Sunday, March 09, 2003
Bitter Sanity says the UN will be torn apart by the fundamental misunderstandings between Europeans and Americans.
For Americans, protecting international security is the UN's purpose, its reason for being. Looking at the organization's recent history, we can see many instances in which it has failed to accomplish its purpose: the genocide in Rwanda, the incredible fuckup in Srebrenica, UN soldiers stepping aside and allowing the 1967 attack on Israel, and on and on. Clearly not much good at protection.

...The UN is not only not useful, it's become actively harmful - not in a trivial "Let's spout some anti-Semitic rhetoric today" way, but in a way that if allowed to succeed will have a real price in blood. To me - having grown up in Jefferson's tradition - it looks like "alter or abolish" time.

But what does it look like to Europeans? I think that Europeans see the UN's mission, not as ensuring security, but as acting as a check on unfettered nationalism. And I see this profound but unstated difference in perception of the UN's purpose as the underlying source of the current UN conflict.

Considering what European nationalism did to the twentieth century - not to mention the nineteenth, the eighteenth, and I could go on for a while - it's reasonable for them to have concluded that nationalism unrestrained is the evil that causes war. And to have turned, after the Second World War, to transnational organizations - the UN, the EC, the EU - as a way of putting chains on nationalism, of keeping it within bounds, of preventing it from ever again drawing the whole world into war. These organizations are entrusted with keeping the old demon of nationalism down, and so naturally, they must have a certain degree of authority over national governments.
That's just part of the introduction. Go read the whole thing. Found via Instapundit.


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