By Alan Caruba
There was a Washington Post news report in late March that the United Nations had “presented its top donors with a request for nearly $1.1 billion in additional funds over the next two years—boosting current U.N. expenses by 25 percent and marking the global body’s highest-ever administrative budget, according to internal U.N. memos.”
Since I am no fan of the United Nations, my first thought was to ask why the U.S. and other “top donors” would toss more money at this bloated and morally corrupt international bureaucracy when it is manifestly unable to prevent wars—its primary mission—and remains a platform for belligerence, bigotry, and intolerance?
According to the report, the request for more money is blamed on the Bush administration’s “demands for a more ambitious U.N. role around the world.” That seems a rather convenient explanation given the poor performance of most of the U.N.’s so-called peace-keeping missions, some of which degraded into the rape of the women it was supposed to be protecting; its 60-year support of the Palestinians, making them the oldest refugee group in history; and its deplorable environmental program, a platform for the most appalling lies about the climate.
We have the final years of the Roosevelt administration for the creation of the United Nations as World War Two wound down. The failure of the League of Nations to prevent the war should have been sufficient reason not to go down that path again, but perhaps it was seen as the very reason to create a new, international organization to prevent wars?
If that was the thought, they were wrong. Shortly after the end of WWII, the Korean War began with the blessing of Joseph Stalin. Begun on June 25, 1950, it lasted until July 27, 1953. It was a classic Cold War proxy fight. At the end of World War II, Korea had been divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation. Fought under the umbrella of the United Nations so as not to turn it into a new war between the Soviet Union and the United States, it managed to draw the Red Chinese into it as well.
So much for peace-loving Communists versus the forces of democracy.
And, of course, the United States fought a similar conflict in Vietnam for the same Cold War reasons. The United Nations stayed out of that one. We should have as well, but there was a “domino theory” current at the time that postulated that the loss of one Asian nation to communism would doom the rest. Considering that China was resolutely communist, it’s easy to see the reasoning at work. After more than 50,000 of our troops died in Vietnam, Americans became more circumspect about going off to war.
It took 9/11 to get us in the mood to kill someone, anyone, to restore our national honor. Here are two headlines from then. “Public stands firmly behind war” said a November 29, 2001 USA Today headline, followed on December 18, 2001 with “Poll finds strong support for expanding terror war.” It seems so long ago.
It is instructive that the Republican nominee for President this year is a hero from the Vietnam War and the two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination cannot get out of Iraq fast enough. Most wars are popular when they begin. We tend to forget that. Vietnam was an exception, but Congress gave it the green light anyway. They always do.
So, the United Nations now wants $1.1 billion more and the U.S. is to blame for it. Those “elections” in Afghanistan and Iraq were largely organized by U.N. personnel. In the process, al Qaeda demonstrated its regard for the U.N. by blowing up its compound in Baghdad. The U.N., in addition, has nearly 110,000 peacekeepers in twenty missions around the world at a 2008 cost of “about $7 billion.”
I do not know and cannot judge if those peacekeepers are worth the cost. One presumes they are and one wonders just how long they will have to be kept on duty. My guess is forever or until one of the missions turns hot. At which point they will run away and the phones at the White House and Pentagon will light up.
The failure of the United States to rein in the United Nations budget is the real story here. It simply doesn’t do much well. Its bureaucrats have been known to prosper from programs like the oil-for-food deal when Saddam was in charge.
It holds costly meetings in places like Bali, a famed vacation destination, to demand that so-called greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to pre-industrial levels or meetings devoted to tolerance where Israel is the sole object of scorn. Its Council on Human Rights is the worst joke on the face of the earth.
So, no, let’s not give the United Nations any more money. In fact, let’s cut our contribution—easily a quarter of the entire operation—and let these miscreants sink of their own dead weight.