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Saturday, January 25, 2003

Kumbaya and the United Nations
The United Nations is working precisely like any rational person would have predicted, and many did predict it would work this way. In the search for some form of enforced collective security among the nations of the world, common sense was lost.

It is axiomatic that coerced obligations are often ignored, gotten around, and held in contempt by those who most need coercion to hold to the obligation.
Think of the UN as people out in the wilderness trying to survive the elements. Some of the people are stronger than others, some are smarter, and some are more ethical. At the same time, some are weak, some aren't very bright, and some have no scruples. Imagine that at night when it gets dark the less scrupulous people rob the others and over time their attacks get more brazen and violent.
The best passive solution would be to band together with those you can trust, arm yourself, and use fortifications to protect your property and person. The best active solution would be to identify the brigands and punish them as necessary to prevent them from committing more crimes.

It takes flexibility and thought to understand the appropriate response, and this requires free minds and freedom to act without restraint. The difference between the brigands and those protecting themselves is not insubstantial -- the difference is the moral character of their acts. It is the main purpose of civilization, indeed this is what defines the purpose of a civilization, to define what is moral and what is not moral. It is the on-going effort to accurately understand right from wrong, and come to a cultural understanding of morality that distinguishes a civilization from a mob. Just as some people are good and some are bad, so are cultures good or bad. Good people and good nations that act to protect themselves even if they must harm others are not the same as bad people and bad nations that act to harm others.

But there has been a trend in western civilization for about the past 120 years to insist that good and bad, right and wrong are arbitrary. Being arbitrary, it becomes impossible to distinguish those who protect themselves from those who are simply robbers and murderers. It becomes impossible to distinguish the act of killing from the crime of murder. They see moral equivalence where there is no equivalence.
Those who think this way deny that a man or a nation have the right to act to defend themselves. Being unable to distinguish the difference, they deny that others can make this distinction as well, and they fear those who are good as much as they fear those who are evil.

This is the mindset that creates abominations like the United Nations.

So back to our wilderness analogy. At night when it gets dark and criminals do their mischief, these moral equivocators would insist that everyone stand around the campfire. And to make sure that no one does anyone else any harm, they would insist that everyone put down any weapons and hold hands while singing. If everyone holds each others' hands tightly then no one can get hurt.

And of course while everyone is singing "Kumbaya" some of the criminals slip out of the circle unnoticed because some of the singers are drunk, inattentive, or accomplices. The equivocators still hold tightly on to the hands of the good people, preventing them from defending themselves while the criminals come up and stab them.

It's happened so many times this past century that it amazes me that it's still allowed to continue. In just one example in the Spanish Civil War an embargo led by England and France was enforced so that no weapons were allowed into Spain. The legitimate, elected government of Spain was prevented from defending itself from a military revolt and eventually was defeated. The fascism of Franco continued from 1938 until 1975, stunting the economy, the freedom and the culture of one of the most beautiful nations in Europe. The worst of the tragedy is that the Republican government was forced to make an unholy alliance with the Soviet Union to get any weapons at all. They lost their government, they lost all the national treasure, and they suffered almost more under the Stalinist interlopers than they did from the fascists.

In the world today, the United Nations is trying to keep everyone singing around the campfire while dictators and terrorists threaten our safety. We know who these nations are, and we know what they wish to do. We must act with alacrity, with intelligence, with morality, and without remorse to stop them no matter what.