Useless U.N. |

Useless U.N.

David Le Vine complains because President Bush disparaged the U.N. about Iraq. Does that mean the U.S. shouldn’t have taken action against Iraq without U.N. participation or approval? Even if evidence of weapons of mass destruction was valid? A lot of liberals say so. If we’d have followed such advice, they’d still be dilly-dallying about it.

Military action by the U.N. requires approval by the Security Council, whose present members are: France, Germany, Guinea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, Syria, United Kingdom, USA, Angola, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China and Chile. The vote on such a substantive matter requires assent by nine of the 15 members, including all permanent members (France, Russian Federation, UK, USA and China). Fat chance.

What liberals like Le Vine really mean is that the question of whether to take action on Iraq should have been buried in a committee at that tombstone on the East River in New York.

When has the U.N. ever done the right thing, in time to make a difference? Rwanda is a good example, where hundreds of thousands were massacred while Secretary General Kofi Annan issued more platitudes.

What did the U.N. do to stop the Cambodian killing fields? Anarchy under the Somalian warlords, shown in “Blackhawk Down”? Enslavement of Christians and other non-Muslims in Sudan? Chaos in Lebanon?

We stopped North Korean aggression in the 1950s, but the U.N. label was only a window dressing. It was principally a U.S.-South Korean operation. Likewise more recently in former Yugoslavia – Bosnia, etc.

It was the same thing under the U.N.’s predecessor, the League of Nations. That was created after World War I to preserve world peace. It did nothing to stop Hitler in Czechoslovakia or Stalin in Ukraine. Japan had its way with China, unimpeded by world opinion.

Have you ever seen those poignant pictures of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie begging the league to stop Mussolini’s fascist legions from bombing and gassing his people? All the league did was impose some ineffectual trade sanctions.

It still remains to be made certain whether Bush and Blair had legitimate grounds to start military action. I suspect it will turn out they did. If so, they were right to go ahead, without waiting for support from the U.N., or France, Germany, etc.

Bush and Blair know the buck stops at their desks. At the U.N., the buck never stops. Because it won’t make a decision to act when time is of the essence.

Terry Quinn


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