Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Perspective on Issues of our Time July 16, 2014

A Perspective on Issues of our Time July 16, 2014

by Bill Neinast

The League of Nations was created after WWI to maintain world peace.  The organization was totally ineffective.  Within two decades Nazi Germany was running rough shod over Europe and Japan was rampaging throughout Asia.

The ever optimistic United States Department of State, however, began plans for a new world organization in 1939.  A draft of a “Declaration by the United Nations” was then drafted and signed by representatives of 26 Nations in January 1942.  By early 1945 it had been signed by 21 more nations.

This, however, did not establish the UN as known today.  The earlier United Nations was the name for the so-called allies in WWII and dealt with defeating the axis powers.  

The idea of "a general international organization to maintain peace and security” began to jell at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1944.  The conference produced proposals for the purposes of the United Nations organization, its membership and organs, as well as arrangements to maintain international peace and security and international economic and social cooperation

Then, on 11 February 1945, less than six months before the end of WWII, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin declared their resolve at their meeting in Yalta to establish a United Nations under the proposals from Dumbarton Oaks.

With this signal to proceed, representatives of 50 nations met in San Francisco on April 25, 1945, to draft a charter for the United Nations.  (A little appreciated fact is that Rotary International and Lions Club International were invited to participate in the conference.) Those 50 nations signed the Charter on Oct 15, 1945, and Poland signed on Oct 15.  When the Charter was ratified by the U.S., England, Russia, China, France and a majority of the other 46 signatories on Oct 24, 1945, the UN was officially formed.

The League of Nations that was created to maintain world peace dissolved itself on April 16, 1946, and peace keeping fell to the UN.

So how has the UN done in its role of peace keeper in the seven decades of its existence?

Not very good.  If war is defined as armed conflict between two or more groups armed with lethal weapons, the record is abysmal.  

I can remember 23 wars since 1945.  Here’s my list (not in any particular order) compiled in a few minutes from memory.  China (Mao/Chiang Kai-shek), Korea, Poland/Czechoslovakia/Russia, Vietnam, Nicaragua/Contras, Grenada, Falkland Islands, Panama (Noriega), Afghanistan (Russia), Afghanistan (NATO), Iraq/Kuwait. Iraq/Desert Storm, Iraq/NATO, Israel (Yom Kippur-Six Days War), Israel/Palestine (ongoing), Iran/Sha, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Cuba (Castro), Ukraine/Crimea, Libya, Egypt (Suez Canal), Egypt (Overthrow of Mubarak), and Syria.

Only a very liberal teacher would give that record a grade higher than “F.”  As hard as it is to believe, there are some of those liberal teachers out there.  They say the UN does so much other good things.  Among those goodie are maintaining refugee camps for those fleeing some of the conflicts mentioned above, a misnamed peace keeping force now and then to keep warring tribes separated, and passing reams of resolutions respecting women’s rights.

The most notable accomplishment of this model for peace may be that it furnishes well paid employment for bureaucrats from the 183 member nations and provides platforms in New York City for tyrants like Cuba’s Castro and Iran’s  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lambast us on our own soil.

Here, though, is the real kicker.  The U.S. is only one of 183 members, but it provides 22% of the U.N. budget.  That means 33 million dollars will be drained from our treasury this year.

Although 33 million is a piddling amount or chump change in our over all budget, it is a gross misapplication of funds for the product bought.  This is reminiscent of the reports or rumors of high priced hammers and toilet seats in the Pentagon budget.

Withdrawing from the U.N. and eliminating the need for that 33 million would put a tiny, tiny dent in the country’s 17 trillion dollar deficit.  Saving the equivalent amount for seven decades, however, would have a noticeable effect.

So here’s the perspective.

The U.N. is a government bureaucracy.  Like all bureaucracies, it is as permanent as the Egyptian Pyramids.  It may fade away like the League of Nations, but another will rise from the ashes.

The Christian Bible provides, "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” (Emphasis added--Matthew 24:6, New American Standard Bible) 

There will always be dreamers, however, who believe that just have everyone sit down together and they will work things out peacefully.

Well dream on and go tell that to the Israelis and Palestinians, the Shiites and Sunnis, and the Muslim Jihadists and the rest of the world.

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