U.N. Needs to Get Serious

During last week’s United Nations conference, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez likened President Bush to the ‘devil.’ This remark was received with applause and laughter.
Since the United States entered Iraq, even many politically moderate nations have grown to hate our country. This is because President Bush went to war with Iraq with a cavalier disregard for the U.N.’s sentiment.
But what has the U.N. done to solve the world’s problems? The answer is that they have done practically nothing. They imposed repeated sanctions on Iraq and ordered them to open their weapons facilities to U.N. nuclear inspectors. Each time Saddam Hussein failed to comply with one of these sanctions, they would merely implement another one. These sanctions were a joke; they basically told the former Iraqi leader to comply, or else…they would do nothing about it.
Furthermore, the U.N. fails to even recognize the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Every educated human being on this planet knows the situation there, yet the collective force of the world’s most powerful nations fails to acknowledge it.
So does U.N. inaction justify Bush’s disregard for this multi-national community? No. The U.N. now merely sees the United States as a brute force operator that left diplomacy behind back in the days of the Democrats. The U.N. also fails to recognize Iranian nuclear ambitions as a threat to the world. I believe that they don’t want to acknowledge this threat because of Bush. They have seen that Bush is willing to fight the world’s problems without caring if he is backed by them. Because of this, I think that the U.N. is afraid to even acknowledge Iranian nuclear advances as a world problem. If Bush weren’t so repulsively bold, maybe the U.N. would attempt to stop Iran in their nuclear achievements. After all, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly stated that Israel does not have the right to exist.
The insane part of this conflict with Iran and Bush is that his father helped arm Iran 15 years ago during the Gulf War. There are ways that the U.N. could attempt to peacefully resolve world problems. Diplomacy could be backed with economic action. The U.N. has enacted boycotts against countries with which they disagree, but none of these have been seriously executed.
Every nation in the U.N. could be forced to comply with economic boycotts against a particular country. If a country does not comply with a U.N. sanction, then all of the member countries should completely disassociate themselves with the noncompliant nation. If they fail to do so, then they should be kicked out, or placed on probationary status.
Then I ask myself why a country would care if they got kicked out of the U.N. The U.N. offers few benefits to its members. If the organization extensively helped its countries in times of need, then it would hold greater standing with its constituents. This would give countries incentives to actively contribute to U.N. causes. Economic boycotts against any country would be possible if all of the countries of the U.N. helped each other during these boycotts. Boycotts would be a great way to pressure a country into compliance.
The United States needs to step up to the plate. Close to half of the military spending in the world comes from the United States. If we used this money to aid the U.N. in better, more diplomatic courses of action, the organization might begin to prosper. Instead, Bush kills whom he pleases and takes the U.N. as a joke. This organization should be respected and strengthened.
The United Sates should help the U.N. wage a war of diplomacy. Then maybe the organization would respect our country and not be afraid that the United States may commit belligerent actions. In the international market in which we live, it is unseemly that an alliance of nations has such little sway in the world.
I wish we sent our soldiers to college instead of to war. The United States could pay for tuition instead of tanks. Then we could drop diplomats into countries with the zeal of napalm. Our country could then unite with peaceful nations and resolve world issues.

Brian Walker is a third-year English major.