President Trump gave his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. The reactions to the speech were as one would expect: some people loved it, others did not.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein was among those who did not love the speech. She expressed her thoughts in a tweet that said, “The UN is a venue to promote peace. Today, the president used it as a stage to threaten war.”
Feinstein’s comments were tame compared to Terry Moran of ABC who said that Trump’s promise to bring death and destruction down upon North Korea “borders on the threat of committing a war crime.” If that makes Trump a potential war criminal, then President Obama and President Bill Clinton would be considered potential war criminals as well.
Is Feinstein correct to call the UN a venue for the promotion of peace? Sadly, the answer is no. The reasons as to why can be seen in the UN’s top crisis at the moment: North Korea’s nuclear program.
Echoing Feinstein’s criticism was the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas, who tweeted that Trump’s
“Threats vs N Korea, ridiculing its leader more likely to persuade NK to increase its nuclear weapons & missiles than limit them/give them up.”
What evidence from the past 11 years of Presidents, Six Party Talks, and UNSC resolutions has there been to indicate that the North Korean regime can be persuaded to “limit them/give them up?” Also, if we cannot “ridicule” a man who executes his political opponents with anti-aircraft guns and has numerous teenage sex slaves, then what are we doing here?
The UN does not promote peace, it promotes useless speeches and strongly worded letters. Any resolution that makes it out of the Security Council, on North Korea for example, has to be approved by Russia and China, making it virtually impossible to get the toughest possible sanctions applied to that country. When it does attempt to do something worthwhile, it is plagued by scandal after scandal after scandal.
Perhaps even worse than its inability to accomplish anything is the fact that the UN is “moral relativism” at its worst. The UN, as it exists today, is a venue for every socialist, communist, fascist, fundamental Islamist, kleptocrat, and other sort of dictator to put themselves on the same stage as the civilized world.
For example, the current Human Rights Council has Cuba, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia among its current members.
In his speech, President Trump voiced a common American frustration with the UN saying:
“In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”
The United States gives the UN roughly a quarter of its budget, and what do we get out of it? A parade of every tin-horn dictator in the world condemning us, and a “human rights” council that spends most of its time criticizing our ally, Israel.
The UN is a way for global leaders to come together and pretend they care about “mutual cooperation” against this one threat or another. In the real world, national interests and diametrically opposed worldviews clash, which is why the United Nations, despite all the idealistic hopes and dreams of its defenders, will never bring peace to the world.