Friday, November 19, 2004

The State of the UN

From Arafat to al-Zarqawi
by Dore Gold
Indeed, Mr. Annan always reminds foreign leaders that the U.N. is "the source of international legitimacy." But if it repeatedly confuses the aggressor and victim who is defending himself, how can the U.N. represent justice of any sort? The U.N. General Assembly, despite appearances, is not a world parliament creating law, but rather a body that generates an amalgamation of the interests of its largely authoritarian majority, with no checks and balances protecting the constitutional rights of member states. Unfortunately, the U.N. Secretariat too often reflects the lopsided moral universe that the General Assembly has erected.

But if the U.N.'s moral code leads it to be ineffective, at best, in places like Darfur, Sudan, and even tilt in favor of the aggressors, what does that mean for the future of global stability? The handmaiden of terrorism is moral relativism that fails to distinguish between the suicide bomber driving his car to a civilian target and the pilot who destroys him before his attack. For the loss of moral certainty cripples nations, undermining their will to defend themselves.

It is here that the U.N. has a potentially destructive role. And, if generally, the U.N. insists that it is the sole clearinghouse for effective action of any sort against aggression, proliferation, terrorism, and even genocide, and yet the best that the U.N. Security Council can provide is paralysis, then that is a certain recipe for world chaos and not world order.

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