Israel Science and Technology Directory

Arab-Israeli Conflict - Articles

Undoing the U.N.

By Henry Lamb. Source: March 22, 2003

March 17, 2003 is the day the New World Order began to unravel ? for real.

The New World Order, as envisioned by most of the members of the United Nations, is based on the concept of "pooled sovereignty," from which a consensus of the members supersedes the authority of any individual member nation.

When France, Russia, and China refused to support a U.N. Security Council resolution offered by the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States to enforce the Council's previous 17 resolutions relating to Iraq, the concept of pooled sovereignty met a crucial test -- and failed. Consequently, the future of the Security Council, and of the United Nations, is unsure.

What now?

Global governance enthusiasts are calling for strengthening the U.N., along the lines recommended by the Commission on Global Governance. As reported in the New York Times, Jorge G. Castaneda, former foreign minister of Mexico, and Dmitri V. Trenin, deputy director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, recommend elimination of the veto power of permanent members of the Security Council. And Andre Lewin, former French ambassador to India, and chairman of the French United Nations Association, wants a standing army under the direct command of the U.N. secretary general and a global tax for independent funding of the U.N.

Had these recommendations been adopted in 1995, when first advanced by the Commission on Global Governance, the United States would not be able defend itself against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Like Gulliver, the United States would be constrained by the very nations that despise the values that have made America the most powerful nation ever.

President Bush demonstrated rather forcefully that the U.S. is not willing to surrender its sovereignty to a superior power, when he, with his staunchest allies, slammed shut the window of diplomacy on the 18th Iraqi resolution on March 17.

What now?

The United States has launched a new initiative in the evolution of international relations. There is no road map, but there are valid principles which promise a better future than the idea of "pooled sovereignty." The success the United States has experienced in its brief history is irrefutable evidence that a free society is better than a society controlled by government. Likewise, a world of free, sovereign nations is better than a world in which nations are controlled by a world government.

The United States has an opportunity to lead the world toward freedom, but the road is fraught with danger. On the one hand, many nations will see the free world initiative to be America's excuse to conquer weaker nations, to build a global American empire. On the other hand are the twin dangers of corruption and abuse that are inherent in unchecked power.

The new, free world initiative has rejected the concept of pooled sovereignty in a world government. It has embraced the idea of protecting its citizens from the use of weapons of mass destruction, even if it means eliminating a government that threatens to use them. What remains to be seen is how this awesome power will be used after the threat has been removed.

As President Bush and the United States Congress begin charting the course to the future, the principles of freedom must guide them. When, as a matter of self defense, it becomes necessary to involve the U.S. in the affairs of another nation, we can no longer just remove the immediate threat, and then allow the next dictator to begin the process anew. Nor can we impose an American system of governance.

Freedom must be earned by meeting the responsibilities that accompany it. America's role is to provide assistance when requested and protection when needed during the process. If the world sees that this is America's purpose and mission, it will begin to put the lie to the anti-American propaganda that fuels terrorism today.

The road to a free world is long, unmapped and lined with many enemies. Afghanistan is the first test case. Iraq will be the next. How the United States conducts itself in the next months and years will determine the future of the world for generations to come.

How the United States conducts itself will be determined by the people ordinary Americans send to Washington. If we send to Washington an administration and Congress that values U.N. control more than freedom and sovereignty, then the world will be subject to world government. If we send to Washington more people who embrace the responsibilities of freedom and are willing to share its benefits, then perhaps the 21st century can, indeed, witness the evolution of a free world.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization and chairman of Sovereignty International.