FrontPageMagazine.com | August 29, 2006
Americans frequently express dissatisfaction with the United Nations. Their reasons are numerous: dragging its feet on Darfur; the corrupt practices exposed in the Oil-for-Food scandal; refusing to accept meaningful management and financial reforms; electing Iran as vice-chair of the Disarmament Committee and placing Cuba on the Human Rights Council, among numberless other foibles and failures.
All of these complaints are justified, but they confuse the symptoms with the disease. The problem is not what the UN does but what it is, or, more accurately, what it is not. It remains based on the premise that there is such a thing as an “international community,” when, in fact, there is no such thing, certainly not in any meaningful sense.
Born in the wake of WWII, the UN possessed fatal defects from birth. The popular assumption among Western elites that the failed League of Nations could be revived in a new and improved version was shown to be utopian when Joseph Stalin conditioned his participation on the Soviet Union having three members: itself, Belarus, and Ukraine, the latter two being provinces of the Soviet empire.
There followed the charade of five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, the declining imperial powers Britain and France, the rising one led by Stalin, and the irrelevant China of Chiang Kai-shek. What was the moral, political and legal unity of those five, not to mention other founding “powers” like Guatemala or Saudi Arabia that supposedly constituted the “community of nations”?
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