11.08.2004

The United Nations, Fallujah, and Taking Sides

Today, at the start of the American attack on the terrorists' fever-swamp in Fallujah, it pays to look around the world and see who is on either side.

(It also pays to attempt to figure out how attacking thousands of Islamist terrorists who car-bomb civilians, saw off the heads of Iraqis, Easterners and Westerners, blow up churches, and swear allegiance to Al Queda can be a distraction from The War on Terror, but that I will leave for my far more sophisticated friends on the left.)

On one side we have the United States, England, and the nascent government of Iraq. On the other side we have the usual suspects -- Zarqawi's terrorists, Baathist dead-enders, bilious Sunni clerics, and the United Nations.

Yes, Kofi Annan -- the silver-tongued, impeccably dressed arbiter of international morality -- is opposed to our attack on Fallujah. He warns that
"The threat or actual use of force not only risks deepening the sense of alienation of certain communities, but would also reinforce perceptions among the Iraqi population of a continued military occupation."

There is a certain point when a man turns into a parody of himself, and then there's another point where the parody turns into tragedy. Kofi is somewhere along this line. The United Nations, however, can no longer be seen as merely a parody of itself but has turned into something far grimmer, a partner in collusion with terrorist Islamist groups and brutal arab regimes.

Here, in the above Kofi quote, is all that is wrong with the United Nations and its eloquent hypocrisy. After hundreds of Iraqi civilians, police officers, foreign hostages, and coalition troops have been butchered by a group whose leader has sworn allegiance to Osama Bin Ladin -- and has even attacked the United Nations OWN building and workers in Baghdad -- the General Secretary of the United Nations objects not just to military force against the murderers but any threat of military force.

To this, one can only respond, how does Kofi suggest we battle the terrorists? With spitballs?

Of course, one cannot take Kofi Annan's stand against force or the threat of force seriously. In the middle of the battle of Iraq, one can only ignore his words and declare them irrelevant.

The only problem is, most of the world and much of America still believes in the legitimacy of the United Nations of the arbiter of international relations and morality. So we must do more than simply declare the United Nations irrelevant. We must see it for what it is -- at best, an Organization of Stalin's Useful Idiots. At worst, a mouthpiece for the global jihad.

When one adds Kofi's fine words on Falluja to the Oil for Food scandal, Kofi's declaration of the Iraq War as "illegal", the UN's abject failure to take seriously the genocide in Darfur, and its shameful history of anti-Israelism, one can put the United Nations in the correct light. For decades, the United Nations has become a tool in the hands of a sweaty anti-American mob. It has no moral authority. Indeed, the only moral authority involving the United Nations is this rule of thumb -- if the United Nations is for something, it is probably a moral necessity to oppose it.

The United Nations is not a "democracy of nations" -- it is a collection of dictatorships, kleptocracies, and regional powers (China, France, Russia) whose interests are often directly opposed to America's. One cannot count up the votes of dictators and declare that a majority of votes makes something moral or legal. One cannot respect a system based on the inviolability of the sovereign state when those states are butchering their own people or have no functional authority in their own land. One cannot pay respect to an organization which says nothing when Syria kills 20,000 of its own people when Assad flattened Hama in 1982 but finds new synonyms for "condemn" when Israel has the temerity to defend itself. One cannot respect an organization which puts Libya in charge of its human rights committee. Plainly, one cannot respect the United Nations.

But what about international law? Isn't the United Nations the only thing that seperates the global system from global anarchy?

No. The United Nations has no enforcement mechanism, and thus cannot threaten force to change the behavior of states. It is unable to take on the central issue of today, non-state actors. It cannot even pay lip service to the cause of nations that have been attacked. It has authorized defense of a sovereign nation only twice in its history -- in Korea due to a Soviet boycott and in the First Persian Gulf War due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It cannot even agree on a definition of terrorism due to the little problem that most of the world does not believe that killing Jews is terrorism.

The UN can't define terrorism, can't denounce terrorism, and now pipes up in support of protecting a terrorist city-state butchering its own countrymen.

Perhaps it is not clear enough in this fog of war. But when the battle clears, we shall see the United Nations for what it has become. Because the UN has taken sides, and it's not us they're with.

UPDATE: A fine and fresh look at how the UN has turned its back on its history and forfeited its future at Commentary