U.N. Enablers of ‘Aggressive War’

Special Report: U.N. investigative reports, like a new one condemning Syria for alleged sarin use, are received as impartial and credible, but are often just more war propaganda from compromised bureaucrats, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Many people still want to believe that the United Nations engages in impartial investigations and thus is more trustworthy than, say, self-interested governments, whether Russia or the United States. But trust in U.N. agencies is no longer well placed; whatever independence they may have once had has been broken, a reality relevant to recent “investigations” of Syrian chemical weapons use.

There is also the larger issue of the United Nations’ peculiar silence about one of its primary and original responsibilities, shouldered after the horrors of World War II – to stop wars of aggression, which today include “regime change” wars organized, funded and armed by the United States and other Western powers, such as the Iraq invasion in 2003, the overthrow of the Libyan government in 2011, and a series of proxy wars including the ongoing Syrian conflict.

After World War II, the Nuremberg Tribunals declared that a “war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

That recognition became a guiding principle of the United Nations Charter, which specifically prohibits aggression or even threats of aggression against sovereign states.

The Charter declares in Article One that it is a chief U.N. purpose “to take effective collective measures … for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.” Article Two, which defines the appropriate behavior of U.N. members, adds that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”

However, instead of enforcing this fundamental rule, the United Nations has, in effect, caved in to the political and financial pressure brought to bear by the United States and its allies. A similar disregard for international law also pervades the U.S. mainstream media and much of the European and Israeli press as well.

There is an assumption that the United States and its allies have the right to intervene militarily anywhere in the world at anytime solely at their own discretion. Though U.S. diplomats and mainstream journalists still voice outrage when adversaries deviate from international law – such as denunciations of Russia over Ukraine’s civil war – there is silence or support when a U.S. president or, say, an Israeli prime minister orders military strikes inside another country. Then, we hear only justifications for these attacks.

Shielding Israel

For instance, on Friday, The New York Times published an article about Israel conducting a bombing raid inside Syria that reportedly killed two Syrians. The article is notable because it contains not a single reference to international law and Israel’s clear-cut violation of it. Instead, the article amounts to a lengthy rationalization for Israel’s aggression, framing the attacks as Israeli self-defense or, as the Times put it, “an escalation of Israel’s efforts to prevent its enemies from gaining access to sophisticated weapons.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

The article also contains no reference to the fact that Israel maintains a sophisticated nuclear arsenal and is known to possess chemical and biological weapons as well. Implicit in the Times article is that the U.S. and Israel live under one set of rules while countries on the U.S.-Israeli enemies list must abide by another. Not to state the obvious but this is a clear violation of the journalistic principle of objectivity.

But the Times is far from alone in applying endless double standards. Hypocrisy now permeates international agencies, including the United Nations, which instead of pressing for accountability in cases of U.S. or Israeli aggression has become an aider and abettor, issuing one-sided reports that justify further aggression while doing little or nothing to stop U.S.-backed acts of aggression.

For instance, there was no serious demand that U.S. and British leaders who organized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, should face any accountability for committing the “supreme international crime” of an aggressive war. As far as the U.N. is concerned, war-crimes tribunals are for the little guys.

This breakdown in the integrity of the U.N. and related agencies has developed over the past few decades as one U.S. administration after another has exploited U.S. clout as the world’s “unipolar power” to ensure that international bureaucrats conform to U.S. interests. Any U.N. official who deviates from this unwritten rule can expect to have his or her reputation besmirched and career truncated.

So, while harshly critical of alleged abuses by the Syrian military, U.N. officials are notoriously silent when it comes to condemning the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and other countries that have been “covertly” backing anti-government “rebels” who have engaged in grave crimes against humanity in Syria.

The U.S. and its allies have even mounted overt military operations inside Syrian territory, including airstrikes against the Syrian military and its allies, without permission of the internationally recognized government in Damascus. Yet, the U.N. does nothing to curtail or condemn these clear violations of its own Charter.

Breaking the Independence

The reason is that, for much of this century, the U.S. government has worked to bring key agencies, such as the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), under U.S. control and domination.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

This drive to neutralize the U.N.’s independence gained powerful momentum after the 9/11 attacks and President George W. Bush’s launching of his “global war on terror.” But this effort continued under President Obama and now under President Trump.

In 2002, after opening the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and effectively waiving the Geneva Convention’s protections for prisoners of war, Bush bristled at criticism from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary C. Robinson.

Soon, Robinson was targeted for removal. Her fierce independence, which also included criticism of Israel, was unacceptable. The Bush administration lobbied hard against her reappointment, leading to her retirement in 2002.

Also, in 2002, the Bush administration engineered the firing of OPCW’s Director General Jose Mauricio Bustani who was viewed as an obstacle to the U.S. plans for invading Iraq.

Bustani, who had been reelected unanimously to the post less than a year earlier, described his removal in a 2013 interview with Marlise Simons of The New York Times, citing how Bush’s emissary, Under-Secretary of State John Bolton, marched into Bustani’s office and announced that he (Bustani) would be fired.

“The story behind [Bustani’s] ouster has been the subject of interpretation and speculation for years, and Mr. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, has kept a low profile since then,” wrote Simons. “But with the agency [OPCW] thrust into the spotlight with news of the Nobel [Peace] Prize [in October 2013], Mr. Bustani agreed to discuss what he said was the real reason: the Bush administration’s fear that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would conflict with Washington’s rationale for invading it. Several officials involved in the events, some speaking publicly about them for the first time, confirmed his account.”

The official U.S. explanation for getting rid of Bustani was incompetence, but Bustani and the other diplomats close to the case reported that Bustani’s real offense was drawing Iraq into acceptance of the OPCW’s conventions for eliminating chemical weapons, just as the Bush administration was planning to pin its propaganda campaign for invading Iraq on the country’s alleged secret stockpile of WMD.

Bustani’s ouster gave President Bush a clearer path to the invasion by letting him frighten Americans with the prospect of Iraq sharing its chemical weapons and possibly a nuclear bomb with Al Qaeda terrorists.

Dismissing Iraq’s insistence that it had destroyed its chemical weapons and didn’t have a nuclear weapons project, Bush launched the invasion in March 2003, only for the world to discover later that the Iraqi government was telling the truth.

Compliant Replacements

In comparison to the independent-minded Bustani, the biography of the current OPCW director general, Ahmet Uzumcu, a career Turkish diplomat, suggests that the OPCW could be expected to slant its case against the Syrian government in the current Syrian conflict.

Not only has Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, been a key player in supporting the proxy war to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Uzumcu also served as Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, which has long sought regime change in Syria and has publicly come out in favor of the anti-government rebels.

Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat and director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Another one-time thorn in the side of the U.S. “unipolar power” was the IAEA when it was under the control of Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian. The IAEA challenged the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq having a nuclear program, when one really didn’t exist.

However, being right is no protection when U.S. officials want to bring an agency into line with U.S. policy and propaganda. So, early in the Obama administration – as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pushing for a hardline on Iran over its nascent nuclear program – the U.S. government engineered the insertion of a pliable Japanese diplomat, Yukiya Amano, into the IAEA’s top job.

Before his appointment, Amano had portrayed himself as an independent-minded fellow who was resisting U.S.-Israeli propaganda about the Iranian nuclear program. Yet behind the scenes, he was meeting with U.S. and Israeli officials to coordinate on how to serve their interests (even though Israel is an actual rogue nuclear state, not a hypothetical or fictional one).

Amano’s professed doubts about an Iranian nuclear-bomb project, which even the U.S. intelligence community agreed no longer existed, was just a theatrical device to intensify the later impact if he were to declare that Iran indeed was building a secret nuke, thus justifying the desire of Israeli leaders and American neoconservatives to “bomb-bomb-bomb” Iran.

But this U.S. ploy was spoiled by Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning’s leaking of hundreds of thousands of pages of U.S. diplomatic cables. Among them were reports on Amano’s hidden collaboration with U.S. and Israeli officials; his agreement with U.S. emissaries on who to fire and who to retain among IAEA officials; and even Amano’s request for additional U.S. financial contributions.

The U.S. embassy cables revealing the truth about Amano were published by the U.K. Guardian in 2011 (although ignored by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other mainstream U.S. news outlets). Despite the silence of the major U.S. news media, Internet outlets, such as Consortiumnews.com, highlighted the Amano cables, meaning that enough Americans knew the facts not to be fooled again. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Did Manning Help Avert War with Iran?”]

A Collective Collapse

So, over the years, there has been a collective collapse of the independence at U.N.-related agencies. An international bureaucrat who gets on the wrong side of the United States or Israel can expect to be fired and humiliated, while those who play ball can be assured of a comfortable life as a “respected” diplomat.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

But this reality is little known to most Americans so they are still inclined to be influenced when a “U.N. investigation” reaches some conclusion condemning some country that already is on the receiving end of negative U.S. propaganda.

The New York Times, CNN and other major U.S. news outlets are sure to trumpet these “findings” with great seriousness and respect and to treat any remaining doubters as outside the mainstream. Of course, there’s an entirely different response on the rare occasion when some brave or foolhardy human rights bureaucrat criticizes Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Then, the U.N. finding is just a sign of anti-Israeli bias and should be discounted.

In the far more frequent cases when a U.N. report is in line with U.S. propaganda, American journalists almost never turn a critical eye toward the quality of the evidence or the leaps of logic. We saw that happen this week with a thinly sourced and highly dubious U.N. report blaming the Syrian government for an alleged sarin incident on April 4. A major contradiction in the evidence – testimony given to OPCW investigators undercutting the conclusion that a Syrian warplane could have dropped a sarin bomb – was brushed aside by the U.N. human rights investigators and was ignored by the Times and other major U.S. news outlets.

But what is perhaps most troubling is that these biased U.N. reports are now used to justify continued wars of aggression by stronger countries against weaker ones. So, instead of acting as a bulwark to protect the powerless from the powerful as the U.N. Charter intended, the U.N. bureaucracy has turned the original noble purpose of the institution on its head by becoming an enabler of the “supreme international crime,” wars of aggression.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “How US Pressure Bends UN Agencies.“]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

75 comments for “U.N. Enablers of ‘Aggressive War’

  1. Rohan
    September 16, 2017 at 14:13

    God Bless Mary C. Robinson, for having the courage to oppose the Bush regime; Guys like Amano ought to be jailed, for aiding and abetting criminal governments

  2. September 14, 2017 at 23:29


  3. Dr.Maria-Helena Schifko-Kassekert
    September 13, 2017 at 07:55

    It makes me sick for years, that Israel is the only state which never obeys to UN-rules or European rules. Being a Palestinian means You are a person with no rights at all, Iraqis where people with no rights at all, now, with Trump, the situation will even worsen. The dangerous Saudi Wahabits are wellcome to Mr. Trump, whereas Syrians are Criminals, Iraqis are dead to the hundredthousends, all wonderful archäological findings in Iraq were either stolen by US-soldiers or ruined by ISIS, who was not able to flee in time was sure enough brought very often to death. What a shame that Democrats did not win and an completely erratic Trump ruins the World further. Climate-Changements do not interest him, but now that Millions of Americans have lost everthing to this new Climate, what will he invent?

  4. Gregory Kruse
    September 12, 2017 at 18:38

    Of course we know that the UN was spayed shortly after its birth, and it has continued to act like it was spayed since then.

  5. Gregory Kruse
    September 12, 2017 at 18:18

    Apparently, that was then, and this in now. Therefore, any agreement or collective judgement is moot 5 minutes after it is arrived at. To the rich and influential, history is not only irrelevant, it is positively detrimental.

  6. September 11, 2017 at 15:45

    Brilliant beyond belief. This is the Nobel Peace Prize standard for investigative reporting.

    • September 14, 2017 at 23:31

      Agreed! Print out in pdf and share.

  7. Delia Ruhe
    September 11, 2017 at 13:30

    The UN has never been “impartial.” The UN is exactly what it says it is: nations united — and supposedly equal. However, some nations are more equal than others, namely the 5 who wield veto power, and among those five, one is more equal than the other four, and that one is the one who’s position most often informs official UN reports and other statements. It has always been that way.

    It’s therefore only logical to assume that since US positions on a lot of international issues get less and less rational as a reflection of its steep decline in leadership competence, the UN is being dragged down with it. So much for the United Nations as a 100-year experiment.

  8. mike k
    September 11, 2017 at 08:25

    A real effective UN can only arise as a manifestation of countries and their leaders dedicated to truth, fairness, and caring for all living beings. Such conditions do not now prevail – hence the failure of the UN. This is a sign of the collective historical failure of the human species. Fixing this, if at all possible, will require profound changes in our thinking and behavior. Treating little symptoms of this massive failure will only prolong our agony until we complete our self destruction.

  9. hatedbyu
    September 10, 2017 at 14:15

    just remembered the last scene in the batman movie of 1966.

    batman had just “reconstituted” the un security council from their powdered form.

    they all immediately started yelling at each other in the wrong languages….


    • Abe
      September 10, 2017 at 16:39

      “Who knows, Robin… This strange… mixing of minds… may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity.

      “Let’s go. But inconspicuously! Through the window… with our Batropes.”


    • Abe
      September 10, 2017 at 16:44

      The Batman movie premiered at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on July 30, 1966 (between the first and second seasons of the TV series).

      Also on July 30, 1966, the United States began its first bombing of the six-mile wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) intended as a buffer between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

  10. Dr.Maria-Helena Schifko-Kassekert
    September 10, 2017 at 10:00

    That is nothing new. Israel can kill or bomb whoever they want to. Obama told the first time in many years that Netanyanu and Lieberman should stop lying. Now, under Trump, these impossible figures returned to theirLies. Have a look, how many Israelis left the country, because, they could not stand this policy any longer. Dr.M.H.Schifko-Kassekert

  11. September 9, 2017 at 18:42

    Those who paid the piper choose the tune. From the beginning the UN was hostage to the Rich contributors.

  12. jaycee
    September 9, 2017 at 17:24

    Attention could also be directed at Jeffrey Feltman, who was named the UN’s influential Director of Political Affairs in the summer of 2012.


    Previously a longtime US diplomat in the Mid-East region, Feltman’s political biases have informed UN action/non-action particularly in Syria, especially through the Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura who has carried water for regime-change since his appointment in 2014. De Mistura even this past week had made announcements about the still expected transition of political power in Syria. Feltman was also referenced in the infamous Nuland intercepted telephone call (concerning the Ukraine coup) as preparing official UN sanction to the change in government there.

    The multi-polar advocates are well-aware of such skullduggery, but have notably withheld from publicly criticizing – presumably in the interest of maintaining the UN as the world forum and in the interest of avoiding a show-down which could lead inevitably to armed conflict.

  13. Don Bacon
    September 9, 2017 at 12:56

    Technical point — the IAEA is not in the United Nations.

  14. Annie
    September 9, 2017 at 12:28

    I can’t remember when I ever took UN decisions seriously. Maybe it’s simply my mistrust of all things political. In school you learn we’re a democracy, but you soon learn that only the white elite could vote, and you wondered how does that make us a democracy. When I read Alison Weir’s book, “Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the United States was used to create Israel,” it certainly reinforced the idea that the UN was vulnerable to outside manipulation from it’s onset. You’re taught that the UN created the state of Israel and the world countries were all in favor, including the US. Then you learn it just ain’t so. Although the U.N. General Assembly recommended the creation of a Jewish state in part of Palestine, that recommendation was non-binding and never put into affect by the Security Council. And the only reason the General Assembly passed that recommendation was after Israeli supporters strong armed many countries in order to gain a required two-thirds of the votes, so from the beginning it was vulnerable to manipulation.

  15. Michael Kenny
    September 9, 2017 at 12:00

    Will the real Robert Parry please stand up! In the article dated 7 September, Mr Parry was proclaiming that there was “a new hole in Syria-sarin certainty” and his proof of that was the very report that he is now attacking! On 8 September, he tells us that the U.S. government has worked to bring, inter alia, the (OPCW), under its control and domination. The OPCW report is slanted against the Syrian government. OPCW’s Turkish director is a US and Israeli stooge, as is Turkey itself. Mr Parry can’t have it both ways! The OPCW report can’t be credible when it agrees with his pre-ordained conclusion and not credible when it doesn’t!

    • Randal Marlin
      September 10, 2017 at 01:58

      In determining the credibility of a source, the contrary-to-interest rule frequently applies. The rule is that if the source is biased and favors a certain narrative, it may still be believed when it testifies to things that ostensibly count against that narrative. Credibility comes here from the fact that people ordinarily don’t lie about just anything. In general they try to speak the truth. It is when they have some interest in play that we need to be wary about their using deceptive language in support of that interest.
      The facts that Parry relies on when appealing to the OPCW as a believable source seem to me facts that don’t support the bias he alleges. In that light it is not inconsistent for him give credence to the OPCW on some matters and not others. Saying that things turn on his “pre-ordained conclusion” seems to me unfair.

    • Abe
      September 10, 2017 at 15:37

      For readers new to tthe comments section, “Michael Kenny” is a pro-NATO propaganda troll on permanent assignment to Consortium News.

      The ever more desperate “Michael Kenny” advances every manner of unsound argument, always insisting that Mr. Parry somehow “got it wrong”.

      In fact, it was me and not Mr. Parry who pointed out, in response to the usual nonsense from “Michael Kenny”, that NATO member state Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state, and that the Director-General of the OPCW, Ahmet Uzumcu, is a Turkish career diplomat who previously served as ambassador to Israel, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO.

      See comments at https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/07/a-new-hole-in-syria-sarin-certainty/

      As pointed out by the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry back in July 2017, the OPCW regarding the Khan Sheikhoun incident includes a fabricated narrative that is removed from logic.

      The report issued by the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW on 29 June 2017 relied on testimonies of terrorists located in Turkey, the so-called “White Helmets” who are proven by documented facts to be tools for Jabhat al-Nusra and other terror organizations, and the American and British intelligence agencies.

      The revealed sources cited by OPCW reports are almost entirely controlled by armed opposition groups.

      Syria agreed to cooperate fully with the Technical Secretariat so that the fact-finding committee could investigate the incident on the ground at Khan Sheikhoun, but the Secretariat claimed that it was unable to access the site because armed terrorist groups refused them access.

      During the OPCW Executive Council meeting on June 29, representatives of Syria, Russia, and Iran insisted on sending a mission to al-Shuairat airport, but the US and its Western allies blocked this initiative to hide the truth about the attack on this airport from which Syrian warplanes take off to fight ISIL.

      Mr. Parry’s observation that the OPCW report ignores testimony from Syrian sources is entirely accurate.

      And the claims of “Michael Kenny” are spurious.

  16. GMC
    September 9, 2017 at 11:42

    Yep, the UN Charter has gone in the same direction as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution – maybe its because the same people own all the Agencies of the West and even further.

  17. Joe Tedesky
    September 9, 2017 at 10:11

    Fox News reported how Google tried to bring down the site innercitypress.com. Inner city is Avery small wendite who reports on UN corruption, or at least what the site feels is corruption. I just came across this item, so my advocacy is still not decided upon.


    Worth looking over at least.

  18. MaDarby
    September 9, 2017 at 09:03

    The US is the front, the public face if you will, of a global empire, or rather an empire that considers itself as the ruler of the world. All transnational institutions set up after WWII, Britten Woods, UN, World Bank, IMF et al were set up to support the empire of the Western oligarchy as guided by the US.

    This empire has never agreed to abide by international law and has no intention of doing so. Why should they, they are the rulers of the world. Kings just chop off heads why bother with niceties?

    The historical record sense the nuclear bombs were dropped on innocent people, for purely political and imperial reasons, the US has marched steadily and rapaciously toward the imperial ultimate goal of “Global full spectrum domination.” Over and over during the past 72 years of imperial perpetual war the US has rejected opportunities for peace when they have arisen.

    Now, only China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are the only countries not fully incorporated into the imperial financial system and network. These countries are under great pressure from the imperial armies and navies which surround them with great military force and actually thousands of nuclear weapons.

    The empire will not stop of its own accord it will continue belligerence and domination by force until it is unable to sustain it further.

    I sometimes find this analogy useful: The empire (the deep state is its machinery) is the Terminator – an amoral killing machine for the protection and implementation of power – this robot is disguised by having schwarzenegger skin. Now it is late in the movie and some of the fake skin (civilian government) has fallen off and the real robot monster is showing through.

    The world’s resources economy and financial system are owned and controlled by probably no more than eight families, people with names (Saud, Cargill for example) who own the corporations everyone blames for so many problems, such as when a contractor destroys your kitchen and you go out and yell at his truck and tool box.

    Let’s just hope this empire goes away quietly as the British empire did and the route of all or nothing at all is not taken. Given the track record, my hopes are quite thin.

    Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this far.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 9, 2017 at 09:15

      Cord Meyer was one of the UN Charters authors. Read his NYT Obituary.


    • mike k
      September 9, 2017 at 10:19

      You have summed up our situation very well. If a great enough number of people understood what you have simply stated, there would be a solid basis for folks to undertake whatever is necessary to end this nightmare. The Empire of the Rich persists due to the people’s ignorance of it’s existence. Capitalism is a con game being played on the masses. Without awakening to this reality, there is no way out. That people are unaware of the reality staring them in their faces, is a testimony to the power of propaganda and mind control. CN and other truth telling sources are desperately trying to wake people up, before it is too late.

    • JM
      September 9, 2017 at 11:50

      Yes, the Deep State is not the CIA and FBI; those are simply the tools. The Deep State is driven by the consortium of wealth. Throughout history, it has always been so. The Rothchilds contribution was to corporatize it.

  19. Tom Welsh
    September 9, 2017 at 07:12

    “Many people still want to believe that the United Nations engages in impartial investigations and thus is more trustworthy than, say, self-interested governments…”

    I want to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, fairness, decency, that merit is rewarded, and that all good people go to heaven when they die.

  20. Andoheb
    September 9, 2017 at 06:36

    UN worse than old League of Nations. League collapsed because it was unable to effectively oppose Jap and Italian aggression. But league did actively connive to whitewash aggression as UN has been doing for many years.

  21. Derrick
    September 9, 2017 at 02:27

    1. BRICS nations want UN Security Council reform. While it’s impossible to imagine it now – it may not be in 5-10 years. The world is becoming multipolar again. This might well strengthen the role of the UN in the near future.

    2. If a major power (like the US) were to leave the UN… it is the tragic story of the League of Nations all over again.

    3. While the UN is in a sorry state, as it is almost beholden to the world’s power centers for its continued existence, it is not completely without merit. (UNHRC, UNICEF, and Peace keeping missions do have some, if limited, impact).

    4. Kant’s essay on perpetual peace.

  22. exiled off mainstreet
    September 9, 2017 at 01:50

    This is an excellent article providing the historical links between the UN whitewashing and wars of aggression, i. e., war crimes under the principles of the Nuremberg trials as mentioned in the article. The comments, for the most part, are also excellent. This is an issue which goes to the legitimacy of the entire power structure.

  23. Scuppers
    September 9, 2017 at 01:05

    So, instead of acting as a bulwark to protect the powerless from the powerful as the U.N. Charter intended, the U.N. bureaucracy has turned the original noble purpose of the institution on its head by becoming an enabler of the “supreme international crime,” wars of aggression.

    The above is a brilliant example of the essence of corruption. I myself, and probably most people are against corruption, but for me it is often difficult to lay out to others the enormity of its destructive influence as most corruption is thought of as officials taking bribes, or fixing a local election; hardly earth shaking stuff. But this really does lay it out there. Wasn’t it Disreali who said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? Well there we are. I think we should replace “in God we trust” with “I am corruption.”

    • Scuppers
      September 9, 2017 at 01:25

      Edit : a brilliantly worded and well put description of the essence of corruption. Very well done.

    • Derrick
      September 9, 2017 at 02:12

      It was lord acton

  24. Curious
    September 9, 2017 at 00:22

    Having studied the Nüremberg Trials in my pre-law days in college I feel especially tied to it’s principles. The concept of “never again” was a rallying cry for most of the world at that time after a terrible war and bloodshed. It has now only taken roughly two generations to invalidate most of what was accomplished. There is a reason critical thinking (think Texas) has been abandoned in out schools and the history of WW2 is mostly propaganda for the USA crowd, as if the US won all the wars on their own with bravery and the thirst for ‘freedom’.
    Which makes me think of the UN and how it has been infiltrated by the powers who want people to forget Nüremberg and international law. It’s rare to find individuals who have studied international law in depth and the usual rallying cry from the US is. USA,USA. The result is not only pathetic, it is far removed from the rest of the world, except for the US puppets around the world, of which there are many.
    I do like, and had a good chuckle at the comment from the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. Not only does she speak many truths the US will ignore, she mentioned on one occasion the UN should be moved out of the US of A. Not only is it far for many in the world to make the trip to NY, but the UN is subject to the very environment it rests within. The influence is either subtle or extreme by the US and it is mostly impossible to keep ones objectively, or even rebellion, when the power of the US is so near.
    I had a friend who worked at the UN for many years and his stories are one for a book. Nicky Haley is one of the worst examples of a person who is empowered to help or monitor the world. I think her knowledge of the world is very limited. She cares not a lick for the rest of the world and my guess is she cares not at all about the people of Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and our new enemy Venezuela, supposedly because they have oil and want to get off the US petrol dollar. Maria is right, the UN should move out of the US and start again with it’s charter to help the world and avoid conflict, and actually scold with a new power those who violate international law as Israel has just done Friday without a mention.
    Short thought. If the DoD wasn’t the largest consumer of oil in the world would we still have these wars?

  25. Slavica
    September 8, 2017 at 22:34

    When will it happen that the people of this world stand up and say “No” to israeli criminals, who bribe, manipulate deceive and kill without impunity?

    • Zachary Smith
      September 9, 2017 at 00:15

      Probably not in time to prevent the grave damage the little cesspool of a nation is causing. And to be blunt, possibly never.

  26. September 8, 2017 at 22:25

    @ “The article is notable because it contains not a single reference to international law and Israel’s clear-cut violation of it.”

    The omitted discussion of law governing warfare in American news coverage of acts that are plainly in violation of it has been a major gripe of mine for many years. I’ve often thought that one good remedial step would be teaching that law to students at the middle school level. Were far more people aware of that body of law, it would be more difficult for politicians and mainstream media to ignore it.

  27. Kelli
    September 8, 2017 at 22:24

    In my mind, the UN long ago sold out to the US and Israeli government. I believe that 9/11 was an inside job to justify war in Iraq. The day before, Rumsfeld had announced that a trillion had gone ‘missing’. Building 7 is the key to 9/11. An implosion if I ever saw one. The government elite LOVE exploiting racism and bigotry to pass their domestic and foreign policy and the Iraq war and the FRAUD that is the war on terror, did just that. The Muslim community and brown people everywhere have suffered tremendously because of it. The real enemy is not other foreign countries but our own government and the US Military Industrial complex, whose defense department can’t even pass an audit. McMaster, Mattis and Kelly are warmongers ready and willing to take the US into more war, N. Korea now in the eye of the US government storm. Something as glamorized as was Iraq, that it will be short, quick and neat. Nothing could be more WRONG. MILLIONS will die and if we are not wiped off the face of the Earth first, there will be a DRAFT. Think the American people will go for that?
    Where in GODS NAME is the UN with all of this? And WHY are these people, whether in government or on ZNN (Zionist News Network) or within the UN, so willing to see to the murder of millions of Americans too? The next war will not be fought elsewhere. It will come HERE.
    The UN IS OBVIOUS in it’s corruption.
    Bought and paid for by the military Industrial complex, which now runs the US government, who props up Israel, with huge aid packages that mean Israel gets free healthcare and college education on the US taxpayer dime.
    Disgusting. This is so maddening. But until the American people unite around ANTI WAR, nothing will change.

    • Zachary Smith
      September 9, 2017 at 00:13

      I doubt if “corruption” is quite the right word to describe the United Nations. Years ago I read that the organization was designed by the US to be nothing more than a useful tool. That notion has continued to the present day.

      Title: “Is the United Nations designed to be ineffective and maintain the status quo?”


      Look at how the Preamble to the Charter begins:

      We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…..

      Inspiring boilerplate, and depressing as hell. The US has, to my knowledge, never done more than wield the UN as a means to its own ends. The endless coddling of Israel is of course one of the prime examples.

      • Peter Loeb
        September 9, 2017 at 07:07


        See Gabriel Kolko, THE POLITICS OF WAR…(Pantheon Books,NY)
        Chapter 18 , “The United Nations and American Global Interests”.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  28. September 8, 2017 at 21:51

    I believe corporate America is now viewing the U.N.as an investment that is finally paying off.

  29. John
    September 8, 2017 at 21:45

    Look no further than Israel and it’s influence in American politics which is owned and operated by the DOLLAR…….you great citizens of the wonderful USA need to clean house of foreign money influencing your great republic…….is it Russia who hijacks your elections? I smell smoke from another fire…..

  30. September 8, 2017 at 21:18

    The problem for the UN is funding. So long as it relies on members sending in their dues it is open to blackmail and I recall large contributors saying as much publicly not so long ago.

    What the world’s needs is a basic law that puts subscriptions to UN on an elevated level, better than the precedent claims of banks, absolutely secured and certain. We must have some means to ensure that the body is funded properly and timely. We absolutely do not want to hear of UN banking tricks to keep afloat – that merely puts the organisation under financial control of the banking lobby.

    The world’s problems today are created by the neocon take-over of US Government. Independent media are exposing that very clearly and the American people are finally awakening to the abuse they have unwittingly received. I discern a great change coming in North America caused by acts of the people and there is a chance, a real chance, of the dawning of a new world order based on fairness, equity, justice and competitive trade open to all. Fingers crossed.

    • Skip Scott
      September 9, 2017 at 09:38


      From your mouth to God’s ears! A commenter on a previous chain noted that Facebook gives out a dire warning before allowing anyone to connect to CN. Although I don’t do Facebook, I’m not surprised. The propaganda war is in full swing, but I am hopeful that the younger generation is beginning to see the “man behind the curtain”. I guess that makes Robert Parry “Toto”.

  31. josephrou
    September 8, 2017 at 19:57

    Absolutely dead on article. The question was where the hell is the UN at every unchallenged war of aggression by the US and its puppets states. I remember recently when Nikky Halley was assign as US ambassador to the UN, her first chilling speech make it clear that her first job was to find out who is with the US and who are against us. A staggering, not even covered, warning to the assembly.

    After the clear violation of international law by Trump Syria bombing, only the brave representative of the tiny Bolivia state give an ear full and a lecture to the US ambassador at the UN. The others spineless nations where disgustingly silent. The only statements coming out of the UN these days are “concerns”.

    I must add that as a Canadian, there was nothing more revealing on display by Trudeau giving a speech on TV after the sarin gas attack saying that he will wait for the UN investigation only right after the Syrian bombing, that Canada fully stand behind the US decision. The conclusion is that there is no more an international independent organisation capable of making any difference in the application of those laws, certainly not the UN which is financed mostly by the US (22%-2015) Anyway the US doesn’t give a damn about any UN decision. It understand only by force from a powerful nation. Like Russia who finally put his foot down in Syria and said enough is enough only to suffer the wrath of the Americans.

  32. Drew Hunkins
    September 8, 2017 at 18:47

    The double standards between the Washington-Zio-Militarist Terror Network versus ostensibly the entire rest of the civilized world are breathtaking and jaw dropping.

    The chutzpah behind it all would be comical if it weren’t so destructive and leading the world to nuclear brinkmanship.

  33. September 8, 2017 at 18:31

    I live in Germany. Our elites in politics and media are – so called “transatlantic”. The same applies practically to all of Europe. Whilst “transatlantic” used to be an adjective implying nobility, it is fast degenerating into the opposite – namely “rouge and corrupt”

  34. Randal Marlin
    September 8, 2017 at 18:23

    I remember well the ElBaradei incident and the way the IAEA deserved to lose credibility after his replacement by Amano. Thanks for mentioning the other areas of diminished UN credibility. I believe that as a general rule those heads of UN bodies, diplomats, and other highly placed authorities, including those in NGOs (remember Amnesty International’s report about 312 incubator babies left to die by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait in 1990 – a complete hoax), should never have their war-promoting stories believed solely on the basis of trust in their expertise and integrity. We need to know with what evidence they came to believe the reports they endorse. These authorities can be sincere, but they can also be manipulated. They can be presented with witnesses who can be very persuasive, but who also are being chosen and managed by the war-promoters. People tend to believe what they want to believe, and those in highly paid and honored positions of authority, faced with those with the power to remove them from office, will be inclined to want to believe allegations when believing them will be a condition of retaining such office. Wanting to believe the relevant matters will be made easier when carefully contrived evidence is presented to them.

    • mike k
      September 8, 2017 at 19:08

      I hold the liars in the UN especially reprehensible because they claim to represent truth and justice. To betray these ideals under the pretense of upholding them is the essence of evil.

      • Skip Scott
        September 9, 2017 at 11:06

        Just like NPR is particularly reprehensible because they claim to be “Public”.

  35. Larry
    September 8, 2017 at 18:06

    “But trust in U.N. agencies is no longer well placed; whatever independence they may have once had has been broken, a reality relevant to recent “investigations” of Syrian chemical weapons use.” Too bad really. The UN has done some really good work. But like NPR and other formerly ‘neutral-ish’ presences, The ‘Great’ Compromise has been purchased by sponsorship and just plain ‘resistance fatigue’ attrition. God or something like it help us now.

    Another great article by the way! Your work exposing and explaining the grave misdirection and sleight of hand of American institutions and their synchronized policies and propaganda is crucial. I’m so grateful to you for keeping the faith of true journalistic principles all these years. Most Americans are so far down the rabbit hole of ‘anything goes’ and ‘whatever’, including wars and the lies and endless manipulations that cause them, that it’s hard to maintain the hope for anything different and better. Your voice here, and all your writers really, remains a voice of reason and honesty. Even when I may disagree on a point or two, important ones or not, I’m loving your very existence and honoring your entirely valuable work.

  36. Abe
    September 8, 2017 at 17:59

    Israel-based journalist Jonathan Cook thoroughly details the reality of Israeli apartheid.

    MUST SEE VIDEO (definitely worth your time to watch):


    Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001.

    He is the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

    – Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006)

    – Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008)

    – Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008)

    Cook has also contributed chapters and essays to several edited volumes on Israel-Palestine.

    In 2011, Cook was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. The judges’ citation reads: “Jonathan Cook’s work on Palestine and Israel, especially his de-coding of official propaganda and his outstanding analysis of events often obfuscated in the mainstream, has made him one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East.”

    The same year, Project Censored voted a report by Cook, “Israel brings Gaza entry restrictions to West Bank“, one of the most important stories censored in 2009-10.

  37. Lawrence Fitton
    September 8, 2017 at 17:57

    if you accept the premise that the u.n. was never meant to be a peace keeper, as well as an institution whereby smaller nations would have a voice in international affairs, if those founding principles were not intended but fraudulently promoted, the whole affair makes more sense.
    what if the u.n. was founded to give cover to u.s. aggression? what if empire was always the goal? what if it wasn’t a gradual renouncement of its charter but the reason for the u.n.’s existence?
    then one would have to accept another premise: that the united states is an evil empire where torture, disappearance, murder, detention, invasion, destruction, occupation, capitalistic exploitation, are commonplace.
    for a nation that has been at war for 93% of her existence, who believes america wants peace?

    • mike k
      September 8, 2017 at 19:03

      Yes. Exactly. The US never had any intention to abide by the UN’s high sounding ideals, anymore than it abides by the same flowery language in it’s own Constitution.

    • Pat Penick
      September 8, 2017 at 22:56

      I love Consortium news but I think this commenter is off the rail. Lot of conspiracy there. For some reason these days so many people want their historical narrative to explain all events as though everything was planned planned and intended. As though rationality and control are as important as the irrational and chaos. Perhaps I just choose the easier route, but my guess is a lot of the events that happened including the UN and the route that it took are really just people blundering along. Interests change. Is very plausible that the UN started out as a noble undertaking.

      • CitizenOne
        September 9, 2017 at 01:15

        The League of Nations started out as a noble undertaking but history has shown it did nothing to thwart Germany and the West in an arms race leading up to WWII. What makes you think the United Nations will not follow the same course. The UN is more than toothless, it is cannibalistic eating away at its charter and succumbing to political will. The flaccid and under powered UN is like The League of Nations trying to counter major financial interests with plans that are counter to the major financial interests and which will ultimately be defeated by the major financial interests just as The League of Nations was ultimately defeated.

        Money rules the day and 15 represented nations on the UN Security Council that submit to “group think” are an eternal ill wind which blows the UN mission off course.

        How long to the next war and the next version of an international organization promising peace but delivering only endless platitudes for the moneyed interests and a general habit of aligning themselves with major members and their political organizations.

        A fundamental lack of an empowered governance and control over foreign affairs combined with a UN which is toothless seems to add up to support for war rather than peace.

      • Randal Marlin
        September 9, 2017 at 06:02

        I agree with Pat. When the UN was founded the spirit of the Atlantic Charter was very much alive. The idea of that Charter involved recognizing the aspirations of many emerging nations to shake off colonial rule, and to assist them in that objective. Hence when the International Civil Aviation Organization was founded a budget was provided to train indigenous technicians such as airport traffic controllers. By this means the development of international civil aviation avoided dominance by the existing powers, while ensuring competence and safety where emerging nations were concerned. I know this because my father E.R. (“Spike”) Marlin was Director of Technical Assistance for ICAO. He was one of the founding team of that organization and he promoted the idea of locating the organization in Montreal, specifically to make it less dominated by the US and with the bilingual environment (French and English) to make it more international in spirit.

      • j
        September 11, 2017 at 00:31

        Do some research and you will find most every nomination of the Secretary Generals were always controlled by USA/Israel/Great Britain. Just as in the resolutions approved regarding Israel, the 3 bosses blocked their implementation. Occasionally the third world managed to get someone through the nomination but again the 3 “bosses” a;ways managed to limit the damage to 1 term. Nobody was just blundering along-otherwise they would have been replaced very quickly.

  38. Joe Lauria
    September 8, 2017 at 17:50
    • September 9, 2017 at 00:05

      U.N. dismissal of Khalef report: indicative of the political pressures any criticism of Israeli policy is subjected to.

    • Brendan
      September 9, 2017 at 08:26

      That shows that no UN report can be called independent, since they’re all effectively subject to veto by the USA and Israel. Those governments don’t even try to make a secret of it.

      Anyway it’s an understatement, not an exagerration, to describe what Israel does in the land it controls as apartheid. Even the black South Africans didn’t suffer half as much as the Palestinians have done for generations, purely as a result of belonging to the wrong ethnic group.

      Another co-author of that report was also the target of a smear campaign, as mentioned in that linked article: “Israel immediately condemned the report, which was co-authored by Richard Falk, who has courted controversy in the past by suggesting the 9/11 attacks could have been a conspiracy involving the west.”

      However, Mr Falk denies being a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. He only criticised the 9/11 investigation because he believed it was was lacking in transparency and was full of gaps and contradictions.

      • hillary
        September 9, 2017 at 14:46

        Pressured by Nikki Haley, U.N. Pulls Richard Falk’s ‘Apartheid’ Israel Report, Head of Arab U.N. Agency Resigns…

        A good propaganda effort here
        to punish Falk & was released by UN Watch to be shared widely on Facebook and Twitter, increasing pressure on the United Nations to act.

        BTW UN Watch was founded in1993 by Morris Berthold Abram while he was Honorary President of the American Jewish Committee & BTW UN Watch called on the British government to consider whether under law Richard Falk should be expelled from the UK.
        Speaking the truth can get a brave person in trouble .

        • September 11, 2017 at 16:29

          Nikki Haley mentioned the Israel apartheid report co-authored by retired International Law Professor Richard Falk in front of media cameras and a large audience shortly after the report was taken down from the official United Nations website. She told the audience and news media, when referencing Professor Falk, that “..I’ve never heard of the man..”, Either she’s the most uninformed United States ambassador to the United Nations ever – or she lied straight through her teeth.

          By lying through her teeth she was attempting to minimize global negative publicity on apartheid Israel, rapidly growing after the report’s publication. Unfortunately, the American people have an ambassador to the United Nations willing to intentionally deceive the entire world’s population if possible. Nikki Haley at the United Nations epitomizes those sad situations where human beings cannot decide whether to laugh or cry.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain
            September 14, 2017 at 05:27

            Haley is a she-hyaena of low intelligence. Compared with Falk she appears to be of a different species.

  39. mike k
    September 8, 2017 at 17:39

    The ethics of those at the top of the US power structure are totally corrupt. These same power holders do everything they can to poison the consciousness of the public at large. The huge effort of CN to get out some pieces of truth and reality to pierce the clouds of disinformation and groupthink is testimony to the success propaganda has had in corrupting the minds of the masses. Large institutions like the UN are very vulnerable to the manipulations of the rich and powerful. The truth is up for sale to those who gain power from twisting it into it’s opposite.

  40. September 8, 2017 at 17:38

    Excellent article by Mr Parry, regarding the U.N. This gathering is paid for by our tax dollars. See link below for more info:
    September 21, 2016
    Did “War Criminals,” Arms Dealers, Dictators, Despots and “Useful Idiots” Attend the United Nations (UN) Meeting in New York?

  41. hatedbyu
    September 8, 2017 at 17:21

    is there really any reason to believe that the un was there to stop wars of aggression?

    just because they say it’s so doesn’t make it so. if recent history has proved anything, naming an organization something and providing a mission statement in support of some lofty sentiment generally is the opposite of the stated goal.

    it’s a colossal exercise in gas lighting….

  42. john wilson
    September 8, 2017 at 17:14

    The united nations has long since sold it soul to America. The very fact that the UN building is in America means its under the control of the US deep state. I bet the Yanks have got every room in the place bugged. The united nations operates under the flag of the US and is united only insofar as the rest of the world cowtows to the US.

    • Maryann
      September 10, 2017 at 12:14

      The UN building in NY was built by David Rockefeller, who acknowledged his membership in an international cabal with interests opposed to the welfare of the US.

  43. Abe
    September 8, 2017 at 16:49

    The United Nations stood by while major US regional allies played a direct role in financing and arming the mercenary terrorist forces that have attacked Syria.

    In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, major support for terrorist mercenaries was provided via NATO-member state Turkey as well as key US allies Israel and Jordan.

    The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is Ahmet Uzumcu, a Turkish career diplomat who served as ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2002, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO between 2002 and 2004.

    Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state. The remaining terrorist forces in the Idlib Governorate continue to be supplied through Syria.

    Since Uzumcu announced the creation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on 29 April 2014, not a single OPCW report has acknowledged these basic facts concerning the conflict in Syria.

    Does anyone really expect us to believe that the OPCW is going to say anything contrary to the “narrative” endorsed by the US / NATO / Israeli governments?

    • Larry
      September 8, 2017 at 18:08

      Yes, the UN held the West’s ‘coat’ while Syria was undermined and its people were butchered. Still is holding it evidently.

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