Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Telling The UN What's What

If we can't get what we want, we'll get what we need

America's UN Ambassador John Bolton has warned that the UN had better reform itself or the US will seek other alternatives:
America's representative at the United Nations said yesterday that the organization must become better at solving problems and more responsive to U.S. concerns or Washington will seek other venues for international action.

During a luncheon with reporters and editors at The Washington Times, U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton said repeatedly that the Bush administration requires nothing less than 'a revolution of reform' at the world body, encompassing everything from U.N. Security Council engagement to management changes to a focus on administrative skills in choosing the next secretary-general.

The United Nations, he said, 'has got to be a place to solve problems that need solving, rather than a place where problems go, never to emerge.'

He added: 'In the United States, there is a broadly shared view that the U.N. is one of many potential instruments to advance U.S. issues, and we have to decide whether a particular issue is best done through the U.N. or best done through some other mechanism. ...

'The U.N. is one of many competitors in a marketplace of global problem solving,' Mr. Bolton said. That realization 'should be an incentive for the organization to reform.'
Its long past time we made this explicitly clear. This next quote sums up US frustration with the UN:
"My priority is to give the United States the kind of influence it should have. Everybody pursues their national interests. The only one who gets blamed for it is the United States."

(Emphasis mine)
This is exactly right. The UN is the chief venue for placing blame for much of the world's ills on the US. If it didn't exist, there wouldn't be a prominent forum where the US could be bashed as frequently or effectively. We would be much better off without it.

Bolton points out that the US pays 22% of the UN's budget, 44 times greater proportionally than our voting power. How this situation came about is something only diplomats can understand -- it makes absolutely no sense. Why should we fund an entity that most nations of the world (and far too many American liberals) view as a venue to obstruct or constrain the US? Contrary to what people like Jimmy Carter think, we don't need an supra-national check on American power.

I wish Bolton would have gone much further in his criticism of the UN by declaring in no uncertain terms just how much damage UN corruption has done to the world-wide image of the US and to our national security interests. Perhaps in the future this will form the basis of America's stated rationale for our formal and unequivocal withdrawl from the UN.


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