For decades the American Right has decried the U.N. for encroaching on American sovereignty, but the truth is that the U.N. is a chief U.S. accomplice in violating the sovereignty of other nations, notes J.P. Sottile.
By J.P. Sottile
President Trump opened his big United Nations week … and his famous mouth … with a predictable plug for one of his properties and some playful glad-handing with French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump also scolded the U.N.’s unwieldy scrum for “not living up to its potential.” He made a passing reference to the U.N.’s wasteful use of American money. And he called for “reform” of the much-maligned international forum.
It was a stolid prelude to what will no doubt be “must-see” TV when he speaks to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday about North Korea and Iran. And it was a far cry from the way America’s leading “America Firster” spent the campaign lamenting how unfair the U.N. is to the poor schlemiel we call Uncle Sam.
He is likely to use his speech to throw a little bit of that same red meat to his base, but his call for reform falls well short of what his supporters want … which is an abrupt end of U.S. involvement in the international body. They are motivated by a grab-bag of reasons that point to the U.N. being a threat to their guns, their bank accounts and their God-given freedom.
Oddly enough, these conspiratorial narratives have been around for decades and they mostly center on a grand plan by U.N. elites to abscond American sovereignty and dissolve the U.S. into a U.N.-led world government. And the evidence of this is the way the U.N. harasses and restricts Uncle Sam while siphoning-off America’s wealth. At least, that’s what some think.
Most ominously, many object to the way U.N. funds are being used to quietly deploy gun-grabbing U.N. soldiers in advance of the big takeover. But like so much of Trump’s intoxicating irredentism … this is a grievance more likely rooted in a three-day meth bender in a Tallahassee trailer park than it is from shocking evidence gathered from well-traveled observation. It’s paranoia. But really, it’s worse than that.
Why? Because the U.N. has basically been the complete opposite of what its angriest critics claim. It is not out to get the U.S. Rather, it has largely been America’s tool since its inception and, in particular, it has repeatedly covered Uncle Sam’s overly-exposed butt as he (a.k.a. “the royal we”) has gone around the world on a three decade-long military bender since the end of the Cold War.
Yes, the Gulf War was U.N. approved and the whole world got behind it because (April Glaspie’s backstory notwithstanding) the prima facie case was strong and it was a fairly clear-cut example of unwarranted aggression. That was an easy call.
But since then, the calls have been nothing short of murky as the U.S. has bombed and droned and deployed and invaded and covertly-acted and regime-changed all around the globe. And the unspoken truth is that the United Nations has been America’s all-too silent partner as Uncle Sam traipsed around the planet with a loaded gun, remote control assassination machines and paper-thin rationales for intervention.
Although the U.N. occasionally puts a bug up Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s ass on the issue of the slow-motion ethnic cleansing in the West Bank … what other issue is there where the U.N. has taken a real stand against the U.S. or U.S. policy objectives?
Where is the U.N.’s punishment for being lied to by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell? And where is the punishment for destroying a bystander nation under false pretenses? Where is the punishment for Abu Ghraib or Gitmo?
Where is the punishment for America’s summary execution of “suspected militants” around the Muslim world simply because they are of “military age” and in the wrong place at the right time … and for the CIA, it is always the right time to kill a suspect no matter how wrong the place many be. And where is the condemnation of America’s destabilizing role as the world’s leading supermarket of military hardware?
How about mounting civilian causalities from an ever-widening widening bombing campaign? The U.N. can say the killings are “unacceptable,” but does it really matter if there is no sanction? There haven’t been any sanctions after children were killed in a “U.S.-backed raid” in Somalia. Go figure, right?
Or what about America’s complicity in the catastrophe of Yemen? Where are those sanctions? And what exactly has the U.N. done to punish any number of extra-legal maneuver by a succession of American presidents over the course of the “Global War on Terror”? The simple answer is nothing.
Instead, the Secretary General is largely beholden to the disproportionate influence of the United States. The Security Council’s agenda is basically set by the United States … and that’s particularly true since the Soviet Union collapsed. At the same time, the U.N.’s occasionally contentious debates do little more than offer the imprimatur of international approbation or well-noted disdain despite the functionally inconsequential nature of those debates.
A Fig Leaf for Empire
Either way it is a win for Uncle Sam because the presence of a neutered United Nations provides the United States with a fig leaf just big enough to cover the dangly parts of America’s otherwise naked empire.
The money that does go from the U.S. Treasury into the minutia around the margins … like UNESCO programs and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and all the other little crumbs that get thrown around the world … these are payoffs. This is what the world gets for mostly keeping its mouth shut in the face of America’s globe-spanning empire. The tiny amount of aid that trickles down past the bureaucracy … much like the bureaucracy itself … is not an example of America “getting played” by wasteful foreigners with hidden agendas. This is America paying to play the world like organ grinder with a hurdy-gurdy monkey.
Frankly, the “28.5% of the overall peacekeeping bill” that Trump calls “unfair” (about $2.2 billion of the $3.3 billion the U.S. gives to the UN annually) is a pittance … particularly if you want the unchecked right to tell Persians what they can and cannot do in the Persian Gulf, to tell the Chinese what they can and cannot build in the South China Sea, and to tell every other power on the face of the earth why they cannot have the same nuclear capability America not only has … but is currently “upgrading” to the tune of $1.5 trillion.
Even more amazingly, the U.S. wants to deny these nations the only real insurance policy against U.S.-led regime change. And why is that? Because there ain’t a Curveball’s chance in Hell that the U.N. will ever be able to stop Uncle Sam from marching where he wants, when he wants and for whatever reason he wants to cook-up. That’s a historically provable fact.
The only real check on U.S. power is the ability of an asymmetrical power to go nuclear. And let’s admit it, they are ALL asymmetrical powers when compared to America’s gargantuan, trillion-dollar national security beast. And this is why the U.N.’s “partnership” with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only U.N.-associated agency that really matters. They can’t do much, but they can throw a wrench into another WMD snipe hunt … like they are doing now with the Iran Nuclear Deal.
But like it was tested by Team Bush, the IAEA is going to be tested again as Trump and Netanyahu make their bogus case … without a hint of irony … that Iran is the world’s greatest threat. But that’s really just par for a course that’s riddled with falsified flags haphazardly stuck into the shallow holes of a back nine that’s actually been built by and for a club-wielding Uncle Sam.
A Cult of Grievance
And therein lies the truly pernicious part of the Trumped-up case against the U.N. … because, like so much of America’s growing cult of grievance, it reflects an ever-widening gap between America’s stated ideals and its self-serving behavior around the world.
As we are learning almost daily, Americans tried to square that circle by electing a profligate liar who fully embodies America’s insatiable desire to take credit, particularly where none is due … and to outsource the blame to scapegoats like the U.N., particularly when the only alternative is a long look into the mirror.
And in the case of the U.N., that projected guilt is in spite of the fact that it is often tasked with quietly cleaning up some of the collateral damage wrought by their main accuser. They just have to do so without any real power or the funds to do the job. That’s the simple truth you won’t hear in Trump’s speech … or any speech, for that matter.
It’s the fact that the U.N.’s meager amount of “wasteful spending” doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of doing business when your business depends of paying the world to look the other way while you get away with murder.
JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.
The process of undermining the UN began before it’s inauguration, and has continued up to it’s sorry condition today. What should have been a lasting testament to our hopes for world peace, has become the sad spectacle of our failure to make those dreams real. The ongoing devices that power uses to perpetuate and increase it’s hold over mankind now threaten to kill all of us, even as the power wielders approach nearer to their goal of total world domination.
The mainstream media today reported that Trump received ovations from the UN general assembly for blatantly threatening North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. If true, what the hell is going on in THAT madhouse? Apparently, all the clappers have it in their noggins that the world will be a better place when North Korea and Iran get nuked by the exceptional country and the natural resources of Venezuela are once again safely in the hands of a small cadre of wealthy capitalists, relieving the government of any responsibility to share the benefits with the people. It’s called the “let them eat my hot air” solution for feeding the hungry. Left to Trump, in one way or another all three countries will share in the marvelous freedom and democracy of the grave, compliments of that famous American altruism.
Not exactly ovations but scattered applause from a few favored nations – particularly Israel.
I saw many sections of delegates with faces of dismay or boredom or annoyance.
I had to read several articles to find any mention of the audience response beyond Netanyahu’s approval and polite applause at the end … the Guardian reported negative murmuring from the audience throughout.
Hmmm. Quick revisionist history at work. The link Drudge first attached described “applause” throughout the chamber. Now that description has disappeared and a distinctly different response, such as you describe, appears when the question is researched on search engines. I hope my original take adequately expressed shock that anyone, let alone diplomats at the UN, would cheer such warmongering.
Exactly. Exactly. The UN has been Uncle Sam’s obedient enabler for decades. Now what will be the reaction to American threats to wholesale destroy another nation? To murder millions of Koreans out of fear or annoyance? What other nation is more a threat to world peace than the USA?
Watching “The Vietnam War” is a good reminder of the post-colonial struggle to maintain control over the newly “liberated” third-world — by whatever brutality necessary. It seems to be a chapter in history not much taught in our schools … like the history of the labor movement or the evolution of not just species but also social phenomenon like racism …
It’s really rather fascinating how our “anti-communist manifesto” — aimed as so many dirt-poor and developing countries — was to preserve and protect our ability to utterly financially dominate them … arguably, it was about eliminating any/all competition for whatever it was that we wanted to buy. Communism might cause a country to put its own interests first, rather than those of the financial/business class and/or its equally poor allied comrade… only capitalism ensured that we would always have the leverage needed to buy “favored nation status” first-dibs and favorably negotiated rates of exchange. We’re seeing this ruthless competition being played out once again, this time without the pretext of “communist menace” … instead some rights of empire to crush all competition, even struggling, even starving states like Yemen and Venezuela … obscene.
I’m sorry there was no walk-out at the UN, but it’s probably better there was none. Apparently there were murmurs of dissent from the audience. No “stunned silence” but more like grim acceptance that Trump’s “message” was really what he intended to say, rather than some reactive twitter outburst. :”Monster” is not too strong a word. (Domestically he’s no better).
I like the truth of what Sotile says. The UN is another US stooge and bribetaker. They resemble the US Congress in that respect, or NATO. They sanction anyone the US targets. Neither China nor Russia call the US or its stooges out enough. They think they are being practical and pragmatic by keeping quiet and referring to the Empire as “partner”. That is what Gorbachev tried to do and it sunk the Soviet Union. Only little North Korea has had the balls to be defiant.
Follow the money and the Davos Crowd, they’re as star-struck by the glitterati (and hopeful for a nod) … many (not all) are looking ahead to their next gig … like Nikki Haley whom I gather has presidential ambitions (give it a google … it’s true) …
Neoliberalism is a global thing …. careerism is part of it.
Paul Craig Roberts, who used to be the assistant secretary of the treasury under Reagan, has said many times that most world leaders (and that would include those at the U.N.) have been bought off with pallets of American hundred-dollar bills. They are simply paid up front many millions of dollars to do Washington’s bidding. That’s why they are willing to sell out the interests of their own countries to prop up American policy around the globe. Government is a sham at every level. Democracy is a joke. Only money has a say about what gets done, who prospers and who suffers or dies.
America ant it’s posse of sycophantic arse lickers are the worst terrorists in the world.
How deplorably hollow, Trumps’ words wherein he imposes the words ‘world peace’ upon a United Nations body even as he circles the globe SELLING LETHAL WEAPONS to brutal and repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, for example.
Also ‘world peace’ in respect to the Iran nuclear agreement.
Could Netanyahu have composed that piece of the speech?
Also, when he talked about governments (especially the US) providing for it’s citizens – how could I
think of the millions who’re about to lose health coverage under his REPROVE & replace the ACA?
I listened, with continuous revulsion to Trumps’
entire reading of formulated (teleprompt-ed) ‘speech’
all in the Same Vein… the Projection of Threatening
United States Military/Economic Enforcement Power.
Trump Bullyism – To all of you who believe in and endorse
The flagrant Bullspit he espoused- Shame on the Ignorance
of “educated” Americans who glorify wealth opposed to life.
Same bullspit NWO speech off a teleprompter read aloud
by the Most Criminally Dumb elected President in US history.
lose health coverage under his REPROVE & replace the ACA?
reprimand or censure (someone).
synonyms: reprimand, rebuke, reproach, scold, admonish, chastise, chide, upbraid, berate, take to task, rake/haul over the coals, criticize, censure; informaltell off, give someone a talking-to, dress down, give someone a dressing-down, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, rap over the knuckles, slap someone’s wrist; formalcastigate
And thats why I can only laugh at the UN when they blame Russia or Assad for anything or generally act morally superior. Especially very obviously false flag things like the attack on the UN convoy in Aleppo or the chemical attacks, while they just watch the USA and its close allies break international law not only in Syria, but also in Ukraine, Yemen, Libya and many more countries.
Trump’s Belligerent UN Speech
By DANIEL LARISON • September 19, 2017, 11:25 AM
Trump’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly this morning contained a lot of ill-advised and dangerous remarks, but this one stood out:
If the righteous many don’t confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph….
It also strains credulity that Trump speaks on behalf of righteousness when he embraces so many abusive despots and enables Saudi-led coalition crimes in Yemen….
[read more at link below]
I asked the question below in 2016. I believe it still applies today.
See link below for more info]
Did “War Criminals,” Arms Dealers, Dictators, Despots and “Useful Idiots” Attend the United Nations (UN) Meeting in New York?
The smartest men that Have to deal with the UN are Putin and Lavrov and they told the UN and Trump to stick it in regards to this Klan meeting. If you read all about the UN , it hasn’t changed its agenda since they wouldn’t listen to both sides of the Korean Civil War beginning in June of 1950. With 30 to 40,000 UN employees and the US footing most of the bill for the past 60+ years, there is no doubt that this NWO organization is paid to help the US overthrow governments. Most of these countries leaders that signed on the dotted line for re-organization and more fake world reports have gotten wheelbarrows of money, threats and false promises of protection. It doesn’t look good for the more honest countries in the World right now.
The record of UN officials on Syria, backing the yankee line to the extent of contributing to propaganda misinformation on the “chemical weapons” false flags, reveals their role as enablers to the yankee imperium and provides evidentiary support to what this article states about the UN’s lapdog role.
While I fully agree with and endorse Mr. Sottile’s thesis about UN complicity in Uncle Sam’s three-decade rampage, I suggest he look more deeply into the circumstances around the build up to the first Gulf War. Yes, it had UN approval and was backed up by an international coalition. But Mr. Sottile fails to note that in December of 1989, the U.S. invaded Panama in order to apprehend Mr. Noreiga. Why was that invasion sanctioned here and abroad while the invasion of Kuwait, rightfully condemned, resulted in a catastrophic war that killed thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians, and devastated the country’s infrastructure? I suggest there were quite a number of reasons behind Bush’s decision to launch a war against Iraq, and preserving Kuwait’s independence was perhaps the least important. Moreover, despite Bush’s posturing that going to war was only the solution in the face of Iraq’s intransigence, there are reputable historians and scholars who maintain that negotiating a peaceful end to the stand off was not in the best interests of the U.S. After all, our number one enemy—the Soviet Union—was or had collapsed, and we had to show the world that “what we says goes.” In the post-Cold War world, the U.S. would be the one and only cop on the block. The Bush Administration wanted war, and that’s what it got, despite Iraq’s last-minute proposals to withdraw, with conditions of course. Whether these proposals were genuine or not may never be known, since Washington discounted them from the get go. War was not the answer then, whether it had the UN’s blessing or not.
George your recounting those days leading up to the 1st Gulf War ‘Desert Storm’, and how America felt it had to put on a celebration show for outlasting the USSR, is spot on, and this episode of American warring is also regrettable on so many, many, various levels that’s it’s hard to be brief when explaing it. I remember back then, for a brief moment, when I felt that the U.S. should have teamed up with Russia to evict Saddam out of Kuwait. I thought that by including the new Russian Federation that this new partnership could turn back the minute hands of the Doomsday Clock back to about quarter after.
Just thought I would take a walk down memory lane with you George, good comment. Joe
Don’t forget, Joe, that GWH Bush gave the green light to Saddam to attack Kuwait, thru US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie.
read all about it here: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/April_Glaspie.html
Very interesting transcript, Mild-ly,,,thank you…of course, Kuwait was never really a “nation” but simply an enclave of consortium oil interests created by imperial power.
Why isn’t this article front-page news on every damn rag – and I mean especially you, NYT and WaPo? Oh. Did I just ask a stupid question? It has been so obvious for decades that the U.N. was America’s kabuki theater, not the other way around.
If you have not done that already, I suggest that you read the Autobiography of Dean Acheson who was the secretary of state of Harry Truman. The book is called “Present at the Creation”………………
Because Patricia the MSM has more important things to report, like what got said about Trump at the Emmy’s, or that Sean Spicer made a hilarious unexpected cameo appearance at the TV awards show, or whatever in the hell President Trump tweeted this morning which his Cabinet will ignore anyway, but that’s what our MSM puts stock in what we flyovers need to know. It’s for this reason our country’s professional sports teams do so well.
I have an idea, why not move the New-York UN headquarter to Sanaa, Yemen. We’ll see how fast the UN members react after the move.
Yes, I agree. Yemen is more central to the world’s problems more so than New York anyway, so yes by all means let’s move the UN to Yemen. I might add that by moving the UN to Yemen this could benefit Yemen in their rebuilding process, or at least within a 10 block radius of the UN Yemen Building life would become good. Viva la Yemen, we are all Yemeni.
That’s a good one LOL
Growing up I was taught to believe the UN to be a beautiful institution, but just like being 5 years old and accidentally finding your mom hiding the Easter eggs, you grow up to see life in a different way, as from your childhood. So, here we have the UN being historically corrupted by Special Interest. This same Special Interest also seems to carry around a lot of weigh inside of the U.S. Governments mechanisms of function, and so goes life.
The UN in its concept is a fantastic idea, but in its reality it falls victim to the irresistible human nature of financial corruption. Back a few years ago when Kofi Annan was implicated in the ‘Iraq Fuel for Food Program’, along with his son, I found myself once again anguished over the loss of another likable politician gone bad. Annan much like Bill Clinton is easy to listen too, and always comes off as appearing to be a relatively calm and reasonable person. I’ll bet he is, but like the many in his professional the tangling low fruit of bribe and kickback cannot be resisted.
We need tons of good concerned honest citizens to take over our American Halls of Justice and Legislative institutions, and with the lack of this representation by the Commons, we all go down. The UN is another find example of man’s greatest well meaning intentions, gone the way of the special interest money groups who so ravishingly corrupt these institutions for their own financial gain.
What a load of self-serving American justification. The attack on Iraq – not Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait – was a classic example of unprovoked aggressive war, the ultimate international crime. Whether or not Kuwait is part of Kuwait is a matter for Iraqis and Kuwaitis. It is absolutely none of any American’s business.
Our decades of meddling wrt the Kurds is coming to a boil, roiling the region … we have a long history of aiding, abetting, arming, funding and generally emboldening the “dissident / minorities” in countries we wish to destablize and those who absorb the blowback (Like Iraq) … as if we had the authority or “right” to interfere with another nation’s sovereignty…. this isn’t the well-funded astroturf of “color revolutions”, this is — in fact — undeclared hostilities constituting acts of war. Hey, where was a 2 ton canary sit??? At the UN, anywhere he wants to.
The US taxpayers in service to the war profiteers and Israel-firsters:
“Israeli fighter jets have bombed a large hilltop in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. As the attack was conducted unilaterally, it is classified as a war crime.” http://theduran.com/breaking-israeli-warplanes-struck-syria-lebanon-border/
“The Syrian Army liberating the Deir ez-Zor region from terrorists is facing strong resistance and massive fire from areas where armed opposition groups and US forces are stationed:” https://www.rt.com/news/403815-syria-russia-opposition-usa/
The US/Israel have been reinforcing their “Foreign Legion” made of jihadi “freedom fighters.” As the Cheney’ patriots love to say, “Support the troops in a war on terror!”
Anna, expecting the Holy States of Israel/America (to get the power relation in its correct order)to obey mere ‘International Law’, is both ‘antisemitic’ and ‘antiAmerican’, perhaps even ‘unAmerican’. Shame on you-twice.
“Our decades of meddling wrt the Kurds is coming to a boil, roiling the region”…Susan, I have to disagree with you here. We never did anything “for” the Kurds except use them when it served “our” purpose. Our motivation was always oil(and Israel) and once the Kurds became the only trusted ally against ISIS it would be a supreme betrayal to abandon them. Yes, it does complicate the already messy politics of the MidEast but Syria and Iraq were always artificial states set up by colonial powers. Furthermore, although the invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake, Saddam treated minorities brutally. The Kurds, on the contrary, have treated minorities with respect. I seriously doubt that the Syrian Kurds are looking for regime change in Damascus. They probably would be open to an offer of autonomy from Assad and this is where I expect they would be suspicious of their American mentors’ motives. As far as their referendum in Iraq goes they have every right to establish their own state and would be foolish not to take the opportunity after being screwed over so many years.
“The attack on Iraq………… the ultimate international crime.”
America said, “oops.” Doesn’t that count for something? And, BTW, if the Iraqis don’t want the “democracy” our developmentally deficient boy/man, President, “W” tried to send them, they should just send it back.
Boy, we sure could use it these days.
That’s a keen observation NYPaul, that while our nation goes around the globe spreading ‘freedom & liberty’ we on the home front lose ours. So sad.
Blasphemer! “None of America’s business??” What in the hell does that even mean? EVERY nation on the face of this earth is America’s business! Everyone knows that! There are no such things as “sovereign nations” (except for the U.S.), or national borders (except our own), because U.S. Security (TM) is all-encompassing and gives us the right to go anywhere we choose to protect said Security. If WE enter another country’s airspace, then it is perfectly legitimate because we are the U.S. – period. If another country enters the airspace of another country (especially ours or our allies), then that is an illegal invasion and the invading country will be demonized and retaliated against until they are sent back to the stone age.
WE are the exceptional nation, because we are the exception to every rule and every law. Get that through your thick head. If America does something, then it is automatically good and legal and justified. Period. Full stop.
Far more interesting than “April Glaspie’s backstory” regards the Gulf War is the mid-August 1990 Iraqi offer to withdraw from Kuwait. Saddam Hussein had some conditions, but they weren’t crazy ones.
The destruction of the powerful organized state, and army, of Iraq seems to have been the driving reason for the war, not the liberation of Kuwait.
Yeah, but the U.S. with the ‘Desert Storm’ win in its pocket kicked the ‘Vietnam Syndrome’, and Poppy Bush was having orgasms over launching his ‘New One World Order Project’. Nice.
Just the other day one of my daughters informed me of another ‘Desert Storm’ Vet who we know, was suffering from an odd illness, and the doctors think this Vets illness could be related to his exposure to ordinance in the Iraqi Kuwait conflict. How old is Poppy Bush? I don’t know, but this Vet, like many of his brother in arms, is barely 50.
I also think the original Gulf War, started by HW Poppy Bush, was an American celebration of the USSR going down.
Nuremberg it turns out made a better movie, than it did to set precedent and spread justice.