UNvanquished : A U.S. – U.N. Saga. Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Global Tragedies of Our Own Making…. October 30, 2000
I’ve often thought or returned to passages in Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s UNvanquished since reading it in the early summer of 1999. Throughout the debate and defeat of the CTBT, the charades over Congressional withholding of funding to the UN, Jesse Helms’ appalling performance before Security Council Members in January of 2000, my attending the Millennium Forum as an accredited participant at the UN in May 2000, watching and hoping the requisite will might be found at the Millennium Summit in September 2000, I have repeatedly found myself recalling Boutros-Ghali’s devastating critique of US undermining of the United Nations, struggled to fight off a pervasive sense of tragedy and lost opportunity, lost since 1992 when Boutros-Ghali’s Agenda for Peace was shunted aside…..
Now available in
The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays
Forthcoming, September, 2014.
Tower of Babble: How the United Nations has Fueled Global Chaos. Dore Gold. Crown Forum, NY, 2004.
Half the Babbling Story…. July 12, 2006
Dore Gold tells the story of the corruption and failure of the dream of world organization and peace. Created in the aftermath of World War II, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” the United Nations, the Allies against the fascist powers, has been infiltrated and hamstrung by despotic, racist, authoritarian regimes to the point of not being a mere irrelevancy but an active irritant and cause of international disorder.
Given Gold’s background as an Israeli diplomat, much of his focus and concern is on the anti-Semitism of the Arab and Third World block during the last few decades and its continual usurpation and undermining of the human rights machinery of the United Nations. While many observers might argue with the details of Gold’s critique, alleging perhaps that he hates the United Nations, distorts the facts, and so forth, I must say his animus runs deeper. The UN has failed to live up to the ideals of its Founding Fathers, and subsequent leaders, in the West and East, have failed to work diligently enough to develop the UN into a sufficiently humane and democratic system of international cooperation and governance. Without such strenuous efforts at developing the UN into something other than an instrument or tool of national policies, the UN shouldn’t entirely be blamed alone for its miserable results. In any event, there is plenty of blame to go around. Mr. Gold never recognizes that Western powers must bear their part of the load.
However, I agree fully with him in this regard:
“It is time to recognize that it has utterly failed to achieve its founders’ goals to halt aggression and assure world order” (238).
Reinvigorating the UN, as he says, may indeed be a long way off but it is the task that lies at hand. The Allies must summon the will to do it or create another international coalition worthy of their ideals. The sooner, the better.