March 09, 2004

Oh, Those Crazy E-Mails, Part Deux

Excerpt: The U.N. is the only voice of reason and ordor (sic) in this world. It's a voice for peace when countries by themselves are intent on war. I'm curious how you can so quickly dismiss it offhand while your nation pursues its unilateral ambitions.

I'm called upon to explain my disdain for the U.N. with a regularity that would make Metamucil envious, mainly because I was once a staunch supporter of the U.N., almost to the point of lunacy. I mean, if you look at what the U.N. is SUPPOSED to represent, it's tough to really oppose it. After all, the concept of international law, and outlawing war, and enforcing the belief in basic human rights, and stamping out poverty, and on and on and on. . . it's all pretty damned convinving on paper.

On paper.

On paper, the U.N. aspires to the ideal human experience of Star Trek, where poverty, inexplicably, is no longer a problem, and wars can usually always (I intended the "usual always," because it sounds funny, but anyhoo. . . ) be circumvented through the diplomatic skills of a bald French starship captain. I'll admit it: I bought into it. I love Star Trek and, by extension, I got sucked into the belief that the U.N. was somehow the U.S.S. Enterprise and Kofi Annan was Capt. Picard. It's easy to believe in perfect ideals such as that; it's much harder to face the cold hard glare of reality.

The reality? The U.N. has become ineffectual. The U.N. is corrupt, perhaps more than any "Dick Cheney Fellates Halliburton Execs" conspiracy theorists could ever imagine. It's hard to see, really, because I think most minds in the Big Media have a default setting that says "U.N. = Good" and they're not interested in questioning that nearly as much as they're interested in questioning whether Janet Jackson's nipple indicates the collapse of the modern American society.

For some reason that continually escapes me, when a country like Syria is put on a U.N. committee dedicated to fighting terrorism, most everything I read tends to have a slant that says "See? The U.N. encourages countries who disagree to come together," rather than, maybe, you know, exposing the appointment as Syrian window dressing to veil the reality that their third most lucrative export is terrorism. And, even in the case of humanitarian efforts, such as the "Oil For Palaces, er, Food" programs, the U.N. proved itself to be astonishingly corrupt.

In the months following 9/11, and the lead-up to the (resumed) war in Iraq, it became painfully obvious to me that the U.N., as a serious arbiter of world affairs, had become irrevocably incapacitated due to political machinations going on outside the U.N. walls. France, Germany and Russia all opposed military intervention in Iraq and, since France and Russia had veto authority, well, that was that. Never mind that high-ranking officials in all those countries had been doled out considerable bribes by Saddam and Co., to ensure Saddam's political longevity.

In other words, the U.N. looks less and less like Star Trek every day, and more and more like The Godfather. I'm reminded quite often that America is guilty of breaking international law, as set forth by the U.N. (including the U.S), and we're being criminally hypocritical in our pursuit of the war on terror. It sounds so awful, being criminally hypocritical. It sounds so awfully awful. But, then I see footage of 9/11, and I remember that the U.N. waffled while armed with the most damning of evidence, and I can't help but feel that that's incalcluably more awfully awful, like watching someone beat someone else with a baseball bat and doing nothing because that might somehow infringe on the attacker's right to carry a baseball bat and, by extension, beat people with it. Oh, and the attacker paid them up front for the right to initiate the beating, so there's that.

So, no, I don't have a lot of time for the U.N., by which I mean I guess I can stomach the headquarter's presence in New York and pay $1 billion in renovation fees and all that, but as the grand vision of world order and law that it was founded upon, it has failed miserably. Can it be fixed? I like to think so but, until it is, I refuse to think of it as anything more than corrupt, irrelevant and ineffectual.

It looks great, but only on paper.

UPDATE: For Joshua, who likes Saddam_oil_vouchers_040129-1.html">evidence to be linked.

Posted by Ryan at March 9, 2004 11:55 AM
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