Should America Carry the U.N.? Morning Bell – Heritage.org

The UN headquarters in New York

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Should America Carry the U.N.? Morning Bell – Heritage.org.

Ericka Andersen  October 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

The 39-story United Nations headquarters stands on the banks of the East River in Manhattan. But now the U.N. is planning the construction of a new building next door, with a price tag pegged at $400 million — and it could soar even higher. And since U.S. taxpayers pay 22 percent of the U.N. budget, the costs for that new building will come right out of your pocket, leading to a very serious question: Just how far should the United States go in supporting the U.N. and international organizations like it?

The issue of a new building in New York isn’t the only U.N. story to make the headlines this year. Take the issue of Palestine, which over the summer formally requested U.N. membership. If Palestine were to succeed in its unilateral efforts, it would be detrimental to U.S. interests in the region, isolate Israel, and deal a major setback to Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects. And all of that would come at the hands of an international organization over which the United States can exert strong influence but cannot control.  If Palestine is granted member status at the U.N., American interests–along with those of its allies–will be seriously harmed, requiring an even greater vigilance and financial commitment to maintain leverage for U.S. priorities.  Again, the question is posed: When does our commitment to an international organization become a problem?

In the latest installment of Heritage’s “Understanding America” series, Brett Schaefer addresses America’s role as a member of international organizations. He explains that conflicting interests will nearly always hinder forward movement on issues of peace, security, and human rights — but that doesn’t negate the benefit of having a platform for achieving U.S. interests. Schaefer further explains the risks of participation in these bodies:

Supporting international organizations is not without consequence. It is a burden, albeit sometimes a burden worth bearing. But refusing to recognize the limitations of international organizations and their potential to cause harm does a disservice to the American people.

Joining with friendly nations for a mutual benefit or avenue to problem solving can prove to be valuable for the United States, but America’s leaders must never sacrifice the greater American interest for the sake of compromise. When does our commitment to an international organization become a problem? That’s a question U.S. leaders must continually ask themselves. Schaefer explains how the United States must seek to strike that balance:

If the United States is not to undermine its interests, it must abandon its default position of supporting and engaging with international organizations regardless of their performance. Instead, the U.S. must assess honestly whether each organization works, whether its mission is focused and attainable and not dependent on “good faith” that does not exist, and whether it advances U.S. interests.

International organizations are a tool to attain a goal, not an end in themselves. They are one way for the U.S. to defend its interests and to seek to address problems in concert with other nations. But they are not the only option, and their strengths and weaknesses should be clearly understood.

America played a key role in the founding of the U.N., so our stake in its success is important. But there are always risks in working with other nations — and each international organization relies at least in part on the good faith of those involved. However, each country’s own priorities come first, which is why American leadership must be eternally vigilant in assessing the record and actions of participating countries.

That is true when it comes to issues such as America’s financial commitment to the U.N., particularly as the organization considers constructing a costly new complex in Manhattan. And that vigilance is even more imperative on issues of international security and the promotion of ideals at odds with America’s interests abroad, as is the case with Palestine’s bid for recognition in the U.N.

In a 1985 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Ronald Reagan addressed the U.N.’s role head on–and the need for America to remain vigilant, noting, “The vision of the U.N. Charter–to spare succeeding generations this scourge of war–remains real. It still stirs our soul and warms our hearts, but it also demands of us a realism that is rock hard, clear-eyed, steady, and sure–a realism that understands the nations of the United Nations are not united.” Those words hold true today and should guide America’s understanding of its commitment to international organizations but also the realities and limitations of its engagement.

Yet Another Reason to Withdraw from and Defund the United Nations – Tea Party Nation

The UN headquarters in New York

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Yet Another Reason to Withdraw from and Defund the United Nations – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Kathleen Gose in Tea Party Nation Forum

On Friday, September 20th Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will present the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition directly to the U.N. Security Council after making a speech to the General Assembly. The Palestinians are also setting the stage for a confrontation with the U.S by going directly to the U.N. Security Council. This fruitless move is despite the promise of a U.S. veto. Abbas said U.N. recognition of a state on territory seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War will allow the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel as equals. Abbas maintains that the PLO is the chief organization representing the Palestinian people.
Notably absent from the discussion is the terror group Hamas who are unfortunately the elected government of Gaza. Hamas has made its position regarding the Statehood bid very clear. Hamas Spokesman, Barhoum stated “that the Palestinian president’s plan to demand full membership in the UN is “part of his own personal plans having to do with the fate of the Palestine people.” The Hamas spokesperson added that Abbas is acting without consulting the Palestinian people and their political factions. Barhoum stated that Hamas will not support any plan which recognizes Israel or goes against the Palestinian people’s rights, especially their right of return and self-determination. He also added that Abbas’ speech goes against the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. It seems the Palestinians are not all singing from the same sheet of music. That’s typical.
The other point that no one speaks of is that Abbas most likely has to leave Hamas out of the discussion. Hamas is a recognized terrorist group by the United Nations and most member States. Now.. if we leave Hamas out then the PLO is just fine according to the UN. How do you leave out half the government and form a State? Hmmmm…
The international fallout from Abbas’ move in the UN will be significant especially for the United States and for Israel. Saudi Arabia has stated the US will lose our special friend status or some ridiculous thing like that. China and Russia are supporting the bid as are a number of European Union nations. The weak kneed foreign policy of the Obama Administration has opened the door for all of this. The United States is positioned nicely for a big fat black eye at the Security Council Meeting. Arab Nations in particular are seizing the opportunity to bring Islamic governments to power in the Middle East. Egypt and Libya are 2 examples with Syria to follow soon. The United Nations is firmly behind the transitional governments in place and funding them directly. Now the Palestinians are making their run for the gold medal.
In the case of Libya the UN has released over $1B in frozen assets to the newly formed Transitional Council. As we discussed in a previous forum the National Transitional Council Leadership is comprised of former LIFG members. The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) LIFG was founded in 1995 by Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It aims to establish an Islamic state in Libya and views the current regime (Gaddafi) as oppressive, corrupt and anti-Muslim, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Shortly after the 9-11 attacks, LIFG was banned worldwide (as an affiliate of al-Qaeda) by the UN 1267 Committee. So Abbas’ fears about the UN rejecting the bid for statehood because of Hamas may be unfounded. The UN didn’t seem to have a problem with the leadership in Libya that the UN itself banned as a terror organization.
Israel, our one remaining ally in the region, is surrounded and under attack from every direction. Israel’s position regarding the statehood bid is clear. The bid will nullify the Oslo Accords. That is an important point that everyone needs to bear in mind over the next couple of weeks. It will open the door for Israel to legally annex Judea and Samaria. I will have more on that topic for you in the days ahead. The United Nations is without doubt the most anti-Semitic organization since Nazi Germany.
For our trouble we’re picking up the tab for the international community for 22% of the annual operating budget at the UN which totals $516 million in 2011. We are also laying out 27 percent of the UN’s peacekeeping budget, totaling a stunning $2.7 billion. But there is more.
There are the “voluntary” contributions. In addition to the $5.2 billion budget, the U.N. will also spend about $9.4 billion in “extra-budgetary” or voluntary spending. What programs are included in “voluntary” spending where the United States is the biggest voluntary contributor? Probably the best example is the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which grew its budget by about 90 percent between 2008 and 2010, to $3.3 billion. The U.S. share in 2010 was $712 million. The United States voluntary contribution to the UNHCR was bigger than the next eight contributors combined.
Here are a couple of highlights. Source Document for statistics below: United Nations General Assembly A/RES/64/248
Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations – totals reflected as a % of the total expenses

Nation and % of Total Expenses
United States of America 22%
Australia 1.9%
Brazil 1.6%
China 3.2%
France 6.1%
Germany 8%
Italy 5.0%
Japan 12.5%
Mexico 2.4%
Republic of Korea 2.3%
Russian Federation 1.6%
Spain 3.2%

As a footnote to the numbers above..All other member nations contribute 1% or less to the expenses of the United Nations. Notable missing Nations from the top ten list include: Saudi Arabia at .8%, Kuwait at .26%, Venezuela at .31% all wealthy oil rich nations.
All the above clearly illustrates the need for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations and cease all funding for this corrupt and broken organization. The State Department will tell you that the UN is an important vehicle for international relations. Really? It is painfully clear that this is a lopsided self induced trauma that we continue to inflict on ourselves. We are funding the people that want to take this nation down. We are paying for the organizational structure in which to do that. When will we finally WAKE UP to the fact that most of the world seeks the fall of the United States? Is it already too late?
I urgently ask everyone to contact your Congressional Representatives regarding this issue. If you believe we are pouring our money down a rat hole then speak up! Congress needs to hear from all of us. This is a lightning rod issue going in to 2012. Make sure you are heard at the highest levels of government.
Links to previous forums related to this topic: http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topics/introducing-the-new-liby…
http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topics/house-republicans-introd…

Here is the link if you want to dig through the UN operating budget. – http://www.un.org/en/ga/fifth/64/ppb1011sg.shtml
and the Peacekeeping Budget – http://www.un.org/en/hq/dm/pdfs/oppba/Peacekeeping%20budget.pdf

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