President Obama famously responded to a question about "American Exceptionalism." Asked by a reporter if he believed in it, Mr. Obama replied: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." It was as if he'd just gotten back from Lake Wobegon, where all the chidren are above average.
So if America's exceptional and so are the Greeks and the Brits--and presumably, too, are the Bangladeshis and the Paraguayans and everyone else--what remains of our exceptionalism?
Well, if that's the President's position, let's apply it to one area greatly in need of such a formula: Reform of the United Nations.
The UN was originally supposed to be a world body, a forum for the prevention of war and the maintenance of a just and durable peace. That was FDR's great vision. But it never achieved that lofty goal. It never has come close.
The UN has managed to overlook the captivity of hundreds of millions of people in the Soviet bloc for nearly half a century. The UN never heard of the Gulag Archipelago. The UN turned a blind eye on Mao Zedong's half century of murderous rule in China. Tens of millions of forced abortions take place in China today--with the active assistance of the UN Fund for Population Activity (UNFPA).
Cuba--a member of the UN's notorious Human Rights Council--is under the grip of a senescent Communist dictatorship. Orlando Zapata--the true Cuban champion of human rights--died in a Castro prison recently, following a hunger strike in which he demanded nothing more than what the UN proclaimed in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights more than 60 years ago.
Still, the United States pays more than 22 percent ($1,800,000,000) of the UN's annual budget. That's because FDR considered the United States exceptional, the leader of the free world.
Since President Obama thinks everyone is exceptional, let's cut the U.S. share of the UN budget back to 6 percent. After all, we are constantly told by the Obama administration that U.S. claims to preeminence are arrogant and offensive to others in Europe and the developing world.
So let's be more modest. Liberals constantly tell us how much we consume and suggest that because we are only 6 percent of the world population, we are somehow hogging more than our fair share. (They never note that we produce a huge portion of the world's GDP).
If we are only 6 percent of the world's really exceptional folks, let's knock our contribution to the UN down to that figure.
What? The UN as currently structured could not survive on that amount? Precisely. But a UN headquarters moved from New York to Geneva, Switzerland could be trimmed back to its core functions as a world forum. The UNFPA should be the first body to be scuttled. Followed by the Inter-Governmental Climate Panel (IPCC), which has become nothing more than Al Gore's sandbox. The IPCC recently had to backtrack on its environmental doomsday predictions. Those glaciers in the Himalayas are not going to melt by 2035, after all. They're slated to melt by 2305. Just a typo, the IPCC gnomes claimed.
The UN Human Rights Council should be deep-sixed. It's more than an outrage to have Cuba, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia sitting on a body so named--it's hypocrisy on stilts.
By moving the UN headquarters to Geneva, the traditional city of diplomacy, we can avoid the gross humiliation of having the world's leading terrorist--Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--come to our greatest city to spew his hatred from the platform of the UN. He represents an Iranian regime that murdered 241 U.S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen in Beirut in 1983 and that threatened 52 American hostages with death for 444 days in our Tehran embassy. He is killing American servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Even as he spoke to the UN General Assembly, he was holding two American hikers prisoner. And yet we have to pay New York's police for providing security for his wretched life!
If all the UN can be is a forum for the airing of international disputes, then Geneva is the obvious location. President Obama could embrace this move as a cost-cutter and a first step in his effort to show the world a kinder and gentler U.S. profile.
Robert Orr needs a Chinese Visa to enter UN's DC2 building
Rio+20: GreenPeace Statement
Greenpeace International Executive Director has released a statement on his views of Rio+20. "The future we want has gotten a little further away today. Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure, It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy" were Kumi Naidoo frank comments after the text for the outcome document was adopted. Please click here for the full statement.
UN Policy Coordination on the Road
DESA's Telecommuting Assistant Secretary General
Sha Zukang's behavior not appropriate...
Sha's behavior was not appropriate as a senior advisor. And he also knows that his behavior has embarrassed most of the [other] senior advisors at that time.
Mr. Chance (buy this book now)
Click on the picture and purchase this book now. It's already a best seller. It shows the coward Ban Ki Moon and his Korean team in action.
Chinese Social Affairs Department
"UN needs complete leadership overhaul"
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, who asked Ashdown to carry out the report, said the government would give its response in about six weeks.
Czech President Klaus
"...this is the time for international organizations, including the United Nations, to reduce their expenditures, make their administrations thinner, and leave the solutions to the governments of member states"
Sha Zukang Disrespectful of UN Rules
UN staff rules require employees to uphold and respect the principles set out in the Charter, including faith in fundamental human rights. They prohibit U.N. employees from accepting instructions from any government or from any other source external to the organization. UN staff should avoid any action and, in particular, any kind of public pronouncement that may adversely reflect on their status, or on the integrity, independence and impartiality that are required by that status.
Barack Obama on UN Reform
Obtain Refund of Funds Owed to the U.S. by the U.N.
CLICK ON VOTE - to save approximate $180 million in one time savings
Get ready U.N. !!
Let's raise our voices
The following months are critical. Changing DESA is in your hand. Speak up now and share our message with all colleagues.
NyTimes disavows Ban Ki Moon
"The United States, meanwhile, should think hard about whether it wants to support Mr. Ban’s re-election" NyTimes Editorial - Nov 03, 2010
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UN at 65
State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley
"Sha Zukang seems to be cranky at lots of folks. It will not affect our relations with China."
UN STAFF RESOLUTION ON BAN KI MOON
If SG Ban Ki-moon fails to take immediate steps towards real reform to address these urgent systemic issues, Staff Union will consider a vote of NO-CONFIDENCE
Backstabbing for Beginners
Backstabbing for Beginners is at once the darkly comic tale of one man's political coming of age and a stinging indictment of the hypocrisy that prevailed at the heart of the world's most idealistic institution.
Hacked Emails Show Blatant Climate Change Fraud
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What will this successful Chinese Diplomat do different?