Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The True Utility of the United Nations

The Unreality of U.N. Reform: What if "Later" Never Comes?
Head of nuclear inspection in Iran removed
China-Russia introduce new UN N.Korea resolution

The United Nations has not showered itself with glory over the past decade-and-a-half, and I'd argue that there's very little noteworthy the U.N. has accomplished in its history in terms of statecraft or reining in the actions of rogue states. "You'd better stop that, or we're going to really sit down and discuss the problem...again" seems to be the modus operandi; even agreeing to something as straightforward as economic sanctions in response to flagrant violation of treaties and international agreements seems to be impossible, especially in recent years.

The United States pays (or is supposed to pay; we've played fast and loose with that obligation over the years as a form of leverage) $440 million in dues to the U.N. annually: a little over a fifth of the U.N. budget. Given that the U.N. appears to be overwhelmingly corrupt, largely ineffectual and increasingly irrelevant, one has to wonder what in the world we're paying for!

For those of us who think the United States Constitution is more than a set of guidelines and suggestions, the concept of almost any overarching world government is abhorrent. The United Nations is a world government, after a fashion, but most importantly it's a largely impotent world government. By comparison with an effective world government, perhaps, say, one imposing a mishmosh of Sharia and laws from the old Soviet Union, the United Nations looks vastly preferable.

$440 million amounts to about 0.0163% (163 ten-thousandths of a percent, 'tain't much) of the $2.7 trillion federal budget for 2006. Sounds like a very wise investment, given the return of a do-nothing world government. Clean up the corruption so its "passive harm" is curtailed, but otherwise I'm very happy with the U.N.'s current blowhard status and do-nothing role.

Just don't be tempted to use it as a means of getting anything done, or as any sort of yardstick for legitimacy.


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