Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sixty Years of Irrelevance Is Enough

June 26th marked the 60th anniversary of the meeting in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Since that moment, the UN has been an exercise in futility and failed promises.

In the last 30 years, here's what the UN has "accomplished":

In 1975, the UN stood by and did nothing while 21% of Cambodia's population was massacred; however, the UN did pass a bold measure that year, Resolution 3379, which declared that "Zionism is a form of racism."

In 1980, the Iran-Iraq war began. The UN called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. The parties responded by ignoring the UN and the war continued until 1988.

In 1990, the UN authorized the use of force during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Primarily due to the efforts of the US, Kuwait was liberated.

In 1992, the UN dispatched peacekeepers to Somalia to restore order and protect the food supply...the mission failed and the peacekeepers were removed three years later.

In 1994, the UN stood by and did nothing as 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered in 100 days.

In 1995, the UN passed the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program--Investigation of this fiasco is ongoing.

In 1996, 50 years after passing its first resolution, which had called for a ban on nuclear weapons altogether, the UN adopted the nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Source

Although the UN passed various resolutions condemning Iraq and demanding Saddam Hussein's cooperation, it ultimately chose to do nothing, resulting in the US leading its own coaliition of forces into Iraq in 2003.

Today, thousands of non-combatants are being killed and raped in the Congo while 16,000 UN peacekeepers do nothing. 180,000 non-combatants have been killed in the Sudan without the UN lifting a finger. They have decided to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

Now Kofi Annan, that bold visionary, has come around to the idea that reform may be needed, but, according to his editorial on the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal, but he cautions that a "big stick" approach--taking away US financial support if changes we want aren't implemented--isn't the way to go, and urges negotiation with the other member states.

I say "Why?" We have tried compromise, we have tried negotiation, we have tried patience, we have tried cajoling, we have even tried embarrassing the UN into action and reform...It's about time we try sanctions, at this point 60 years of irrelevance is enough.

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