|Why Do We Continue to Support the UN?|
|By Harris Sherline|
Why do we continue to support the United Nations, as if it actually has any credibility or influence left? Unfortunately, although the U.N. still exists, in many respects it has long since gone the way of the League of Nations.
Perhaps the most graphic example of the U.N.’s many failures is seen in its unwillingness to intervene in some of the world’s most tragic situations, such as Rwanda and Sudan, which Kofi Annan (U.N. Secretary General, 1997-2006) called “the site of the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster.” Paradoxically, Cuba has a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Approximately 22% of the U.N.’s $1.08 billion operating budget and more than 25% of its peacekeeping budget of $7.83 billion are funded by the U.S. Of the 15 countries that have received more than $300 million each in U.S. aid, Israel, Mexico, and Colombia were the only countries that voted with the U.S. more than half the time. And, although we also give significant foreign aid to many of its other members, there is a long list of nations that generally vote against us in this world body.
In 2010, Egypt received $1.55 billion in foreign aid and votes against the U.S. 79% of the time.
Jordan, which votes against us 71% of the time, received over $458 million a year in U.S. foreign aid.
Pakistan receives about $6.7 billion in annual aid from the U.S. and votes against us 75% of the time.
India, which pocketed over $117 million in U.S. aid in 2007, votes against us 81% of the time.
In addition to financial aid, the U.S. also provides substantial scientific, technological, medical and educational support to nations that not only fail to support America around the world, but often actively work against our interests.
The list of those who generally oppose us at the U.N. while reaching for our national wallet also includes Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Colombia, and Mexico.
In addition, and perhaps most troubling, Saudi Arabia has a record of voting against us 73% of the time.
When will we acknowledge that these nations are not our friends?
Europeans have historically accused the U.S. of being naïve in the conduct of its foreign policy. In their view, the Americans have never been willing to recognize that self-interest takes precedence over all other considerations in international affairs. Fairness, honesty, and even national honor are trumped by political or economic advantage. The conduct of the French in the run-up to the Iraq war is a classic example of what is called “realpolitik,” and the collective attitude of the U.N.’s member nations clearly exemplifies this philosophy.
America has fostered the growth of the U.N.’s giant bureaucracy in our midst. It is accountable to no one, and we have permitted its bureaucrats to create a system of generous rewards and perks for themselves, all supported by our tax dollars. The U.N.’s compensation and benefits plans provide a lifestyle and a retirement program that the individuals involved could never achieve in their own countries.
In addition, Iraq’s “oil for food” program included graft of a magnitude rarely seen before. Established to benefit the Iraqi people, it was corrupted by Saddam Hussein and his willing accomplices in the U.N., along with such other member nations as France, to the tune of $10.1 billion.
Jill Labbe of the Fort Worth Star Telegram highlighted the U.N.’s questionable and self-serving conduct in Iraq, pointing out, among other things, that:
“France was sending boats and boat accessories as ‘relief items’ in exchange for access to Iraq’s oil reserves.”
“U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan personally OK’d $20 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ for Odai Hussein, Saddam’s son, to construct an Olympic sports complex.” This is the same Odai Hussein who tortured and murdered Iraq’s athletes for failing to measure up to his expectations.
Many of those who run and staff the U.N. live “high on the hog,” while consistently working against America’s national interest, all on our nickel. Make that our billions.
So, what should we do?
I believe that if the U.N. and its member nations want something from us, there should be some quid pro quo. Advancing our goals should be an important consideration in exchange for our money and blood.
The fact that we are constantly being told how much the rest of the world hates us is often cited as evidence of how wrongheaded our policies are. How about simple jealousy being the real reason for their disapproval?
We are told we should be more sensitive to the feelings, beliefs, and values of others. That’s the reason the Muslims and so many other people around the world hate us. It’s actually our fault that they are so hostile toward us. Really?
Who is more sensitive to the values of others? Those Islamic Fundamentalists who are attempting to destroy our society, who behead innocent and helpless victims, and murder women and children for no reason other than to terrorize–or Americans, who have been doing everything possible to help free those held in bondage? Is America, with its multi-cultural society, where all religions and cultures are accepted, really such an insensitive society compared to those of the people who criticize us so vehemently?
Does anyone remember how the Soviet Union reacted to the dislike or hostility of others? Or how they treated their own people? How quickly the world forgets.
I don’t know about you, but I will take America, with all its faults, over those societies elsewhere in the world that continue to enslave, murder, and victimize their own and other peoples for power and gain.
If we are so terrible, why are so many people trying to flee their own countries and enter the United States?
There should be no more free lunch for the U.N. and those nations around the world that continue to take from us while denigrating and harming Americans, that accept our money without so much as a thank you, all the while complaining that we’re the cause of the world’s ills. No matter how much we spend to help others, it’s never enough.
And there should be no more unlimited diplomatic immunity, which is often used as a cover for a laundry list of crimes, including spying.
In addition, there should be no more U.N. officials like Koffi Annan telling us that the war in Iraq was illegal, while the organization he headed went through the charade of investigating itself in the very scandal from which it pocketed $2.2 billion in administrative fees and in which his son was suspected of having personally participated.
It’s time that America stopped being misled into accepting the idea that we should seek the U.N.’s approval in order to take actions we consider necessary for our own security and well-being.
Gracias a Melekiop.