The UN, Our Beacon of Humanity

I keep wondering why any serious people right or left take seriously the United Nations General Assembly’s pretense of being a quasi-world parliament and the UN Security Council’s pretense of being a responsible world executive. Neither claim makes sense on its face.

Yesterday or today, the French centrist and generally responsible newspaper Le Figaro reported that the Syrian security forces had killed about 250 Syrians in the preceding night, almost all civilians. That’s what Le Figaro asserts. How do I judge whether it’s true or not? The Syrian Minister of Information declared that the anti-government insurgents themselves has mortared civilians in Homs to give the Assad regime a bad name! Do I need more evidence?

Human Rights Watch, which I generally trust with figures, has not had time to say anything about this number. Yet, the organization endorses the general figure of 5400 Syria dead for the year 2011 announced by the UN General Commissioner before he stopped counting. As I have said before, that figure is pretty much like 40,000 victims would be in the US.

Now, when any part of the UN insults Israel, no one is surprised because holding that country of fewer than 7 million responsible for all the ills of the Arab World has been one of the UN’s areas of consistency. That’s together with incompetent and impotent “peace keeping.” This time, the UN slapped the Arab League, no less, in the face. Normally, the UN General Assembly does anything the Arab Leagues wants, no matter how absurd, grotesque, or dishonest. Nowadays however the Arab League often finds itself on the side of common sense and of humanity. So, all bets are off.

What happened is that yesterday, 2/4/12, the Communist Chinese and the ex-Communist Russian gangsters joined hands at the Security Council to veto a motion from the Arab League that was trying to tell the fascist Bath Party President Assad of Syria to slow down in the killing of his citizens.

Both Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council. To ignore them is to ignore the UN. Of course, that’s exactly what I think the US should do instead of lending its credibility to those who make the world safe for the freedom of tyrants to mass-murder as is convenient.

The fact is that the UN delegates are appointed by a combination of properly elected governments, of electorally fraudulent governments, of national mafias, of bloody despots, of madmen, and of downright morons. There was even a certified cannibal in the lot once. And no, I am not making this up. He was “Emperor” Bokassa, of Centrafrica. Look it up. I makes an edifying story about the United Nations as a moral force in the world.

I find it difficult enough to live under a federal government that is partly a product of Illinois or New Orleans politics! Why should I respect the UN?

And, speaking of morons, I swear, there will be some cultural relativists to say,

“ Well, they eat each other; it’s their culture. We have no right to judge or even more, to meddle.”

I am completely insensitive to the pious notion that the United National is in any way a moral force in the world, even moderately so, or that it serves any US purpose whatsoever. It’s mostly a loincloth draped over the rapist’s obscene tool. It’s not a useful forum, as innocent people will repeat. We can talk to anyone we want merely by picking up the phone, including to the silly young fatso in starving North Korea and to the mad child-molesting imams in Iran. And if we want regular verbal commerce with our friends, a League of the Democracies would do fine. It would have admission requirements that most ordinary Americans could easily design. This is not hard to understand. What’s lacking is the moral courage to say, “Ooops, it did not turn out the way we intended in 1945 when we birthed the monster!”


About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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24 Responses to The UN, Our Beacon of Humanity

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    I think the WHO does some good things. Sometimes UNESCO does some good things. Sure it’s totally screwed up but no worse than Congress with tea bagger nutcases gumming up the works. Just broader scale.

    • David says:

      Funny how not much of anything got done when the Democrats owned BOTH houses and the Presidency for two years…interesting, no?

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    No not interesting, untrue. Shall I litter Dr. J’s blog with examples of legislation from the first two years? You know, the stuff the Tea Baggers are always whining about.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Prof. Terry: Another time, I don’t understand what you are saying. Must be me. Please, explain.

    • David says:


      Notice I didn’t say “nothing.” I just said not much of anything. The President expended most of his political capital on his first massive stimulus. He verbally excoriated the Democrats to vote for the bill while Pelosi and Reid did the behind the scenes work to twist democratic arms to vote for the bill. Between both houses, zero (possibly one, my memory isn’t completely clear on the specifics on that one.) Republican votes were needed to pass the bill. The whole process took months to work out within the Democratic Party. The same was true of “Obamacare,” which took several orders of magnitude longer than the stimulus bill. Long enough for Ted Kennedy to die and have his senate seat lost to a Repulican. Then the Democrats lost their filibuster proof senate. So the democrats had to use Reconciliation to pass the bill. Sadly for Pelosi and Reid, Obama took full credit for the bill and the workup to it. And now it’s going to be decided by the Supreme Court. If it is overturned by the Supreme Court, the bill and the effort put forth (including the Presidents credibility) will be undone. Then the 2010 elections came and all of a sudden all the problems are because of the obstructionist House Republicans! The Democrats wasted plenty of time on “landmark” legislation in the previous two years. The democrats had two years to do what they wanted and they lost their opportunity. When there is a divided congress, nothing significant ever gets done, largely because they spend the whole time bickering. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s like a marriage…they bicker and fight because they come from completely different places. Keep in mind that though the House Republicans own the House of Representatives, the Democrats still hold the Senate and the Presidency, so they’re still in the minority. In any case, the House Republicans haven’t gotten much of what they wanted. The deficit is still in the $1 trillion dollar range, government spending hasn’t been reigned in and they haven’t been able to shoot down Obamacare yet. Hell I remember when Bush had a 51-49 majority in the senate and the Republicans owned the House how pundits were excoriating Bush for not being able to get things done. Funny how I never heard about how Obama couldn’t get things done with a veto-proof House and Senate for two years.

      In any case, could you refresh my memory of what was done in the first two years of the Obama presidency that were actual positive accomplishments?

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        I take the liberty to ad to David’s reply to Terry:

        “…a positive accomplishment according to you (forget what conservatives would have preferred)”

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    Point 1: the UN is mostly dysfunctional but there are some things that I think are worthwhile and mostly work well, the WHO & UNESCO
    Point 2: much of the dysfunctionality comes from obstructionist countries on the security council that veto many things that would [in my opinion] be good. Russia and China specifically.
    Point 3: the dysfunctionality in the UN parallels the current dysfunctionality in the US house of representitives and comes from the same cause, obstructionists. Russia & China on the one hand and Tea Baggers on the other.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Prof, Terry: The UN is not “dysfunctional” in my book. As I have said, it’s a nest of bandits, slaughterers, tyrants, with the occasional cannibal thrown in .I was referring explicitly to the General Assembly and to the Security Council. The US, Canad and other democratic nations have no reason to belong to these two entities.

      I utter no hostile word against the specialized UN agencies such as the ones you cite. They are well worth keeping, in some cases, such as the ILO even if only for the data they gather and publish. I believe that WHO did eradicate small pox and that it’s on its way to eliminate other grave diseases from the globe. (Some environmentalists hate this, of course.) Even the cleaned up UNESCO might find grace in my eyes. None of these specialized UN agencies require a connection to the monster. They could be funded independently and more cheaply, the same as OECD, for example.

      As for “tea-baggers” if you refer to the practice of gathering both of a man’s testicles in your mouth at once, I defer to your superior experience. It’s easy because I have none in that area.

  4. Terry Amburgey says:

    What was it LBJ said…Better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in? The villains are out there and whether or not we belong to the UN doesn’t change that. Sometimes the UN can be used to get something good done. I’m willing for us to consort with villains if necessary to do it.
    For example it looks like the US may have to work with the League of Arab States to intervene in Syria. Hardly a band of angels but [in my opinion] better to do something multi-laterally with the League than some sort of direct unilateral intervention by the US.
    BTW I’m glad to see you admit that I have superior experience in human sexuality. Protip: the internet contains porn 🙂

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      On homohuman sexuality (if you can call it that): enough said; you win.

      There is no UN tent. And there is more involved here than expediency. In my lifetime, as the UN demonstrated immorality increased and became more apparent, its legitimacy increased. It’s now considered a sort of world government by many or most semi-informed people in the world, including and especially young people. If my memory serves, until recently or until now, both Khadafi’s Libya and Assad’s Syria were members in good standing of the UN General Assembly’s Commission on Human Rights.

      THat’s UN fairness for you. Those regimes who don’t believe in human rights have equal rights with government that do.


  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    Realpolitik dictates that we sometimes do business [both economic and diplomatic] with murderers, thieves, cannibals, rapists, and scoundrels of all stripes. So some people think the UN is a ‘world government’ . Some people think President Obama is a Muslim born outside the US . Like the poor, idiots will always be with us.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Dishonorable behavior that bring us no benefit and that undermines our credibility as a polity should be avoided. That’s what American participation in the UN does.

      “Realpolitik” is neither a moral nor an intellectually commendable posture. It’s deeply un-American.

  6. Pingback: The UN, Our Beacon of Humanity « Notes On Liberty

  7. Dr. J,

    Just two thoughts:

    1) I seem to remember you saying that the UN’s sanctions on Iraq were a very justifiable cause for the invasion and occupation of that state in 2003. Is this current denunciation just a case of bitter partisanship or are you serious about finally leaving the UN?

    You seem to hold the pervasive belief that American presidents are somehow not beholden to congressional authority when it comes to occupying other states, but you have justified such occupations upon UN mandates before. What of the legality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq now?

    2) If we can just pick up the phone and call people, why even form a “League of Democracies” in the first place? Entangling alliances suck.


    We don’t need the UN to keep an eye on bad state actors. Our intelligence apparatuses are more than capable of keeping an eye on them.

    And LBJ was a murderous ass.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Brandon: I don’t know what you mean under 1) The first sentence seems to make no sense.

      I have addressed repeatedly on this blog the issue of president’s responsiveness to Congress. Briefly: There has been no case in the past twenty years when a president initiated belligerency without congressional approval. You seem misinformed. PS. Congressman Paul is not a source of information but a former presidential candidate.

      • A selective memory is one of the hallmarks of a dogmatic ideologue. Here is what you said in one of our earliest clashes:

        The Us was the lead actor in a war against Iraq in 1991.That was under UN auspices, for what it’s worth, and the US was heading a vast international coalition. The coalition won. The Us imposed an armistice on Iraq. (Armistice means: We will stop killing you if you do X, Y and Z.) The same Iraqi government violated the armistice about five hundred times. Ten years later, the US and some of is original allies resumed the war that was never stopped (still with UN sanctions, still for what it’s worth). After defeating the warlike regime of Saddam Hussein, the UN and its allies decided not to rule Iraq as a US dependency or as a dependency of the UN.

        Sounds to me like you believe the United Nations is a legitimate and useful body…when it serves your power-hungry desires, of course.

        And, of course, you still seem to hold the pervasive view that your beliefs are somehow above the law. Presidential belligerency has been undertaken without official declarations of war, or even with letters of marque and reprisal. Washington is simply making up the rules of the game as it goes from one state to the next: burning and looting like savages and putting American citizens in even greater danger and further eroding our liberties as it does so.

      • Are you going to reply…?


      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        I am sorry, Brandon. I don’t know what you expect me to reply to. Re-post clearly, please.

  8. Kiemh writes:

    I was not aware that most of Assad’s alleged killings were even independently verified (by the media, by the UN, by NATO, by the Arab League, by Syria’s neighbors, by America’s intelligence network, by anyone). Remember the Houla massacre? Well, it turns out that most of those killed were Assad supporters (Alawi and Shi’ia) living within an area that was predominantly anti-Assad (Sunni). And that the person whose testimony the BBC originally cited on that massacre may not have even been in the vicinity at the time of the killings. I suppose one could spin this into some sort of false flag attack on the part of the Syrian dictatorship or military, but I seem to recall that rational, sane people do not accept such explanations.
    And since when was the Arab League some bastion of Democracy and Peace? Could it be that they are just a bunch of Sunni Pan-Arabists out to undermine their rivals the Shi’ites? The apostate effect is such that these two groups tend to hate each other more than even us meddlesome infidels.
    And I wonder why places like Iran and North Korea are even a problem in the first place. Could it have something to do with the US backed Iranian coup in 1953? Or maybe the US-agreed occupation of formerly Japanese held North Korea by the USSR despite the fact that the Soviets played virtually no role in the Pacific theater, let alone ending it. It was my understanding that the Russian declaration of war occurred after the Japanese were prepared to surrender, but was used as a pretext to not go ahead and do so. And also that as part of the agreement at Yalta for selling Poland and Czechoslovakia to the Communists after waging a war to liberate them from the National Socialists, was that the Russians would aid us against the Japanese, not serve as a hindrance.
    I am sure that it seems that I am just rambling on now, but I think the facts of the [mostly] negative effects of past unnecessary interventions are entirely relevant to the discussion of future unnecessary interventions.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Kiemh: Go to the end of your thinking. Assume that you discovered one, two, three incidents of false reporting of extra-judicial killings performed by anti-Assad forces. If this is all correct, what are you saying? Are yous saying that you don’t believe that there is widespread deliberate (not incidental) killing of civilians by Assad forces? Are they not using tanks against occupied apartment houses? Isn’t Assad a dictator against whom rebellion is much more justified than any rebellion against the King of England and Parliament ever was?

      Please, answer these questions. Please, don’t change the subject.

      The Arab League is a club of tyrants. How does this imply that it’s not capable of providing valid information.

      About Al Jazeera whose English version is two strokes away? Is it falsely reporting civilian massacres but Syrian government forces? And,if yes, why? This too is a question.

      • Kiemh replies:

        No, I am not saying there is no killing on the regime’s part. That would be absurd. I am saying there is more than meets the eye and that the rebels (should I say Saudi and CIA backed Sunni radicals? Probably not.) are not morally superior merely because they are oppressed.

        I am also saying that the West’s interest in the whole episode is based not on information, but speculation or outright lies. The Syrian Uprising surely began as a legitimate protest, and the regime responded by assaulting and often killing protestors, but the whole thing escalated into a civil war, to my mind, as a result of the Houla massacre, which turns out to be something other than what it was accepted as by the western (and Al Jazeera) media and the “international community”, which are now pushing for regime change. Their hoped for casus belli is now hollow, and the international and regional pressure that was escalated as a result of the massacre surely hasn’t helped to end the crisis.

        I am not opposed to regime change, but if the rebellion is legitimate, let them put their all into it and risk their own blood and treasure. The French helped us against king George, mainly to advance their own cause, and God Bless them. But look what happened to them not long after. Disclaimer: I am not saying the French helping the colonies led directly to the French Revolution.

        And as far as king and parliament go, they were as bad or worse than Assad in the years leading up to and including the English Civil War. In the end they got Cromwell, who was hardly an improvement. But that is surely not the conflict you had in mind.

        I am sure that Al Jazeera, like any other major media outlet, is spouting the conventional wisdom, often enough letting the truth get through to maintain their credibility. Other than that I make no pretensions as to their accuracy or intentions.

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        “The French helped us….” 1 Exactly and, 2 More sophomoric cynicism.

        1 Assad and his Daddy before him are , were masterful promoters of terrorism against us. If a vast conspiracy of Saudis and everyone else is acting to get rid of him, let’s help them. That’s ignoring the fact that he has been torturing Syrians for fifty yeas, something we are supposed to ignore to be good Paulistas.

        2 Do you think La Fayette was sent by the King of France or do you think he was personally inspired by the Americans’ struggle for freedom and dignity?

      • Kiemh writes back:

        Quick thought: If he came over on his own, why can’t people that give an extra damn about Syria do the same?

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Sorry, I am unable to find what you are responding to. I will be glad to answer when this issue is resolved.

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