Why is the United Nations so subservient to the United States? asks a reader. Like most writers, I appreciate feedback about content readers would like to see.
So, let’s brainstorm!
The UN is located in New York City and its international officers and staff are dependent on the U.S. for visas.
The member nations of the UN mostly kowtow to the U.S. for the same reason that blogger Caitlin Johnstone identified to explain why her country kowtows to the U.S.: “Australia is not arming itself against China to protect itself from China. Australia is arming itself against China to protect itself from the United States.”
Examples of actions the U.S. has taken against nations that didn’t do its bidding:
- regime change, via soft coups, lawfare, or just outright military takeovers
- economic sanctions
- military attacks including the use of depleted uranium
- possibly even earthquakes?
The UN was created to be a fig leaf for U.S. imperial ambitions, and not actually to prevent “the scourge of war” as its charter claims.
Nations are disinclined to use the UN to publicly challenge U.S. hegemony and would prefer to make back channel diplomatic deals with emerging powers like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Nations have long seen how ineffectual the UN is at enforcing international law when the U.S. invades and occupies nations to steal their oil, or freezes the assets of other nations that are held in Western financial institutions. Allison Bronowski on the blog Pearls & Irritations wrote about the UN’s institutional role in the preparation of a legal case for Australia to wage war over a “non-sovereign” nation, i.e. Taiwan:
The UN Charter which our governments signed in 1945, contained a cop-out, Article 98. It allowed member states to make ‘reservations and declarations’ exempting themselves from some of its obligations and interpretations.
Of 193 nations, some 110, mainly from the global south, have signed Article 98 agreements with the US, undertaking not to surrender American service people for investigation by the International Criminal Court.
The US made its own reservations and declarations under Article 98, stating that:
- The US reserves the right to decide whether to comply with Security Council decisions in accordance with its constitutional processes
- The US reserves the right to use military force in response to an armed attack on a member state without first seeking authorisation from the Security Council
- The US reserves the right to veto any decision by the Security Council it believes to be against its national interest
- The US reserves the right to make its own decisions about the use of military force in situations it perceives as a threat to its national security
- The US is not bound by the decisions of the International Court of Justice if it involves domestic matters [eg Guantanamo Bay or other US military prisons].
These are long term trends, but a more recent development under the Biden administration may explain some things, too. Per investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s article out today, “Trading With The Enemy“:
Another divisive issue, I have been repeatedly told in my recent reporting, is the strident ideology and lack of political skill shown by Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The president and his two main foreign policy advisers “live in different worlds” than the experienced diplomats and military and intelligence officers assigned to the White House;. “They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories.”
In other words, with these clowns in charge what is to be gained from working within the international structure for diplomacy that the UN was supposed to offer?
Finally, in case you’re wondering what my friend and I see as UN subservience to the U.S., two recent items:
The UN Security Council refused to set up an independent investigation of the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines.
The UN Security Council blocked the usual broadcast of a hearing, boycotted by the U.S. and UK, to consider allegations by the International Criminal Court (not a UN affiliated body, by the way) that Russia kidnapped thousands of children from Ukraine.
Sometimes the UN as a whole stands up, though. Back in 2016 by a vote of 131-3 it condemned the glorification of Nazism.
The U.S. and Ukraine abstained. ‘Nuff said.