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The final cut?

Somehow I missed this item yesterday… Now we have never been all that timid about slamming George Dubya when he makes a dumb move, but to be honest, if he delivers what may prove to be the coup de grace to the UN as a source of so-called ‘moral authority’, then I will start collecting memberships for the George W. Bush Fan Club!

25 comments to The final cut?

  • Della

    I think this in large part because of Putin’s intransigance over sanctions, even to the point of being very pety:

    “Perhaps Saddam is hiding underground in his bunker, sitting on cases containing weapons of mass destruction, and is preparing to blow the whole thing up, bringing down the lives of thousands of people. We simply don’t know.”

    I heard him say that on Sky, you could even hear in the translators voice that he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

    Asked if he was serious he went on to say:

    “Perhaps that might be perceived as ironic by some, but no irony was meant.”

  • TomD

    I grew up in the southeastern US a good while ago and remember the bumper stickers “Get us out of the UN”. At the time (early 60’s I think), I wasn’t sufficiently politically aware to know if they were prescient or simply redneck isolationists.

    I have no clue what the ultimate goals or philosophy of the UN are in theory, much less in practice. There aren’t any, I think, it has degenerated into naked politics for advantage.

    Writing this from a US perspective and with the realization that the preponderance of the member nations of the UN are hostile to the precepts of personal liberty, I enthusiastically cheer distancing the US.

    Why the Devil the US should need the tacit approval of the likes of Libia, France, Cuba, Nigeria, etc, for anything is beyond me. Screw them, we are the best and most successful nation in the history of the planet. They need to be emulating us, not restraining us.

    I know that this site is mostly British and in deference will freely admit that it is largely our British heritage and values combined with our huge resources that has created the USA. Most of your former colonies seen to be doing well, even India.

    Through some luck of the draw, the concept of individualism seems to have taken root here more so than other former Brit colonies.

    Back to the UN-the concept of individualism has no place in the philosophy of the UN and I say to Hell with them. Get us out of the UN.

  • KC

    Considering that we have already sidestepped the UN once, I think Bush will go ahead and do it again. The things that go on there these days, it is almost if the UN is trying to get us to shut the door on them.

  • Chris Josephson

    I lost all respect for the UN a few years ago. There’s no accountability for the money all the member nations pour into it. Thugs and dictators are on the UN Human Rights Commission. (Cuba just got re-elected to that commission.)

    It’s very good at holding conferences and issuing reports, but not much else. If there is not a massive overhaul in the UN, I’d like to see the US get out.

    I’d also love to see an audit, with results made public, on the Iraqi ‘oil-for-everything-but-food’
    program. I think the results of an audit on this would be very interesting.

    While the auditors are pouring over the books (assuming the UN does keep accounting records), I’d like to see a breakdown of how all the money they get is used.

    For example: X% for administrative overhead and Y% for funds that directly helped some country (clean water, sanitation, ‘peace keeping’,etc..).

    I’d like the report to be as detailed as possible, with an introdutory ‘executive summary’ so the details don’t obscure the overall picture.

  • Johan

    I think U(nited) N(othing) made the mistake to think that it could solve world problems and conflicts and make the world a better place. It obviously can’t.

    I think communism/socialism made the mistake to think that the State can solve national problems and conflicts and make the country and world a better place. It obviously can’t.

    All institutions based on utopias are the same. They just don’t work.

  • A woman I knew who worked in the UN in 1990 was torn between anger that the US decided everything important the UN did and admiration that the US decided everything important the UN did.

    Perhaps it is time to deprive the UN of the figleaf of US moral authority. The League of Nations fizzled out pretty ineffectually without American membership.

  • Byron

    Well said TomD.

    Through some luck of the draw, the concept of individualism seems to have taken root here more so than other former Brit colonies.

    Personally I attribute that to America’s inception, during which rugged, individualistic risk takers came over here and settled the land, then rebelled against an overtaxing British government. It’s easy to take for granted the manner in which America was created, but the fact that it’s the only country (with the exception of Israel) ever founded specifically on a set of moral principles – limited government, protection of individual freedoms, and private property & capitalism – is what differentiates America from all other nations throughout history. Other nations have either adapted such principles to an already existing social structure, or not adapted them at all.

    As for the UN, it can burn in hell. The greatest characteristic of the neo-cons is that they have combined morals with realpolitik into their foreign policy. Classical conservatives tended to err on the side of realpolitik, while Jimmy Carter erred on the side of ineffectual morals. Have the neo-cons finally got it right?

  • Joe

    In my dictionary it says that “un” is a negative prefix denoting a contrary action.

    I think the UN sure seems to be living up to that definition of its name.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    If the UN bureaucrats are found to have just as shoddy accounting as Enron, can we arrest them? 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    About 10 years ago I volunteered to help new Russian speaking immigrants to the US study for their citizenship exams.
    Now my daughter is preparing to take the exam for her social studies class in school and I noticed one question on there – that I do not recall from years prior – and that is What is the role of the United Nations?.
    My daughter has memorized the appropriate answer assigned by her teacher, but I was obliged to give her proper instruction that the rules of the UN do not supercede the United States Constitution.
    Now what I would like to find out is – when was this question added to the exam and who authorized it.

  • I would have some respect for the UN – right now I have none – if anyone could point to one success, one positive achievement by the UN in its entire history. From the Congo to Cambodia to the Iran/Iraq War to Rwanda to Bosnia, the UN has been either absent or ineffective or (as in Jenin) positively harmful. And all this on our money.

  • Jacob

    “What is the role of the United Nations?.”

    The problem is – when they teach this subject in school they don’t teach what the actual role is (pampering the nephews of third world thugs), but what the intended role is (some pompous lies about bringing peace and prosperity to humankind).
    On this subject, and many others – we feed our kids outrageous lies.

  • Johan

    I remember back in elementary school when we had a theme day. About the UN. We made flags, read about other countries as well as the history of the UN and all the teachers were smiling and nodding when every kid held a presentation on how awesome the UN is.

    Indoctrination has reached far nowdays.

  • A_t

    “All institutions based on utopias are the same. They just don’t work. ”

    Does that include the US government?

    After all, i don’t see much difference between:

    “I think U(nited) N(othing) made the mistake to think that it could solve world problems and conflicts and make the world a better place. It obviously can’t. ”

    and the neocons’ current ideas about making the world safer through massive unilateral reshaping…..

    … or is it the “obviously can’t” bit which you feel is different?

  • A_t, how convenient for you to corral all the results of this war into one phrase: “massive unilateral reshaping.”

    The UK, Spain, Poland, et cetera plus about 40 more countries would be quite startled to hear themselves described as part of the United States. After all, a unilateral action by definition would mean there was only one participant, would it not? If this is a unilateral action, then the US must have recently doubled in number of member states. Sounds like your statement would have the world “massively reshaped” in a far more interesting fashion than the Coalition is effecting right now.

  • Catherine

    A few comments…

    Although you would never know it from my college professors here in the U.S., the U.N., like communism, is a good idea in theory, but it can never work. Particularly with the moral relativism that puts Libya, Cuba and Syria on the human rights commission since they believe in rotating everyone.

    I was going by the UN in a bus last Sat afternoon thinking about what a great piece of real estate that is. Imagine what we could do with it (I’m thinking college campus for CUNY/SUNY possibly) if the UN just went to Brussels where they would be welcomed. It is a great peice of property. It’s a crying shame the UN is wasting the space.

    As far as the indoctrination, it is rampant at my school. Karl Marx is lauded in every social science philosophy and political science class. The founding fathers on the other hand, we are reminded over and over again, had slaves and were racists. Cuba has great healthcare and 100% literacy and the US doesn’t, therefore, Cuba good/US bad. They lecture and assign pieces of garbadge like “Jihad vs McWorld” and “Blowback” that had one French exchange student confused about the point of the class until she realized, “basically, the US is a bad place that does a lot of bad things.” When I complained to the Social Science chair she said, “We don’t teach facts. There are no facts. Truth is relative.”

    Sorry to rant, but the post about indoctrination in the schools touched a very raw nerve.

  • S. Weasel

    Oh, geez, Catherine…your post made my stomach hurt.

    Can you get any feel for how much of this the kids are actually buying? After all, what’s being pushed isn’t as important as what’s being absorbed.

    Not that I have high hopes. One of the most puzzling characteristics of the left is the way they have managed, over several generations, to remain cool. Even when lefties have worked their way into all the positions of authority that should define uncool for the yutes.

  • Catherine

    The absorption is hard to grasp. I am, ahem, an older student who has been self supporting and working in NYC since I was 18 so my perspective is different. I quit my job to waitress and finish my degree in two years.

    After 9/11, my classmates surprised me by how rational they were, but that has faded. Tuesday nights in my “Welfare and the State” class (that is my Senior Thesis) are unbearable as it is one anti-capitalist rant, and at least one person in each class does a little “we must unite and conquer the rich people” speech. So many have absorbed it pretty well, but they have no exposure to anything else. That class in particular is one example after another about the “unfairness” of the US and about “redistributing the wealth more equally.” No one is asked to really support their arguments and since facts are relative, if nearly all of your research comes from a radical leftist source (in once case charging the US with using prisons for “slave” labor and disenfranchisement – a fav word) that is OK. As long as you are passionate it seems.

    I am telling you, if you saw the bulletin board’s postings from the Social/Political science professors, you would be appalled.

    I think what bothers me most is that most of these students CAN’T make a rational argument for anything. They are unable to think logically because that hasn’t been taught or demanded. They are in for a rude awakening when they have to work for “the man.”

    One other point is the difference between the affluent white kids at my school and summer classes I took last summer at a CUNY school (Baruch – I could afford w/out my scholarship) with many immigrants at Baruch. In my “ethics” class, for example kids there looked “hip hop,” but were more conservative than the kids uptown at my school. They almost always shocked the professor (who was English and pro-UN and World Court) with their defending of the US stand on things the professor didn’t agree with. Examples – Pro-death penalty, pro-war, and anti-EU (the ethnic make-up was Caribbean, Asian and Russian). I was surprised too.

    Possibly, after a few years of the real world they will change. After all, when I was 17 and in NC, I was ready to help the Sandanistas in Nicaragua who were rightfully elected. Then again, I was deep into adult reality the next year in NYC, rather than 4 years of intense coercion.

    I hope this sounds coherent since it was rather rushed.

  • Jacob

    “After all, what’s being pushed isn’t as important as what’s being absorbed.”
    Maybe… maybe the kids are brighter than we assume and don’t buy all the crap their elders and teachers try to feed them. Good for them.
    Still, is this the right thing to do – feed crap to the kids ? That’s what the rants are about.

  • S. Weasel

    Yes, thank you. Very coherent.

    Not being taught that debate is an ordinary part of the education process would explain something else that puzzles me…the way some young people I’ve met become completely unstrung if you question their orthodoxies.

  • Aging Boomer


    It’s not just some young people who become completely unstrung if you question their orthodoxies. Aging radicals in the academy and the church have never taken seriously any contrary voices for decades. Anyone who disagrees is obviously benighted. To them, all the world is like their students or like their parishioners.

  • Elizabeth

    Catherine – Good luck with your studies!

    If you’re not already aware, there is an essay contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute which college student essay contest winner can win a good deal of money. That’s always helpful with books, rent, maybe even help pay for a class or two. College student essays are written about Atlas Shrugged.

  • A_t

    In response to Shana, the unilateralism wasn’t particularly referring to this recent war, more the tone & flavour of the neocons’ ideas, which are unashamedly unilateral; certainly whoever’s willing to cooperate is welcome, as in the recent conflict, but they’re quite clearly oriented round putting the US’s interests first, not interested in compromise, and quite happy to go it alone if no-one else comes along for the ride. Combine that with the amount of power the US has, and it sounds like the very definition of unilateralism to me.

    Although i disagree with their ideas, I respect them for having the honesty to speak openly of their convictions, and I stand by my term.

    Please note however, that I am not presently levelling this charge at the US government’s policies, only at the ideas of some people who are influential within it.

  • Jacob


    Comparing what the UN can do and did to what the US government (influenced by neocons) can do and did:

    The US got rid of a murderous, mad, aggresive tyrant and freed the Iraqi people which were robbed, murdered and tortured by his vicious regime.

    Did the UN ever help in any way in freeing _ANY_ people (like say … Cuba or Eastern Europe) ??
    Ridiculous question.
    The UN allways, without exception DEFENDS all tyrants and does it’s best in HINDERING their removal. The UN never condemned any tyrant – they only routinely condemn the US and Israel.

    The neocons may have an overambitious agenda. That is arguable. But what has already been done – the removal of Saddam – is a BIG acheivement.
    I wish all tyrants and vicious regimes, of which there is no short supply, were removed this way.
    I wish all future tyrants and vicious regimes will live in fear of being removed this way.

    So despite your scepticism of neocon agenda – there is a big, big difference between the record of the US and the UN.

  • A_t

    …for a body that never condemns any tyrant, the UN must’ve been feeling pretty weird the other week when it condemned Castro’s internal repression then!