If ever an organization was screaming in desperation for reform it is the United Nations. Long term John Bolton may be the UN’s last, best help for survival. But the hardcore group of kleptocratic states, corrupt career bureaucrats, starry-eyed internationalists, and inveterate appeasers that make up the bulwark of UN supporters here and abroad do not see it that way. They are too committed to the true believer’s mantra: multilateralism uber alles. Consequently they are fully prepared to sacrifice any democratic country or any number of helpless citizens on the altar of the false god called Stability.
Over the rather shameful decades of the UN’s existence this tendency has been exacerbated, often aided and abetted by the internationalist hard left and, more recently by the Democratic Party and New Left in America. The traditional sacrifices to these false gods, Multilateralism and Stability, have been Israel and Taiwan, although the United States has certainly taken more than its share of castigation, libel, and slander. Truth be told: if we were smaller, weaker, and poorer, we’d be fried by these UN thugs.
While Israel and America at least have the distinction – however dubious it seems at times – of being members of the UN, Taiwan is denied even that. It speaks to the moral cowardice and continued ineffectiveness of the organization that such a condition persists. Just as Bolton successfully fought the condemnation of Zionism, the admission of Taiwan to the UN would be a fitting challenge for a man of his talent.
However, he is still slogging through the abundant frass produced by misguided Democratic and gutless Republican U.S. senators. Bolton chaffs in Washington while the UN sinks deeper into a morass of immorality brought about by its abject cowardice. Case in point this time is so seemingly insignificant as to make one wonder, "Why do they bother with this kind of petty harassment?" But they do.
There is an upcoming meeting of the World Health Assembly, an adjunct of World Health Organization, a UN sub-agency. For years China has exerted its considerable influence within the UN to keep Taiwan out of all possible UN organizations including WHO, and that includes pushing them out of a WFA conference. This is a totally illogical position, especially from a country such as China, literally plagued both by SARS and a rural time bomb of influenza that has the potential of launching a global pandemic. Given the possible world health disaster that China could promulgate, wouldn’t it make sense to seek involvement of Taiwanese scientists and researchers as well as those from the rest of the developed world? Not to China, apparently, because it persists in using all of its influence and every subterfuge to exclude Taiwan from WHA.
It a move designed to lock in the Bully of the Month award, China has successfully convinced the UN to exclude Taiwanese reporters from even covering the World Health Assembly. In order to be accredited to the conference, the UN stipulated this year that reporters "must present a current passport from a state recognized by the UN." Since every state but democratic Taiwan is a member of the UN (including, of course, some that perpetrate the most horrific abuses upon their citizens, e.g., North Korea, Sudan, and China), the exclusion is clearly aimed at Taiwan’s press.
That this exclusion is fatuous and petty goes without saying. But more troubling, it underlies a deeper moral fault that one expects in a communist ruled state like China: The political goals of the Party outweigh all other considerations, including the possibility of launching another global plague. However, is it too much to hope for the UN rise above such behavior? In an idealized UN, closer perhaps to the version that FDR and the WWII generation visualized, the organization would reject Chinese interference and do the proper, courageous thing. Taiwan would be admitted as a member, and its representatives would be allowed, indeed encouraged, to make a contribution to world improvement.
The world realistically has higher expectations for positive Taiwanese contributions than from say Mugabwe’s Zimbawbe or Assad’s Syria, to pick but two examples from a large, indeed overflowing, pot of incompetence. On the other hand, what could we expect from an organization that condemns Israel but applauds homicide bombers? Perhaps denunciation and condemnation by the UN General Assembly is a left-handed compliment, the equivalent of praise by morally courageous people.
Despite gallant efforts by the Taipei Cultural and Information Office in New York, it is probably too late to influence the exclusionary decision in the UN for this WHA conference. Nevertheless, the Taipei Office’s acting director is asking for sympathetic Americans to contact Kofi Annan, and ask him to lift the ban. Annan is probably much too distracted with engineering his own "exoneration" from the Oil for Food scandal to worry about UN moral failures.
The small points – harassment of Taiwan, crackdown on freedom of the press, caving to a bully’s pressure – are important and cry for action. But the greater point to be made is that the UN as a functional, productive, moral institution has disappeared, if indeed it ever existed. Universal condemnation of valiant, steadfast democracies such as Taiwan and Israel have shown the organization to be irreparably, morally bankrupt. The UN could well be past the point that even a single strong-willed reformer of the caliber of John Bolton could affect change. Meanwhile, this reprehensible behavior reinforces the fact that it is proper and useful to continue a thorough inspection of the UN, exposing all of its corruption to public scrutiny. And it is time to ask ourselves, are we at the point where America, our allies, and the world will benefit more from an international organization of democracies rather than the gang of fascist, communist, Islamist kleptocracies that now dominate the UN? How may more slaps in the face do Taiwan, Israel, and America need before we make the right decision?