In recent weeks, certain conservatives have questioned why globalists have
taken actions in the UN that seemed to be discrediting the institution. See,
for example, Why Have the Globalists Discredited the U.N. on the View From the Right
website. Hans Blix and Mouhamed Al-Baradei persisted in downplaying Saddam
Hussein’s open breaches of the 1991 Ceasefire agreement and Resolution 1441,
the 17th resolution ignored or breached by the Ba’athist regime in Iraq.
Meanwhile the French and Russians threatened to veto any resolution enforcing
prior resolutions for which they voted. While these stances have been explained
by neoconservatives in the press as mere institutional pacifism in the UN
and protection of business interests by France and Russia, there are more
serious agendas driving these actions. It is imperative that conservatives
recognize the current threat to American sovereignty and power, and focus
on these issues rather than on the current internecine fight between neoconservatives
The US is the only superpower among western nations. Our GDP provides roughly
one-quarter of Gross World Income. The paltry 3% of GDP we spend on the military
is more than the aggregate GDP of entire blocs of nations. The British Empire
at its relative height never had this power. Unless the transnational progressives
can control and constrain this power in the UN through institutional pressure
in the US, the UN is little more than a glorified debating club. No global
government can work unless the US is constrained.
Despite some of the more outrageous propositions by the left that the UN
constrain the US militarily (see, for example, Art Moore's March 15 column
on WorldNetDaily), the only method the UN has to constrain the US is through
an appeal for international legitimacy. The UN Charter claims to be the sole
arbiter of legitimacy for aggressive military action.
According to Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter,
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat
or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence
of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the
President Bush’s gambit of going to the UN for authorization was an attempt
to secure international legitimacy, quiet Democrat and liberal domestic critics,
and shore up the support of our foreign allies. The strategy failed, not
because of the veto of France and Russia, but because of our failure to purchase
the support of the temporary Security Council members. Going to the Security
Council allowed Cameroon, Mexico, and Angola to harbor the illusion that
they could block US military action. Worse, this attempt to secure the support
of the UN has given precedent to Globalist claims that only the UN can bestow
legitimacy on non-defensive wars. Until now, the US has jealously guarded
its sovereign power of pre-emptive action. Even during the Clinton administration,
the US acted in Kosovo and Haiti without UN authorization. As long as America’s
political class maintains the will to exercise power, the UN cannot constrain
It may be to the beneficial for transnational progressivism that the UN,
as currently constructed, fails in constraining the US. (For more on transnational
progressivism see John Fonte's article on the American Diplomacy
website.) If it cannot enforce resolutions or constrain the US, the
UN has no real power, and must be replaced or reconstructed. Just as the
institutional failure of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
created pressure for a reconstitution of the American government, the vacillation
of the UN will create pressure for a stronger centralized world government.
The standard argument proposed by many neoconservatives is that the UN has
become the League of Nations; or that it is a worthless debating society
constraining American action. President Bush has echoed this view with his
assertions that the US is only executing existing UN resolutions.
argument will be appropriated by the left as another reason to promote a
more powerful institution. The failure of the League of Nations did not discredit
the idea of world governance; rather it called for a redoubling of efforts.
The idea of sovereignty was discredited in many circles. The blind opposition
of the anti-war Right undermined reasonable opposition to the UN; even Senator
Robert Taft voted for the UN Charter. This can happen again.
As currently constructed, the UN faces two structural problems: inequalities
between member states (the US has too much power) and the vacillation of
the UN due to the competing interests of member states. Having a relatively
independent and unaccountable bureaucracy can solve these dilemmas. This
has been the solution of the Transnational Progressives in the past. For
example, despite competing national interests and expansion of the EU, it
has become more centralized and rigid due to the bureaucrats in Brussels.
If a mere trading association can usurp sovereignty and centralize power,
what are the limits of the growth of a Byzantine world government like the
By going to the UN with our resolution to attack Iraq, the US has crossed
the Rubicon. The UN will never be the same. The institutional pressure for
its growth and centralization will not abate. If we continue with the attack
and succeed, the Transnational Progressives will use the fall of Iraq to
further discredit sovereignty and the UN's prior inaction to push for an
efficient bureaucracy. If the US attacks Iraq and fails, the Transnational
Progressives will blame our "unilateral" approach.
Should the UN, transnational progressives, and antiwar right prevent the
war on Iraq, American sovereignty and power will decline. The precedent will
have been set that no aggressive action may occur without UN approval. This
will severely limit US action in the future. Furthermore, our standing in
the world will decline. Many of our allies, especially those where the heads
of state have jeopardized careers by supporting us -- Britain, Australia,
Spain, Italy, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar -- will see our inaction as a betrayal.
This will hurt the ruling parties among our European allies, strengthening
the anti-US forces in the EU.
divide in Europe may well limit the Franco-German dream of a United European
centralized federation opposing the US. Despite the unpopularity of war with
Iraq, it is a lack of American action that is most likely to create a true
federation challenging American Hegemony in the West. Similarly, anti-Western
Arabs and Islamists will be strengthened by American vacillation or inaction.
The threat of Islamist or anti-American nationalist revolutions sweeping
Pakistan and the Persian Gulf states so commonly used to justify anti-war
positions among our foreign policy elite may be realized only if we follow
their advice. The reality is that if we are to maintain our sovereignty and
ability to act in our self-defense in the future, we must invade Iraq and
topple the Ba’athist regime.
Unfortunately, to do this, President Bush must first make an argument for
attacking Iraq based on national interest. George Tenet’s testimony
to the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 11, 2002 is damning and
should discredit all those who cling to the illusion that Iraq has had nothing
to with terrorism or Al Qaeda.
Iraq has and is harboring Al-Qaeda terrorists and has trained terrorist groups
affiliated with Al Qaeda in bomb-making and forgery. Moreover, there have
been reports that Iraq has educated terrorists in bombing and airplane hijacking
at a training and biological weapons facility called Salman Pak. (GlobalSecurity.org
has additional information on the Salman Pak terrorist training facility.)
Moreover, Iraq has played a role in terrorism against America in the past.
In "The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks,"
Laurie Mylroie and James Woolsey set forth a case that Iraqi Intelligence
played a significant role in the 1993 World Trade Center attack. While the
full extent of Iraqi collusion with terrorists is unknown, the evidence cannot
be ignored. While this case may not have the appeal to the Neo-Wilsonians
that promises of liberation and democracy have, no other argument is satisfactory.
National interest alone is a legitimate reason to go to war, not withstanding
the UN charter and the calls to principle by the writers at the Weekly Standard. This would go a long way in restoring national sovereignty as an ideal.
In the long run, the US must also leave the UN. It is a globalist institution
formed by communists. (For more on the communist influence behind
the UN visit the Chuck Morse website.
For 35 years, the UN has been run by an alliance between transnational progressive
bureaucrats, and third-world countries seeking to get money from the US.
Unfortunately, President Bush is ideologically opposed to such a direct assault
on the globalist international order. Even as he condemned inaction by the
UN, President Bush promised the UN a role in the reconstruction of Iraq,
should war break out. The only solution is for paleoconservatives to support
the war on the grounds of national interest and make that case to the American
people. President Bush can do the right thing, but only if there is a groundswell
of support for it. Paleoconservatives cannot afford to associate themselves
with the anti-war Transnational Progressives and Communists in a myopic opposition
to Americans defending our national interest. The fear by paleoconservatives
of an American Empire imposing a Pax Americana or leading a Wilsonian crusade
on the world is understandable. However, the current alternative is for the
UN to become the arbiter of international law, justice, and the exercise
of force. As this country prepares for war, American conservatives must unify
for the long-term interests of this country.
Ron Lewenberg is the founder of the Columbia College Conservative Club and served as its president from 1999-2001. His writings have appeared in the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Colorado Freedom Report, and Front Page Magazine.
During the 2000 Election and aftermath, he was part of a student panel on
NBC’s Today Show. In 2000 Mr. Lewenberg participated in a student mock presidential
debate representing Patrick Buchanan and the Reform Party. Mr. Lewenberg
works as a computer consultant in New York City. His website is http://www.ronlewenberg.com.
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