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Let's vote them off Manhattan Island

One of the problems with a "pure" democracy, as has often been pointed out, is that it usually lasts only until 51% of the people realize they can screw over the other 49% with impunity. It's one of the reasons I'm glad the United States is a constitutional republic, and not a pure democracy.

You can see the problems with pure democracy if you've ever attended a town meeting in New England. Every now and then, a group of residents will decide they want something, and run roughshod over their opponents -- often those who believe they are being exploited.

But if you really, REALLY want to see what happens when a pure democracy is utterly exploited, just look at the United Nations General Assembly. Every single government is considered an equal to each of the others, regardless of how they gained power, how they treat their citizens, or how they treat their neighbors.

It's that sort of belief that leads to such absurdities as Zimbabwe, currently under severe economic sanctions for its treatment of its own people, can be re-elected to the Human Rights Commission.

It's that sort of belief that leads to such obscenities as "Peacekeepers" becoming far more known for exploiting, abusing, raping, and murdering those they are assigned to protect. It's getting to the point where the sight of blue helmets to refugees is about as welcome as a sushi chef to Seaworld.

It's that sort of belief that leads to such absurdities as one nation -- the United States -- being liable for a full 25% of the United Nations' annual budget, yet being utterly reviled, rejected, insulted, and denounced whenever we ask just what the hell they're doing with all our money. And by the way, when the hell is that next check arriving?

If the United Nations is to keep any shred of relevance, it needs a thorough shaking-up. Perhaps the United States sending John Bolton to represent our interests there is a good start. He speaks their language, but more importantly, he'll make them understand his -- the language of brutal honesty.

(Other good reading: Will Franklin, here and here; Little Green Footballs, here and countless other entries)


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Comments (17)

Very good post, Jay. I, to... (Below threshold)

Very good post, Jay. I, too, share the amazement about Zimbabwe, but I also feel the same about Anaan and a number of others, if not the U.N. entirely -- I think our world needs a neutral and required meeting place for all nations (with the exception of those under dictatorships, but even those should meet some sort of "neighbor" required participation, although I don't know what that'd be in specifics, just saying, they should be required to meet certain basic memberships but that defies dictatorships, I also realize, by the sheer fact of a 'requirement' being imposed upon them)...

Anyway, I do support Bolton for our Ambassador to the U.N. and particularly BECAUSE of his personality, not in spite of it.

I was listening to Barbara Boxer denouncing Bolton as nominee the other day on FOX and Boxer made completely false statements about her and other Democrats' positions, along with what she says "(they're) not doing" -- which was what they are doing regarding Bolton -- and I thought over about a few other nations' representatives at the U.N. and I dare add here that Bolton's nomination made even more sense to me after hearing Boxer's comments negating him and based upon what (she is vaguely denigrating about him as an individual, as are the other Democrats' and it's not about anything specific other than they "fear" he is...etc.).

Anyway, enjoyed your thread. Such a huge discussion...but about Zimbabwe, specifically, that membership of theirs, that Commission, does exemplify why the U.N. needs a reorganization of a great degree. It now is suggestive of crime and derision of humanity, to my (among many) horror.

It's getting to the poin... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

It's getting to the point where the sight of blue helmets to refugees is about as welcome as a sushi chef to Seaworld.

I especially enjoyed that comparison.

I believe 50 years from now... (Below threshold)

I believe 50 years from now our grandkids will look back in disbelief that we belonged to such a corrupt organization for so long. I obviously say that under the hope that sometime soon we will recognize the utter failure of the U.N.

I think the UN has all but ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the UN has all but made itself irrelevant in the world.

I think the UN is beyond saving, but one change that I think would be good for it, would be to deny all voice, vote and committee memberships to any countries that do not democratically elect its leaders, and who are known for abusing the human rights of its citizens.

One of the things that drives me nuts about the UN essentially legitimizes the government of countries where human rights aren't respected and gives them a power they do not deserve.

I saw The Interpreter last ... (Below threshold)

I saw The Interpreter last night and really I think that the first step in placating US grumbling about the UN attack-poodle is hiring an army of Nicole Kidman clones.

Saw this at the AMC Van Ness in the lovely People's Republic of San Francisko, and I kept guffawing and snorting and outright derisively laughing at hollywood's flaccid attempts at propping up the UN. The Bay Aryans around me didn't quite appreciate that.

And they probably didn't like me calling Hanoi Jane a bad, bad name during the trailer for Monster-in-Law.

Jihad Jimmy, Chief Defender of the Faith

I think it's important to n... (Below threshold)

I think it's important to note that the UN has done a lot of good in the world. Clearly it needs reform, since it isn't nearly as successful as it could be.

However, the UN was right about Iraq and it's weapons. Had the US listened it would have prevented a lot of the mistakes in the modern Iraq war. Also, Oil-for-food, according to the State Dept., prevented a humanitarian disaster. (Keep in mind that the money we as taxpayers paid that the US "lost" is twice as much as possible oil-for-food money)

Since it is viewed as quite lame, why aren't we better, as Americans, in solving these problems? Why is MTV addressing the genocide in Darfur more than the President? Why are we holding hands and talking about bluebonnets with un-Democratic states and human rights abusers? I mean, if we didn't listen to the UN about Iraq, why aren't we taking action ourselves in these places? If the UN is as lame as you say it is, what is holding us back from helping in Zimbabwe, Darfur...?


Hmmm.I think peopl... (Below threshold)


I think people are setting themselves up to be severely disappointed. Even if Bolton is successfully appointed to the UN, so what? What can Bolton really accomplish? Particularly without extensive bi-partisan support in Congress?

The UN will continue to be a running sore on the world's ass until a lot more people stand up and refuse to accept it. But as long as the liberals support the UN unconditionally, and as long as the liberals continue to have significant political power, it's really unlikely that Bolton will have any positive effect at all.

Expecting one guy, Bolton, to clean up the UN is like expecting someone with a spoon to empty an ocean.

The U.N. is about as likely... (Below threshold)

The U.N. is about as likely to recover from it's currently state as it is to bring freedom to anyone, something it has never accomplished. As far as the U.N. being right about WMD like JP2 claims, they wrote a resolution he should read, the one they lacked the balls to enforce. Here's an important part of that resolution the gutless thieves came up with:

Recalling also its resolution 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001 and its intention to implement it fully,

Recognizing the threat Iraq's noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,

Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,


I bet JP2 thinks the oil-for-food program was a success also. Read the whole thing JP, you might learn something.

To JP2:Make a list... (Below threshold)

To JP2:

Make a list of all the good the UN has accomplished in the world (and don't say Tsunami relief, because it took the UN SIX WEEKS to get there). Go read the Diplomadic.blogspot.com, if it is still up. It was a blog by a foreign service officer that was on the scene in Banda Aceh, and chronicles the ineptitude of the UN in responding to the tsunami.

On the UN and WMD, if Hans Blix had been a straight shooter in his WMD reports, rather than hem-hawing and saying "maybe yes, maybe no", he could have clarified the situation and prevented any military action. When all is said and done, it'll be interesting to see how deeply Blix's hand was in Saddam's pocket.

Like I said, the UN needs r... (Below threshold)

Like I said, the UN needs reform. But I think there are bigger issues here at home that are more important - much more important. (I personally think that the right-wing loves to attack the UN because it distracts from the scandals at home. You will find more writings about the oil-for-food scandal than you will about the missing billions from the US budget. Bizarre.)

Bullwinkle: According to the state dept., oil for food was a "dramatic" success. I agree with them - I think a humanitarian disaster was averted due to the policy.


And Bull, you are definitely right that they didn't have the balls to enforce it. However, I think you are missing the point I got from the resoultion. It finally came out that Iraq had no WMDs. Iraq didn't have the information on WMDs they didn't have. The spirit of the entire resoultion revolves around the disclosure of things that didn't exist.
Inspections were working, obviously.

As far as the success of the UN in other things...well, compare it to Haiti, a recent US failure. Like I said, I think there are much, much bigger issues at home. The lost billions you and I paid for (!) are twice as much as the oil-for-food scandal. Twice!


How is it that Mugabe can g... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

How is it that Mugabe can get a place of honor in the United Nations, yet John Bolton can't?...I just don't get it!... I was at WILLisms.com and I told him how much I love Wizbang and Jay Tea! I love this blog!...

JP2 Haiti is a UN effort.</... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

JP2 Haiti is a UN effort.

"Like I said, the UN needs ... (Below threshold)

"Like I said, the UN needs reform. But I think there are bigger issues here at home that are more important - much more important."
More important than the children raped in *every* "peacekeeping" mission by the UN? Their blue helmets treat countries already suffering beyond my comprehension like their personal seraglio.

Actually Haiti was original... (Below threshold)

Actually Haiti was originally a U.S. effort. But that was during the Clinton (aka "sex and Gore")administration. ( borrowed from an old political cartoom.)

I don't expect (and I don't... (Below threshold)

I don't expect (and I don't expect that others expect) Bolton to "clean up the U.N." like some tiny spooner, but at least it's a start. Having Bolton as our U.S. Ambassador is a great place to start making demands, requiring substantiation and confronting the, well, "errors" (I am being generous here).

No Ambassador is a lone individual where the U.N. is concerned. Unfortunately, what we now have to evaluate that from the U.N. are all the many bad networks who accomplished the many bad deeds and outright failures, but that only means that good can also be accomplished with like-minded team work.

I'm still puzzled as to why (some) American Democrats insist on the "maintain low tones, maintain low tones" behavior by the U.S. where the U.N. is concerned. Not like it's been a productive behavior up to now. Perhaps it's protective behavior by those who promote it, because it's another way of saying, "don't rock the boat (when the pirate boatman is your friend)".

The very uproar about Bolton's nomination is looking far more suspicious to me than ever. I'm surprised Howard Dean hasn't made bad jokes about it yet, or screamed.

Gee JP2, that's a rousing r... (Below threshold)

Gee JP2, that's a rousing report on the oil-for-food program, too bad it was written in December of 2002, before the truth start coming out. Like all those pesky things called facts that we didn't know about until we started finding documents in Iraq? You really think WMD inspections were working? If that's true why does the resolution say that Saddam wasn't allowing the inspectors to do their jobs? Why does the resolution say this?

Recognizing the threat Iraq's noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,

I even posted that part particular part of it, to make it easier for those inclined to take side of that criminal organization known as the U.N. to keep from making themselves appear any more lacking in sense than they already do. Sorry it didn't help in your case. Try reading the resolution, a dictionary might help.

What bullwinkle wrote (^^).... (Below threshold)

What bullwinkle wrote (^^).

As to current reality where the U.N. is concerned, there's not a lot of good news.






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