Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Friday, November 26, 2004

United Nations Delenda Est
Written by: Beck

With the US elections over, I find myself with less and less to talk about. Much of the reason I've been doing so much foreign affairs posting comes from a need to fill the gap left by the lack of important domestic news. The more I read, however, the more one single theme keeps replaying: the United Nations is a corrupt institution whose time is past & the United States needs to withdraw from it. You can expect to hear a lot more on that theme from me in the future. Let's get started, shall we?

There is a fantastic new blog out there called The Diplomad. It's a anonymous group blog by conservatives in the State Department, and they are definitely worth a read. Their recent post on the UN is wonderful. Read it. Now.
Well, we know the secret of the UN bureaucracy machine. It exists to exist. To do that it has going one of the best scams imaginable. While most media and ordinary folks focus on the occasionally contentious UNSC resolutions and debates on Iraq or Iran, in fact, 99% of UN "work" has nothing to do with such high-visibility issues. No, it deals with scores, hundreds, in fact, of resolutions passed every year in the UN General Assembly, its main Committees, and in bodies such as the Human Rights Commission. It lives off those resolutions.

Slightly simplified, this is how it often works. A UN bureaucrat gets hold of a delegate from a sympathetic country and gets that country's delegation to propose some often innocuous sounding resolution -- let's make up a typical one right here, "The Effect of Deforestation on the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa." It will have a few bland paragraphs expressing concern about deforestation in Africa, note the impact it has on the livelihood of Africans especially the "most vulnerable sectors of the population," and then will have a little paragraph at the end calling on the Secretary General to submit a report to the next General Assembly on the impact of deforestation in Africa. Normally such a resolution gets adopted by consensus by the appropriate committee, and then goes to the UNGA where its hammered through ASAP. Under the Reagan Administration, the US delegation made a specialty of finding these little gems and trying to kill them or at least make clear that they would not pass by consensus. That is tough and frustrating work; it takes up incredible amounts of time and effort and burns up lots of political capital. Such efforts offend the MSM, powerful US NGOs and other lobby groups. The UN bureaucracy knows that at most only the US will fight these resolutions; the UN uses its allies in the MSM and the NGO "community" to savage the US and make the US look uncaring about deforestation and poverty, etc. As a result, often the US will back off as the political costs are seen as too great to be alone and on the "wrong" side of such an issue.

So the resolution passes. The UN bureaucracy gets tasked with writing a report. Usually these reports are short, based on pre-existing information that in the age of the internet would take an intern a couple of hours to put together, but, nevertheless, for some odd reason seem to require lots of travel by UN bureaucrats. The report will conclude that there is need for further study of this critical topic and might perhaps recommend the holding of a special conference or meeting on the topic. It goes to the next UNGA which agrees that further work is needed and asks the UN Secretariat to go ahead and provide another report to the next UNGA, and so on and on. The topic is now firmly embedded in the UN agenda -- almost impossible to remove -- and highly paid bureaucrats now have sinecures producing endless reports calling for more reports and conferences that will call for more reports and conferences. The US and a handful of other major donors pay for all this.
There's much more. Again, go read it now.

Another interesting development is a new group called Move America Forward. Their mission: to get the US out of the UN. Visit their website to learn more about them or sign the petition if you like. I'm ordinarily a strict petition avoider--it's just an invitation to harassment and loss of privacy. But I couldn't resist signing this one. Who knows what, if anything, will come of it.

The only problem I have with the organization is their source of motivation. Their primary reason for wanting the US out of the UN is UN opposition to the US invasion of Iraq & our handling of the War on Terror in general. There are far more (and better) reasons to want to pull out of that rotten bastion of anti-freedom. Still, I love seeing that such an organization even exists, let alone is being taken seriously. Just don't tell the Commissar.

(Hat tip: Small Dead Animals, Michelle Malkin)

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