The liberal stranglehold on college textbooks and curricula clearly has at least some influence on the thinking of college students and graduates, and this influence shows itself in the attitudes younger Americans have toward important political issues. A typical college student in the United States spends four or more years listening to information and arguments that support a leftist agenda, while being sheltered from data and arguments that might militate in favor of more conservative positions. Since people quite naturally base their beliefs on the available information, a four year diet of information hand-picked by leftists will inevitably have some effect.
This liberal monopoly on the flow of information allows college faculties to promote all kinds of politically correct beliefs, including some that don’t stand up well to actual scrutiny. The gospel of man-made global warming is one such belief. The best way to convince students of the truth of the theory is to “protect” them from all the evidence that undermines it.
Similarly, positive attitudes toward the United Nations are best encouraged by the suppression of information. University professors, like most liberals, are eager to portray the UN as a force for Good; and the best way to do that is by concealing a lot of embarrassing data.
Critics of the UN point to its endemic corruption, its domination by totalitarian governments, and its lack of positive accomplishments. Admirers of the UN praise if for the utopian theories on which it was founded, and try to keep the critics from getting a chance to speak.
Fortunately for the UN, its admirers get to write most the mainstream college textbooks.
The View from the Ivory Tower
A typical freshman history textbook says that the Franklin Roosevelt administration “believed that the United States could lead the rest of the world to a future of international cooperation, expanding democracy, and ever-increasing living standards. New institutions like the United Nations and World Bank had been created to promote these goals.”1 In describing the constitution of the UN, the same book states “There would be a General Assembly…where each member enjoyed an equal voice – and a Security Council responsible for maintaining world peace.”2 Another textbook says “Roosevelt envisioned a strong international organization led by the world’s principle powers…The new organization would work to disband empires…The world after victory would be a world of nations, not of empires or blocs.”3
A Democracy of Dictators
The UN was constituted, right from its inception, to subordinate the interests of any one nation to the will of the majority of nations. In theory this constitution would promote equality and justice, but in actual practice an assembly where “each member enjoyed an equal voice,” as the textbook puts it, and where most of the member nations are totalitarian, forces the world’s democratic nations to accept minority status.
It’s a sad fact that only about a third of the world’s nations can be properly described as politically “free.” By giving equal voting power to every nation, the UN effectively becomes a democracy of dictators. And since the totalitarian nations tend to be Socialistic in their economic structures, hence desperately poor, the UN is frequently a tool that poverty-stricken totalitarian regimes can use to extract financial aid from freer and more prosperous nations.
Sins of Commission
Like the General Assembly, the UN’s various commissions tend to be populated with representatives from repressive Third World regimes. This is true even of commissions that supposedly exist to promote noble ends like equal rights for women, or human rights for all people. In 2002, for example, the UN Human Rights Commission included members from several nations with dreadful records of human rights violations; including China, Cuba, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Libya.
For many years the Human Rights Commission turned a blind eye to the repressive policies of its own members, as well as those of most of the world’s undemocratic nations, and spent much of its time discovering supposedly grievous human rights offenses in Israel, which until very recently was the only democratic nation in the entire Middle East. (Iraq, of course, is now the other democratic nation in the Middle East.)
After years of complaints from Republicans in the US government, and conservatives in various other Western nations, the UN pledged to reform the Human Rights Commission. In 2006 the name was changed from “Human Rights Commission” to “Human Rights Council,” but the name was about the only thing that changed. Human Rights “Council” members elected this year include Mauritania, Malaysia, Qatar, Angola and Libya.
Libya’s frequent membership on the Human Rights Commission/Council comes despite the Arab nation’s sponsorship of terrorist bombings in western nations like Germany and Scotland, and it’s use of torture to force phony confessions from medical workers who come to Libya to provide humanitarian aid.
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The Commission on the Status of Women, like the Human Rights Council, is usually populated with representatives from totalitarian nations. This frequently includes Islamic nations where the subjugation and abuse of women is a cultural norm. Among the members recently elected to this commission is the nation of Iran, where men can torture and kill women with impunity, even when not ordered to do so by the government. As with everything else about the United Nations, the women’s rights commission is a good thing only in the abstract; in actual practice it is a travesty.
We’re from the UN and We’re Here to Help
Corruption runs through the UN from top to bottom, and when funding is allocated for some noble-sounding purpose, the money tends to be siphoned off for the benefit of the UN officials entrusted with it. The recent “Oil for Food” debacle is a good example. A Washington Post article describes the humanitarian goals on which the program was founded:
The oil-for-food program was established in December 1996, to provide relief to Iraqis enduring hardship from a U.N. trade embargo that was imposed after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The program allowed Iraq to sell oil under U.N. auspices and to use the proceeds to buy food and medicine and also pay billions of dollars in war reparations.
The end result of the program was billions of dollars of illegal profits for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and millions for corrupt UN officials who ran the program as a sort of partnership with Hussein. Any attempt to provide actual aid to the suffering people of Iraq was just an afterthought.
And it’s not just the high ranking officials who put their own needs ahead of their duties. When the United Nations sends armed “peacekeepers” to some troubled nation, the UN troops usually take advantage of their power and financial status to sexually exploit the locals. Wherever these peacekeepers are sent, there are widespread reports of local women and underage girls being raped, forced into prostitution, or coerced into sex by the threat of having food withheld. When the peacekeepers leave, they often leave behind a legacy of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
The United States has been providing around 27 percent of the funding for these peacekeeping activities. If college professors and other liberals didn’t do such a good job of selling the UN as a force for Good, there would probably be more Americans pressuring their Representatives and Senators to cut off the funding that facilitates these abuses.
A History of Deception
Lies and corruption are nothing new to the UN. At the 1945 conference that founded the UN, the United States’ representative was Alger Hiss, a Soviet spy who would later be convicted of perjury for denying his espionage activities on behalf of the Stalinist regime in Moscow. The representatives of the fifty nations present elected Hiss to chair the conference.
The Soviet Union also sent its own representative to the conference, so the USSR and the United States had something in common. Both of them were represented by someone on the Soviet payroll.
From that day to this conservatives in the US have complained about the UN. In 1979 retired California Governor Ronald Reagan complained in a couple of his syndicated radio addresses that the UN was intervening in the African nation of Namibia on behalf of a Marxist group that was trying to prevent democratic elections and take over the nation by force.4 In the 1990’s American Republicans have complained about the UN’s counterproductive efforts in the Congo and Rwanda, and the evidence of UN complicity in the slaughter of innocents in Srebrenica.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of its corruption and anti-democratic tendencies, and its almost complete lack of positive accomplishments, the UN continues to enjoy a fairly positive public image in the United States. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 49% of Americans have “at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the UN.” If the people we trust to teach history in America’s classrooms would present a more honest view, the UN would probably be almost universally condemned.
1Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty (2006 edition) p. 779
2Ibid., p. 774
3Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff; Nation of Nations (2006 edition) p. 611
4Reagan in His Own Hand, edited by Skinner, Anderson, and Anderson; pp. 190, 191