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Taking the U.N. to task
The United Nations' reputation has been battered in recent years by corruption surrounding the Iraq "oil-for-food" program, and by revelations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeeping troops.
However, the world body's problems are worse than a few scandalous headlines, Nathan Tabor argues in his new book, "The Beast on the East River: The U.N. Threat to America's Sovereignty and Security."
Mr. Tabor, a former Republican congressional candidate, is owner of TCVmedia.com, an Internet technology firm, and founder of TheConservativeVoice.com Web site. The following are excerpts of a recent e-mail interview with Mr. Tabor:
Question: Most people think of the United Nations as a respectable organization dedicated to peace and other humanitarian goals. Does the U.N. deserve this reputation?
Answer: Yes and no. The U.N. has done some good. However, if you are an organization dedicated to stopping human rights violations, then you ought to deal with Darfur, child slavery, forced abortions in China and Africa, and you definitely should fight to protect the sovereignty of nations. Their stated goals of upholding human rights, stamping out AIDS, etc., are all laudable, but the means they use are unconscionable. If Americans were aware of some of the atrocities perpetrated by the U.N., their blood would run cold. The U.N. thinks nothing of imposing forced abortions on villagers in sub-Saharan Africa in an attempt to stem poverty. However, at least the goal of decreasing poverty is a noble one. One cannot say the same about their unstated goals -- specifically, increasing their own power and cash flow, and finding ways to become increasingly unaccountable to their own member states.
Q: Since the days of Alger Hiss, some critics of the U.N. have portrayed it as a threat to America's peace and prosperity, but those critics have been dismissed as cranks and crackpots. Why?
A: Simple. We wear tinfoil hats and see black helicopters. Don't mind the facts that the U.N. controls U.S. soldiers around the world when Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution says the command of the U.S. military rests with the president. In 1996, Michael New was dishonorably discharged because he refused to sew a U.N. patch on his uniform. It's tough to claim that the U.N. is both incompetent and power-hungry without sounding contradictory, but there's actually a pretty simple explanation: the U.N. was founded by Marxists, and the lens through which they see and address policy continues to be shaped by that heritage. And it won't surprise anyone but a few holdouts in academia if I note that Marxism in practice has managed to be stunningly incompetent and incredibly authoritarian. ...
Q: Is there a connection between the historic U.N. role in promoting population control policies and its current advocacy of policies to address global warming?
A: Sure. Both come from an equally flawed paradigm. To the U.N., poverty is something to be solved by imposing more top-down control, so they institute forced abortion programs. Of course, the opposite is true; when economic conditions improve and more jobs are available, birthrates drop. We as Americans tend to believe the world can be made better by individuals having more control over their own lives. The U.N. believes the opposite, which is why their idea of sound environmental policy involves restraining people, rather than tapping their capacity for creative solutions. ...
Q: One of the major reasons for the founding of the United Nations was to prevent wars. How successful has the U.N. been at promoting peace?
A: The U.N. claims to be the guarantor of global security, but whether under their umbrella or not, it has always been the U.S. that has acted on behalf of global security. And worse still for the U.N., we have the world's tacit support -- whether they admit it or not. That's why other nations will continue to buy up our debt. They're essentially saying, "I'd rather have the U.S. as superpower than anyone else." Naturally, the crowd at Turtle Bay doesn't like that. Peacekeeping activity was at an all-time high during the 1990s; war was at an unprecedented low. That has more to do with our willingness to walk the global beat than with the U.N.'s interventions. ...
Q: What did the oil-for-food scandal reveal about the extent of corruption at the U.N.?
A: That a body unable or unwilling to enforce its own ethics rules certainly doesn't have any business tackling weightier matters. The corruption stems from their basic unaccountability, something that is growing more serious. ...
Q: How is the United Nations a threat to Americans' Second Amendment rights?
A: The same way they threaten or undermine other elements of our autonomy. First, by getting the blame-America crowd in the General Assembly on board (mostly dictatorships -- armed citizens are so inconvenient), then by the European countries who believe that guns, rather than our violent impulses, are the root problem. As support grows and members of the Security Council sign on, a consensus develops. Then comes the Greek chorus of accusations, harangues and guilt trips. Over here, the masochists and U.N.-ophiles that occupy parts of the left and the "realists" in the State Department are always the first to crack. Without strong public sentiment to stiffen those senatorial spines, it ends up being a matter of how long before we say yes, and how much of their proposal we adopt. ...
Q: Among the U.N.'s critics, none has been more influential than your fellow North Carolinian, former Sen. Jesse Helms, who has endorsed your book. Are there any political leaders today who are carrying on Mr. Helms' tradition as a U.N. watchdog?
A: Phyllis Schlafly and Patrick Buchanan are two activists who continue to speak out against the morally bankrupt practices of the U.N. And [former Ambassador John R.] Bolton, of course, he served as an uncompromising advocate of our interests. Now that he's gone, we need another representative in the mold of Bolton or [late Ambassador Jeane] Kirkpatrick. Unfortunately, Jesse Helms left a void that has yet to be filled. We desperately need another "Senator No."
Q: Finally, I hope you will not mind a personal question. As a candidate in the 2004 Republican congressional primary, you were the victim of one of the dirtiest tricks in the history of dirty tricks, the infamous "Pastor Randy" e-mail that falsely insinuated horrible things about you and your wife, Jordan. Your own campaign also was accused of dirty tricks during that primary. What lessons did you learn from that experience?
A: I don't mind personal questions. The best thing from my primary race is that I met my wife, Jordan, and now we have a precious 2-year-old baby girl. Unfortunately, politics has become quite dirty. ...
The greatest lesson learned is the past. If people are willing to apologize, then I am more than willing to move forward. The reason I am involved in politics is simple: America is on the wrong path and we need leaders who are ethical and believe in morals and values. ...
As I said, it can be a dirty business, and yet I believe part of our duty as Christians is to be active, involved citizens.
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