Just wondering: What do you have to do to get kicked out of the United Nations?
Is there anything at all that disqualifies you? Like, say, waging an unprovoked war on a neighbor?
Or how about waging war on your own people?
Nope. There are zero standards for membership in the United Nations. And apparently no carpeting, either; it’s easier to clean blood off of marble floors.
There are a number of nations and despots who might have been tossed out on their stump years ago, had the esteemed body had the least little bit of humanity. Iraq under Saddam Hussein comes to mind. Iran, after the revolution and hostage-taking. Myanmar. Libya under Gadhafi.
Few U.N. member states’ leaders are as reprehensible, though, as Bashar Assad – a legacy strongman who has waged open war on his own people now for several years, and is said to be ready to use chemical weapons on them.
Saddam Hussein, you’ll recall, used sarin gas to kill 5,000 Kurds in one fell swoop – while his emissaries enjoyed the commissary at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Just the rogue’s list of possible retirement spots Assad may be eyeing, should he ultimately be forced out, tells you everything you need to know about him: Cuba and Venezuela would apparently be glad to find him a nice condo.
“We believe (Assad’s) fall is inevitable,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this past week. “It is just a question of how many people have to die before that occurs.”
Apparently the United States is about to officially recognize the opposition coalition in Syria as the legitimate government. It’s risky, of course – we can’t be sure how civil or reliable they’d be. But nearly anything is better than Assad.
If only the United Nations had the intestinal fortitude and moral certitude to do the same.
But this body often does the opposite of what’s moral – such as not only allowing murderous tyrants membership in the family of nations, but also a seat at the table of commissions judging other countries’ human rights records. What a joke.
In the case of blithely welcoming members such as Assad, and blissfully turning a blind eye to their unrestrained savagery, the United Nations is more than a joke. It’s a travesty.
Membership in a United Nations ought to come with certain expectations – and perhaps even some rewards. For instance, those nations whose regimes are deemed inhumane, or who wage unjustified war on anyone, should have access to loans and trade agreements and other perquisites of enlightened behavior cut off. Membership, as a famous credit card advertisement suggests, should have its privileges.
But at the very least, when will the civilized nations of the world require more of their world body – or just agree to form a new one with a few fundamental standards of human decency?