What to do with the UN
In response to an earlier post I did about ElBaradei, and how the UN clings to him because he's both useless and anti-American, I got a delightful comment from Gina:
Unrealistically perhaps, I was hoping that 2005 would bring news of Kofi Annan being sent on a plane to Paris adorned with a huge red bow. So, what is your best guess as to why we cling to this corrupt organization and host them, too? Or is it just a matter of time and/or timing?Good question (or should I say, questions?). We cling to this corrupt organization, I think, for a few reasons. First, to older people, the UN still represents the promise given at the end of WWII that we would never again plunge back into that type of worldwide conflagration. (Rather a naive belief, it seems to me, but we weren't looking to the Middle East for the next great scourge.) Second, to the extent the UN provides the majority of its services to the Third World, it's horribly politically incorrect to suggest that we should not fund it anymore. Even though people like me, who loath the UN, do so because the organization itself is corrupt and dysfunctional, and attack on the UN is perceived as being an indirect attack on the Third World itself. Third, and most important, there are simply too many vested interests. It's all about money. You simply cannot implode a huge organization that employs tens of thousands of people. I mean, I'm willing to bet that the UN budget is bigger than that of many smaller countries. It would be like saying that Greece is no longer functioning well, so let's just dismantle it. I think that, rather than trying to dismantle the UN (because I don't see that happening), we should be greenmailing it. The US pays for 40% of its budget. We should therefore be exerting substantially more control. Indeed, I've always felt that the US is ridiculously diffident about calling the shots when it funds things. After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune. (Of course, our courts are no help. To hark to a different subject, the Ivy Leagues have successfully managed to convince at least one court that they can collect money from the US, but that the US cannot speak on its campuses, at least when that speech comes through military recruiters). My feeling is -- if you pay, you play. And here, we should give financial incentives for good UN behavior, and completely shut down bad UN behavior by withholding money. What's wrong with saying, "As soon as Kofi goes, we'll hand over $X mil dollars?" Conversely, what's wrong with saying that, for every week Kofi continues in office, we will deduct $1 mil from the money earmarked for the UN? UPDATE: Just read yet another of Diplomad's phenomenal, "you are there" (or, rather, thank goodness you are not there) attacks on the evil that is the UN. This one is entitled "The 'Turd' World And The High Priest Vulture Elite." I don't think anything can stand as better support for my belief that we have to shut down the current incarnation of the UN through monetary rewards and punishments (real punishments, not nickle-and-dime hand slaps).