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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Crimea incursion evidence of U.N. impotence

- - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Russian incursion into the sovereign country of Ukraine — an intrusion that allowed the vote for Crimea to secede — is another step in Russia's quest to restore the USSR ("Mockery greets Obama's new sanctions against Russian officials after Crimea action," Web, March 17).

This is another example of United Nations dysfunctionality, impotence and irrelevance. The U.N. passed numerous resolutions against Saddam Hussein's murderous regime in Iraq — and never enforced them. The U.N. General Assembly grants positions on the human rights panel to countries that are gross violators of human rights.

It also treats Israel unfairly. When Israel responds to rocket and mortar attacks or incursions into its land by terrorists, the world body proposes sanctions and penalties against the country. U.N. peacekeepers have allowed terrorists to transport weapons that can be used against Israel and some of Israel's Arab allies.

The U.N.'s lack of action has for years allowed Bashar Assad's Syrian regime to kill more than 100,000 innocent civilians. Through the misguided agreement by President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that total climbed to more than 140,000, with millions of other civilians displaced. The deadline for destruction of Syria's chemical weapons has been delayed for months — and still no specific date has been set.

Any country that defies a pact it signed in good faith, as in the case of Russia, or attempts to take control of another country must be held accountable.

The U.N. General Assembly must have guidelines for fairness, and they must enforce these guidelines. If these steps are not taken, the countries that proclaim they are for freedom, democracy and the rule of law should no longer provide financial support to the U.N.

Further, they should organize a new entity that will stand up to individuals, groups or countries that commit vicious acts, especially the Assad-led Syria and Mr. Putin.

MARVIN L. HOOVIS

Centerville, Mass.