Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Malloch Brown's Message to America

The controversy over UN Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown's criticism of ... what? US policies? The US? The American people? should begin with a verbatim rendering of Brown's words themselves. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has called these remarks "a very, very grave mistake". Those remarks were delivered at a conference sponsored by the Security and Peace Initiative, a joint initiative of the Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation.

The complete roster of speakers as given in the program is listed below.

  1. Madeleine Albright, Principal, The Albright Group; former U.S. Secretary of State
  2. Mark Malloch Brown, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General
  3. Introduced by Jeffrey Laurenti, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation Download
  4. Jim Leach, U.S. Congressman from Iowa
  5. Richard C. Leone, President, The Century Foundation
  6. John Podesta, President, Center for American Progress
  7. George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Institute

The verbatim remarks are themselves to be found in this PDF file, but for purposes of analysis I will present these remarks in two long table columns because the length of the speech makes it necessary to focus on the passages which are controversial. Mr. Brown's remarks are on the left. My commentary is on the right.

Malloch Brown's speech Commentary

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends

Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today on Power and Global Leadership. I often get asked to talk about leadership, but rarely about power. I wonder why.

With that thought as my starting point, I am going to give what might be regarded as a rather un-UN speech. Some of the themes—that the United Nations is misunderstood and does much more than its critics allow—are probably not surprising. But my underlying message, which is a warning about the serious consequences of a decades-long tendency by US Administrations of both parties to engage only fitfully with the UN, is not one a sitting United Nations official would normally make to an audience like this.

But I feel it is a message that urgently needs to be aired. And as someone who has spent most of his adult life in this country, only a part of it at the UN, I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it is meant: as a sincere and constructive critique of U.S. policy towards the UN by a friend and admirer. Because the fact is that the prevailing practice of seeking to use the UN almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable. You will lose the UN one way or another.

I will a fire a shot across your bow. The message is that the UN is indispensable. And don't forget it.

I. The Founders’ Vision

Multilateral compromise has always been difficult to justify in the American political debate: too many speeches, too many constraints, too few results. Yet it was not meant to be so. The all-moral-idealism-no-power institution was the League of Nations. The UN was explicitly designed through US leadership and the ultimate coalition of the willing, its World War II allies, as a very different creature, an antidote to the League’s failure. At the UN’s core was to be an enforceable concept of collective security protected by the victors of that war, combined with much more practical efforts to promote global values such as human rights and democracy.

Underpinning this new approach was a judgment that no President since Truman has felt able to repeat: that for the world’s one superpower—arguably more super in 1946 than 2006—managing global security and development issues through the network of a United Nations was worth the effort. Yes it meant the give and take of multilateral bargaining, but any dilution of American positions was more than made up for by the added clout of action that enjoyed global support.

If the UN was a mistake, it was an American mistake. Truman intended to exercise power through the UN. Give us the power you promised.

Today, we are coming to the end of the ten-year term of arguably the UN’s best-ever Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. But some of his very successes—promoting human rights and a responsibility to protect people from abuse by their own governments; creating a new status for civil society and business at the UN—are either not recognized or have come under steady attacks from anti-UN groups.

Kofi Annan is the best UN Secretary General ever. If you haven't noticed it's because his achievements have been cheapened.

To take just one example, ten years ago UN peacekeeping seemed almost moribund in the aftermath of tragic mistakes in Rwanda, Somalia and Yugoslavia. Today, the UN fields eighteen peacekeeping operations around the world, from the Congo to Haiti, Sudan to Sierra Leone, Southern Lebanon to Liberia, with an annual cost that is at a bargain bin price compared to other U.S.-led operations. And the U.S. pays roughly one quarter of those UN peacekeeping costs—just over $1 billion this year.

It's true the UN was a catastrophe during the 1990s, during a compliant US administration I won't mention because this is not a political speech. And I'll omit the fact that one of the principal persons in charge of Peacekeeping was Kofi Annan. But he's in charge now. Things are different.
That figure should be seen in the context of estimates by both the GAO and RAND Corporation that UN peacekeeping, while lacking heavy armament enforcement capacity, helps to maintain peace—when there is a peace to keep—more effectively for a lot less than comparable U.S. operations. Multilateral peacekeeping is effective cost-sharing on a much lower cost business model and it works. I'm going to compare apples and oranges. The costs of operating a force designed for peacekeeping -- when there is a peace to keep -- and a force designed for warfighting at the job of peacekeeping. I'm going to notice that it's cheaper to use the force designed for peacekeeping for peacekeeping and mark that down to virtue rather than necessity.

That is as it should be and is true for many other areas the UN system works in too from humanitarian relief to health to education. Yet for many policymakers and opinion leaders in Washington, let alone the general public, the roles I have described are hardly believed or, where they are, remain discreetly underplayed. To acknowledge an America reliant on international institutions is not perceived to be good politics at home.

However, inevitably a moment of truth is coming. Because even as the world’s challenges are growing the UN’s ability to respond is being weakened without US leadership.

Yet despite the fact that the UN is doing such a good job it is failing. Why? because America isn't giving us the money. Isn't giving us the political support. But mostly it isn't giving us the money.

Take the issue of human rights.

When Eleanor Roosevelt took the podium at the UN to argue passionately for the elaboration of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world responded. Today, when the human rights machinery was renewed with the formation of a Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Commission on Human Rights, and the U.S. chose to stay on the sidelines, the loss was everybody’s.

I hope and believe the new Council will prove itself to be a stronger and more effective body than its predecessor. But there is no question that the U.S. decision to call for a vote in order to oppose it in the General Assembly, and then to not run for a seat after it was approved by 170 votes to 4, makes the challenge more difficult.

One of the ways the US let us down was in not supporting our shiny Human Rights Council "to replace the discredited Commission on Human Rights". Why was that discredited? Never mind that now. It's been replaced by a new Human Rights Council some of whose members would fit right in at Angola State Prison.

More broadly, Americans complain about the UN’s bureaucracy, weak decision-making, the lack of accountable modern management structures and the political divisions of the General Assembly here in New York. And my response is, "guilty on all counts."

But why?

In significant part because the U.S. has not stuck with its project—its professed wish to have a strong, effective United Nations—in a systematic way. Secretary Albright and others here today have played extraordinary leadership roles in U.S.-UN relations, for which I salute them. But in the eyes of the rest of the world, U.S. commitment tends to ebb much more than it flows. And in recent years, the enormously divisive issue of Iraq and the big stick of financial withholding have come to define an unhappy marriage.

"Guilty on all counts"? What? After this recitation of unalloyed virtue someone is guilty on all counts?

Then the light bulb goes on. It is America that is guilty on all counts because "the U.S. has not stuck with its project". Possibly because the project was guilty on all counts.

As someone who deals with Washington almost daily, I know this is unfair to the very real effort all three Secretaries of State I have worked with—Secretary Albright, Secretary Powell and Secretary Rice—put into UN issues. And today, on a very wide number of areas, from Lebanon and Afghanistan to Syria, Iran and the Palestinian issue, the U.S. is constructively engaged with the UN. But that is not well known or understood, in part because much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. That is what I mean by "stealth" diplomacy: the UN’s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

But we've been getting bad press all over, despite the NYT, the Washington Post and Hollywood because Rush Limbaugh and Fox News has been poisoning the well. And what do they know? The reason our historic achievements aren't obvious is because they're secret. Yes, it's true. While all of you are asleep, we hold up the sky.

Exacerbating matters is the widely held perception, even among many U.S. allies, that the U.S. tends to hold on to maximalist positions when it could be finding middle ground.

We can see this even on apparently non-controversial issues such as renovating the dilapidated UN headquarters in New York. While an architectural landmark, the building falls dangerously short of city codes, lacks sprinklers, is filled with asbestos and is in most respects the most hazardous workplace in town. We are doing everything we can to address these problems, even as we press Member States to sign off on a complete and proper overhaul. But the only government not fully supporting the project is the U.S. Too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping over too many years—manifest in a fear by politicians to be seen to be supporting better premises for what they unjustly regard as overpaid, corrupt UN bureaucrats—makes even refurbishing a building a political hot potato.

America is extremist at everything. Why you won't even give us the money to buy a new building.

II. Making Reform Work

One consequence is that, like the building itself, the vital renewal of the Organization, the updating of its mission, its governance and its management tools, is addressed only intermittently. And when the U.S. does champion the right issues like management reform, as it is currently doing, it provokes more suspicion than support. Last December, for example, largely at U.S. insistence, instead of a normal two-year budget, Member States approved only six months’ worth of expenditure—a period which ends on June 30. Developing and developed countries, the latter with the U.S. at the fore, are now at loggerheads over whether sufficient reform has taken place to lift that cap, or indeed whether there should be any links between reform and the budget. Without agreement, we could face a fiscal crisis very soon.

There has been a significant amount of reform over the last eighteen months, from the creation of a new Ethics Office and whistleblower policy, to the establishment of a new Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council. But not enough.

The unfinished management reform agenda, which the US sensibly supports, is in many ways a statement of the obvious. It argues that systems and processes designed 60 years ago for an organization largely devoted to running conferences and writing reports simply don’t work for today’s operational UN, which conducts multibillion-dollar peacekeeping missions, humanitarian relief operations and other complex operations all over the world. The report sets out concrete proposals for how this can be fixed while also seeking to address the broader management, oversight and accountability weaknesses highlighted by the Oil for Food Programme.

Like the building, the UN itself is dilapidated. But America is not even giving us the money to clean up the Oil for Food Programme.

One day soon we must address the massive gap between the scale of world issues and the limits of the institutions we have built to address them. However, today even relatively modest proposals that in any other organization would be seen as uncontroversial, such as providing more authority and flexibility for the Secretary-General to shift posts and resources to organizational priorities without having to get direct approval from Member States, have been fiercely resisted by the G77, the main group of developing countries, on the grounds that this weakens accountability. Hence the current deadlock.

What lies behind this?

It is not because most developing countries don’t want reform. To be sure, a few spoilers do seem to be opposed to reform for its own sake, and there is no question that some countries are seeking to manipulate the process for their own ends with very damaging consequences. But in practice, the vast majority is fully supportive of the principle of a better-run, more effective UN; indeed they know they would be the primary beneficiaries, through more peace, and more development.

So why has it not so far been possible to isolate the radicals and build a strong alliance of reform-minded nations to push through this agenda?

I would argue that the answer lies in questions about motives and power.

Motives, in that, very unfortunately, there is currently a perception among many otherwise quite moderate countries that anything the U.S. supports must have a secret agenda aimed at either subordinating multilateral processes to Washington’s ends or weakening the institutions, and therefore, put crudely, should be opposed without any real discussion of whether they make sense or not.

One day soon we're going to run out of money to fix the world. And who's responsible? Not the developing world who are just raring to reform. What's holding everyone back is there's so much suspicion of the US that nobody, not even Kofi Annan, can persuade anyone to do anything.

And power that in two different ways revolves around perceptions of the role and representativeness of the Security Council.

First, in that there has been a real, understandable hostility by the wider membership to the perception that the Security Council, in particular the five permanent members, is seeking a role in areas not formally within its remit, such as management issues or human rights.

Second, an equally understandable conviction that those five, veto-wielding permanent members who happen to be the victors in a war fought 60 years ago, cannot be seen as representative of today’s world—even when looking through the lens of financial contributions. Indeed, the so-called G-4 of Security Council aspirants—Japan, India, Brazil and Germany— contribute twice as much as the P-4, the four permanent members excluding the U.S.

Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged exactly this point on his trip to Washington last month, and it something which does need to be addressed. More broadly, the very reasonable concerns of the full UN membership that the fundamental multilateral principle that each Member State’s vote counts equally in the wider work of the UN needs to be acknowledged and accommodated within a broader framework of reform. If the multilateral system is to work effectively, all states need to feel they have a real stake.

Let me take this opportunity to tell the Security Council to butt out of management issues or human rights. And even though I'm going cite a statistic saying that P-4 don't even give as much money as the G4, I'm going use the remainder of this speech to shake down the US.

III. New Global Challenges

But a stake in what system?

The U.S.—like every nation, strong and weak alike—is today beset by problems that defy national, inside-the-border solutions: climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, migration, the management of the global economy, the internationalization of drugs and crime, the spread of diseases such as HIV and avian flu. Today’s new national security challenges basically thumb their noses at old notions of national sovereignty. Security has gone global, and no country can afford to neglect the global institutions needed to manage it.

Kofi Annan has proposed a restructuring of the UN to respond to these new challenges with three legs: development, security and human rights supported, like any good chair, by a fourth leg, reformed management. That is the UN we want to place our bet on. But for it to work, we need the US to support this agenda—and support it not just in a whisper but in a coast to coast shout that pushes back the critics domestically and wins over the skeptics internationally. America’s leaders must again say the UN matters.

When you talk better national education scores, you don’t start with "I support the Department of Education." Similarly for the UN it starts with politicians who will assert the US is going to engage with the world to tackle climate change, poverty, immigration and terrorism. Stand up for that agenda consistently and allow the UN to ride on its coat-tails as a vital means of getting it done. It also means a sustained—inside the tent diplomacy at the UN. No more take it or leave it, red-line demands thrown in without debate and engagement.

Face it, America, you can't do it alone. You need the UN to help you. But for the UN to help you it's necessary for you to provide everything the UN needs to help you. Hand me your wallet and I'll buy you a Coke.

Let me close with a few words on Darfur to make my point.

A few weeks ago, my kids were on the Mall in Washington, demanding President Bush to do more to end the genocide in Darfur and President Bush wants to do more. I’d bet some of your kids were there as well. Perhaps you were, too. And yet what can the U.S. do alone in the heart of Africa, in a region the size of France? A place where the government in Khartoum is convinced the U.S. wants to extend the hegemony it is thought to have asserted in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In essence, the U.S. is stymied before it even passes "Go". It needs the UN as a multilateral means to address Sudan’s concerns. It needs the UN to secure a wide multicultural array of troop and humanitarian partners. It needs the UN to provide the international legitimacy that Iraq has again proved is an indispensable component to success on the ground. Yet, the UN needs its first parent, the U.S., every bit as much if it is to deploy credibly in one of the world’s nastiest neighborhoods.

Now this may sicken you, but I'm going to end this speech on the emotive note of Darfur. See there's nothing we can't cite to sell ourselves include our worst betrayals.

I'm going to have the temerity to remind American people that we can obstruct you at every turn. Maybe even in Darfur. We can hold even your consciences hostage. You need the UN.

Back in Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s day building a strong, effective UN that could play this kind of role was a bipartisan enterprise, with the likes of Arthur Vandenberg and John Foster Dulles joining Democrats to support the new body. Who are their successors in American politics? Who will campaign in 2008 for a new multilateral national security?

Thank you very much.

I know mentioning bipartisanship in foreign affairs may be poor salesmanship, but I'm expecting you conservatives to fall for it. You always do.

F.U. very much.


Blogger Eric in Oregon said...

Note to U.N from the American heartland" "F.U. too."

6/07/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The UN spokesman giving a lecture to the United States along with Madeleine Albright, John Podesta, and George Soros about American criticism of UN activities? This same Mr. Malloch Brown, while making a net take-home salary of $125,000 a year, was paying $120,000 to rent from Mr. Soros a house adjacent to the billionaire's personal home in Westchester County. The same Malloch Brown trying to justify the 64 billion dollar question on UN Iraqi oil for peace program. Had the UN been conducting itself properly regarding sanctions against Iraq, it is unlikely we would be in the mess in Iraq. Why would there be American criticism over the UN? What are they missing over at Fox?

6/07/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Some comments on the Deputy Secretary-General's opening remarks:

"... the United Nations is misunderstood and does much more than its critics allow"

Isn't the word harm missing from this sentence, right between "more" and "than"?

"You will lose the UN one way or another."

Faster, please.

6/07/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

wretchard - please stop confusing those dumbericans with the truth!
- best, Mark.

6/07/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Who Cares What Pointy-Headed UN Elitists Say?

What does all this really mean? It means that a free press and free talk radio are a pain in the ass to corrupt, undemocratic, dictator-loving bureaucracies like the United Nations. And they want the US government to go out and actually defend the United Nations against assaults on it being made in the free press in this country. Hey, UN, why don't you defend yourselves? If it's that easy to do, Mr. Malloch Brown, why don't you mount a famous PR campaign to defend the United Nations? The fact of the matter is this, frankly, kind of honors me, folks. My dad would not believe this.

I like the site changes. Thanks.

6/08/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The U.N. Is the Problem, Not the U.S.

Mr. Malloch Brown is aware that the U.N. has a bad rap. It may be true that FOX and Rush Limbaugh have alerted the American people to these problems, but let's get serious: Neither FOX nor Rush Limbaugh made these things up.

6/08/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

is not one a sitting United Nations official would normally make to an audience like this.

So what kind of audience would he normally make it to?

Annan rejects U.S. plea that he repudiate his deputy:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan refused on Wednesday a U.S. demand that he repudiate his deputy for accusing Washington of relying on the United Nations but failing to defend it against domestic critics.

The dispute arose as the United Nations neared a June 30 deadline for management reforms eagerly sought by Washington.

Annan Rejection

6/08/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Considering his audience, (a scary group btw) Malloch Brown essentially was like a petulant child asking one parent,(the liberal) to say something to the other parent (the disciplinarian).

Actually it's even worse than that because, Brown was making a public complaint against the sitting administration to the left wing of the country. We all know who Soros is and what his agenda is about but most people have forgotten that Podesta was Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff. These are the lefts movers and shakers. This was a message from Kofi that George W. Bush is indeed a lame duck, we can take him now, you just cover our left flanks.

Malloch Brown

6/08/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Yeah, I love that Human Rights thing. I'm sure the other three countries joining the US in opposing it were Rwanda, Sudan, and Bosnia, right?

I beg to differ, or quibble, as you might be saying what I'm about to express. We already know the Democrats want to outsource foreign policy to the UN. Though I do b'leve Kofi's drinking the Soros kool aid if he thinks sending out his batman to make a speech along with a bunch of Clintonistas is going to bring "Middle America" back in line. This wasn't a policy conference so much as a - scuse my language - circle jerk.

6/08/2006 03:23:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

With a Press Release yesterday, John D. Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress and Richard C. Leone, President of the Century Foundation charaterised Bolton's reaction to Browns speech as "threatening the UN" and as "...bomb-throwing invective typical of our nation’s current “diplomat” to the United Nations; indeed, John Bolton sadly proves Mr. Malloch Brown’s point.
The unfortunate truth is that there has been an absence of constructive leadership by this administration in supporting and guiding the premier multilateral institution—an institution the United States helped create in order achieve greater international peace and security.

By doing such things as holding the United Nations hostage by withholding U.S. dues, by not participating in the recently created U.N. Human Rights Council, and by generally undermining multilateral processes, the policies of this administration weaken rather than strengthen an institution that can help achieve U.S. national security goals."

You can draw your own conclusions.

6/08/2006 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger dirty dingus said...

Fisked Maloch Browns whiney speech at my blog

6/08/2006 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Message received, loud and clear.

As others have observed, Malloch Brown was not addressing American conservatives or the 'American heartland', except to heap abuse on both. He was instead proposing an alliance with the Democrats and leftists who made up his audience against American conservatives and the 'American heartland'.

Many Democrats are indeed eager to sell out to any convenient bunch of foreigners the 'Red State Americans' for whom they have nothing but contempt, in exchange for a fig leaf to paste over their lack of any interest in providing for our security.

6/08/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

dirty dingus,

I've long been a fan of your site and can't reconcile it's suave quality with your moniker. LOL.

I think Malloch Brown really takes himself too seriously. He must live in a world where the UN is important. I got through most of my life without ever once thinking about the UN, though this may surprise Mr. Brown, and my hunch is that a lot of people will go from cradle to grave without giving it a thought.

The UN started off as a place for nations to meet. Somewhere along the line it got uppity and thought it had an inherent legitimacy. It has no legitimacy apart from the consent of the governed. Brown's message is hand over your wallet. I might do that to a hobo. But never, never, ever to the UN.

6/08/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

Proposed, close down the UN Building.

Proposed, send the UN packing. I understand you guys think that Gaza, the Palestininean's self-administered homeland, is awesome. Why don't you set up shop there in one of those greenhouses they aren't using?

6/08/2006 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

To say that the pompous elitists now hovering around Turtle Bay need to be reeled in is just rhetoric at this point but hooray for Bolton for speaking up.

I say start by rescinding their diplomatic immunity. They are public servants, not royalty. They need to be treated just like the people whom they (allegedly) represent. This will go far in bringing them back to reality.

A few lawsuits by the folks back home may make them sit up straight in their chair.

6/08/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Just a couple of horrifying examples of U.N. actions that took place on Kofi Annan's watch:

In 1994 when Hutu in Rwanda began slaughtering Tutsi tribesmen by the tens of thousands week after week, Koffi Annan was at that time in a position to have ordered action to temper or halt that slaughter, and CHOSE NOT TO ACT. The United Nations withdrew its troops when ten soldiers were murdered. The United Nations pulled out and let the genocide proceed, let EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND victims to be slaughtered in three months. Many of them were killed with machetes and garden tools, when a few regiments with small arms might have protected them.

Just a few years later, AFTER Kofi Annan had been given the leadership of the U.N., when the United States lead a NATO coalition to stem the massacre of Muslims by Serbian Christians, the United Nations grudgingly agreed to send peacekeepers. In one instance, they declared the town of Sreberniça a "United Nations Safe Area," and left a batallion-strength guard of Dutch U.N. troops in close proximity. When Serb forces attacked, the Dutch commander requested air strikes.

After his fourth request, he was told that he had submitted the request on a form that is incorrect, and he must re-submit for it to be considered. Eventually, two Dutch F-16s bombed the Serbian positions, but it was far too late. Serb Generall Ratko Mladic and his troops had already taken the town and the surrounding area days earlier, and held 30 of the 350 Dutch troops along with some 20,000 Muslim men, women, and children.

The utter impotence and military bunglng of the United Nations (not any cowardice or lack of spirit by the Dutch troops) allowed Mladic and his murderers to slaughter an estimated 7,000 Muslim men in the four days from July 12 and July 16, 1995.

The Dutch troops were allowed to evacuate, but both the Head of the United Nations Mission to Bosnia, and the Dutch commander neglected to mention for the press or the watching world until long after, that a massacre was being conducted. The killing continued for weeks.
(The information about Srebreniça I'm citing here comes from URL:

There is a very concise outline of the history, discussion, U.S. domestic political debate and agreement about the question of intervention with and without U.N. approval or participation at the URL:

6/08/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Notice how the sources I cite in my previous post are well-known right-wing bastions, notorious for inciting pin-head conservatives to a state of trembling annoyance at the United Nations' flaws...

6/08/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

The most unfortunate aspect of this is that this has become so commonplace that it is pretty insignificant. If the U.N. actually did anything, and was true to it's ideals, this would mean something. But coming from an incredibly hypocritical and uselss group, it means little.

6/08/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Wayne said...

This is the same speech a League of Nations parasite would give on seeing the UN being created.

6/08/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Blogger is acting up and I lost a long post the gist of which was that Malloch Brown and the UN are a secondary concern: They can be held at bay in Turtle Bay.

We need to watch the group which set the stage and provided the forum. Wretchard provided the list of players and a link to their website wherein they have thoughtfully provided the working documents which I am sure will provide a glimpse into future Democratic Foreign Policy.

6/08/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Foobarista said...

The UN is the epitome of what is wrong with so many left-oriented "institutions" - great attention is paid to what it "stands for" and very little attention is paid to what it actually does. It is all about symbolism and lofty verbiage versus effectiveness and ability to execute its mission.

6/08/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Can someone please tell me why we are still in the UN?
The list of negatives seems endless.
Few,if any, can name a positive.

Would the world spin off its axis or go retrograde for a hundred years if we just said ..adios..

I would sincerely love to read some logical reasons why we fund,support, and stay in that organization. It's presence in the US is an embarassment not an honor.We can't possibly need them in any meaningful sense of the word.
Help, some big brain blogger convince me..

6/08/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

If anything is emblematic of the inane/leftist posturing and inutility of the UN, it is its Deputy Secretary-General's listing of world problems and how he prioritizes them:

The U.S.—like every nation, strong and weak alike—is today beset by problems that defy national, inside-the-border solutions: climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, migration, the management of the global economy, the internationalization of drugs and crime, the spread of diseases such as HIV and avian flu."

"Similarly for the UN it starts with politicians who will assert the US is going to engage with the world to tackle climate change, poverty, immigration and terrorism."

As the world turns, always getting warmer, cooler, wetter or drier, the global political climate also changes. Just as the League of Nations was superseded by the UN, it's time for a new Global Organization of Democracies (GOOD!) to tackle real problems, such as putting the UN out of its and all of our misery, for starters.

6/08/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Brilliant! You made my day.

6/08/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua E. said...

" While all of you are asleep, we hold up the sky."

That was a good 30-second laugh, Wretchard! :D And yet, it's really what he thinks.

6/08/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Nations that voted against the new UN Human Rights Commission were Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, and the United States. There were also three abstentions (Belarus, Iran, Venezuela).

6/08/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger woof111 said...

By doing such things as holding the United Nations hostage by withholding U.S. dues, by not participating in the recently created U.N. Human Rights Council, and by generally undermining multilateral processes, the policies of this administration weaken rather than strengthen.......blah blah blah

What about the child sex slaves taken by the UN Peacekeepers?

What a massive, sick joke. Only the most ideologically blind will not see it.

6/08/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Next time this group convenes, I suggest a GBU-12 followed by a GBU-38.
Bolton can do the honors with the laser-painting.

6/09/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> "You will lose the UN one way or another."

Faster, please.

Faster, Pussycat!! KILL! KILL!

Let 'em refurbish some buildings in Haiti for their headquarters.

Better yet, let 'em build a new headquarters in Darfur...

> This same Mr. Malloch Brown, while making a net take-home salary of $125,000 a year, was paying $120,000 to rent from Mr. Soros a house adjacent to the billionaire's personal home in Westchester County.

GASP!?!? Are you suggesting that the honorable spokesman from the UN isn't playing financially on the Up and Up? That he's getting kickbacks from somewhere? How dare you!

The UN and its spokesmen are the most honorable, forthright, and wonderful people in the world! They devote their lives to helping people help themselves (ok, elide the "selves" and it's right... gimme a poetic inch, here...)!

We should GET DOWN ON OUR KNEES AND THANK ALLAH (don't want to upset Anyone That Matters) THAT WE HAVE SUCH FORTHRIGHT AND CARING Geopoliticians.

Yeah. That's the ticket.

6/09/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> my hunch is that a lot of people will go from cradle to grave without giving it a thought.

Aw, C'mon. You can't say you don't give it dirty thoughts from time to time. Like suggesting what Malloch can do with his Annan in a back room.

...About the same thing those "peacekeepers" he's so fond of in his speech were doing to 13 and 14 yo girls in tents at night...

6/09/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Why don't you set up shop there in one of those greenhouses they aren't using?

Pangloss, shut yo' mouth!

Think of the effect on Greenhouse Gases!!

6/09/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> The list of negatives seems endless. Few,if any, can name a positive.

Inertia, mainly.

As many have suggested, what we need to do is pull out, and form another such organization with freedom and democracy as central parts of the goals, and those should be required for full voting membership (i.e., you must at least be in the process of attempting true reforms to even join, and expellable for too much backsliding)

6/09/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

When the United Nations held its first sessions, its charter members numbered only 51, comprised mainly of those nations that had allied to defeat the menace of Fascism in World War II. This is precisely because the organization grew out of that effort, even to the extent of taking its name from proclamations issued during the war by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin after their conferences. The United Nations started its business as an alliance of nations mostly sharing similar cultures, representative governments, and cultural legacies roughly centered on Western Europe.

Most of the 50-plus newmembers emerged from former colonies of European nations, or regions previously under Soviet Union, or regions that were too poor to have attracted the interest of the two former groups. There is mistrust, hostility and resentment from those groups toward the nations that had been colonial powers, and nations perceived to be exploitive of the "third world."

The idea of autonomy for self-selecting ethnic or cultural groups gathered momentum in the 1960's, and became a global imperative. There may have been a lot of events and trends that encouraged groups to suddenly fixate on nationhood. The result was a rash of small nations that are NOT viable economically, nor capable of maintaining democratic self-government against the predation of monsters.

In the last half of the 20th century along with everything else that's gone on, there have been scores of small wars of national liberation, followed by counter-revolutionary power grabs, followed by opportunistic territorial seizures by neighbors, followed by coups, followed by juntas, succeded by presidents and dictators-for-life.

At the start of the new millenium the world has a crowd of countries ruled by a tiny ruthless elite, dominating by torture, murder, imprisonment, confiscation, and extra helpings of murder and torture.

Each of these has applied for and received the blessings of membership in the United Nations.
So the dominating equation is now the coziness between the United Nations staff, and the delegates whose votes they need to keep pay rises and benefits coming.

The critical thing to remember about the U.N. is that the people making the decisions about how to vote on various pronouncements and how to spend all the loot are NOT ELECTED.

The delegations from the individual nations serve by appointment, selected by the leaders of the nations they represent.

The U.N. staff are hired by the U.N. staff.

None of these people are remotely accountable to the population of any of the regions affected by their actions.

Wait a minute! Isn’t that exactly how the European Union is set up?

6/09/2006 10:16:00 AM  
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6/09/2006 12:32:00 PM  
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6/09/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

The UN's problem is not hard to identify.

Too may third world countries, most all of them in black Africa.
I wonder why in their post colonial glory they are still tribal,ignorant, and killing one another in the hundreds of thousands?
Where's Jesse Jackson and the NAACP and other blacks? Don't they want their motherland to prosper?
Ask any American Indian what tribe he or she is from and they answer instantly. Ask an American black what tribe he or she is from and you'd probably get killed. They don't know and don't care unless it fosters more white guilt...not here friend.

6/09/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

I've just finished Churchill's memoirs of WWII and his version of the creation of the UN.

Sure doesn's seem like the same UN Churchill had in mind.

In fact of political science (see Wilson's "Bureaucracy"), any bureaucracy expands to consume the resources it can extort.

As a personal note, Mr. Brown's income from the UN is free of all national taxation, as are most UN employees.

6/09/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger boinky said...

Check out this post lecture news conference...
News conference
One guy even says to him:" But American papers are not interested in running stories, and there is some independence from the Government supposedly..."
and if you scroll down to the end, another reporter lists his affiliation with the Democratic party...
I'd love to know who these reporters were...

6/09/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger boinky said...

oh yes: Habu_1 is so ignorant of Africa that I think his remarks should be removed.
There are many problems in Africa, but not all are tribal. War lords in areas of anarchy are not only found in Africa, even in the past century you see them...and many of Africa's economic problems are due to Marxist ideology. Zimbabwe did not become a basket case because Mugabe was Mashona, but because he is implementing Marxist ideology.
Some of these wars go back hundreds of years, such as Ruanda and Sudan...some are religious, other are ethnic.
Like every continent, Africa has many different cultures and many different sets of problems in different countries.

6/09/2006 11:55:00 PM  

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