The United Nations: Public Enemy Number One

In their 1974 book A Dangerous Place: The United Nations as a Weapon in World Politics, Abraham Yeselson and Anthony Gaglione warned that the United Nations was a cesspool of special interests, political subversion, and dictatorial regimes intent on pursuing their anti-democratic policies. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Yeselson said: “It will be extraordinarily difficult now to rationalize continued involvement in an organization [the UN] which sponsors wars, passes one-sided or unenforceable resolutions, provides forums for international insult instead of diplomacy, and is guilty of the most outrageous examples of selective justice.” Similarly, in his 1975 book of that title, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan also described the world organization as a “dangerous place.” He meant, of course, a dangerous place for the United States and the free world -- or, at least, that part of the free world that wished to remain free. Subsequent developments at the UN have only served to confirm his dire admonitions.

Historian Richard Landes has coined the term “demopaths” to describe such institutions. Demopaths “use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests. Demopaths demand stringent levels of human ‘rights’ but do not apply these basic standards … to their own behavior.”

The UN is the demopathic organization par excellence and its spokesmen persist in plying their trade. Its elections for the post of secretary-general have generally drawn from a pool of dubious mediocrities with little sympathy for or knowledge of the history of Western humanism, such as Kurt Waldheim, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon. The Russian and Chinese stranglehold on the Security Council has always meant that decisions favoring the West would inevitably succumb to their veto power. The Organization of the Islamic Conference effectively dominates the General Assembly, which is in any case often headed by anti-Western, socialist-inspired figures like Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann or representatives of tyrannical regimes like its current president Ali Abdussalam Treki, who hails from, of all places, Libya.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has dedicated its attention almost exclusively to the denunciation of Israel, the only genuine democracy in the Middle East. The Council features two agendas at its annual session: one allotted to Israel, the other to the rest of the world. Anyone speaking out in defense of Israel is liable to be removed from the premises, as happened recently to UN-accredited Anne Bayevsky, a professor of political science at York University and director of the Touro Law Center’s Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. To add injury to injury, the UNHRC has gone soft on Sharia, announcing on June 16, 2008, that criticism of Sharia law would now be contraindicated.

The result of so bigoted and sectarian an agenda is a foregone conclusion, as witness the infamous Goldstone Report reprehending Israel for war crimes in Operation Cast Lead -- by all unbiased accounts a defensive campaign doing its utmost to avoid civilian casualties -- while essentially acquitting Hamas, among the world’s most flagrant terrorist organizations, for the crimes it did commit. The dossier has now been forwarded to the Security Council with a view to referring it to the International Criminal Court. As has been pointed out by many commentators, it is not only Israel that may find itself in the prisoner’s dock, but any nation which has the audacity to defend itself against terrorist attacks, including the United States.

President Obama’s incomprehensible decision to bring the United States into the UNHRC’s fold will ineluctably come back to haunt it. (Perhaps this lamentable move is one of the reasons that Obama was fulsomely praised by Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, who called him “our son” and “our Obama,” wishing him president for life.) The U.S. has announced its good intentions, but it should be evident to any rational observer that so corrupt an institution as the UNHRC cannot be reformed or deterred -- only abolished.

The United Nations has, in point of fact, become a safe haven for international terrorists and abuser nations. It has yet to define the notion and practice of “terrorism” and has chosen to ignore its own Convention on Genocide, under Articles 3 and 8 of which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to take a most conspicuous example, should be indicted for incitement to genocide. As of this date, no action has been taken to subpoena the Iranian president for threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” -- quite the opposite. When Ahmadinejad received his third annual invitation to address the UN plenum and delivered what amounted to a virulent anti-Semitic speech, he was warmly embraced by Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann to the cheering and clapping of a plenum of delegates. Let us remember, too, that it was from the UN building in Vienna that nuclear expert Timothy Hampton, a member of the Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, mysteriously fell to his death on October 20, 2009, one day before the resumption of nuclear disarmament talks with Iran. The UN has refused to investigate the incident.