October 1991
Eastern Times

United Nations of America?

by Enver Masud

The haste with which the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 678 authorizing the use of force against Iraq, and its actions since the end of this round of fighting in the Gulf, leave little doubt as to who is setting U.N. policy and objectives.

The U.N. actions in the Gulf contrast sharply with U.N. inaction on other long-standing disputes such as those over Cyprus, Kashmir, and Palestine, which have been allowed to fester despite the passage of U.N. resolutions. To an unbiased observer it should be obvious that a double standard is at work where the U.N. and the United States are concerned.

The prostitution of the U.N. to the wishes of one superpower, endangers the very foundation on which the U.N. was conceived. It inspires little confidence in less powerful nations when one sees the worlds nuclear superpowers, which among them have over forty thousand nuclear warheads, rail sactimoniously against weaker nations such as Iraq, India, and Pakistan for even attempting to build a single nuclear warhead.

And nothing is said of the State of Israel, imposed upon the Middle East by the colonial powers of the West, which is the major source of instability in the Middle East. Israel's nuclear arsenal is not even acknowledged, while a Muslim nation is humiliated by the U.S. led U.N. searching for evidence of Iraq's nuclear program.

Of course the U.S. has always had a powerful voice in the U.N. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union the system of checks and balances, without which no organization can function effectively, has also collapsed. The U.N. Security Council has become little more than an extension of the U.S. Department of State.

That may be good for the U.S. in the short run. But in the long run, the transformation of the U.N. into a new United Nations of America may not serve the needs of any nation.

[Denis Halliday, the former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq, attacked the UN as an aggressive arm of US foreign policy in the immediate aftermath of the truckbomb attack on the UN mission in Baghdad which killed at least 23 people--Neil Mackay, "Former UN chief: bomb was payback for collusion with US," Sunday Herald, August 24, 2003]

John Hooper, "Pope calls for a new world order," Guardian, January 2, 2004

[This brings us to the solid concrete roadblock in the path of the Annan reforms. The world is confronted with a choice between two competing models of global governance. The direction signposted by Kofi Annan is to a regenerated UN with new authority for its collective decisions. However, collective decision-making is only possible if there is broad equivalence among those taking part. And there is the rub. The neocons who run the US administration want supremacy, not equality, for America and hanker after an alternative model of global governance in which the world is put to right not by the tedious process of building international consensus, but by the straightforward exercise of US puissance.--Robin Cook, "The US is determined to derail the secretary general's progressive reforms," Guardian, April 1, 2005]

Simon Tisdall, "The UN was envisaged as a war-fighting machine," Guardian, January 13, 2011

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