First let me preface my comments by stating that I do not support John Bolton's nomination. However, I do find most of critiques of the United Nations on the money. In fact, if it is possible I am even more hostile to American participation in and/or deference to the United Nations that Mr. Bolton is. I agree with a close friend of mine who is a prominent Democrat here in Florida that Bush, should Bolton be rejected needs to nominate another UN critic, possibly Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota to make it clear that the UN must change.
The United Nations is perhaps the most undemocratic and corrupt Governmental institution currently headquartered in the United States. The United Nations has become a forum for disaffected nations to air their grievance's against the United States and for the anti-American press in Europe and the third world to then in turn beat up on the United States. It has also become a forum for Russia, France and China all of whom have foreign policies as much based on jingoism and paranoia as does the United States (again contrary to what the American left would lead you to believe: according to the left in our country the USA is the only nation that is jingoistic, imperialist and a perpetrator of conflicts abroad.) to obstruct American foreign policy and interfere in the national security interests of the United States.
Contrary to the rhetoric and actions of the Bush administration, Russia still represents a global threat to American interests. The Chinese are the most dangerous nation on the planet currently, save North Korea, and France enjoys being contrary to the United States and United Kingdom on everything. All three nations hold a veto on the Security Council. Even more dangerous is a proposal to give India, a nation that has for most of its independent life opposed the United States on every major global action a veto on the Security Council. Despite recent economic liberalisation, India remains a potential dangerous nation, largely because it is a democracy which is controlled by highly uneducated and emotional voters, not unlike the United States. Moreover, India bares at least some of the blame in its ongoing conflict with Pakistan, a conflict which has seen well over a million people die needlessly since 1947, a higher number than any other post WW II conflict.
The UN is an institution that does some good work. Humanitarian programs like UNESCO, UNICEF and others do come to mind. But the United Nations is a bureaucratic, top down organization that is run by elites who have done little to ensure global peace and security which is after all the mission of the U.N. The U.N. has missed the boat on several of the following issues where the United States had to either independently or with the help of some allies show leadership.
- The growing Nuclear threat from North Korea. The US in 1994 under President Clinton's last second deal with the late Kim Il-Sung was done thanks to US leadership and despite a disinterested U.N.
- The US and European allies after four years of UN incaction brokered a compromise in Bosnia which stopped the worst genocide on European continent since the Holocaust. The United States came to side of slaughtered Muslims while the United Nations appeased the despicable dictator Slobadan Milosevic.
- The US and NATO failed to get a UN resolution to get Milosevic out of Kosovo in 1999 where again he was slaughtering Muslims. The UN did not take action because of the threat of a Russian veto. The US led coalition took 78 days to finish off Milosevic and now he and his deputies face a war crimes tribunal. This was thanks to President Clinton's decision to ignore the UN and take strong military action.
- The U.N. failed in its attempts to bring about peace in Northern Ireland. Eventually, the United States again under President Clinton worked out a deal.
- The U.N. has never been successful in brokering Middle East peace. These days, the combantants, be it Israel, the Palestinians or other Arabs look to the United States for leadership, and only use the UN when it can serve a political purpose to intensify the ongoing conflict.
- The United Nations despite lofty rhetoric abandoned both Rwanada and the Sudan as genocide was just starting, leaving locals to slaughter one another.
Given this mounting evidence, what exactly is the purpose of the United Nations? I personally believe that the UN should either be reformed or ignored by American policymakers. The concert of nations can informally solve crises as has been demonstrated time and time again without the United Nations involvement.