Right Wing’s Anti-UN Fetish: One More Time


Bashing the United Nations is one of the most well-thumbed pages in the right wing foreign policy playbook. Apparently Republicans see no problem in resurrecting Bush-style unilateralism or thumbing their noses at the rest of the world, because House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has just introduced a new bill to punish the UN.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s move was prompted by the specter of an impending UN vote on Palestinian statehood later this month, but this is merely a convenient pretext for the congresswoman’s deep-seated animus toward the world body. One way we know this is that the then-new chairman (her preferred title) chose this as the topic of her very first committee hearing back in February, as I wrote at the time.

My friend Don Kraus, CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions, recites the many problems with the UN-bashing bill over on his blog. But the main problem is this: it is an attempt to punish a diplomatic venue for a vote taking place there. Don captured the essential fallacy with the following sports analogy:

Funding for the United Nations should not be cut based on the actions of some of its members.  It’s like blaming Madison Square Garden for the Knicks losing a game.

Actually, the Foreign Affairs Committee has been a wellspring of ideologically-driven legislation since the Republicans took control of the House. A few weeks ago, the committee’s mark-up of the foreign operations authorization bill spurred ranking minority member Rep. Howard Berman to characterize it to Josh Rogin of The Cable blog as “a series of tantrums.”

Not to say that the Palestinians’ push for UN recognition isn’t a serious issue of its own. As Josh reports, the Israeli government is threatening to respond to the UN vote by nullifying its agreements and cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA), on the grounds that the authority will have assumed a totally new identity. The United States has sided with Israel in opposing the Palestinians’ UN campaign — viewing it as worsening the situation — but the Obama Administration likewise urged Israeli leaders not to cut off cooperation with the PA. The path toward a two-state solution is far from clear, since the Palestinian strategy is likely based on an underlying assessment that the intermittent peace process is illusory.

It’s a bleak picture, to be sure, but the United Nations as a diplomatic arena is hardly the source of the problem.


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Photo credit: Chris Smith


Roger B.
Roger Bird5 years ago

The first problem with the UN is that it is a congregation of governments. All governments are biased in favor of governments. The second problem with the UN is that most of those governments aren't anywhere close to being democratic or human rights respecting governments. The third problem with the UN is that most of those governments are corrupt. So, what do we expect from the UN?

Kelly W.
Kelly W5 years ago

The UN is a corrupt, bumbling and useless organization. Stop ALL aid to this money sucking waste of an organization. If and when it starts to actually fulfill it's purpose, then we can delve into the issue again.

Tom Y.
Tom Y6 years ago

The UN's been a trough of corruption long enough. As Britain's abolitionists once said of the slave trade, let's now pronounce upon the UN: "The way to reform morals is to ruin purses."

Slash its budget, and let its social engineers join a bread line. The UN doesn't have much to offer except more central bloat, and there's no market for that at street level.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

It is TIRING to have to battle repubs on EVERY issue. The problems b/w Palestine and Israel are real. BUT the pending vote SHOULD NOT BE the reason we stop participating in the only world-wide forum there is to solve world problems. The United Nations, with all its flaws, is needed in this crazy world.

Roger B.
Roger Bird6 years ago

Steven, all your messages are just wasted typing since I make a point of not reading them.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Roger dodger he's my lodger...
What is sacred to conservatives is small, effective government... for themselves but large, intrusive government for everyone else, private property... that used to be public property until they came in and stole it, whatever religion they belong to.... and that had better be Christianity or you get kicked out of the club if they find out, family... as long as that family is modeled into your tight, twisted vision of what a person should be, personal responsibility = you take care of numero uno and to heck with everyone else, freedom... for themselves but not for anyone different from them which makes up 80% of the population, personal effort... needed to exert the energy needed to step on whoever gets in your way of getting whatever you want, the United States of America... that they are in the process of trying to dismantle to put their warped vision of the Corporate States of America in its stead, etc. Any more questions...lots but you defintely do not have a clue?

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Jeffy W
Ahh another one rears his ugly head and regugitates the talking points of yesterday. Another big fish in a small pond who is so full of it his hair would be brwon if he had any left.
Jeffy you are so passe, so yesterday and the joke is (besides you in general) is that you do not even know it...LMAO

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Luvenia V
The UN going for world domination has taken 66 years so far with little or no progress. This is BS that the far right has been using to bash the UN while they create a real 1984 world here in America. Governors can now declare municipalities and school systems insolvent on their word alone and appoint an overseer who has total control and can sell the assets of those entities without any input from anyone in no bid contracts to the governor’s business buddies. That overseer can also sell the whole school district to corporations who set up curriculum without any input from parents or teachers. The right has already taken away the writ of habeas corpus and has given broad domestic spying powers to local, state and federal police entities needing no warrants authorizing that spying and can come and kick your door down in the middle of the night on very little evidence. Big brother is watching you in every public place in America. The FBI can obtain your personal info without a warrant telling whoever gave them that information that they cannot tell you your information. Pretty soon they will be handing out the equalizing weights and glasses to make us all equal. Can't get much more Orwellian then that and the UN has had nothing to do with it
The proposed UN ban is on the sale of automatic weapons that are designed and manufactured for one purpose and one purpose only, killing people and killing many people in a very short time.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl Bresney6 years ago

What is sacred to conservatives is small, effective government, private property, whatever religion they belong to, family, personal responsibility, freedom, personal effort, the United States of America, etc. Any more questions?

What is sacred to a repugnant is every woman's vagina, especially if she's poor. What is sacred to a repugnant is making the poor poorer still so a rich man can get another tax break. What is sacred to a repugnant is kicking grandma and grandpa to the curb in the last days of their life. What is sacred to a repugnant is gutting every social safety net a civilized nation once established. What is sacred to a repugnant is another repugnant, especially if he's a man, white, worships the same god, has a subserviant wife, and is equal to his own socio-economic status. Any more questions, Roger?

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/right-wings-anti-un-fetish-one-more-time.html#ixzz1Wpm3hpt9

Jeffrey W.
Jeffrey W6 years ago

"Unbelievable. The Republicans now want to dismantle the U.N. Is there nothing sacred to them?"

Well, we certainly don't consider the UN to be sacred. Do you?