To say the world has recently dispensed with truth as an ideal is to make as if the world ever did in fact reckon with its true self, which it never has. The United Nations suffers many ills, namely, by equalizing representation and power between peaceful democratic countries (Canada, Sweden, Norway) with despotic regimes (Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran) that are actively involved in harming global and generally humanistic interests. If Iran can serve on the UN’s Nuclear Disarmament Committee, and Saudi Arabia and Sryia (Syria no less!) could chair (chair no less!) the UN’s Human Rights Council, then there’s only one thing left to say: the world is officially out to lunch. Truth doesn’t matter. Facts are unimportant. Rationality is pointless. Justice is meaningless. And above all, at the UN, where tyrannical autocrats assume their positions in the “league” of nations, humanitarianism is nothing but dirty, bloody lip service.
Why does it matter? Because, in a world where there are (approximately) 46 million slaves (mostly young girls and women), where one in eight people will go hungry every day, where millions are forced to flee their war-torn homes as refugees and thousands left to drown in search of safer living, the UN has become a failed, dangerous outgrowth that ends up perpetuating the cycles of violence it’s primarily tasked with keeping in check; “good” intentions gone awfully awry. Had these “United Nations” lived up to their foundational raison d’etre, they would not have failed the world during the Holocaust, or in Rwanda, or Somalia, or Chechnya, or Darfur, or Syria, or Yemen, and the list of failures goes on. And that’s the problem; the perpetual impotence that so well characterizes the UN is a systemic design flaw.
The UN is currently modeled on “concerns” of what’s “good for business” or bad for it, whereas the pure truth requires that it recognize the existence of good (for people) and evil (against people). A good and evil that leads the hearts of country leaders and a supporting mass of their countrymen. In a real world of “truth,” good and evil don’t sit at the table cutting deals. The “good” don’t give up on human trafficking to appease oil-rich monarchs, or grant statehood on the merits of terrorism. The “good” stand alone if they have to, always leaving room open to those willing to change their evil ways. They don’t go towards evil. They don’t give evil a platform to harm the good. And they certainly don’t collude and collaborate with evil.
This point is important, because we must ask ourselves, nearly a century after it was first created, does the UN serve a positive or negative purpose? Should it be reformed or abandoned? Better yet, for those that fancy ourselves real “truth seekers,” how can we accept to participate in a political body that has an inexplicable (but really obvious) obsession with demonizing Israel as the rest of the world is consumed by raging flames? When ISIS is attacking cities worldwide? When humans the world over can’t be guaranteed basic dignity and human rights? When women are disfigured with acid, or killed because of their family’s “pride”? Let’s assume we’re measuring the importance of a particular conflict by the amount of casualties claimed: since pre-state Israel days until the present time, some 90,000 Arabs have been killed by Israel in wars or terrorist operations it defended itself against, while in Syria (since 2011) more than 300,000 humans (by conservative estimates) have been killed with impunity. How can those who claim to “seek justice” justify radical outrage for the death of certain (Palestinian) Arabs but not much of a wince for others? How can the UN pass more resolutions against Israel than all the abusive regimes in the world combined where millions more are being murdered? That’s not called “balance”, but what we call, pardon my French, bullshit.
In the “post-truth” (see Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year for 2016”) world we inhabit, some people must still come forward and face the truth. It requires making tough decisions, like leaving the UN entirely. I know, it’s crazy, but hear me out.
The UN’s charter, its central mission, to prevent above all else, genocide, has proven to be a worthless document as can be attested to by the millions of innocent souls lost since it was created. It’s time for the United States to reassess its participation in, and strongly consider abandoning, the United Nations, for there are no “good nations” that can truly accept to be “united” with the evil ones while maintaining a grain of self-respect, dignity, and diligence in seeking truth. Far from saving lives, the UN ensures the world order is forever mired in just the right amount of war and deprivation that its primary patrons rely on to survive (and exist lavishly).
Think of the UN as a literal human body: if a hand and foot wanted to collude to destroy the brain or heart, would those parts be kept around or negotiated with? If those limbs fail to heal and fail to change their evil designs, they’d immediately be excised! On what organizing principle, then, did the world accept to “unite” nations that want to destroy other nations with the very nations they want to destroy? Surely, there’s a necessity for a forum to resolve disputes, even with enemies, but the United Nations is a collaborative forum that raises the status of otherwise deleterious fiefs and kingdoms, strengthening their resolve to abuse their own citizenry. When it comes to a vote on slavery, how can Saudi Arabia have a vote? Would a murderer have a vote in their own verdict? No! That simply wouldn’t be, because it’s totally absurd! But Saudi Arabia? Sure, take your vote and lecture us all about slavery! Clearly they’re “concerned.” Was this the intention at the founding of the League of Nations in 1919?
The recent UN resolution passed against Israel for the umpteenth time is, to many I think, the last nail in the long coffin of faux unity among the world’s nations. In a world that supposedly no longer cares about verifying sources, or confirming truths, it’s still plain and obvious to see who can truly be considered a “friend” and therefore worthy of “uniting” with. The great sadness and sting of this last particular resolution is that it was orchestrated by the highest levels of the Obama administration. It’s on that day that the “leader of the free world” stooped to the level of leaders of the dark world. Netanyahu is right to look forward to the next administration, though it’s hard to see how this damage (which the administration doesn’t seem to be done causing) can be undone. What is possible, is that President-elect Trump, who famously questioned the NATO alliance, will rightfully consider taking significant steps to sideline the UN or force it to live up to its higher calling, to prevent genocide, human rights abuses, and to promote peace and goodwill among all the nations.
For all the good the UN can claim to do in the world, America, and the countries that actually make up the backbone of those nations that realistically contribute to global good, can organize its own exclusive body to do the same good while excluding countries with nefarious aims that exhibit an unacceptable propensity for human rights violations. In this way, what’s really needed isn’t a United Nations, but a United Good Nations, that pools its resources in ways that excludes the damaging “interests” of those nations that show none for basic human dignity.
Ultimately, those in the positions of power will have to decide if American participation in the worthless organization is of strategic significance. But who am I kidding? In this “post-truth” world, there are those that can stand to unite with liars, and those that cannot. For now, and as long as there exists a false unity among the world’s nations, the world is one big liar. I know. Who cares?