Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why I (sometimes) hate the U.N.

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Because both Russia and China can use their veto power as permanent members of the Security Council to block anything and everything.

And they've both vetoed U.S.- and U.K.-backed sanctions on Mugabe's illegitimate regime in Zimbabwe.

And why did they do that? Because China, for one, does business with Mugabe, and because neither Russia nor China wants the U.N. to challenge undemocratic regimes. Here's how the Russian ambassador put it: "This draft is nothing but the council’s attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of a member state."

But then what's the point of the U.N. if it can't organize international action as required? And, to be sure, what is happening in Zimbabwe, with Mugabe and his thugs turning an election into a sham and brutalizing the people, as they have done for many years now, requires international action.

U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad -- a Bush appointee who, on this issue, is quite right -- put it well: "China and Russia have stood with Mugabe against the people of Zimbabwe. This resolution would have supported the courageous efforts of the Zimbabwean people to change their lives peacefully through elections."

So much for that. So much for peace and democracy in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else for that matter, if Russia and China can help it.

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