Thursday, July 28, 2011

With Friends Like This . . . .

That's jolly old Hugo Chavez addressing the United Nations concerning the world's greatest enemy--the United States. He was merely one in a long string of dictators and America-haters who have addressed the organization that takes up space on American soil and sucks up American dollars like a giant Hoover vacuum.

Now, a Republican has proposed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would cut off funding to UN members who oppose America. Even though I am not Catholic, I will be praying to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, that something like this could actually happen. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina) inserted an amendment into the House Foreign Affairs Committee markup session which would prohibit any foreign assistance to UN members who oppose the United States position more than fifty percent of the time.

The fact that the amendment is highly unlikely to pass, and that it would be difficult to implement does not deter me from thinking it would be one helluva great idea. To start with, a requirement to track how the member nations vote is already an official State Department function. The tracking includes how each nation votes in the General Assembly and the Security Council. The amendment would require that foreign assistance be cut off from nations voting against the United States position more than fifty percent of the time as determined by the State Department reports, with a waiver available if the President makes a formal determination that invoking the waiver is "important to the national interests of the United States." OK, I know that's a serious flaw, but Obama won't be President forever.

The amendment was passed on a straight party-line vote of the Republican-controlled subcommittee 22 to 18, and by the full committee by a 23 to 20 vote. It has an excellent chance of passage in the full House. But we can all make a pretty intelligent guess as to what will happen when it reaches the Senate and the cold hands of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada). Still, this is an excellent opportunity to call attention to profligate spending on the UN in a nation awash in debt. Said Rep. Duncan: "We're $14.3 trillion n debt. Why should we pay countries to hate us when they've shown they're willing to do it for free?" I don't have a good answer to that question.

Already in the crosshairs of the amendment are terrorist-supporters Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Pakistan. In addition, those nations which promote abortions as state policy would be included (it's the "Mexico City policy" abandoned by the Obama administration). I'd include China on that list, except that any funding we give them we borrowed from them in the first place. There is also a non-waivable provision that would cut off funding to any nation that opposes moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Whether the Organization of American States could be included is iffy, since it is an affiliate rather than a formal member of the General Assembly.

On straight "yes" or "no" votes in 2010, only twenty-seven percent of UN members (53 out of 191) voted with the United States more than fifty percent of the time. Given that the Obama administration is in-sync with many UN initiatives, the percentage of nations voting with us is much higher than it was in 2008 when the Bush administration opposed every single initiative coming out the the UN Human Rights Commission. With recent Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment, Obama administration concurrence with gun-grab UN initiatives will likely be good for funding our enemies, but unlikely to reach full treaty status in the Senate.

Of the 53 nations which voted with the United States more than 50% of the time, not a single one is in Central or South America. There is only one in the African region (the Seychelles), and in Asia there are only Japan, South Korea, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. The few remaining nations are either NATO members or newly-emerged former Soviet governments in Eastern Europe.

It's probably not necessary to mention that of those nations which support the United States, our strongest major supporter is Israel at 91.8%, exceeded only by the minuscule Palau at 96.5% and Micronesia at 94%. Of those nations which receive immense American foreign aid, the number who oppose the United States is an appalling comment on American foolish generosity. Pakistan voted with the United States a mere 21.3% of the time. Pakistan is followed by Egypt at 31.4%, Kenya at 31.7%, Ethiopia at 32.8%, Nigeria at 33.9%, Jordan and South Africa at 33.8%, Afghanistan at 34.3%, and finally the great exporter of humans and guns to the United States, Mexico at 37.5%.

A separate list is also kept on those issues considered to be of primary importance to the United States. Those are the ones for which the President would have to issue waivers. Among these are the Cuban embargo, human rights violations in North Korea and Iran, the death penalty, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Durban racism process, nuclear missile proliferation and disarmament, and the Muslim-proposed initiatives on "religious defamation."

Of the top American aid recipients, only Israel, Mexico and Kenya voted with the United States in 2010 more than fifty percent of the time on those "priority" issues. Of the remaining top recipients, Afghanistan was at 46.2%, Ethiopia at 44.4%, Nigeria and Jordan at 40%, South Africa at 30%, Egypt at 25%, and Taliban-Al Qaeda-hiding Pakistan at 22.2%.

A fool and his money are soon parted. We have been fools for far too long. If the proposed amendment only shakes up a few of the executive fools and calls attention to the monstrous and dangerous waste of American taxpayer dollars in hard times, it will have been worth it. The only remaining question is how much of this debate will the mainstream media even mention?

Addendum: The Youth Initiative of the United Nations Population Fund just voted to make children's sexual rights a priority to be brought before the General Council. The group defines "youth" as people between the ages of 10 and 24. Here's their goal: “In order to fully recognise young people’s sexual and reproductive rights, especially the right to choose [abortion], we must achieve universal access to safe and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health care services, including access to evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education, in formal and non-formal settings." It should be interesting to see how that plays out in our scenario, and where the Obama administration will put its vote.


Tehachapi Tom said...

I have never been able to understand why we provide aid to any countries which are antagonistic toward us.
When I deal with a company that does not back it's products I stop buying from them.
Are our politicians so dense that basic common sense cannot be applied in the same manner.
As for the UN move them to Venezuela where they can all get huggy kissy together.
It would also mean an elimination of all those arrogant sphincters who ignore our traffic and parking laws then claim immunity.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: International diplomacy is in many ways similar to democracy. People are going to disagree, and we don't cut off our relationship with them. But when we are contributing huge sums to a single organization and even bigger sums to individual members of that organization which are openly hostile to us, there's something seriously wrong.

In the past, we've already suggested that Antarctica is the perfect location for the UN.

AndrewPrice said...

That's not a bad idea, cutting off funding for anyone who opposes us more than 50% of the time. Why should we be nice to them?

rlaWTX said...

Great idea!!

How much do we spend on these countries (non-war on terror related)?

T-Rav said...

LawHawk: At least, you think Obama won't be President forever. Because that would be unconstitutional and such and thus not anything he'd ever consider doing.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I think that some kind of bizarre philosophy has developed over the years that is a combination of bribery and bleeding-heart humanitarianism. It makes no sense to pay people to hate us and actively try to undermine us, and decades of money sent to most of these countries seems only to have hardened their resolve to oppose us.

Unknown said...

rlaWTX: It's really hard to say, but it's clearly in the hundreds of billions over the past quarter-century, and perhaps even in the low trillions. It's water under the bridge now, but we don't have to continue throwing good money after bad.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: LOL Don't you know that the Fourteenth Amendment allows him to issue an executive order permitting him to stay in office for life?

Joel Farnham said...

How about just shutting it down? Take all funding away, state that it's original purpose was laudable but since it's start it has been at cross purposes and has betrayed it's charter. Site all the egregious examples of UN peace troops raping and robbing the people they were supposed to be protecting. Site all the corruption that has been exposed. State the United States doesn't stand for this. In other words, "It's been fun, it's been real, but it hasn't
been real fun. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, good bye. Ciao baby. It's not UN, it's US. Be sure to turn the lights out when you leave."

rlaWTX said...

YAY, Joel!!!!

Tennessee Jed said...

I missed this post earlier while I had a doctor's appointment. It is, as usual, a very nice article. Now I realize that as a general rule, American foreign policy changes should be made carefully, and when possible, gradually. But let's face it, we waste a lot of money in foreign aid and get virtually nothing in return. Were I a candidate running for the presidency, I would think there are a number of things associated with foreign aide that would be incredibly fertile fields for campaign ads, not to mention good policy at a time when we operate at record deficits.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: With the tracking requirement for the State Department, and the votes in the UN, it would be very easy to identify who's with us and who's against us. We could still provide humanitarian aid for national disasters, but cut off all other aid to those who sabotage everything we attempt to do to make the world a freer and more humane place.

And I wholly agree with you on this being a perfect foreign policy issue for the next campaign.

Post a Comment