View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

UNSCAM (or, UN Resolution WD-40) 

Thomas Lifson over at American Thinker suggests that the administration is trying to control the UN Oil-for-Food scandal so that it can use any potential revelations as leverage over our friends the French, Germans, Russian, and the UN bureaucracy itself. When we need their help, in whatever capacity we choose, we'll be able to get it at a relatively low cost.

While I consider American Thinker to be one of the best "thinker" blogs around, I'm afraid that Mr. Lifson may be praising the administration for purchasing a tactical victory at strategic cost. Consider the possibility that only Iraqis, who don't matter to the UN, and conservative Americans actually care that half of the civilized world, and virtually all of the self-appointed arbiters of the international order, were on Saddam's payroll. Why on earth would we want to do anything to bolster the credibility of this organization?

Note that this support comes at the mere price of blackmail. We don't demand organizational reform. We don't demand fairer rules, better accounting, or even the heads on a platter of the people who were busily stealing from the Iraqi people they profess to love so much. We don't even demand the elimination of the insidious bloc system, which implies that neighborhoods are more powerful than values, permanently and progressively locks out Israel from meaningful participation, and promotes the illusion of pan-Arabism that helped put us in Iraq in the first place.

We don't demand any sort of permanent change, because the system is essentially unfixable. It's even an open question as to whether blackmail, which requires some level of shame, can work on people who clearly have none.

No, what we're liable to be left with is a rehabilitation of the Sick Man of Turtle Bay. The UN was shown to be irrelevant, unwilling to enforce its own dicta, because it was so thoroughly corrupted by the very countries it was supposed to be watching. We should keep the UN on the sidelines, where is barely belongs, and certainly not risk investing it with moral authority it so clearly doesn't deserve.

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