The belief that the United Nations ever could or ever will save the world from the "scourge of war" is one of those illusions that needs to be tossed into the ashcan of history. Mona Charon, a syndicated columnist, has written, "The United Nations is one of those institutions, like the Women's National Basketball Association, that sails above its failures because it just seems to so many people like a good idea."
The U.N. was preceeded by the League of Nations, created after World War I, when it was thought that some kind of international organization was needed to avoid war. I contend that it is the nature of men and nations to go to war ever so often because there is, quite simply, evil in the world, and evil requires serious opposition because it tends to metastasize like cancer if allowed to continue.
Failure to put an end to Hitler's and Tojo's dreams of conquest, caused World War II to break out--a war in which the U.S.A. suffered 1,079,162 casualties. Around the world, World War II killed an estimated 50 million people. All of this was the consequence of (1) appeasement of the aggressors and (2) the failure to take preemptive action against them.
By contrast, Desert Storm resulted in a total of 766 U.S. casualties and, last year, the military action in Afghanistan resulted in less than 50 U.S. casualties. The critics of our intention to thwart Saddam Hussein's mad dreams ignore the fact that we are going to be fighting a very different kind of war from those that have claimed so many brave Americans in the past and that our military is entirely composed of people who have volunteered to go in harm's way to protect and preserve liberty.
Why has the U.N. been such a failure since it came into being in 1947? The answer is that it is a massively political entity based on a utopian idea that was never true. Good men may yearn for peace, but they are vastly outnumbered by bad men.
The heart of the United Nations is its Security Council, which reflects a world that existed after 1945, not the one in which we live more than a half century later. In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and France are all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Other members include the Syrian Arab Republic, part of the problem in the Middle East; Norway, a nation whose Nobel Committee just awarded the Peace Prize to Jimmy Carter, an opponent of taking action against Saddam Hussein; and Colombia, a nation in the grip of a huge narcotics cartel. With the exception of the U.S.A., each of the permament members has a Socialist or Communist government.
As George Will, a syndicated columnist, pointed out in September, there is no good reason why France holds a permanent seat on the Security Council when "India's population is 17 times more than the population of France and three times than of all 15 members of the European Union."
Those who keep shouting about the need to defer to the United Nations when a rogue nation like Iraq threatens its neighbors and poses as threat to the United States of America ignore the fact that it is not the U.N. that is the highest law of our land. Ameri- cans are governed by and under the United States Constitution. When Congress ap- proved the 1945 U.N. Participation Act, they understood that the use of U.S. armed forces to enforce the U.N. Charter "would not be an act of war, but would be inter- national action for the preservation of the peace" and thus, "the provisions of the Charter do not affect the exclusive power of Congress to declare war." We can thank U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who helped negotiate the U.N. Charter to insure that the right to individual and collective self-defense was expressly preserved in Article 51. The U.S.A. would have never signed on to the creation of the U.N. otherwise. Vandenberg understtod that, if the Security Council, proved unable to face the test of a threat to peace, it would be the U.S.A. that would be required to save the U.N. "from final impotence."
Consider that it was the United Nations that pulled its "peace keeping forces" from the Sinai in 1967, when the Egyptian dictator, Gamal Abdel Nasser, told the "peace keeping forces" to get out of the way. The U.N. stood on the sidelines when the Red Chinese invaded Tibet to occupy it, when tribes in Ruwanda slaughtered one another, and when Indonesia occupied East Timor. It fell to NATO to bring about an end to the slaughter in Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. If maintaining peace is a primary U.N. function, then the U.N. surely has a long, dismal record of failure.
All of which brings us to its role in Iraq, where Kofi Annan, the current U.N. Secretary General, has aided and abetted Saddam Hussein in his endeavor to recover from Desert Storm. On the Secretary General's orders, the U.N. weapons inspectors were withdrawn without a whimper. And now he insists, like a Saddam sock-puppet, that new weapons inspectors hold the key to peace. Moreover, the U.S.A. is told that it must have a U.N. Security Council resolution before it can take independent action to end the threat of the classic psychopathic dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Whether U.S. President George Bush gets U.N. "permission" to do what needs doing, he has dramatically revealed the rotten core of the U.N.'s inability and unwillingness to confront the real threats to world peace. As Mona Charon says, "Peace is maintained today, as it always was, by armed force and balance of power.
Those who stand in the well of the U.S. Senate and denounce and denounce the use of armed force to protect and insure real peace. along with those who take to the streets to demonstrate against it, continue to live with dangerous illusions that history has never supported.
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