The Third Rail

Dare to discuss charged topics!

United Democracies (U.D.)

Diplomatic Divorce: Why America Should End Its Love Affair with the United Nations – By Thomas P. Kilgannon
“The UN General Assembly is littered with terrorist governments, human rights abusers, corrupt regimes, dictatorships, and political deviants of all stripes. The United Nations provides them membership and grants them legitimacy; in so doing, it absolves them of their sins.”

For a long time, I have felt that the United Nations (U.N.) is not only “not helpful” as a world body, but is downright harmful and definitely corrupt.

Why would I say that!? Lets take a look at just one aspect of this “august” body, the UN Human Rights Council. Here are some facts from the last few months:

Forward Magazine:

“In recent months Israeli officials and Jewish organizations had expressed some guarded optimism that the new council would not follow in the anti-Israel footsteps of the much-maligned Human Rights Commission that it replaced. By this week, however, those hopes appeared to have been dashed.”

United Nations Human Rights Council on Wikipedia:

“The United Nations Human Rights Council is an international body within the United Nations System. Its purpose is to address human rights violations, and it is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was often criticised for the high-profile positions it gave to member states that did not guarantee the human rights of their own citizens.”

The first election of members was held at the General Assembly on May 9, 2006. The successful candidates [included]:

  • People’s Republic of China
  • Cuba
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Nigeria

So, lets take a look at some of these stellar bastions of human rights:

Business Week magazine:

Russia
“For more than a year, Westerners have watched Russian President Vladimir V. Putin wield an iron fist against the media, against political rivals, and against the titular representative of private corporate power, Yukos, the huge Russian oil giant, built by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky. Putin has imposed censorship rules on TV, proposed replacing elected provincial officials with appointees, and called on his state’s vast taxing power to frighten Russia’s resistant oligarchs into submission. He has turned Parliament into a rubber stamp. Even the secret police is making a comeback”

China
““DO YOU know how serious a mistake you’ve made?” Yan Yuanzhang recalls an official asking him not long ago. Mr Yan had been summoned to Beijing’s Internet Propaganda Management Office to talk about his websites. They were causing, he was told, the Communist Party to lose face. They were providing material that foreign media could use to attack China. They were illegal and must be closed down within 24 hours.”

The Economist magazine:

China
Six years ago Bill Clinton described China’s efforts to restrict the internet as “sort of like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall”. But as China’s web-filtering technology has grown more sophisticated, and the ranks of its internet police have swelled, some have begun to wonder.

The government has also spent freely to keep its liberating side-effects under control. The committed few who are brave or foolhardy enough to use the internet to challenge the authorities now face a police force of some 30,000 online monitors, say foreign human-rights groups. They also say that China has jailed over 50 people for expressing views online or in text messages. Worried about the forces unleashed by rapid economic and social change, China’s leaders have stepped up their efforts in recent months to control not only the internet but other media too. A handful of outspoken newspapers have been closed and their editors sacked.

Amnesty International:

Cuba
“In the most severe crackdown on the dissident movement since the years following the 1959 revolution, Cuban authorities arrested 75 dissidents in the space of several days in mid-March. They were subjected to summary trials and were quickly sentenced to long prison terms of up to 28 years.”

Human Rights in Saudi Arabia in Wikipedia:

Saudi Arabia
“The situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be very poor. Under the authoritarian rule of the Saudi royal family, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enforced strict laws under a doctrine of Wahabism (a fundamentalist interpretation of sharia, Islamic religious law). Many basic freedoms as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not exist; it is alleged that capital punishment and other penalties are often given to suspected criminals without due process.”

Nation by Nation magazine:

Ethiopia
“Domestic violence against women remained widespread, and some forms were sanctioned by traditional, customary, or Shari’a law. Discrimination against women remained a problem. Female genital mutilation (FGM) remained widely practiced…”

These are the countries put in place to monitor human rights?! And these are after the scandal and supposed cleanup! How absurd. If it wasn’t so serious a problem, it would be laughable.

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So…What is to be done? Just like our tax system (a topic for another day), the U.N. is beyond salvaging.

I propose that we create a United Democracies (U.D.) organization. As the name implies, only countries that meet the published criteria to be called a “democracy” can become members. The criteria would be things such as:

  • The rule of law – this includes an independent judiciary.
  • Respect for individual rights – this includes protection for minorities
  • Freedom of the press and speech
  • Property ownership

No true democracy has ever attacked another country without provocation. This of course is different than dictatorships like Iraq under Saddam and Iran via Hezbollah.

The founding members would be the United States, Britain, Japan, and Australia. Other countries could petition to be accepted into the organization. Their ability to be called a democracy would be verified by independent, unbiased organizations like Reporters without Borders.

On a pragmatic side, we would kick the UN out of its building in New York city and use the building for the United Democracies. The US would drop its UN membership and use half the money currently used for the UN to support the UD.

This would greatly improve the situation and the UD members could provide real help for trouble spots in the world.

The UN is beyond repair, as witnessed by the oil for food scandal, the Darfur genocide, and basically no accountability. It’s time to move on.

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Not convinced? We only looked at one aspect of the cesspool that is the UN. Do a search on “UN Oil for Food program” and see what France and Russia have been up to.

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April 10, 2007 - Posted by | International, Policy, Politics

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