Amity Shlaes has a thought-provoking column on the Bush administration’s nominees to represent the United States in the United Nations and to head the World Bank: “The vanguard of muscular diplomacy.” Here are two pungent paragraphs:
To understand the novelty of the current moment it helps to look back a bit. A United Nations is a good idea – maybe. But long ago the UN began to veer away from its original mandate of preventing wars. By the 1970s it had made itself into a stage for anti-Americanism. By 1975 its General Assembly had passed the “Zionism is Racism” resolution, thereby denying the legitimacy of the only democratic state in the Middle East. Problems were always blamed on the US-Soviet standoff, yet after 1990, they persisted.
The US, for its part, played a critical but distant role – withholding dues, pushing reform only intermittently. Today the UN is still a theatre, alternating between tragedy and farce. It was tragic to see Libya named chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The oil-for-food scandal was also tragedy. But the UN policy on gender? Farce. On the one hand, the UN hosts sanctimonious “women’s summits”. On the other its high commissioner for refugees, Ruud Lubbers, must resign over numerous allegations tha the sexually harassed female subordinates for years. Even centrist Americans nowadays view the UN as bankrupt and dispensable.
See also the article in the new issue of the Weekly Standard by Stephen Hayes: “Crying Wolfowitz.”