According to news reports, U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Joseph Torsella has complained that officials at the world body are at times too drunk to conduct serious negotiations. During a speech to the budget committee, Torsella said, “We make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in the future be an inebriation-free zone.”
Small wonder. Such a revelation may explain a lot of the drivel that has come out of the U.N. over the last several decades and gives us an understanding of why it has consistently viewed the world with a topsy-turvy perspective that only someone in an alcoholic stupor would find sensible. It may explain why just about everything the U.N. does or says about human rights is contrary to helping the cause of human rights.
Instead of addressing the critical issues — world peace, hunger, climate change, nuclear disarmament — this band of tipsy diplomats has used the world body as a forum to slur Israel. Instead of condemning the massacre of Palestinians in Syria, where an estimated 60,000 have been killed since the civil war began there two years ago, on December 19, 2012, the U.N.-sponsored Human Rights Council issued no fewer than 22 resolutions on the Palestinians and the Golan Heights — and a total of four on the rest of the world combined.
Drinking binges might explain why the U.N. has blurry vision as to what’s morally right and wrong, paying homage to dictators, terrorists and despots. Instead of trying to protect the victims of human rights abuses, it praises the perpetrators. Last week, it solemnly pronounced a minute of silence for the memory of Hugo Chavez, the recently deceased Venezuelan leader who consistently trampled on human rights. Chavez has supported such world statesmen as Muammar Gadhafi, whom he called his “brother,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro, all leaders of police states where political opponents are routinely silenced, imprisoned, tortured and killed.
Chavez himself routinely imprisoned those opposed to his regime. He shut down independent media outlets and violently suppressed those that tried to criticize him. Under Chavez, Venezuela remained one of the worst offenders of human rights. Chavez jailed a Venezuelan judge because she released a political prisoner who was imprisoned for three years without a trial. During Chavez’s rule an estimated 150,000 Venezuelans were killed, with 5,000 dying in prison.
Not only did the U.N. express its profound condolences over the death of Chavez, but it had elected Venezuela to its Council of Human Rights, despite numerous objections by human-rights groups. In November, a parade of those who suffered under the Chavez regime gave testimony as to how they and their relatives were beaten and imprisoned without trial. One dissident, Thor Halversson, testified at the U.N. about how Chavez’s security forces shot his mother. No matter. Venezuela was elected to the council anyway, where it joined such paragons of human rights proponents as Saudi Arabia, China and Cuba.
The latest revelations of bacchanalian revelry at the U.N. would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that Americans are footing the bill for this binge of anti-democratic ravings. These same wasted diplomats are wasting American taxpayer money to the tune of billions of dollars a year. In 2011, the U.S. doled out $5.4 billion to the U.N., and another $2 billion through voluntary contributions. The U.S. pays a full 22 percent of the U.N.’s administrative expenses and 25 percent of peacekeeping costs, whereas dozens of other nations pay .001 percent. Sierra Leone, for example, was assessed to pay a grand total of $26,000. The U.N. budget, in real dollars, has grown by 70 percent in the last 10 years. The U.S. has given boundlessly to the organization at a time when sequestration will inflict budget cuts on American schools, parks and airports.
Enough is enough. Democratic countries such as the U.S. shouldn’t keep paying for a forum of anti-democratic, autocratic and despotic regimes. While U.N. diplomats have been imbibing alcohol, the U.S. has been drinking the Kool Aid proffered by these morally impaired alcoholics.
The U.S. should withhold funding from the U.N. until it follows some of the 12 steps advocated by the AA to end alcoholism. Such steps would include giving up its addiction to slamming Israel at every opportunity; making amends for its shameful record of supporting terrorists, dictators and regimes such as Iran, China and Cuba; adopting a new code of behavior; supporting democracy; ousting regimes that don’t abide by the principles set forth in the U.N. charter; and assisting those who want to further the cause of freedom.
A U.N. where democracy reigns, where a mockery isn’t made of human rights, where Holocaust deniers are pilloried, would be one we could all drink to.