published Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Why the U.N. doesn’t work

Suppose the leaders of every nation on Earth were well-intended and sincerely sought the best for their people. That’s an impossible ideal, of course, but just say for the sake of argument that it were true.

Even under those circumstances, an international organization such as the U.N. would be of extremely limited value. That’s because even rightly motivated leaders and countries often have very different priorities and goals. So trying to get them to agree on a particular course of action can be a bit like “herding cats.”

Unfortunately, we live in a world of nations with leaders who in many cases are not rightly motivated. Some plunder their citizens’ wealth either through graft or confiscatory taxes. Others oppress their people through violence or unjust imprisonment.

One such nation is Communist North Korea. It cruelly denies its people the most basic liberties, sending many to what amount to concentration camps and killing others for the slightest perceived infractions.

It is hard to know just what the United States or any nation can do to promote freedom in North Korea. The country is believed, after all, to have nuclear weapons — in large part because of ineffective U.N. oversight that failed to keep North Korea from developing such weapons.

Sadly, we saw the U.N.’s ineffectiveness once again in a recent attempt to confront North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. The U.N. compiled a report on the country’s violations of sanctions related to nuclear weapons. But when the time came to rebuke North Korea, its ally, Communist China, simply forbade the release of the U.N. report.

That is a big part of the trouble with the U.N. Even dictatorial countries have a say over what actions the world body will take. So North Korea, perhaps the most despicable regime on Earth, is getting a pass.

That is another reminder that the United States should never put its faith in the U.N.

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nucanuck said...

Yes, we in the US liked the UN better when we had absolute vote control through aligned countries that wouldn't dare vote against the US.

Today, the US is still powerful, but votes may not be there for our every whim.

May 28, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Our votes or our control is not the point of this article. So Nucnauck what is yours, more anti-US perspective?

May 28, 2011 at 4:18 p.m.
nucanuck said...


The article was a petty rant against the UN...almost pointless.

My point was/is that the UN is now run on democratic majority principles that the NFP editor seems to find objectionable. The UN is no longer an extension of US policy.

And your asinine remark...what was the point of that?

May 28, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.
GeorgiaRebel said...

The Security Council still has the same framework as in the past. The US or any permanent member of the Council can veto anything brought before it. This is what China did with the recent report. It has nothing to do with democracy, but with a single country exerting its influence over other countries.

A petty rant against the UN vs a petty rant against the TFP. Neither is very impressive.

May 29, 2011 at 12:10 a.m.
nucanuck said...


Yours is the only reference to the Security Council, which has always operated with its own form of "democracy". My reference was that the US can no longer get an automatic majority vote in the UN General assenbly.

That one country, be it China or the US, may block any vote in the Security Council is not in dispute.

And you are right, this whole discussion is a bit petty.

May 29, 2011 at 12:29 a.m.
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