Carol Platt Liebau

Sunday, January 02, 2005

British journalist Tim Hames has the UN's number. It is, as he says, "philosophically redundant, structurally irrelevant and bureaucratically ossified." And that's being charitable.

Since Hames gets it, how is it that Richard Holbrooke, Tim Wirth, Leslie Gelb and others don't? Apparently, they called a secret meeting with Kofi Annan to tip him off that something is seriously amiss at the UN. News flash.

While Holbrooke, Gelb, Wirth and the rest are advising Kofi behind the scenes -- and to me, it seems a bit unsavory to see them so cozy with a man who obviously tried to interfere in the internal politics of the United States during the recent elections -- how about sharing a little bit of their wisdom with the rest of us? Here's what I'd like to know: Why any of us should take the UN seriously. Yes, of course we should belong (if for no other reason than to ensure that we know what the organization is up to) . . . but what claim to our money, attention and good will does the UN really have, and why? In the wake of its multiple scandals, ubridled arrogance and demonstrated greed, what moral authority does the UN have left?

I'm with The Wall Street Journal's invaluable Claudia Rosett -- the UN needs not reform, but regime change.


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