George Monbiot writes: You could almost pity these people. For 67 years successive US governments have resisted calls to reform the UN security council. They’ve defended a system which grants five nations a veto over world affairs, reducing all others to impotent spectators. They have abused the powers and trust with which they have been vested. They have collaborated with the other four permanent members (the UK, Russia, China and France) in a colonial carve-up, through which these nations can pursue their own corrupt interests at the expense of peace and global justice.
Eighty-three times the US has exercised its veto. On 42 of these occasions it has done so to prevent Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians being censured. On the last occasion, 130 nations supported the resolution but Barack Obama spiked it. Though veto powers have been used less often since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the US has exercised them 14 times in the interim (in 13 cases to shield Israel), while Russia has used them nine times. Increasingly the permanent members have used the threat of a veto to prevent a resolution being discussed. They have bullied the rest of the world into silence.
Through this tyrannical dispensation – created at a time when other nations were either broken or voiceless – the great warmongers of the past 60 years remain responsible for global peace. The biggest weapons traders are tasked with global disarmament. Those who trample international law control the administration of justice. [Continue reading…]
This is the best review of the US and other great power’s abuses of the United Nations. If Bush hadn’t sent in America’s most vociferous critic of the UN, John Bolton as ambassador to torpedo the most recent effort to reform it, the US might not have so many excuses to label it “irrelevant.”
The UN was supposed to be “a hundred year experiment,” but as membership expanded, the US found it more and more difficult to always get its own way. It seems ironic — and tragic — that the states who were so instrumental in establishing the organization and writing its charter and international law should be the same states that are threatening its survival.
Even Churchill said it is better to jaw-jaw than war-war — and he rarely saw a war he didn’t want to fight in.