Friday, April 28, 2006
Just goes to show that even crazy people make sense once in a while. The UN, conceived after the greatest war ever fought on the planet, was designed and intended to prevent the kind of international recklessness that Iran now exhibits. Unfortunately, its functioning relies on the goodwill and responsibility of its constituent states, and only a very few of those states demonstrate any goodwill and responsibility at all. As a result, except for some of its humanitarian efforts, the UN has become the world's most expensive debate club. It certainly has failed in its mission to prevent the rise of such regimes as Hitler's, Mussolini's and Tojo's. Its fecklessness is recognized by all but the most dreamy-eyed internationalists.
That said, I don't advocate that the US pull out of the UN, although as the UN's largest financial supporter we should use what power we have to encourage it to live up to its ideals. There is some value to having a place where everyone can go to discuss the issues of the day, and a coffee house doesn't quite fill the bill.
I do think, however, that it might be time to think about moving the UN's headquarters. Perhaps if it were moved to someplace like, say, Kabul, a sense of reality might somehow germinate among its members. Not only that, but it would be a huge source of pride to the new democracy in Afghanistan, not to mention the money it would bring in. After all, the UN couldn't very well ask Afghanistan to pay for the party. Such a move would also tend to separate those UNers who are there only for the perks of being in New York on someone else's dime from those who believe in the UN's stated mission and will endure some personal sacrifice to help it succeed.
Having the UN headquartered in Kabul would also be a great benefit to the United States, not the least by freeing up some of the most desirable real estate in Manhattan, and ridding the country of a nest of espionage agents for other nations.
Unfortunately, all the above is a pipe dream. The UN will never reform, and it will never leave New York unless the United States evicts it. Reform is impossible because most of the nondemocratic member states like it just the way it is, and moving is impossible because those same states like having a base in the US to support their spies.