism. It can’t glue together failed states, like Syria, or stop bloody wars in places from Rwanda to Sri Lanka.
All attempts to restructure its leadership, finances, infrastructure and the system itself have had little to no effect.
On the other hand, it has done everything in its power, flying in our face, to establish a Palestinian state in spite of the well-founded allegations of anti-Semitism. Resolution No. 3379 is a case in point, equating Zionism with racism.
And when it comes to scandals, the U.N. tops the all-time worst list. Its Oil for Food Program fiasco, many peacekeeping atrocities, and child sexual abuse scandals, to name but a prominent few, have lead to a near total lack of accountability.
When I was in the U.N., many people were on the take, and Mr. 10 Percent, in the form of kickbacks, was all over the institution. One fact is certain: Corruption abounds.
So, 70 years on and about half-a-trillion dollars later, Trump is right to ask: For what?
The U.N. is bloated, undemocratic, expensive, fragmented and produces few tangible results beyond more platitudes and unattainable left-wing goals. It is a sinecure for aging diplomats and a dumping ground for cronies. And its permanent employees after five years get grandiose tax-free salaries, free education, duty-free alcohol, cigarettes, housing and petrol. You’d love such a gig, right?
All the audits of the organization turn up the same evidence but nothing comes of them. Dag Hammarskjold, the second U.N. secretary general, once remarked about the U.N.: “It was created not to lead mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell.”
Trump needs to ask if this is actually true. Or, is the U.N. instead, a kind of hell on earth? Is it a drag on world peace, and does it resist all suggestions of reform because of its entrenched elites and do-nothing, high-minded, globalist civil servants?
One establishment school of thought keeps saying, if you didn’t have the U.N., you’d have to invent it. Trump should take up the offer and pronounce the 1945 folly dead on his arrival. Read it its last rites and build a new, vibrant Council of Democracies, more suited to the 21st century.
This bipartisan idea, which was backed by Sen. John McCain, among others, suggesting a league of only democratic member states that met certain requirements, has its philosophical basis in Kant’s notion of “perpetual peace.” Autocracies would be excluded, and the new body could provide a very modest multilateral vehicle and end the nonsensical Security Council veto in instances as far ranging as Sudan’s Darfur, North Korea or Burma.
Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton was absolutely right when he said, “Quasi-religious faith in engagement and the U.N. has run into empirical reality. …[We should] become more cognizant of that organization’s moral and political limitations.”
He was being too polite. Trump should sever the chord and stop paying for an anti-American diatribe that does not fulfill its original mission. That tower on East 42th Street in New York City should be put out of business and could be turned into a new Trump edifice with a good water view.