Was there a time that Republicans at least pretended to oppose the United Nations and world government? One wouldn’t think so, from listening to Bush’s speech to the UN on Tuesday.
Those who thought that Bush’s war on Iraq, which sought to enforce the UN’s resolutions without its permission, was somewhat disrespectful to the organization, will be pleased to know that few people in the world are as pro-UN as is our president.
"The American people respect the idealism that gave life to this organization. And we respect the men and women of the UN, who stand for peace and human rights in every part of the world."
I thought the UN was a coalition of the world’s government leaders and emissaries, representing every crooked semi-socialist European government, every despotic and murderous regime from Africa and the Middle East, every kleptocracy from Latin America, and every other coercive entity that manages to dominate a geographic region of the world. Why should Americans respect that?
"The United Nations and my country share the deepest commitments. Both the American Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaim the equal value and dignity of every human life."
"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."
Decent people everywhere want others to have good, healthy, comfortable lives. But no one has a "right" to this kind of stuff, at least as laid out in Jefferson’s Declaration. Maybe Bush was confusing the Declaration of Independence with the Communist Manifesto.
The UN Declaration of Rights also, quite arrogantly, declares that we all have a right to "education" that "shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace."
There are good-sounding parts of the document, including provisions against torture and depriving rights of liberty. But the Declaration makes clear that "these rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."
Perhaps the president’s copy of the Declaration of Independence concludes that "the independence of these thirteen colonies may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of Great Britain."
The president continued:
"In this young century, our world needs a new definition of security. Our security is not merely found in spheres of influence, or some balance of power. The security of our world is found in the advancing rights of mankind."
Bush thinks that "security" is best served when the US government invades and occupies countries. Bush also thinks US foreign policy has been "to enforce the demands of the world," even though most people of the world have been appalled by Gulf War II from the beginning. What he really meant was "the demands of the UN." Bush is proud that the Iraq War served to enforce UN Security Resolutions; if there’s any legitimate purpose of the US government, it is to protect the honor of the UN.
Throughout the speech, Bush gave his many proposals on how to "build a better world beyond the war on terror." As great as the war is, in which Bush vowed his determination "to destroy terror networks wherever they operate," war alone isn’t sufficient to "build a better world."
Bush elaborated that "because we believe in human dignity," the US government has taxed or will tax Americans to fund massive anti-AIDS programs in Africa, stop human trafficking throughout the world, and encourage all the world’s governments to ban human cloning. Bush’s world government plans to combat "poverty, curb corruption, and provide aid" everywhere, deploy 75,000 "peacekeepers" around the globe, stop genocide in Sudan, choose leaders for the Palestinians, and, perhaps most importantly, "stand for the advance of democracy."
Democracy, Bush explained, is the solution to everything. It protects minorities and is the best system to "secure the rights of labor." We have seen democracies arise in "Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian cultures" — don’t want to leave anyone out! — and democracies, according to the president, "by definition, take on the unique character of the peoples that create them." My friend thinks the president learned this in his high school civics class. Bush also pledged that the US and UN will cooperate to make sure all elections everywhere are conducted fairly.
Of course, Bush delivered the usual characterizations of Iraq and Afghanistan as beacons of freedom, thanks to the oh-so-successful US wars there. Bush said that "for the sake of peace, there must be serious consequences." To him, "serious consequences" seems to mean war, which is, obviously, the only path to peace.
But none of his sugarcoating of Iraq and Afghanistan should come as a surprise. What is somewhat surprising is that so many Americans will vote for this man after his wild promises to fix the entire world through the force of an American-subsidized US-UN partnership with expanded powers, enhanced budgets and lavishly utopian goals.
Bush’s "broad agenda to advance human dignity, and enhance the security of all of us," including "the defeat of terror … the protection of human rights … the spread of prosperity [and] the advance of democracy" is one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard. Can he actually believe that government — global government — can stop AIDS, terrorism and poverty everywhere? Can American patriots vote for a man who thinks his job as president is to spread democracy — a system of government the Founding Fathers warned against, incidentally — around the entire world, and do it through aggrandizing the UN, an organization whose "high ideals" the president seems so sure "history will honor"?
Perhaps Kerry is the more likely to put US troops in Iraq under UN command. This is despicable.
Bush, on the other hand, wants to put everything on earth under the command of some frightful alliance between US imperialism and UN global socialism, with him at the reins of it all.
The way things are going, Americans will be pledging allegiance to the United Nations twenty years down the line. But at least the Republicans, unlike those terrible Democrats, will show some respect and make sure "Under God" is included in the pledge they write. "Indivisible" will also be in there, I’m guessing.
Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at UC Berkeley, where he was president of the Cal Libertarians. He is an intern at the Independent Institute and has written for Rational Review, Strike the Root, the Libertarian Enterprise, and Antiwar.com. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.