Wednesday, December 29, 2004

UN delenda est!

That's my take at least. It's hard to see what purpose the UN serves when you try to find common cause between democracies like the United States, Poland and Australia on one side and tyrannies like Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia on the other. Shouldn't we, the democracies be trying to effect regime change in those places?

Strike that, I do see a purpose the UN serves. It serves to enrich amoral bureaucrats and evil dictators (the oil-for-food scandal), gloss over genocide (in the Sudan and give France a world stage on which to play act that its still a world power. France's military might (such as it ever was) has long been in eclipse, its economic power is waning and its moral authority never existed. It's permanent seat on the UN Security Council is a joke. It's ludicrous to argue that France deserves a status denied to countries more important to global matters such as India and Brazil. The seat was meant as a balm to wounded gallic pride after WWII, as a pretense that somehow France was on the allied side rather than an eager collaborator with Germany.

Writing in the WSJ, Claudia Rossett, who's been tireless in her coverage of the oil for food scandal, doesn't go quite that far, merely calling for Ukraine-style regime change - Blue: The Next Orange?:

But to suppose that the United Nations will reform itself from within is to miss the eerie unreality of the place. It is not simply changes in some of the staffing that are needed, or U.N. commissioned reports recommending that the U.N. "reform" by way of doing even more of whatever it does already. What's needed is something that among sovereign states we have come to call regime change--the basic alteration of a system that in its privileges, immunities and practices resembles rather too closely some of the dictatorships that still pack its ranks.
Ms. Rossett lays out a laundry list of charges against the current regime that makes Castro look like a slacker:

- The theft of billions of dollars from the UN administered Oil for Food program intended for the aid of sick and hungry Iraqis.
- The bribery and collusion of UN staff, including Kofi Annan's son Kojo, in the theft.
- The stonewalling of investigations into the scandal, including attempts to silence contractors.
- Reports of rape and child molestation committed by U.N. peacekeepers in Africa.
- Allegations of sexual harassment involving senior UN officials.
- Toleration of genocide in Rwanda and the Balkans.

I don't know if regime change is worth pursuing. The UN was an embodiment of the post-WWII world order - its a survivor of a world that no longer exists. Perhaps it is time for the UN to fade away, to be replaced by something newer and more meaningful.