US Out of UN
May 1, 2003 1:50 PM   Subscribe

New push to 'get U.S. out of U.N.' Congressman Ron Paul asks for House floor vote during a time of disdain for the global organization. HR 1146 is also known as the American Sovereignty Restoration Act.
posted by jasontromm (27 comments total)
Black days.

Another fun time is how Bush loves to be seen with the troops. Make your own 20th century parallels.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:52 PM on May 1, 2003

Oh, for goodness' sake. It's Ron Paul, the perennial Libertarian presidential candidate. We're not leaving the UN, ok?
posted by coelecanth at 2:00 PM on May 1, 2003

"There's absolutely no way in the world that's going to happen," Wirth said, in regard to the chances of serious congressional consideration for H.R. 1146. "This piece of legislation has been brought by Ron Paul every year over the last 20 years and it never goes anywhere."

And rightly so, IMHO.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:01 PM on May 1, 2003

I think it's a good proposal. To quote Anne Bayefsky:
The U.S. pays 22% of the U.N.'s regular budget. Yet today's U.N. operates in fundamental opposition to the values of the U.S.--and to its own universal human-rights foundations.
As David Holcberg has argued:
Of course, the US should continue to pursue a foreign policy that supports human rights, but should do so on its own, or in alliance with other nations that actually share its values. If America really cares about human rights, the best thing it can do is to take this opportunity and withdraw from the UN. Then the world may get the message that human rights are more important that membership in a corrupt and morally bankrupt organization
posted by dagny at 2:03 PM on May 1, 2003

There is truth to holcberg's argument, and no one can deny it-- but it's not the most important truth.
posted by chaz at 2:08 PM on May 1, 2003

aka the Jackass Cowboy Act.
posted by xmutex at 2:09 PM on May 1, 2003

The irony of this "American Sovereignty Restoration Act" of course being that recent events have proven that when U.S. interests come into sharp enough contrast with the U.N.'s decisions, we are able and willing to act on our own, according to our own wishes.
posted by Wingy at 2:24 PM on May 1, 2003

While I don't think the US should withdraw from the UN, I do believe that a serious push for leaving could put the world on notice that recent slaps in the face (the appointment of Libya to the Human Rights Commission, replacing the US) won't be tolerated. The US is the backbone of the UN, yet some countries (France, Germany) seem to resent that. The UN has fallen off the course of why it was founded. The huge UN beauracracy is a joke and if anything, the US shouldn't leave the UN, but help rebuild it for the post- Cold War world.
posted by mr. man at 2:39 PM on May 1, 2003

Does US need UN ? NO

Do UN officials (all 3rd world country bureaucrats) who get paid outrageous salaries need US to keep their salaries going ? YES

posted by bureaustyle at 2:44 PM on May 1, 2003

Ron Paul has proposed lots of things in the 108th Congress. He proposed lots of things in the 107th, 106th, and 105th, too. None of it, not one thing, passed into law.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:47 PM on May 1, 2003

My favorite Ron Paul speech.
posted by trharlan at 2:50 PM on May 1, 2003

Geez. Same goes for all of his tenure representing the good folks of Texas. Lots of stuff introduced, but nothing passed, in the 94th, 96th, 97th, and 98th Congresses.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2003

U.S. out of the U.N., U.N. out of the U.S.

So let it be written, so let it be done.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:54 PM on May 1, 2003

Holy shit, crash, I thought myself the only person left in the world that was freaky enough to still use that phrase in common discourse.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:14 PM on May 1, 2003

Does US need UN ? NO

Do UN officials (all 3rd world country bureaucrats) who get paid outrageous salaries need US to keep their salaries going ? YES

Well there's some airtight logic for ya...
posted by jpoulos at 3:25 PM on May 1, 2003

I'm not in favor of withdrawing from the UN, but I can say that we need to cut way back on the money we give to various world organizations. (The UN, World Bank, IMF, etc.) I live in DC, so I've seen and talked to the employees a lot. Most of them are paid for doing nothing, and get benefits you'd never receive from either the private sector or the US government. For example, did you know that World Bank will pay for expensive private schools for their employees? But, of course, when the rioters come, you'd never catch the IMF or World Bank actually paying the city for the trouble they've caused by asking for extra city security. Fact is, these organizations are money holes, and the money isn't going to those who need it, it's going to pay for extra bureaucrats. It's time to cut the amount of money we're giving these folks.
posted by unreason at 3:41 PM on May 1, 2003

Works for me.
The US can put that money to much better use than keeping non-US citizens in a lavish lifestyle.
posted by Trik at 3:54 PM on May 1, 2003

I don't hold much hope for this one; Ron Paul has a better chance of passing a bowling-ball-sized kidney stone than this piece of tripe.

But, the fact that this could even be entertained should be a concern.
posted by FormlessOne at 4:32 PM on May 1, 2003

I think the UN more or less restricts the US politically. I agree that it's bloated, and that its bureaucracy is trying to expand into areas (UN military forces?!) that it has no business being involved in. I agree that it's proposterous that Libya, Turkmenistan and Cuba (by that I mean their dictator rulers, not their unrepresented peoples) have as much say as the US, Japan and Britain. I agree the UN track record on diplomacy and, especially, human rights is atrocious.

Nonetheless, I think the UN, in other spheres, is infinitely valuable. WHO. IMF. World Bank. UNICEF. Its service as a global talking point. Its service as a non-military means of persuasion among weaker nations. This is what the UN should be involved in.

The UN cured smallpox. It didn't stop the genocides in Rwanda. Or Cambodia. China. Russia. Iraq. Uganda. Congo.

The UN has helped integrate foreign nations into the global economy, especially former colonial nations. It didn't stop Stalin, Milosevic, Pinochet, Amin.

The UN has a purpose. The one that it is focused on at current is not the right one.
posted by Kevs at 5:30 PM on May 1, 2003

Regardless the messenger, I am a firm believer that the United Nations is in need of a top to bottom overhaul. If you examine its history, the United Nations has been an excellent organization when it comes to humanitarian, socio-political issue disscussions and coordination.

However, as a security organization, the UN has failed, miserably, since its inception. It is an organization that is hampered by several key flaws, one of which is the Security Council.

However, as I stated, I believe that it woudl be foolish for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations in lieu of staying there to help re-mold the organization into one that better can accomplish those jobs which it is relatively good at today.
posted by tgrundke at 5:35 PM on May 1, 2003

The UN Human Rights Commission is a fucking joke. Just look at some of the countries that sit on the commission, including Sudan, possibly the worst place to live in the world.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:15 PM on May 1, 2003

We've been pissing money down this black hole for far too long.
posted by insulglass at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2003

The UN is only as flawed as its parts are flawed. True, the UN hardly exists anymore. It is powerless because it has a huge malignant lump in it. The US needs to be cut out.

For the US to voluntarily cut itself out is hilarious. Everybody knows a cancer needs its host life-support system. Hello brain drain! Idiots.

What idealist dreaming artist or scientist wants to be a part of this fucking dying quasi-culture? They're obviously not welcome here. What're ya gonna do when all the geniuses, doctors and scientists leave your authoritarian Christian fundamentalist suburbacountry in an age of growing collective intelligence?
posted by crasspastor at 11:09 PM on May 1, 2003

Yeah, crasspastor, it's not like geniuses, doctors and scientists have been emigrating to the US for the last 50 years or anything...
posted by dagny at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2003

Oh have they? Or have they just gone to where the jobs are?

I stand corrected. Job Drain it is.
posted by crasspastor at 1:29 AM on May 2, 2003

this discussion hurts my head...
posted by kaibutsu at 2:43 AM on May 2, 2003

It's amusing to me how the UN was the US' idea in the first place, and now this. I like Ron Paul, FWIW, but this is one of his populist go-rounds with this bill, a repeating cycle. He also came out strongly against the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. I'm no fan of the UN, but it's also amusing to me how much the US trumpets the UN horn about violations of UN resolutions, then refuses to be bound by that same institution when it's inconvenient or doesn't quite work out the way it wants, or when the US stands accused of violations. Seems the US' pet project became something that wasn't always interested in what the US needs before everyone else, but then the rest of the world also acts out of self-interest. Oddly enough.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:12 AM on May 3, 2003

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