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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Questioning the United Nations

Japan is increasingly frustrated that it has not been granted a permanent membership on the U.N.'s Security Council.

Japan pays more in U.N. dues than every permanent member except for the United States.

Brett Schaefer and Janice Smith, writing for the Heritage Foundation, say:
Japan is right to suggest that the permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council should make a financial commitment to the UN commensurate with their privileged status. The United States should join forces with Japan in this effort, which provides an opening for even more meaningful reforms.
Schaefer and Smith also note that Japan contributes nine times more than China and 18 times more than Russia to the U.N. Japan contributes more than permanent members Britain, France, China and Russia combined.

Heritage has more details, including a list of 48 nations that contribute less annually to the U.N. than the price of an inexpensive car.

Schaefer's and Smith's recommendations are correct for policymakers working within the assumption that the U.S. and Japan should remain in the U.N. However, our policymakers must start rejecting this assumption. The U.N. is more trouble than it is worth.

America involved itself in the U.N. -- communist spies like Alger Hiss being among the founders notwithstanding -- for the purpose of defeating communism.

Communism now is all but dead. What the U.N. offers us now is lowest-common-denominator thinking, bureaucratic inefficiency, world-record thievery, excuses for despotism and a bill to the U.S. taxpayer for a quarter of the price.

When countries are resolved to act (as they were in the case of the tsunami, for example), coalitions of well-meaning countries tackle the job while U.N. officials dither -- often at restaurants.

If don't need the U.N. when we want to do good, why do we need it at all?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:05 AM

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