Angry New Yorker

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Why Should We Care About the U.N.?

Frankly, I'm baffled by the constant refrain, popular in the Eurotrope sphere, that unilateral action is illegitimate without the imprimatur of U.N. "approval". The U.N. is riddled with more corruption than the Brooklyn docks back in the heyday of the longshoreman. A close acquaintanced worked until a month ago with an NGO, and rubbed elbows frequently with U.N. field personnel. Uniformly she found them dumb-as-bricks, or simpletons of the highest order who'd gotten the position because they were the cousin of so-and-so. The now blazing oil-for-food scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg, trust me. And yet, this is the organization we're to supplicate before?

When I was a kid the U.N. was this far-off organization we only heard about at Halloween when "trick-or-treat for UNICEF" was a catch-phrase in certain quarters. As a teenage, my Boy Scout troop held a field trip to visit the U.N. headquarters on the East Side, and I remember the palpable hope that the U.N. could offer a hope for world peace. We imagined solemn, honest and reasonable men discussing matters of import in dignified settings. How naive we were. Today, the U.N. is eager to stick its diplomatic paws into every pot, when it should stick to its knitting to provide a forum for international discussion. Beyond this simple mandate the U.N. has proven itself, time after time, either incompetent or impotent -- take your pick.

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