If the U.N. does exist, it shouldn’t with its present leadership

The U.S. Senate has been debating the confirmation of John Bolton, President Bush’s nominee for new ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton is one such controversial appointment Bush has made.

Those in favor of Bolton praise his bluntness and tough talk toward the U.N. In the past, he has said the U.N. doesn’t exist. If one were to take 10 stories off the 38-story headquarters, he once said it wouldn’t make a difference.

Those who oppose Bolton will refer to his statements and say he’s too divisive and tactless to represent U.S. interests.

The sad truth, whether or not you support Bolton, is that his past disparaging statements are pretty accurate.

Just look at the U.N.’s ineffectiveness during Kofi “Am I My Son’s Keeper?” Annan investigations. The world body bickered against stopping-even acknowledging-genocidal massacres in the Balkans, Rwanda, and most recently, Sudan. While they debated over Sudan, about 70,000 were killed and 1.8 million have been displaced by government-backed rebels since 2003.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared the Sudanese actions genocide last Sept. 9. On Jan. 31, the U.N. completed its analysis and found that no genocide had taken place. At the same time, it recognized that government-sponsored Arab militias had inflicted “widespread and systematic” abuse and possibly human-rights violations in the Darfur region.

So in Sudan it’s not genocide and in Rwanda it wasn’t bad enough to get involved (though the Clinton administration had blood on its hands there, too). The U.N. recommended that situations like these be closely monitored.

Just what is the U.N. for, if not to govern the world? While it has done well with humanitarian aid, when it comes to stopping (or even censoring) brutal governments, it stands idly aside.

Then again, this kind of thing is what happens when bastions of liberty and justice like Cuba, Libya and Saudi Arabia sit on the Commission on Human Rights (I’m not making this up, this is how ass-backward the U.N. is).

And then there’s Iraq. While Annan has called the U.S. invasion and occupation illegal, the Oil For Food Program, initiated in 1996, was so ripe with corruption, bribes and kickbacks that it managed to actually benefit Saddam Hussein an estimated $10 to $20 billion.

Did I mention that Kofi’s son Kojo was involved? That he admitted helping set up some of the scandalous deals so prevalent in the program? The U.N. needs to be drastically restructured, or else it will go the way of its predecessor, the League of Nations. The league’s great claim to fame was its utter failure in preventing World War II.

Annan should step down from leadership and be replaced by someone with a mind for reform.

Also, there should be some soul-searching on whether or not nations with histories of horrible human-rights violations should be allowed to hold any positions of leadership or even membership in the U.N.

The institution has potential for good if properly it is managed and run. Reform is necessary before the next world war is not prevented.

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