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Restructuring the U.N.

By Henry Lamb
web posted September 29, 2003

Kofi Annan is fidgety about the future of the U.N., as well he should be. His plan to restructure the Security Council, and the General Assembly reflects the fading dream of the Commission on Global Governance, rather than the reality of a hungry, troubled world.

The world changed on 9-11. No longer can the world tilt at the windmills of a fantasized "global village." No longer can visions of "sustainable development" be justified in a world where "sustainable freedom" is the only possible solution to the economic and power vacuum that foments acts of terrorism.

It was unprecedented freedom, exercised by individuals, that created the United States, which now, is the supreme economic and military power in the world. To voluntarily yield this power to the U.N., as France, Germany, Russia, and other nations want, would condemn the entire world to a system of governance in which individual freedom would be the measured reward for compliance with government's dictates.

There is a better way.

Nations can, and, ultimately, must, learn to live as neighbors, free from the web of "international laws" that dictate which activities are "sustainable" and which are xenophobic and unacceptable.
Nation-to-nation relationships, just like neighbor-to-neighbor relationships, should be fashioned voluntarily, driven by mutual benefit. For the first time in a century, the United States may be exploring this possibility.

While many people on both sides of the Atlantic are clamoring for the U.S. to transfer Iraq to the U.N., the Bush administration is asking, "why?" The United States would still have to supply the majority of the money, and the military power, to ensure that Iraq did not fall into the hands of another Saddam, while allowing the U.N. to structure the new government to fit its vision for the future.

The Bush administration is inviting other nations to help the struggling nation to create its own future, based on the principles of freedom, rather than on the demands of another dictator, or in the mold of global socialism, dictated by France, Germany, Russia, and Kofi Annan. If these nations choose to be selfish neighbors, and withhold their help when it is needed, so be it. As in every neighborhood, what goes around, comes around.

It will surely cost America more in the short term, if other major nations choose not to help. The long-term reward, however, could well be the model for transforming the world into a global neighborhood of free nations, rather than a global village under the control of unelected, unaccountable administrators who answer to the U.N.

The world is, indeed, again in the throes of determining its future. The vision held by globalists – from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt – of a future world, under an all-powerful United Nations Institution, has failed. It is time for a new vision.

The UN headquarters would make for a nice apartment building
The UN headquarters would make for a nice apartment building

The United Nations should be restructured. The U.N. building in New York could be far more beneficial if converted into low-rent housing for the homeless. The U.N. headquarters in Geneva, the Palaise de nations, could easily house those international organizations that provide useful services, such as standardized postal and communications specifications. Most of the U.N. organizations and agencies should be de-funded, and forced to earn their existence in a free market place - or die.

The United States is the leader of the world. As such, it can conquer, control, and exploit Iraq, if it chooses, or it can help Iraq form its own government, control its own resources, and its own destiny. Ultimately, every nation must realize this vision, free from dictators, and international administrators. Freedom, individual freedom, secured by private property rights, and a government limited by the consent of the governed, is the new vision for the world.

This is the vision that empowered the United States. It is a vision that has been clouded in recent decades, by resurgent dreams of global governance. The United States is teetering on the brink of either falling, irretrievably, into the abyss of global socialism, or rising above the clouds, and launching another experiment in freedom - leading the world to a global neighborhood of free, sovereign nations.

Iraq is, or can be, the model. If the Bush administration yields to domestic and international pressure to turn over Iraq to the U.N., the U.S. will begin its descent into oblivion. If, however, the Bush administration stands firm in Iraq, with the support of the American people, then, perhaps, the Iraqi people can begin to discover the powerful benefits of freedom, and become a beacon of leadership for other nations in the region.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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