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Replacing the United Nations

By Bruce Walker
web posted September 30, 2002

U.S. President George W. Bush hit a home run again when he set sensible expectations for the United Nations, placing this silly organization on the hot seat. Whatever the Security Council or General Assembly does, however, will be simply frills. The United States will do the heavy lifting. Demanding that the United Nations live up to its vaulted purpose is long overdue, and the demand itself represents an exquisite example of President Bush's political judo.

What really preserves peace? Toughness by benign powers. During the Nineteenth Century, Pax Britannia was imposed by the Royal Navy and the moral seriousness of the Victorians. This worked, even in the Middle East, and the "Trucial States" on the southern coast of Arabia derived their odd name from the "truce" imposed by British gunboats.

After the Second World War, Pax America imposed by the world's only economic, naval and aeronautical and aerospace superpower. There were wars, of course, but limited wars that we could always win or afford to lose. The failure of Communism to win by force led to its ultimate disintegration in the Soviet Union.

President William H. Taft

But - despite the critical roles of good, great powers - could an international league help promote peace? Yes, if properly constructed. President William H. Taft proposed a League of Nations long before Woodrow William's grand failure, and when Taft proposed this League of Nations it made sense. Japan, the rising Asian power, was looking for acceptance as a great power. China had just become a republic. The conflicts within Europe were not rigid alliances but solvable problems. The end of those two great multinational empires, Russia and Austria, could be accomplished with finesse and cooperation.

The later League of Nations of Woodrow Wilson was doomed at birth. The Treaty of Versailles, guaranteed resentment in Germany, Russia, Italy and Japan, and the inclusion of small nations as equals with large nations created an artificial equality among nations, and the ultimate results were, of course, global catastrophe.

The United Nations has been a bigger joke. The name derived from the alliance of nations against the Axis, and this alliance included the Soviet Union, which had been an erstwhile ally of Nazi Germany, until Hitler turned on Russia, and which had been neutral in our war against Japan, until the last few weeks of war.

When the formal international structure for the United Nations was formed at San Francisco in 1948, Alger Hiss, an American Communist traitor, was its first Secretary General. When Arkady Shevchenko, Under-Secretary of the United Nations, abandoned the Soviet Union in 1978, he noted that the entire purpose was espionage against the United States.

The morality of the General Assembly reflects the venom of bitter despots who terrorize their own citizens in "nations" which are little more than mafia territories like Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Somalia. The only rationale for granting this thugocracies any voice in international politics is realpolitik.

Even from the standpoint of realpolitik, the Security Council is pathetic. The five permanent members included the United States, Soviet Union, China, France and United Kingdom. Japan and Germany, while democracies with the third and fourth largest economies in the world are absent. India, the world's largest democracy and perhaps most populous nation, is absent. A valid Security Council would include these three nations, and probably Italy, Brazil and Canada.

These are the very nations with whom America is consulting to build support for our policies. China is the only nation which does not genuinely want peace the way that we do. So be it! Do not require that this Security Council make unanimous decisions, and do allow its constituent nations to fight side by side against aggressive nations. The key is that nations with military and economic muscle stand side by side to fight the bad guys.

This replacement for the United Nations should not accept as associate members any pipsqueak nation that wants membership, and it should not accept nations that engage in terror, aggressive war and internal repression. So long North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia. China would be publicly asked to meet certain objective criteria: (1) Can the press and the people speak freely? (2) Can people leave? (3) Do you claim as "your territory" lands within another nation's borders? (4) Are there public opposition groups which can organize and demonstrate?

The bar should not be too high, but the bar should be clear and absolutely enforced. People protected in some freedoms will tend to acquire more over time. Peace also promotes prosperity, which in turn undermines Marxist thugs.

This new organization should resemble NATO, much more than the United Nations. Despite our understandable heartburn with Germany and prickly attitude of the French, NATO has actually worked well and it has also truly used the combined strength of its members. Moreover, the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe has worked. Let us pick as a model for resolving issues of war, peace and freedom with an organization that has actually proven its worth.

What of the current United Nations? Perhaps we should simply withdraw, stating that an organization that cannot stop madmen from obtaining nuclear weapons has no valid purpose for America. Or perhaps we should reduce the position our United Nations representative to the low level government officer, below that of a cabinet officer or even an undersecretary. And we should lose no opportunity to remind those who asked for us to use the United Nations to point out that it has never worked.

And the United Nations will fail us, once again. America and Britain will go into Iraq and liberate the Iraqi people. When the people of Baghdad rejoice in a new, free and humane government, what better time for the President to propose a better, more limited, and more practical organization for keeping us all safe and moving toward freedom? If anyone can make the case President Bush can. And there is no better time than after Saddam is out of power.

Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a contributor to Citizens View, The Common Conservative, Conservative Truth and Port of Call.

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