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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2005 / 25 Adar II, 5765

The United Nations: What Is to Be Done?

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nowadays when you see the words "U.N. sex scandal" in the paper, they're usually prefaced by "another."

The news is disheartening and revolting: In the Congo, U.N. peacekeepers are accused of rape and of patronizing child prostitution rings. In East Timor — we learn four years after the fact — Australian troops drew their weapons, one newspaper reports, "to protect themselves from Jordanian peacekeepers" after an Aussie "blew the whistle on other Jordanian soldiers' sexual abuse of East Timorese boys."

It's been a hard run for the United Nations. Sex scandals. The Oil for Food program, Saddam Hussein's attempt to find a Eurocrat or Russian businessman who couldn't be bribed. (He failed.)

Kofi Annan's response to these interminable travails: a thorough reorganization, released under the leaden title "In Larger Freedom."

The plan would have stricter rules concerning when a nation could go to war, for example. (Sleep well, Taiwan — China would face double-secret probation if they invaded you under the New, Improved Rules.)

It would expand the Security Council from 15 to 24 seats — perhaps the only way to include big, dynamic and useful nations without kicking out France. But it's a typically bureaucratic solution: Want a more secure world? Add chairs.

Compounding Annan's agitation: the new nominee for U.S. ambassador, John Bolton, who regards the United Nations like a jar of old mayo that's been in the sun for a week. He's a nightmarish choice — if you think the ambassador should represent the United Nations to the United States, not the other way around.

Granted, Bolton is stern stuff. The U.N. tower has 38 stories, he once noted, and "if you lost 10 stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Bolton foes hope the quote alarms you — which it would, if the top floors were devoted to tsunami advance-warning detection, cold fusion, discovering a cheap AIDS vaccine that doubles as a dessert topping, and other invaluable advances the United Nations will spring on us any day now.

Lopping off 10 stories would ruin the building's proportions, but surely there's fat to trim. Annan's own reform proposal abolishes the U.N. Commission on Human Rights — preferably before Myanmar gets the rotating seat — as well as the "Trusteeship Council" — a group that's had nothing to do since the last U.N. trust territory was granted independence in 1994.

That's probably two floors there. Eight to go. See? It looks like a big job, but once you get started those floors just melt away.

This isn't to say the United Nations doesn't have a role. (Insert obligatory World Health Organization disclaimer here. Insert rote genuflection to the usefulness of international relief coordination agencies here.)

But you could spin off all the good stuff into one big group of international do-gooders, convene a parliament of democracies down the street, and be better off. Somehow we're led to believe that the absence of a General Assembly means the end of dialogue — as though Vladimir Putin can't look up the Chinese ambassador in the phone book.

But that's harsh. The United Nations wants to change! It wants to help. Listen to its own high holy boilerplate:

"We will spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war ... to take concerted action against international terrorism, and to accede as soon as possible to all the relevant international conventions, to redouble our efforts to implement our commitment to counter the world drug problem ... to strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, and to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers."

Oh, not the possibility of convening a convention! Iranian moo-lahs are throwing ropes over the rafters at the very thought. Those are nice words, but unfortunately they're from the Millennium Declaration of 2000.

Now we have the "In Larger Freedom" proposal, which sounds like more of the same. Maybe it'll do a better job of bringing elections to the Arab and Muslim world than the U.S. armed forces.

Maybe if they added 10 more floors to the building.

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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, James Lileks