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  • It Will Never Pass

    Posted by James R. Rummel on May 20th, 2005 (All posts by )

    According to this news item, the House International Relations Committee has drafted a bill that will require sweeping reforms at the United Nations. If they donít comply then the United States will withhold up to 50% of its yearly dues.

    The United Nations is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. The organization relies on member states paying yearly dues in order to remain solvent, but in recent years many governments have cut back on the amount of money they pay. Private donations are also falling off mainly because people are finally waking up to the fact that the organization is completely inefficient and wasteful, if not downright inept and corrupt. Their handling of the tsunami crises, as well as their attempts to steal credit for the good works of others, certainly didnít help matters any.

    So far as the HIRC is concerned, it has been one of the driving forces in the United States government to bring accountability to the UN. Itís a thankless job, but someone should have done it long ago. Making future dues payments conditional on reforms is brilliant, and it hits the UN where it hurts.

    But I think the bill is doomed to failure, even though I think itís a good idea and wouldnít mind seeing it in place. There are two reasons for this.

    The first is that the Left would scream bloody murder. The idea of an international body to police the world is one of the many rotten, decrepit, worthless ideas that the ďprogressivesĒ cling to even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it doesnít work. They would fight this tooth and nail, complaining all the while that actually forcing the UN to transform itself into an organization which might do some good would damage our prestige with other countries.

    The second reason is that I think thereís more going on than meets the eye. Pres. Bush has been reluctant to push too hard for UN reform, going so far as to publicly voice support for Kofi Annan when many were calling for his resignation. This move puzzled some Conservatives, but I think itís part of a grand strategy to undermine any good will that the American public might have towards the United Nations. Nothing will do this more efficiently than dragging the whole sorry spectacle of corruption and incompetence out in the open for all to see. This would be difficult if UN supporters could deflect criticism by pointing to cosmetic reforms as a sign of progress.

    It appears to me that the best strategy to lay the groundwork for the eventual dissolution of the UN is to allow it to hang itself with its own rope. Best we just stand back and watch the noose being tied.

     

    7 Responses to “It Will Never Pass”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      The secret tragedy of the U.N. was that it was never supposed to work. The gritty, nuts-and-bolts design of the institution prevent it being a institution of law. The great powers designed it such that it could never control them nor take any significant action without their consent.

      People who support the U.N. do so because they support the ideal of international cooperation that the U.N. represents not because it actually works. I find it telling that debates over the U.N. degenerate nearly instantly into theoretical debates on the utility of international cooperation and not more practical concerns like accounting practices or the number genocides prevented.

      I think blind supporters of the U.N. are more interested in form over function or style over substance.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      I think the people who support the UN can be divided into three broad groups: anti-Americans; people who were taught at a young age that the UN is good and who don’t pay close attention to current affairs; and people for whom support for the UN is a matter of religious faith, not unlike faith in the benefits of recycling or the threat of global warming. Obviously there is overlap between these groups.

    3. GUYK Says:

      Yep. But I do believe that it is better to remain a part of this goat rope in order to veto the most odorous things that it tries to do. The USA will probably never be loved by the world as long as it remains the most productive and free nation on earth. These very facts make the socialists jealous and is indicative that socialism is a fraud to the people it is supposed to aid. Their answer is to bring down the USA by any means possible. The left in the USA appears ready and willing to abet the process.

    4. Steve Says:

      James, maybe this bill doesn’t really matter much.

      I’m a fan of gradual institutional obsoletion. Per Shannon’s comment, in any evolutionary process, function will always trump form, and substance always wins over style.

      The united Anglosphere and regional ad hoc coalitions can effectively supplant the U.N. by doing what it professes to do better, faster, and more efficiently.

      Much of the shrill denunciation of Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” represented the anxieties of the U.N. faithful who rightly saw its primacy in grave danger. Ditto the tsunami relief efforts.
      -Steve

    5. Richard Heddleson Says:

      A lot of people are disappointed in the UN because it isn’t what they hoped it would be, a world government. I’ve always thought it was little more than a talk shop and debating society. As such, it has value and will survive.

      But if we want a mechanism to go out and do things in the world, we are askinghe UN to do something it is institutionaly incapable of doing as it had demonstrated time and again.

      That is why it is a good idea for us to start letting the UN know we’re tapped out for charitable contributions to dysfunctional organizations. It a gives Bolton even more clout than having the ear of just George Bush. The message is that the U. S. is united in the need for reform at the U. N. and is willing to back up its words with ending international welfare as we know it.

    6. LotharBot Says:

      Keep handing them rope.

      At this point, we just gotta let the UN fall apart.

    7. Steven Den Beste Says:

      If you want to help the UN to destroy itself, there’s no better and easier way than to support the addition of several new permanent veto powers to the UNSC. If Brazil, Japan, South Africa, India, Egypt, and Germany all have the veto, then what meaningful resolutions would ever pass?