By George Hawley
Utopian visionaries, who honestly believe the United Nations is an altruistic organization, have never looked so ridiculous. The Oil-for-Food Program has proven to be one of the biggest scams in history. And, as time goes on, we continue to learn of diplomatic betrayals by our ostensible allies. Nations that have just as much at stake in the War on Terror as we do seem to continually backstab the United States. Now more than ever, it would be wise to remember the axiom of Chou En-Lai, Communist Chinas longest serving diplomat: "All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means."
The United Nations does not possess any magical quality that compels nations to check their interests at the door. On the floor, diplomats do not do or say anything that does not advance those interests which are frequently opposed to those of the United States.
And these days justifiably or not a good portion of the world hates America and seeks to knock the United States from its position as the worlds sole superpower. This has been the case since long before George W. Bush became the President, and will continue long after he is gone. Given the natural desire for equilibrium in foreign affairs, efforts to create counterbalances to the United States in the unipolar post-Cold War world are inevitable.
For a number of mostly irrational reasons, the Pax Americana, which has provided the world an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity since 1945, is an immense source of resentment and antipathy. But for the moment, there is no military or economic power capable of competing with us in conventional terms. The only weapon that can be used against America without fear of massive retaliation is diplomacy. And our adversaries will use it at any chance they get.
Western Europe and the Third World are not pressuring America into joining the International Criminal Court and other multinational organizations out of a concern for justice or human rights. No, they recognize that these institutions represent their only real opportunity to hamstring the United States.
We seem surprised that the United Nations refuses to send any meaningful assistance to Iraq to help with the upcoming elections. We should not be. Most governments of the world want America to fail in Iraq. Vicious dictators everywhere know that if Iraq descends into chaos, America will have no desire to intervene again for a long time to come. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, which supplies most of the worlds terrorists and has more than fifty votes in the General Assembly, has a particular interest in an American defeat in Iraq.
The motivations of our Western European "allies" are equally uncomplicated. France and Germany want the European Union under their leadership to be a great power. That interest is the driving force behind their foreign policy. They will do what it takes to advance that agenda, even if it means cooler relations with America.
During the Cold War, fear of the Soviet Union compelled Europe to accept Americas leadership role. With the Soviet threat gone, Old Europe is free to turn its attention to undermining the dominance of the United States. And historical ties have never prevented nations from engaging in cynical realpolitik.
Average Americans do not like to think about the virulent anti-Americanism that exists outside our borders. It bothers us that the money we give in aid, the jobs we provide, the wealth we create, and the people we free never seem to boost our image around the globe. The flag burnings and asinine sloganeering from Brussels to Beijing continues, regardless of Americas policy.
Left-wing academics tell us that this is because we are "exploitive" and "imperialistic," and that the remedy is to be more "sensitive" to the "world community." This is nonsense. The world hates us because we are the strongest, most prosperous people in history. And, as long as that is the case, a significant portion of the world will continue to hate us. Joining the International Criminal Court will not change that; nor will ratifying the Kyoto Protocols; nor will paying a "global tax." If we did everything Kofi Annan asked of us, there would be some new grievance. Although Americas enemies will never acknowledge it on the floor of the United Nations, they will not be satisfied until we have been knocked from our pedestal.
No one has the will or the means to field a traditional military capable of defeating the United States. Instead, the world has unleashed an army of Lilliputian bureaucrats, who would shackle the American Gulliver with innumerable protocols, treaties and accords. And demand that America pay for its own shackles.
The United Nations is only as magnanimous and benevolent as its individual members. And most of its members are corrupt tyrannies or infantile socialist nobodies, who condemn America while reaping the many benefits of being our "allies."
America has been too slow to wake up to this reality. Our enemies are far better at this game than we are. If diplomacy is war by other means, then the United Nations is the main battlefield. And we cannot win without first acknowledging that fact.
George Hawley is a Research Associate at the Center for Individual Freedom. He is a senior at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.November 11, 2004