The signs are appearing. Two articles in yesterday’s Sunday press dealt with the UN in no uncertain terms. So uncertain, dear readers, that they made this blog look like the epitome of balanced “on-the-one hand, on-the-other-hand” type of writing. You know the sort I mean. Something like openDemocracy, which is oh so brahmin and de haut en bas, above the political fray, looks on every side of every question yet somehow, who knows how, always finds that their position is left of centre, anti-American and certainly anti-Bush, pro-EU.
Let us look at David Frum’s piece in the Sunday Telegraph. Frum is a former speech writer to President Bush and present resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the largest and most powerful of the think-tanks in Washington. Mr Frum advances an interesting hypothesis. After analyzing both the UN’s achievements (negligible), adherence to democratic values (laughable) and authority in the world (pathetic), he tries to understand what makes the bien pensants or plain left-wing cuckoos like Clare Short, so enamoured of this squalid, inefficient, corrupt and completely illogical institution.
“The UN's authority is instead one of those ineffable mystical mysteries. The authority's existence cannot be perceived by the senses and exerts no influence on the events of this world. Even the authority's most devout hierophants retain the right to disavow that authority at whim, as Ms Short herself disavowed its resolutions on Iraq. And yet at other times those same hierophants praise this same imperceptible, inconsequential, and intermittently binding authority as the best hope for a just and peaceful world. An early church father is supposed to have said of the story of the resurrection: "I believe it because it is absurd." The same could much more justly be said of the doctrine of the UN's moral authority.”Its main attraction to various left-wing (of the hard, soft and sloshy variety) thinkers and politicos is that it is consistently anti-American. (And this, as he does not add, despite squatting on prime American real estate and getting 40 per cent of its legitimate income from the United States).
The dislike, according to Mr Frum is mutual. Americans, he thinks, of different political persuasion are getting a little tired of the UN’s behaviour.
“Unlike many on the European Left, however, Americans seem able to remember that the UN is a means to an end, not an end in itself.That sort of attitude makes Americans the “can do nation” par excellence. Europeans used to be like that, too, but seem to have lost their ability.
Americans see the UN not as an ineffable mystery, but as an institution invented six decades ago by human beings no wiser than their modern successors to respond to the problems of their time - which were not the same as the problems of ours.”
There is one more interesting piece of information in Frum’s article:
“Nor finally is the UN really quite so hugely popular as supporters such as Ms Short would wish it believed. The Pew Charitable Trusts – the same group that conducts those surveys on anti-Americanism worldwide – reports that the UN carries much more weight in Europe than it does in, say, the Muslim world. Only 35 per cent of Pakistanis express a positive attitude to the UN,as do just 25 per cent of Moroccans, and but 21 per cent of Jordanians.”There is a reason for this synergie between the “Europeans” and the UN. The EU and the UN are part of the same network of transnational oligarchic organizations (tranzis), who are anxious to dispose of nation states, particularly if these have democratic legitimacy and set up international rules, devised and administered by themselves, as the ad has it “because they are worth it”.
The same theme was taken up even more ferociously by Gerald Warner in Scotland on Sunday. In an article entitled New World Disorder Mr Warner lambasted the UN and its various allies in the struggle for power in the “new world order”.
“…knee-jerk reaction is to babble about the United Nations, international development, the European Union, NGOs and all the usual suspects whose kleptomaniac instincts dwarf their philanthropic grandstanding. Only mal-pensant commentators, such as you are currently reading, are prepared to proclaim that the enduring motor of world diplomacy is realpolitik and that all institutions of a supranational character are either tyrannical or effete.”And, as he rightly points out, conservatives of all kinds in America have noticed this development and are anxious to put a stop to it. According to Mr Warner, even the forthcoming G8 meeting will “cut the UN down to size, perhaps even to emasculate it completely”. I think he is being over-optimistic here, but the signs that the UN and its various acolytes are not perhaps flavour of the month are there. After all, you cannot expect countries that have responded promptly and efficiently to the tsunami disaster, to sit back and happily watch as the UN co-ordinates and surveys the situation, criticizes those who act and, finally, takes credit for all the work done by others.
Other matters have not been forgotten. The oil-for-food scandal is still being investigated; more and more information is becoming available about the behaviour of UN troops in various African countries and the Balkans; the domestic record of numerous members of the General Assembly and even of the Security Council remains a badly hidden scandal.
Mr Warner draws and inescapable connection between the UN and our own beloved EU:
“Nor can we look to the European Union - the UN’s twin kleptocracy - as the foundation of a New World Order. When Jacques Chirac praised Kofi Annan last week as "a man of integrity", it was like the Artful Dodger acting as a character witness in a pick-pocketing case. The EU is a sclerotic, dirigiste,anti-free market cartel that increasingly threatens to subvert Europe’s ability to catch up with America. The G8 nations, too, are a cartel; but their union is pragmatic, rather than institutionalised, and they represent real power.”Gosh, couldn’t have put it better myself. And I really cannot resist quoting the last angry paragraph from this extremely angry article:
“The Dianafication of disaster has been Europe’s contribution, typified by the three-minute silence ordered by Brussels, calculatedly more than is accorded our dead soldiers who liberated the EU kleptocracies. Now Blair and Brown have adopted Africa as the tear-jerker motif for the general election. Grubby politicians kiss babies; but these two cynical opportunists have chosen to exploit emaciated infants with distended bellies as the visual soundbite for 2005. At the same time, trusting people to ignore fiscal bureaucracy when donating to tsunami victims, Gordon is raking in extra tax from the public’s generosity. A New World Order? No - just a classic scene from the brush of Hieronymus Bosch.”The more journalists write this way, the more difficult it will be to prove the wonderful nature of the Eurocracy to the British public. I do not think that some mimsy articles about EU myths can counter sweeping denunciations of this kind. Long may they continue.