Was the UN designed to be terrible?
Most conservatives are understandably leery of the U.N., but also a little conflicted. After all, according to the UN's charter and the publicity blitz at the time it was founded, the U.N. is supposed to embody the best qualities of humankind: It implies that war can be avoided just by talking about our disagreements; that nations can work together to solve problems and recover from local disasters. Truly wonderful goals.
So how is it that such noble intentions consistently produce results that typically range from merely ineffective to absolutely criminal?
How is it that the top UN execs seem to have been skimming cash or taking kickbacks with impunity? How does it happen that the world's worst nations on human rights wind up chairing UN committees on (wait for it)...human rights? How is it that UN "peacekeepers" from certain nations end up extorting sex from starving refugees in exchange for food? And so on...
I think I've found the problem: The UN seems to have been created by people who (to put it charitably) had a huge excess of idealism over common sense. Remember that the UN was founded at the end of the most destructive war ever (for those of you under 25 that was the Second World War), and the people who organized the U.N. desperately wanted to find a way to prevent such awful destruction from happening again.
Surely everyone can agree this was a wonderful goal. Unfortunately the folks who structured the UN believed this could be accomplished just by talking.
It's a novel concept. And to be fair, on rare occasions it just might work. Specifically, if two nations have a conflict that's rooted almost completely in misunderstanding and emotion, being able to talk over the problem might avoid war. (After all, liberals have found that polite, nuanced discussion usually stops a mugging, right?)
Unfortunately, some national leaders are (to put it charitably) crazy. They demand that other countries cede territory and power to them, and they're quite willing to risk war to get what they want. All the talk in the world--whether soothing or threatening--won't dissuade such people.
The same excess of idealism over common sense can be seen in the UN's democratic treatment of non-democratic nations: allowing totalitarian dictatorships to take committee chairmanships on the same rotating basis as democratic nations.
One wonders whether the UN's founders envisioned this result. Certainly few people would be surprised that folks who felt war could be avoided by talking would also be perfectly comfortable with, say, Cuba or Syria chairing the UN's human-rights committee!
So the entire premise underlying the UN--that wars can be prevented by talk, and that it's reasonable to give wacko dictatorships respect--is largely nonsense. But the UN goes beyond mere "nonsense" and waste: By supporting the laughable notion that all nations are equal, the UN gives cutthroat dictators a forum to argue their positions before the world.
(Don't jump to a wrong conclusion here: Our own Declaration of Independence sets forth our founding principle that all men are created equal. But men are created by God, while nations are creations of men. And some men are (to put it charitably) nuts. So to claim that all nations are equal is...misguided.)
If the world's news organizations were objective, neutral, giving wacko dictators a forum in which to address the world might be a good thing, because it would give everyone the chance to see a dictator's true position laid bare. Unfortunately, dictators lie routinely, and the press rarely (if ever) poses the tough questions that, if answered, would show the dictator's true colors. (To be fair, dictators never answer pointed questions anyway--and indeed, try to avoid critical interviewers altogether.)
So the net result is that the UN offers tyrants, despots and thugs a way to appear legitimate, and offers corrupt and evil governments a chance to 'prove' to their oppressed populations that their barbaric leaders are as good as any in the world.
And the most amazing thing is that all this dysfunction was *designed into the UN.*