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The U.N. needs Robert Vaughn

By Keith D. Cummings
web posted December 1, 2003

There's a series of television commercials that have been running in the Central Virginia area for several years for a local personal injury law firm. The spokesman who gives what the commercial refers to as a "compensated endorsement," is none other than Robert Vaughn, part-time B-movie heavy and former Man from U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Vaughn declares, with all the conviction that has made him the box office draw he is, that you need his law firm to prove to the insurance companies that, "You mean business!"

Robert VaughnThis commercial drives my sister-in-law crazy, but not for the reason immediately obvious. She's not a desperate fan of Robert Vaughn, she just despises the way my brother and I make fun of Mr. Vaughn's delivery of his signature line. In every commercial, before we see Napoleon Solo telling us that we need these lawyers, we see a grainy, black and white vignette of the "other" lawyers, the insurance company lawyers, plotting against the victims. That's when Robert Vaughn and the law firm of Marks & Harrison rush in to save the innocents.

My personal favorite of the many Marks & Harrison commercials starts with the same grainy image. We're taken into a conference room, into the secret recesses of the insurance company's defense team. There are several lawyers around the table, but only two really matter. One is an older man, heavy set with thinning white hair; he looks like Santa's clean-shaven evil twin. He stands proudly in a three-piece suit and addresses his team, including his younger, thinner partner who is obviously learning from the master. Together, they discuss the case.

"We've hired a top expert who sees the accident from our point on view," the senior partner declares confidently. He then bends, turns to his protégé and asks, nervously, "Have you heard anything?"

"The law firm of Marks and Harrison called," the young man relates. "They said they know what were up to and," followed by a dramatic pause, "they raised their demand." The older lawyer is crestfallen. He drops into his seat despondently and his face falls.

"This is serious," he explains. The power and the force of these lawyers for the injured is immediately made clear. Regardless of who is at fault, if Marks & Harrison are on your side, you will prevail. These lawyers are so savvy, so competent, so capable that they will quickly have the bad guys on the run. If you've been injured in an accident, you need Marks & Harrison because "They Mean Business!"

The UN is much like the law firm in these commercials. With Iraq in the 1990s and with Iran in 2003, the UN means business. The International Atomic Energy Agency, an agency of the UN tasked with enforcing the non-proliferation treaty among other things, has passed a resolution. They have told Iran that enriching uranium to create weapons grade material is unacceptable. The resolution undoubtedly has severe ramifications for Iran should the nation fail to respond, should they continue with a weapons development program.

Of course, Iran is a closed society. The mullahs in Tehran control who enters and who leaves the country. They can, like a certain Ba'ath party leader in a neighboring nation, hide the facilities and evidence of their work. They are in charge. More importantly, they have precedent on which to rely. They can look to the sanctions and resolutions passed against Iraq, 17 in all from 1990 through 2002, as an indication of exactly how seriously the UN takes its own orders. Iran has nothing to fear.

The United Nations would like to think of itself as a world body with moral clarity and world authority. They sit in a room in New York City and pass resolution after resolution, warning rogue nations and potentially rogue nations alike that "They Mean Business." Unfortunately, in a world where few professions are more contemptible than that of personal injury attorney, United Nations delegate is. Unlike the UN, sometimes the law firm of Marks & Harrison gets results. Unlike the UN, for all their flaws, the law firm of Marks & Harrison really does mean business.

Keith D. Cummings is the author of Opening Bell, a political / financial thriller. His website can be found at http://www.keith-cummings.com.

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