UNhelpful, UNresponsive and UNnecessary
Iraq violated the terms of their 1991 surrender almost daily, violated and literally flouted every UN resolution on the books and went so far as to physically remove UN weapons inspectors. No UN action was taken, other than to enrich a small group of UN fetishists via the "Oil for Food" scheme, a program designed by, well, the UN. Were starving Iraqis fed by the program? Well, no.
Iran, a state run by a radical theocratic regime and headed by a man given to bizarre sentiments, and musings that can only be described as insane, lusts mightily for nuclear weapons and the UN sees no reason to act.
Racial genocide continues in Sudan and the UN does nothing. In fact, racial genocide has been occurring all across Africa for decades and the UN has turned a blind eye.
Now North Korea, apparently feeling that it may be upstaged as the world's premier scary nut-state by Iran, decides to test missiles to see if they could hit anything, just in case they ever got the itch to put a nuke on top of one. They couldn't, but not for a lack of trying. The UN will be meeting soon to discuss this and determine what actions that will not be taken in response.
This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of UN failures. No, I cannot even call them failures for the word failure indicates that some action was taken and the action failed. These are failures to act, and those are the most egregious failures of all. This is an organization where all countries are given equal weight, regardless of size. The Security Council, where most of the action, or shall I say inaction takes place is a body where China's vote on a subject such as human rights has equal weight with the United States. How can there be anything but a failure to act?
While totally fabricated, this does have a familiar ring, no?:
1) Rogue country (probably a UN member) commits overt hostile act (invasion of another country, wholesale slaughter of it's own citizens, etc).
2) US condemns act. UN does nothing.
3) Rogue country continues, even escalates hostile act.
4) US, UK fume and demand action. UN agrees to meet to discuss rogue country's hostile act.
5) Rogue country further escalates hostile act.
6) UN issues statement "deploring" rogue country's hostile act. US, UK demand action in the strongest possible terms.
7) UN Security Council meet and vote. Russia, China and France abstain. US, UK demand immediate action.
8) Security Council meets again and again. Finally they reach a lukewarm resolution designed not to offend anyone, least of all the rogue country in question.
9) Rogue country tells UN to go to hell.
10) UN passes further and stronger resolution.
11) Rogue country tells UN to go STRAIGHT to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
12) UN passes several more resolutions, each one stronger than the last. UN demands rogue country cease and desist.
13) Rogue country demands that UN go to hell with the horse they rode in on.
14) UN passes resolution that Rogue country honor past resolutions.
15) Rogue country suggests UN have intercourse with itself and to place it's resolutions firmly in a place without sunlight and to do all of this on it's way to hell.
16) UN says this is the last straw, threatens immediate action.
17) Rogue country: "See #15"
18) UN says that is the very very last straw, threatens immediate action. Further states that they really, really mean it this time.
19) Rogue country: "We said, see #15!"
20) Security Council meet to determine what action should be taken. Russia, China and France abstain.
21) US states it's intention, as a permanent member of the Security Council, to enforce all previous resolutions on rogue state's hostile actions.
22) Rogue state tells US to go to hell.
23) US promptly kicks rogue states ass in no uncertain terms.
24) Rogue state appeals to UN. Russia, China and France sponsor draft resolution against US hostile action against rogue state.
25) European press, Hollywood stars and a host of usual suspects deplore "Amerikka's Nazi tactics" against poor defenseless rogue state and ask "Why didn't we just let the UN handle this, after all isn't that what they're for?"
The point of this exercise is to illustrate the utter uselessness of the UN. They have been called an "irrelevant debating society" and in a lot of ways I think that is true. The problem is that rogue states such as North Korea, Saddam's Iraq and Iran couldn't care less about their image in the UN because they do not subscribe to such niceties as "debating societies". They are thugs and the only thing they understand is raw force and the very real threat thereof.
The fact that many rogue states rarely care about world opinion renders a world opinion forum such as the UN irrelevant. The fact that the UN makes no distiction between opressive thugocracies such as Syria and Iran and democracies such as Great Britain and the United States renders it irrelevant. The fact that it has become little more than a world forum for America bashing renders it irrelevant. In consistantly failing to act, the UN has rendered itself irrelevant.
In many ways, I think that the UN serves as a black hole where many file all of the difficult geopolitical problems rather that actually solving them. North Korean nukes? Well, we appealed to the UN, and. . . . Genocide in Darfur? Well, we turned that one over to the UN and. . . .
The problem is that these problems do not go away and more often than not their solution requires just the type of decisive action that the UN has proven itself incapable of taking.
The solution? The embrace of liberal democracy as a critera for entry would be a start. Thug dictators standing shoulder to shoulder with duly elected heads of free states is something I find apalling. Sure, there will always be France, but better them having a vote than China. Secondly, I simply do not think that Luxumbourg's vote should be weighted the same as, say, Italy or Canada. Some sort of Electoral system would seem to be in order. Thirdly, The United States should not continue to foot the lions share of the bill, particularly given the anti-US sentiment that is pervasive in the UN.
Frankly, I don't think any of this has a snowball's chance in hell of ever happening. I only present these solutions because fairness dictates that criticism should be followed by a suggested solution. Personally, I think the UN will lumber on and will continue to be the most vocal critic of its largest benefactor-the US. We will continue to endure the slings and arrows, because the fact is that they need us a lot more than they will admit.
We need them a lot less than they will admit as well.