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.