So I’m reading Instapundit, and the good professor has a link to this LA Times op-ed. The author, Max Boot, points out that the scandals at the United Nations haven’t received the same attention from big media that they should. He also points out that the UN is corrupt, inept and impossible to reform.
But Boot also says that leaving the UN is “unrealistic”, and that the institution is useful for a variety of skullduggery. He doesn’t go so far as to say that the UN actually makes any progress in it’s stated purpose, which is to promote peace and lessen human misery. (Nor does he adequately explain why it’s “unrealistic” to want to leave an organization that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Oh, well. Maybe in the next op-ed.)
Then I see this news item. It would appear that the White House, reacting to calls from a few US politicians for the UN Secretary General to resign, has issued a statement of support for Kofi Annan. The United States Ambassador John Danforth has even said “We have worked with him very well in the past. We anticipate working with him very well in the future.”
One could take this on it’s face value. The Executive Branch doesn’t want to see Annan leave because he’s done some good in the past. (I can’t seem to think of anything so stellar as to wash away the stain of the Congo sex-slave reports or the Oil for Food corruption. But I’m sure that something will come to me.)
Or you could, like myself, be a wary and suspicious type who thinks that this is just a clever ploy. The first step in leaving the UN would be to so thoroughly discredit them that a majority of the American people would gladly see it wither and die from lack of US support. This would be very difficult if those who support the UN could say that things were about to improve since a new hand was at the helm. With Kofi still in they can’t whitewash anything.
It’ll take awhile to find out how it’s going to pan out. Come back in 10 years and we’ll see.
6 thoughts on “Rope a Dope?”
My immediate reaction (posted as a comment on LGF) was pretty much the same thing:
“Maybe the Bush administration is trying to get the UN to really collapse. Leave Kofi in for long enough that the UN loses all credibility. Keep the controversy coming, and eventually the whole world will realize that the Bush administration was justified in ignoring the UN.”
Or is the best way to get rid of him to make it look like America wants him to stay? And, by the way, does sometimes this misunderestimating thing have a whiff of Good Soldier Svejk to it? I always think that two really opposed cultures are those of Webb’s Born Fighting and Jaroslav Hasek’s soldier, as I notice every day around my house. But, maybe there’s a reason my husband & I have stayed together for 30 years and we both like Bush.
I doubt the Bush administration will make any definitive moves toward UN reform until after the UN has certified the election in Iraq. After that happens, the UN will not be needed for anything important and we can take it offline while it gets rebuilt.
Leaving the UN is unrealistic until we get around to declaring ourselves rulers of the world :P
(I wish, sometimes, y’know?)
But more seriously, it’s useful to have a Veto vote to protect ourselves and Israel… and probably in a few years, Afghanistan and Iraq, since, hey, pro-US Democracies are likely to be under diplomatic attack by the thug-o-crats.
There’s no guarantee that the democratically elected governments of Afghanistan and Iraq will remain US-friendly.
America’s withholding of funds for the UN will not kill it since the EU will pick up the tag both because it serves domestic interests in bashing America and in foreign policy to obstruct or delegitimize anything America does.
The only way to kill the UN is by America withdrawing from the organization.
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