An argument can be made that the United States has
unwittingly, through Persian Gulf War
II, immensely helped to increase the authority and respectability of the United
Nations in the world. As a result, it
can further be argued that the United Nations has finally become a “world
government.” All sovereign
nation-states, regardless of their size or power, would now be accountable for
their actions at the United Nations, whether they like it or not, because the
concept of state sovereignty is gradually diminishing. To fully comprehend the stated position, it
is necessary to briefly explain the historical background and the American
reaction to the organization, culminating in the Persian Gulf War II and the
The Establishment of the United
As the Second World War gradually deescalated, discussions
about setting up an international system that would help to prevent future wars
began to take place among the allied powers (US, Britain, Russia,) and their
citizens. This was necessary to replace
the League of Nations which collapsed following aggressive military actions
carried out by Italy in Ethiopia, Japan in Manchuria, and Germany in Europe in
the early and late1930s. Among the
Allied Powers, the United States was the biggest contributor to the founding of
the United Nations. Its public and
private institutions and organizations, such as the Commission to Study the
Organization of Peace (1939), Commission for Just and Durable Peace, the
Declaration on World Peace, A Universities Committee on Postwar International
Problems, the Council on Foreign Relations, the League of Nations Association,
the Americans United for World Organizations, the Foreign Policy Association,
the US Chamber of Commerce, the Committees of the American Federation of Labor,
the US State Department, etc. helped tremendously to spur the US to organize the
Dumbarton Oaks Conversation in Washington DC in August 1944. The US, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union
attended ( Bennet, 1977, pp. 34-39).
In a subsequent meeting in Yalta on February 1945, President
Teddy Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the
United Kingdom, and Secretary General Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union met. The most important decision reached at Yalta
involved the acceptance of proposals made by the United States during the
Dumbarton Oaks Conference over the voting formula in the Security Council. A third conference, the United Nations
Conference on International Organization was held in San Francisco, USA, on
April 25, 1945. Fifty-five states
attended the conference, including less powerful and developing countries. The Big Powers and the smaller states argued
and jostled to strengthen their positions.
Eventually, the Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26, 1945
by representatives of the participating states.
The United States was the first country to ratify the UN Charter. The charter became effective on October 24,
1945 after the required number of ratifications had taken place (Ibid,
The goals of the United Nations can be summarized as follows:
(1) maintain peace and security, (2) promote international economic and social
cooperation, (3) promote respect for human rights for all peoples, (4) develop
friendly relations among nations, (5) serve as a center for harmonizing the
actions of nations, (6) establish justice and respect for international law, (7)
take measures to strengthen peace, (8) promote other international organizations
and integration and (9) foster tolerance, togetherness, and peace among
As a major backer of the United Nations, UN’s headquarters
was sited in New York City. The US
agreed to pay the largest percentage of the assessment fees levied against
member states to fund the UN. Hence, the
US continues to pay 25%, Japan 15.6%, Germany 9.1%, France 6.4%, Britain, 5.3%,
Italy 5.3%, Russia 4.3%, Canada 3.1%.
Some countries pay as little as $13,000 per year. Cumulatively, the Big 8 (US, Japan, Germany,
France, Britain, Italy, Russia, and Canada) are responsible for 73.7% of the
entire United Nations budget (Rourke, 1999, p. 245). In addition, the US also pays about 31% for
State Sovereignty and Ideology
As soon as it was formally approved, two major issues – state
sovereignty and ideology besieged the UN.
Member states became fearful of losing their sovereignty to an all
powerful potential “world Government.”
They were also forced to become ideological as the two greatest powers at
the end of the Second World War (the United States and the Soviet Union),
started the Cold War. The Cold War
resulted in the division of the world into the Eastern and Western spheres or
the Communist and the Capitalist Worlds.
The Cold War lasted from 1947 to 1991, ending with the collapsed of the
Soviet Union (Rourke, 2000, pp. 34-36).
While the ending of the Cold War has reduced ideological
confrontations, the issue of sovereignty is still a major concern of the
nation-states. They fear that the
United Nations would usurp their right to make decisions concerning their
national security. Even the big powers
are worried of the United Nations authority to make binding laws and
resolutions. Concerned about their
sovereignty, member states of the organization have always been cunningly
diplomatic in their support of the UN.
They support UN resolutions, regulations, and laws when those acts are
intended to have effect on other nations but detest strongly when the same acts
are enforced against them. For example,
the United States did not shy away from invoking UN resolutions to force Iraq to
comply with conditions or restrictions imposed on its weapons of mass
destruction program, but it refused to accept the Kyoto Accords that were passed
in December 1997 in Japan. The Kyoto
Accords required the industrialized countries to cut down on the level of global
warming gasses (GWG) (Sit, 2001, April 12).
While it does not want its own sovereignty to be trampled upon by the
United Nations and other international treaty obligations, the US does not shy
away from pressuring the UN to take action against Iran over its secretive
nuclear program. The US wants Iran to
comply fully with the obligations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by
allowing its nuclear facilities to be inspected by the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA). France campaigned
vigorously against the Second Persian Gulf War and condemned American
unilateralism. President Jacques Chirac
said that the war against Iraq “shook the multilateral system,, The United Nations has just been through one
of the most grave crises in its history” (CNN.COM, September 23,
2003). The French reaction against
United States unilateral action against Iraq is a diplomatic overstatement,
since France does not hesitate to act unilaterally in Africa to protect its
national interests. In fact, France
continues to treat Francophone Africa as if it is still a French colonial
As a major founder of the UN, it is easy to assume that the
US would always be favorable to an increasing UN role in the world. This is not necessarily the case, as the US,
like other nation-states, does not want the UN to interfere in its strategic
interests. Thus, the US has never been
very comfortable dealing with the UN, even though in the post-Cold War era, it
is the most dominant nation-state in the world.
The US seems to view the UN as a rival or a competitor that must be put
in its place or avoided. As the UN gains
universal popularity, it is becoming a super-state government with authority
much far and beyond that of the states.
In short, UN policies, resolutions, legal treaties, and decisions are
increasingly binding on the authority of the states. In other words, the authority of the UN is
increasingly becoming supreme, even though sometimes, states are not necessarily
expected or obligated to adhere to UN rulings on matters. As one of the two greatest powers during the
Cold War (1945-1990) and now the only remaining world power, the US finds it
difficult to accept the authority of the United Nations since the organization
depends so much on the capability of the United States to carry out its security
council functions. The relationship
between the two is paradoxical in the sense that the UN depends greatly on the
power of the United States to implement its resolutions and functions while at
the same time, expecting the US to succumb to its authority.
Threatened by the possibility of losing its sovereignty,
American foreign policy makers have always been very careful in courting the
UN. As a result, American interaction
with the organization has tended to be shaped and influenced by domestic party
politics between the Democrats and the Republicans. It appears that whenever Democrats control
the White House, there is less fear of the US losing its sovereignty. The Democrats tend to feel more at ease
working with the United Nations to solve global problems than the
Republicans. The warmness toward the UN
goes way back to President Woodrow Wilson, who, after the First World War,
helped to establish the League of Nations.
A universalistic approach to solving world problems could also be found
in the foreign policies of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John
Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
In short, the Democrats represent the idealistic wing of the American
foreign policy machinery.
On the other hand, the Republicans have never felt
comfortable working with the United Nations.
As a result, they have always tended to emphasize an independent or a
bilateral approach in dealing with the world.
They strongly believe that the US must either work unilaterally or at
most, bilaterally, to safeguard American strategic interests and
sovereignty. Therefore, with the
exception of former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and George Bush
Sr., Republican leaders have tended to act unilaterally or at most
bilaterally. They also believe in
carrying a “big stick and speaking harshly,” if “speaking softly” does not work,
to enhance American strategic interests anywhere in the world. Evidently, the Republicans can be described
as realists who believe that the US should pursue its strategic interests
without any interference from the United Nations. President George Bush Jr., unlike his father,
is following the traditional Republican approach, typified by President Ronald
Reagan, in dealing with foreign relations.
Due to the seesaw battle between the realists and idealists,
toward the UN, the US Congress has repeatedly refused to release money due for
UN payments. Those who oppose the UN
argued that the organization is a bloated bureaucracy and the fat must be cut
through reforms before any US money should be given to the organization. The realists believe that the US is
over-assessed since it pays 25% of the organization’s core budget. They want the assessment reduced from 25% to
20% on the core budget and from 31% to 25% on the peace-keeping budget (Rourke,
1999, p. 149). They also believe that
most member-states of the organization are antagonistic to the United
States. Due to the perception that most
countries are hostile to American interest, the US threatened to leave the
International Labor Organization on November 5, 1975 (Bennet, p.250). It actually left the United Nations
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1984 and is only
trying again to rejoin it (Toyama, May 2, 2003). On the other hand, American
idealists believe that the US should work with other nations through the UN to
bring peace, stability, and socioeconomic development to the world. Tired of the American indecision and
uncooperative attitude, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien commented “We are
tired of UN bashing and it is especially irritating when it comes from those who
are not paying their bills” (Time, October 30, 1995, p.74). The US, has demonstrated through various
actions, as shown below, an unwillingness to cooperate fully with the United
Nations, when its national interests are at stake.
US Opposition to UN Efforts
During the crisis in the Congo Leopoldville (now the
Democratic Republic of the Congo), in the early 1960s, the US and the UN did not
agree. Dag Hammarskjold, the Secretary
General of the UN wanted a greater UN military involvement to stop the conflict,
while the US tactically supported a lesser UN involvement since it was opposed
to the ruling prime minister, Patrice
Lumumba (Rourke, 1999, p. 244). Eventually, both Lumumba and the UN secretary
general died in mysterious circumstances, during the conflict.
2. The US is opposed
to the Kyoto Accords. The Accords are
designed to reduce pollution standards throughout the world so that green house
effect would be curtailed. The US argued
that the Accords put too much pressure on the US economy since it would affect
American business operations severely.
3. The US is also
opposed to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It expresses concern about the possibility of
having American soldiers held liable for possible human rights violations in
conflict situations. It argues quite
convincingly that since US forces are all over the world to maintain peace and
security, its forces should be allowed to operate without the fear of being
tried for war crimes in the event of violations. It further argues that its detractors could
easily use the ICC to tarnish its image by incessantly dragging it to
court. Recently, it cut off foreign aid
to countries that are supportive of universalizing the jurisdiction of the
ICC. The US even threatened to block
funding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters, located
in Belgium. The reason being that
Belgian laws permit anyone to file charges against any other person or
nation-state or organization for war crimes, regardless of where the crimes were
committed. The US is concerned that such
a permissive legal environment could allow anyone to file charges against the US
or US soldiers in Belgium for war crimes.
After applying so much pressure to exempt its forces, the US secured
“another year of immunity from prosecution from the ICC at a vote in the United
Nations Security Council” (BBC News, June 16, 2003).
4. The US has been
looking for a way to forego its compliance with some aspects of various nuclear
arms limitation treaties signed with the former Soviet Union. The arms limitation treaties were intended
at gradual reduction of nuclear arms as well as the de-escalation of the
possibility of a nuclear war. Due to
the fact that the US is desirous of establishing an operational star-war defense
system, it withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) of 1972 (The
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 2002). The Russians and other countries are fearful
that a fully operational star-war system would alter the balance of
thermonuclear power in favor of the United States and thereby offset the
defensive concept known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The Russians are convinced that if the US
goes on with the star-war system, a new nuclear arms race could be reignited
since other countries would be forced to play catch up with the United
5. The confrontation
between the US and the United Nations took a dramatic turn during the debate
over whether to use force to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in
2002. It should be recalled that after
the Persian Gulf War I of 1991 in which Iraq was decisively defeated, Saddam
Hussein signed an agreement in which Iraq promised to totally destroy its
“weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) as well as the programs that supported such
weapons. To make sure that Iraq complied
with the agreements and various resolutions, the United Nations sent weapons
inspectors to Iraq to inspect and supervise the destruction of any WMD. The UN inspectors were thrown out of Iraq
over a dispute involving the US and Iraq.
The US wanted an intrusive investigative regime to make sure that Iraq
did not hide its WMDs while Iraq felt that the US was using the inspectors to
spy on the country. Eventually, the UN
inspectors were forced to leave Iraq.
Then, as a threat of war increased in 2002, Iraq changed its mind and
agreed again to allow the UN inspectors to resume their investigative work. The inspectors were readmitted into Iraq to
continue searching for WMDs around December 2002.
At this time, the US grew impatient, insisting that it was
time to enforce UN Resolutions against Iraq by force. As France, China, Russia, Germany and other
members of the world community insisted that the UN inspectors should be allowed
to continue searching for WMDs, the US and Britain produced intelligence reports
indicating that Iraqi’s weapons of mass destruction “posed an imminent threat
and that Saddam’s government had close links to al Qaeda – the terrorist network
run by Osama bin Laden” (CNN.Com./World, 2003, September 18). The two countries produced additional
intelligence reports indicating that Iraq had the capability to launch weapons
of mass destruction at a moments notice.
Likewise, the two countries added that Saddam’s regime was no longer
tolerable due to its past brutalities against its citizens and those of its
neighbors. The charges included the fact
that Saddam had launched aggressive wars against Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in
1990 and used biochemical weapons against the Iranians and the Kurds in the
1980s. The two countries then justified
the use of preemptive war as way to safeguard their national security.
6. Based on the reasons given above, the US and Britain
insisted that Iraq must be disarmed by force since the inspectors were not
effective in detecting and eradicating the Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction. As the threat of war
increased, the UN inspectors were pulled out of Iraq on March 18, 2003. Eventually, in disagreement with the United
Nations and other members of the UN, US and Britain launched preemptive attacks
against Iraq on March 20, 2003 and drove away Saddam Hussein from power in April
2003. Since the US and Britain fought
the war without the support of the UN, the Persian Gulf War II is often
described by many people in various countries, especially, in Africa, Asia,
Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as a ‘war of aggression’. Likewise, US and British presence in
post-Saddam’s Iraq is viewed universally as an “occupation” even though the US
and its supporters refer to it as “liberation.”
As soon as President Bush declared the war ended in early May
2003, the issue of whether the UN should be invited to participate in the
reconstruction and the stabilization of Iraq was seriously debated among
Americans and the international community.
In the US, the democrats supported the need for UN involvement while the
Republicans opposed UN involvement. The president and most Republicans
vehemently opposed any role for the UN. They insisted that the US fought the war
alone and it should be solely responsible for rebuilding Iraq. This accounted
for why most of the contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq were initially
awarded to American companies. A report
indicated that “The USAID has tendered eight civilian contracts for the postwar
reconstruction of Iraq since January 31 to a select group of US companies…No
foreign companies were invited to tender” ( The AFP, March 24, 2003).
Even Britain, the closest US ally in the Iraqi conflict, had to plead with
American officials in order to have a piece of the reconstruction pie. It also accounted for the American creation
of the Iraqi Ruling Council, made up of twenty-five handpicked Iraqi leaders
from various parts of the country.
The Second Persian Gulf War lasted for a very short duration
due to the blitzkrieg manner in which the United States and Britain conducted
it. Despite the great military success,
the two countries appeared to have underestimated the financial cost of
stabilizing and reconstructing Iraq.
They also underestimated the political cost of trying to effect a regime
change without authorization and support from the UN. It should be recalled that the First Persian
Gulf War was fought with the tacit support of the United Nations. President George Bush Sr. did not go to war
until the international community was fully informed and persuaded. He also did not launch attacks until the very
last moment, after having given Saddam Hussein enough time to voluntarily
withdraw from Kuwait. Therefore, the
First Persian Gulf War was considered a ‘Justifiable War” by all, except Saddam
Hussein, because all the conditions necessary for fighting a justifiable war
were met before action proceeded.
Consequently, over thirty countries, including Arabic and Islamic
countries, participated in the effort to drive Saddam Hussein out of
Kuwait. In the Second Persian Gulf War,
due to lack of UN mandate, even traditional American allies like Egypt, Jordan,
Morocco, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Germany etc. stayed away and refused to
support the war openly. The Arab League
drew a resolution when the members met in September 2003, saying “that all Arab
states are against any attack – whether against Iraq or any Arab state”
(MSNBC News, 9/5/02). By failing to garner support from the United
Nations, the US unknowingly or mistakenly created a political situation which
rendered its political and military actions questionable in Iraq.
The lack of UN support beclouded the American and British
military victory and thereby laid the conditions for the germination of
resistant efforts against the US/British presence. Angry Iraqis, Islamic militants, Baathist
party members of Iraq’s former regime, the Al Qaeda etc. are allegedly reported
to have gathered and continued to gather in Iraq to create problems for the
coalition forces and the rebuilding effort.
Hence, since the end of the war, guerrilla attacks are reported to go on
daily, especially in the “Sunni Triangle” of Iraq. Rarely a day goes by without an American
soldier either being wounded or killed.
The militants are also targeting anyone or any organization that appears
to cooperate with the coalition forces.
For example, Akila al-Hashemi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council,
died of her wounds after being attacked.
In August 19, 2003, a suicide bombing of the UN Baghdad headquarters led
to the death of 22 people (Simpson & O’Brien, September 25, 2003). Likewise, a bombing of a Shiite mosque led
to the death of over 80 people.
US Policy Reversal on Iraq
The US has finally realized the enormity of trying to
stabilize, reconstruct, and democratize Iraq single-handedly. Consequently, it is reversing its policy on
post-Saddam Iraq. The following reasons
accounted for the policy reversal.
First, since there is no time limit on how long the US will remain in the
country, there is so much uncertainty concerning the future of Iraq and
US/British presence. Second, the
financial and political costs are frighteningly going to be high due to a lack
of a no end game. Third, due to militant
resistance, the original plan based on using Iraqi oil money to reconstruct the
country might not necessarily come to pass as oil pipelines are regularly blown
up to stop the economic stabilization effort.
Fourth, American forces are stretched too thin. Fifth, the goals of stabilization,
reconstruction, and democratization could impact the US economy in a negative
manner since they require extensive financial expenditure in Iraq. It is estimated that the US spends about a
billion dollars a month to maintain the American presence in Iraq.
Having realized the exorbitant costs of the Iraqi project, in
terms of money, manpower, materiel, and politics, the US now wants other
countries to assist in the stabilization and reconstruction effort. It is calling on allies and other countries
to voluntarily share the burden of securing Iraq. Other countries are interested in doing so,
but they insist that they can only participate in any reconstruction scheme in
Iraq through the United Nations. In
other words, they want the approval of the UN before venturing into Iraq, either
to provide forces or money. They also
want the UN to lead the stabilization and reconstruction effort and not the US
(Dalton, September 10, 2003). The US
insists on being the leading power in the country since it was responsible for
effecting a regime change and has the largest number of troops.
Due to the international demand for UN involvement, the US
finally went to the United Nations to seek authorization for universalizing the
Iraqi project. Rodney Dalton ( Ibid.)
noted “ Now, despite the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration is
knocking on the UN Security Council’s door, which makes a change from
threatening to huff and puff and blow it down.” The US is working diplomatically to draft a
resolution that would be acceptable to the Security Council members so that
other countries can support the Iraqi effort.
Secretary General Koffi Annan wants the UN to be involved, hence, he “has
asked foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council members to meet
in Geneva on Saturday to seek a compromise on the U.S. calls for international
support to help increase security and speed reconstruction in Iraq (Russell
& Abdellah, September 9. 2003). On
September 23, 2003, President Bush Jr. officially visited the UN to ask for a
resolution that will enable other countries to get involve in Iraq. This is a 360 degree turn about in American
attitude, from a vehement opposition to UN involvement to a request for an
official UN involvement.
The implications for the US about turn are many and
1. Traditional US
allies have refused to participate in the reconstruction effort. They believe that the US has no legal mandate
to be in Iraq. Consequently, they cannot
risk their own national interests by participating in an operation not
authorized or supported by the UN. There
is no exit strategy. This means that the
US is going to be in Iraq for a while.
The military cost of trying to stabilize the situation is unbearable for
a single country.
2. It has shown that
no single power can dominate the world without paying a gargantuan price
politically, psychologically, financially, and militarily. Going back to the Egyptian, Macedonian,
Roman, Chinese, Mayan, Mongolian, Ghanaian, Spanish, British, French etc.
empires, it is very clear that no single country can dominate the world for any
length of time.
By acting unilaterally, the US found itself alone in Iraq.
The pressure on the overstretched US military forces is tremendous. Prime Minister Tony Blair is paying a very
high political price in Britain for participating in the Second Persian Gulf
3. It has finally
made the UN the supreme authority in the world.
No other political authority can compete with the UN. This transformation is engendered by the
moderately powerful and less powerful nation-states which do not want any single
country to dominate the world system.
President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil said that the
reconstruction of Iraq “can only be overcome under the leadership of the United
Nations – leadership not only in re-establishing acceptable security conditions,
but equally in guiding the political process toward the restoration of Iraqi
sovereignty as soon as possible (CNN.COM, September 23, 2003). President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa
expressed a smilar feeling when he said “The poor of the world expect an end to
violence and war everywhere. For us, collectively, to meet these expectations,
will require that each and every one of us, both rich and poor – commit
ourselves practically to act “ (Ibid.).They want the UN to be the
counterbalancing political weight against any would-be-world-power. Consequently, it is understandable why the
French, Germans, Africans, Asians, Latin Americans, and Middle Easterners prefer
the UN to take the lead in rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq and not the US.
4. The United Nations
has become a world government in which all states are obligated to adhere to its
principles, resolutions, and, and laws.
5. Any nation-state
that refuses to comply with the decisions of the United Nations is most likely
to be ostracized politically, economically, legally, and morally. Rhodesia, South Africa, Indonesia,
Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya etc. learned through hard political and economic lessons
the futility of opposing UN decisions.
The United States is learning that despite being the world’s most
powerful nation, it cannot arbitrarily make decisions about the world without
the support or approval of the UN.
6. The concept of
preemption as a defensive military strategy has been discouraged from becoming
an acceptable national option for nation-states. It should be recalled that the US decided to
wage war against Iraq on the basis of preemption. It argued before the war that it has a right
to strike first as a way of stopping Iraq from launching weapons of mass
destruction against the US and its allies.
In criticizing preemption, Secretary General Koffi Annan stated, “This
logic represent s a fundamental challenge to the principles on which, however
imperfectly, world peace and stability have rested for the last 50 years. My
concern is that, if it were adopted, it
could set precedents that resulted in a proliferation of the unilateral and
lawless use of force, with or without credible justification (CNN.Com,
September 23, 2003).
States would now have to think very deeply before resorting
to preemption as a means of safeguarding and enhancing their national
interests. People are not comfortable
with the notion of preemption due to its similarity to aggression. In other words, there is a very thin line
between preemption and aggression. When
preemption fails to achieve its political and military goals, it immediately
becomes an aggression. This is why the
US presence in Iraq is viewed by the United Nations and many countries as an
“occupation,” instead of
The overall implication being that the US, after decades of
directly and indirectly opposing and lashing at the UN in many ways, has
mistakenly justified the preeminence of the United Nations in the world’s
political system. If the greatest
country on the face of earth could not legitimize its military actions without
gaining the support of the UN, it means that the era of a world government has
finally arrived. The UN is now the
supreme authority in the world and anyone or state that opposes it would live to
It is not an exaggeration to say that the authority of the UN
has grown immeasurably. When the UN
today characterizes any state as a “lawless state,’ that state is stigmatized
for a long time. Libya can testify to
the danger of violating UN laws, resolutions, and treaties. After refusing to accept responsibility for
series of actions, it finally agreed to pay damages to the families of victims
who perished in plane explosions carried out by alleged Libyan agents. Even South Africa had to succumb to the
pressure of the UN to change its apartheid system. Now, the US has learned not to ignore the UN
in carrying out its strategic goals. There is indeed a serious cost for
violating the world body. When the
International Court of Justice ruled in October 2002 that the Bakassi Island
belongs to Cameroon, Nigeria reacted furiously in opposition, then bowed to
honor the ruling by negotiating with Cameroon (Lacey & Banerjee, October 11,
2002). Mr. Charles Taylor’s descent
from power in Liberia began as soon as he was indicted by the UN’s Special Court
in Sierra Leone. Iran is gradually
feeling the pressure being put by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
to discourage it from producing nuclear weapons. The agency warned Tehran “that it must come
clean about its nuclear ambitions otherwise it will be reported to the United
Nations Security Council, which could impose sanctions” (CNN.Com, October
American realists, through their persistent opposition to the
UN and wholesome support for American unilateralism, have inadvertently helped
to temporarily defeat themselves and thereby strengthen the role of the United
Nations and the politics of multilateralism.
American idealists and globalists are laughing their way to intellectual
victory over the direction of American foreign policy via Iraq.
Political and military leaders who are used to abusing the
rights of their citizens politically, economically, environmentally, and legally
should watch out. They could be dragged to the United Nations to face
charges. In the nearest future, the posssibility of individuals suing their
states and leaders through international legal channels of the United Nations
system might become a normality as the UN continues to expand its auhtority.
Welcome to the
United Nations, the Government of the World.
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Bennet, A. L. (1977).
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:
(September 18, 2003). Blix
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(October 2, 2003). Defiant Iran
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Dalton, R. (September
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