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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Enough of the UN

The UN General Assembly's annual session opens today in New York. Anne Bayefsky wonders why they're bothering.

Hat Tip: Menachem Lipkin
Today marks the opening of the 61st annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. But just yesterday we were marking a turning point in a war that threatens the lives of decent people all over the world — a war that we cannot afford to lose.

The U.N. above all other institutions claims the right to lead this war, to play the part of the general in its prosecution. This organization calls this role a birthright, for its founding Charter took root in the calamity of a genocide that brought civilization to the brink of annihilation.

But is the United Nations a help or a hindrance to our success on the battlefield of ideas and the very real trenches that lie beyond? Parentage is not a sufficient qualification for leadership two generations later. Let us consider, therefore, the U.N.'s contribution to the war effort.

Just last Friday the U.N. gave the world its answer to 9/11. The General Assembly adopted its first-ever "Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy." The title is grand. The substance was not: it called for the implemention of a General Assembly resolution from 1991, which draws a distinction between terrorism and the "legitimacy of the struggle of national liberation movements." The document was also telling for what it omitted: a definition of terrorism, a reference to state sponsorship of terrorism and a call to sanction states that harbor and assist terrorists. Worst of all it began, not with defeat of terrorists, but with "measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, which it describes as "prevent[ing] the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures," "eradicate[ing] poverty" and reducing youth unemployment.

What does such a strategy do for winning the war? It throws sand in the eyes of the troops on the front lines and renders the goalposts a mirage.
Read the whole thing.


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