I’d really, really appreciate it if someone could put forth a cogent argument why the United States should remain in the UN — let alone continue to fork over more than 20% of its annual budget year in and year out.
Let’s set aside the rules that, in the general assembly, every single nation is treated exactly the same — so the dictators of Myanmar, the genocidal thugs of the Sudan, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il, and the mullahs of Iran have precisely the same say as Australia, Japan, Germany, Kenya, and the United States. Let’s ignore the grotesque accounting practices that cost billions of dollars lost to fraud, waste, embezzlement, and outright theft (they could teach the swine from Enron a few lessons). Instead, let’s just look at one aspect of the UN — often the one its supporters tout as “proof” that they are, indeed, relevant and important in today’s world:
The United Nations Peacekeepers.
In 1988, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Peace Prize to the Peacekeepers. In retrospect, this should have been a warning sign: the Peace Prize has, especially in recent years, become a pretty good indicator of “people and organizations to watch out for” — if not an outright stigma. Winners have included Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yassir Arafat, the UN as a whole, Jimmy Carter, the International Atomic Energy Agency and its head, Mohamed ElBaradei, and Al Gore. It’s a tossup on whether the Peace Prize is more often awarded prematurely to people who later prove they didn’t deserve it, or just entirely inappropriate. But it’s the exception rather than the rule, it seems, that it goes to someone or some group that actually makes the world a better place.
But I digress. I was bashing the Blue Helmets, not the Nobel Peace Prize and its presenters.
There’s an unofficial list of rules of combat floating around the internet, and #11 under “The United States Marine Corps Rules Of Engagement” reads as follows:
“Someday someone may kill you with your own weapon, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.”
Someone needs to explain that to the joint United Nations/African Union peacekeepers attempting to… well, do SOMETHING about the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan. One of their patrols was ambushed by militants on horseback (albeit carrying RPGs and automatic weapons, in a fascinating bit of anachronistic dichotomy). The peacekeepers, after a fierce struggle, drove off their attackers.
Whoops, my mistake. That’s what would happen normally if a military patrol that operated, you know, like a MILITARY was ambushed. Instead, the raiders rode off with fresh weapons and ammunition, and not a single Peacekeeper was even wounded. In other words, they surrendered without putting up any kind of resistance.
In essence, they have gone from providing a counterbalancing force to the militants perpetrating the genocide to another source of weapons for continuing the genocide. I find myself wondering: if the UN sends in enough armed troops, could they surpass the Chinese as the biggest enablers of the ongoing genocide in Darfur?
Then there’s this report by Save The Children, which has confirmed what a lot of us have been saying for some time: the UN Peacekeepers would be more accurately referred to as “piece-getters,” and in the United States would be forced to register as dangerous sexual predators. Indeed, I’m starting to wonder if they could form some sort of bond with NAMBLA, defrocked Catholic priests, and a certain subset of female teachers that always seem to make the news.
I find myself thinking about how this could be spun, and I see a new recruiting campaign for UN Peacekeepers: “Hey, guys! Tired of striking out at the singles bars, and looking to score some action? Become a Blue Helmet! Nobody can resist a man in uniform, especially if that man in uniform holds the power of life and death over them! Learn to barter food, shelter, and safety for sex with men, women, or children of all ages and either sex! Bond with your buddies over a cheerful gang-rape of a 12-year-old! No need to worry about icky diseases — even if they’re old enough to have ’em, we make sure condoms are among the first things we send to disaster areas! And it’s all UN-approved and endorsed by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee!”
Finally, let’s look at the UN Peacekeepers’ proud achievements in Lebanon of late. They were there to keep Hezbollah from starting another war with Israel, in direct contravention of the government of Lebanon, which really didn’t want to be a battlefield again. They did such a bang-up job that Israel, after literally years of ongoing attacks, raids, and kidnapings, finally decided to take the fight to Hezbollah and invaded Lebanon in 2006. The fighting ended with the UN imposing Security Council Resolution 1701 (an easy number for any self-respecting Star Trek fan to remember), which called for the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon, disarming of Hezbollah and other militias, the reassertion of Lebanon’s government’s authority over southern Lebanon, and the return of kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
Well, Israel witthdrew from Lebanon. And as for the rest, well, Hezbollah is now considerably better armed than it was before the war. It recently invaded and briefly occupied portions of Beirut, has reinforced and fortified its holdings in southern Lebanon, and used their military might to bully the Lebanese government into giving them enough clout to hold veto power over any actions of the government. And they’re threatening (as always) to start a new wave of attacks, raid, and kidnappings against Israel. Meanwhile, the peacekeepers have been very busy — threatening to use force against Israel as it watches with growing (and more than understandable) concern as Hezbollah readies for its next open war.
A while ago, I suggested it was time to scrap the UN and start up a new organization — one whose membership is limited to democracies. “No dictators need apply” would be the creed. There is no reason whatsoever why we should grant equal status to nations with freely-elected leaders and tyrants, dictators, “presidents for life,” monarchs, thugs, and theocrats, let alone grant them the ability to collectively veto the voices of the former. The notion that “all nations are equal” is not only wrong-headed, but obscene.
One of the rallying cries is “US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US.” Quite frankly, I don’t care if the UN stays in New York or goes elsewhere. But a damned good start would be to cut our funding.
It’s the very least we could do. And it’s the very least we should do.