Prime Minister Jim Hacker: We should use the debate [in the UN] to promote peace, harmony, good will.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: well it would be most unusual. The UN is the accepted forum for the expression of international hatred.
Yes Prime Minister, A Victory for Democracy 1986
Yesterday the Hill highlighted a pair of tweets from Donald Trump about the UN is giving a few on the left the vapors:
Now the odd thing about it is that when comes right down to it, Trump is right about the club but as time has gone by it’s become clear that the days this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Back in the days of the Pax US right after World War 2 an active UN that could be used for the cause of good was a fine thing. It’s the only reason why half of the Korean Peninsula is not oppressed and starving.
But as the years has gone by and the body has become dominated by kleptocracy, dictatorships, islamic states and socialists looking for the next handout the real purpose of the UN has changed.
For the kleptocracy, it’s been about getting the developed world to give them money under whatever pretence they can find, from climate change to birth control and siphoning off what they can for themselves.
For the Dictatorships it’s about keeping the US and any other power in the free world tied up to keep them from doing anything to hindering their expansion or their base power via various limiting resolutions often supported by groups in the free world financed by them.
For the Islamic states it’s the primary forum to attack Israel and or back the PA/PLO. For states not named Iran this is vitally important because:
- By attacking Israel in the UN they are able to placate their people who would otherwise want them to attack Israel for real which would end in defeat in the field, destruction of their armies and the possible deposing of those who rule.
- By backing the Palestinians in the UN it allows them to pretend their actually care about these people without actually doing anything to help them like allowing them in their relative countries or granting them right, which they don’t want to do because they have even less love and respect for Palestinians than Israel does.
Ironically both of these things are pretty much virtue signaling to their fellow arabs.
And Finally for the Socialists it’s a chance to not only advance their wacky positions but to have them financed by suckers like the US. This solves the problem of running out of other people’s money, at least for a time.
But the biggest purpose of the UN is to preserve international inertia by basically having votes to give the appearance of action in order to give states a reason to not have to actually act (for good or ill) on any actual problem, while, at the same time financing the good life from a large group of international elites all over the world.
Now here comes Donald Trump and he poses a threat to two of the dynamics involved.
- As a person who doesn’t take sights or insults well (such as the resolution hitting Israel) he poses a direct threat to the ability of the UN to fund itself, and that is a direct threat to the expense accounts of thousands of international elites.
- As a person of action he might actually be able to use the UN to project US power by an aggressive use of both the carrot and stick of funding, thus forcing said elites to take positions and take actions that force them to choose risking said funds or angering their populace and or taking risky positions.
That’s the real question of Donald Trump, when he says things will change does that mean he will actually use the UN to try and do things, or will he use the structure as is to simply advance US interests?
Until the UN knows the answer to that question, they will remain in a state of panic.
And that makes it more likely for Mr. Trump to get the kind of deal he wants out of them.
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