May 05, 2006

Iran - A "Crucial Test" For the United Nations

Newsday's editorial today opines that Iran will be a "crucial test" for the United Nations:


In addition to the obvious need to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, the diplomatic effort now going on at the United Nations will be an important, even crucial, test for that body itself. If the Security Council cannot enforce its own findings, its value will be severely diminished.

The coordinated push by the United States and the European Union for a Security Council resolution to punish Iran with international trade sanctions faces stiff opposition by two veto-bearing council members: Russia and China. The draft resolution, generated by Britain and France with strong U.S. backing, began to circulate earlier this week. This level of U.S.-European cooperation hasn't been seen since the end of the Cold War.

But unless, by whatever diplomatic pressure Washington and the EU can summon up, Moscow and Beijing are persuaded to go along with the resolution or at least abstain from voting against it, Iran will be free to do as it pleases. If that happens, the UN will have been proved impotent to act collectively in its primary function, maintaining the world's security. In that there would be echoes of the failed League of Nations.

The U.N. already took this particular test on several occasions, and each time it has failed miserably. Need some examples? How about the 14 U.N. resolutions on Iraq WMD's, which were ignored and never enforced by the U.N.? How about Darfur? That matter has been hopelessly deadlocked in the Security Council. How about Bosnia? The U.N. wouldn't do anything, so NATO was forced to act. I could go on and on...., but I am sure that you get the point. The composition of the Security Council has ensured that the U.N. has only intervened in two conflicts since its inception.

At most, the only action that the U.N. will ever take are the imposition of economic sanctions...which, of course are rarely effective. Not to mention that the corruption within the U.N. virtually guarantees that they will be circumvented(See the Oil for Food Scandal).

The U.N. is the League of Nations.
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