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October 05, 2005


Steve Ralston

Once again, you have uncovered the systemic problems of the United Nations. Bravo. In the world today, many easily find all sorts of fault with America. It appears to have become a sort of international game to see who can cast the most vile aspersions on America, American politicians (especially President Bush), and even average Americans.
The international community has ignored corruption within the United Nations for a very long time. In fact, as evidence has unfolded on the Oil for Food Program, it appears many international players were personally involved. Among them were certainly Americans. However, a vast majority of Oil for Food Program misuse players, were not. Even more vexing is the inclusion of countries who obstensibly spoke against Saddam, in public. Behind the scenes, actions tended to be in opposition to the public rhetoric. Greed has again reared its ungly head. Beneath the greed though, another disturbing issue needs to be addressed. Covert participation in efforts to undermine United Nations approved sanctions by even staff of the Secretary-General's Secretariat, may tell another story.
Internationalists appear to contend that the world should act as one community and there should be an end to "nation-states", as though they feel we must all accept the concepts of a world government.
Even if we accept the notions that it is good for the nations of the world to use internationally accepted universal principles, that alone does not preclude individual "nation-states." The concept of surrender of individual national sovereignty will be plagued with individual opinions, magnified by the number of nations affected. Individuals work to resolve problems. Resolutions that work in Siberia for a small village, may not be applicable to individuals in Lima, Peru. On a larger scale, the resolution of issues between Poland and Germany, may not fit when applied to resolving issues between America and Mexico. Applying an international concept of law that all must adhere to, implies that the same law applied to Poland and Germany, is or can be applied to America and Mexico. In general, all nations have issues that are similar. In detail, it is foolish to assert that all are the same.
Standards of acceptable decency in the Netherlands, would be considered obscene in Linclon, Nebraska. The French maintain that California wines are not comparable in quality to French wines. Despite the fact that this has not been adequately defined or proven, the real issues remains to be opinion. The French have even gone so far as to push for a European Union mandate that no one but France can call certain wines, by the same name used in France for that wine.
How then can one reason moral standards acceptable to the public in one location, will be acceptable to the public in another location. Muslim standards for the dress of women, albeit supposedly a religious standard, are imbedded into the law of the land in predominantly Muslim nations. Applying those same standards to women in The Netherlands or France would meet with outrage or laughter.
Local, state or province, and national issues are delicately balanced in most nations. History has shown that balancing issues among nations, is an even more delicate effort. Developing acceptable standards to be applied internationally, would prove fruitless.
Government, as it grows in size and power, eats up significant amounts of money so it can keep running. An international government would be so voracious in its need for funding, that individuals would either rebel or simply go broke in an effort to appease the demands.
Acceptable rules, or laws, are in the eyes of those on whom they are imposed. Rebellions throughout the history of the world, have been as a result of rules imposed by those in power on those without that individual power. The developement of rules by any governmental body, elected or otherwise, can only be effected by force or common acceptance. Acceptance is generally granted by the public to governing bodies they trust and can be involved in. A corrupt government will not have the trust of the public, therefore will find acceptance ignored, unless imposed by force. Imposition by force, especially of rules that many find unacceptable or inappropriate, have historically led to revolutions and civil wars. Imposition by an international government would lead to a world-wide civil war.
Seems to me this is the best arguement for nation-states. The levels of corruption at the United Nations is the best arguement against the United Nations or any of its proposed programs.

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