USA
Contempt for United Nations and International Folly

By Vexen Crabtree 2003 Nov 15


1. Abuse of the United Nations

Book CoverWhen it suits the US, it uses the UN to seek legitimacy for its actions, to build coalition and impose sanctions on 'rogue states'. When world opinion goes against the US, it treats the UN with utter contempt. [...] Throughout the history of the UN, America has consistently vetoed any resolution or declaration that did not reflect US priorities or business interests. 'With note-worthy regularity', writes William Blum in Rogue State (2001), 'Washington has found itself - often alone, sometimes joined by one or two other countries - standing in opposition to the General Assembly resolutions aimed at furthering human rights, peace, nuclear disarmament, economic justice, the struggle against South African apartheid and Israeli lawlessness and other progressive causes'. Blum lists some 150 instances between 1984 and 1987 when the US cast a solitary 'no' vote against General Assembly resolutions.

This despite the fact that the US did not pay its UN dues for decades. When it finally agreed to pay past dues in return for a reduction in its assessments, it refused to fulfil the promise. The resentment against the US at typical UN meetings is so intense that it can be felt in the air. It was this resentment that led the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to oust the US from the 53-member Human Rights Commission (HRC) in May 2001. [...] It was the vote of a number of European and 'friendly nations' that eventually ousted America. The US suffered a similar defeat in 1998 when it was ejected from, but later reinstated to, the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), a key committee that deals with funding in the whole body.

"Why Do People Hate America?" by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (2002)1

 

Book CoverIn 1993 [...] only eighteen countries (accounting for 16 percent of the budget of the UN) paid in full by the January 31 deadline. And by 31 October 1994, governments owed the UN a total of $2,100,000,000. [...] The United States owed the most ($687,000,000), followed by Russia ($597,000,000)

"Our Global Neighbourhood: The Report of the Commission on Global Governance" by United Nations (1995)2

This report continues on p300 to document how the UN does not want any single country to contribute large percentages of its income. The 1985 Palme initiative was presented to cap the maximum contribution by any member state, in particular this would have curbed the amount that the USA can contribute, especially in light on its failure to actually pay. "We believe that this was an eminently sound suggestion. The high US share, though justified by that country's wealth, has been exploited by elements hostile to the U.N."

But this proposal was opposed the USA itself! It was rejected by "the Reagan administration, anxious to maintain the leverage that its level of contribution seemed to buy". In short, the USA wanted to keep its high formal contribution levels in order to buy maximum influence (bribe the UN), and yet didn't want to actually pay any of the money it owed, either! This type of abuse leads, and Sardar & Davies pointed out examples, to contempt of the USA and the dropping of the USA from major bodies of the UN.

Abuse of the Security Council Veto
Although historically required, the Security Council veto system, often abused by unilateral interests, has broken the functioning of the Security Council and the entire wing has shrunk in importance. In particular, the USA vetoes anything which condemns Israel's illegal and aggressive activities. The USA attracts a lot of hatred, worldwide, for its wholesale support of the Israel, and as pointed out on uncountable occasions has singularly voted against any pact that would inhibit Israel, despite the many occasions when such condemnation has been otherwise completely unanimous.

2. International Treaties

And in the notorious case of the mining of Nicaraguan Waters, the United States categorically refused to abide by the ruling of the International Court of Justice - not the best of credentials for a nation destined to lead the world into conditions of justice and peace!

"Introduction to International Politics" by Heater & Berridge (1992)3

Other international treaties, especially in military ones such as:

The USA is clearly hypocritical, especially as it itself pledged full support of the Landmine Treaty! It is as if the USA wanted to pretend to support such things, so that more conscientious countries would comply, and then back out, leaving the USA in a slightly better military position. Such appalling dishonesty and immorality is not below the military interests of the Reagan or Bush administration in America.

The United States was rejected from the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 2001. This is a serious warning sign even taking into the account that many countries would have voted the USA out for petit reasons, it is telling that they expressed surprise that even amongst its allies and friends in Europe, it received very few votes.

3. International Obligations on the Environment

The USA drew worldwide criticism for failing to adopt the greatest international agreement for the reduction of some greenhouse gases, The Kyoto Protocol, which has been accepted by nearly every other country. This is despite the fact that the USA is by a massive margin the world's biggest polluter and very disproportionately so. President Bush has repeatedly stated that he will not adopt such protocols if they harm American economy. Commercialism and greed overcome all common sense and thought for the welfare of future generations. This failure causes hatred not only of the Bush administration, but of American commercialism in general.

"The USA Versus the Environment: Oil, Pollution and Kyoto" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

The world's largest polluter, America, has recently not backed pollution treaties to reduce car emissions or petrol consumption. The US alone accounted for 36.1% of worldwide greenhouse emissions in 19906. The US has 4% of the world's population, but produces a massively disproportionate 25% of the worlds' pollution. By comparison, Britain emits 3%.

[2012 - An update in the name of fairness - rapidly rising countries such as China have become the world's greatest environmental concern, and have conscientiously put economic growth before environmentally sound policy. Few countries have taken a permanently healthy approach.]

4. The USA Versus the International Criminal Court

The following extracts are from an article in British Army Review:

[America] "has promoted the setting up, under United Nations auspices, of international criminal tribunals to deal with atrocities in Yugoslavia (1992), Rwanda (1994), Sierra Leone (2000) and Cambodia (2004). During the whole of this period work went on towards creating a permanent international criminal court with a full-time panel of judges. In July 1998 the Rome Statute of the ICC was adopted by an overwhelming vote of the participants, and it entered into force on 1st July 2002 after sixty states had ratified. More than half the states in the world have now joined. The crimes involved are genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes [...] But the Court can act only if national procedures have failed. And the ICC Prosecutor has no power of his own to investigate or arrest. [...].

America, in the dubious company of China and Israel (and supposedly Libya, Iraq and Yemen), voted against the Charter, preferring a more anaemic version that could be controlled politically. President Clinton signed the statute establishing the Court, but the Bush administration, since it came into office in 2001 has run what Sands calls an 'aggressive, mendacious and ill-informed campaign to undermine the ICC'. In May 2002 the Administration announced that it would 'unsign' the Rome Statute and set out ruthlessly to extinguish all possibility that any American could ever be tried by the Court. Three months later Congress passed an Act enabling the President to use 'all necessary means' to release any American national detained by the ICC. Not surprisingly this has become known as 'The Hague Invasion Act'. It forbids the use of American troops in UN peacekeeping unless guaranteed complete immunity from persecution before the ICC. It forbids the US to provide military assistance for any country that is party to the ICC (an exception being made for NATO members, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Taiwan). [...]

The United States has induced more than 75 countries to enter into bi-lateral agreements [...] not to surrender any American national to the ICC under any circumstances unless the Americans agree. Some 45 countries have refused to sign these agreements [...]. The European Union, to its credit, has come out very strongly against these agreements. [...]

In 2002 Colin Powell, then US Secretary of State, claimed that the US is a 'leader of the world with respect to bringing people to justice. We have the highest standards of accountability of any nation on the face of the earth'. How can the US reconcile this claim with its actions against the ICC? [An American concern is] that the Court could proceed against American citizens who commit crimes on the territory of a state party e.g. in Afghanistan. [...]

Britain has been and remains one of the strongest supporters of the ICC. But it has shown no sign of trying to restrain the misguided antagonism of the Americans. In March 2004 Britain signed a new extradition treaty with the US, undertaking that no person extradited from the US to the UK would ever be surrendered to the ICC. [...]

USA then tried to extend this immunity from the ICC to all UN peacekeepers, but no-one supported the move apart from Britain, and under intense criticism the US stood down. Also, "In April 2005 the Security Council voted to send any war crimes suspects from Darfur to the ICC (unless of course they were American). America, after a long blocking action, finally abstained along with Algeria, Brazil and China.

General Sir Hugh Beach GBE KCB MC MA (2005)7

5. Conclusion

The USA has broken the UN Security Council, leading to its decreased importance and effectiveness, largely over Israel that the USA supports under any circumstances, vetoing even the smallest and most reasonable measures against Israel's illegal occupations. The reasons for the USA's behaviour is beyond me, some say it is religiously motivated, commercially motivated or simply due to habit. The USA abuses the UN more than any other country, constantly trying to bribe and buy influence, yet is notorious for owing most to the UN, despite the USA's heavy use of it, and wealth. This intolerable attitude towards world consensus causes hatred of the USA at the highest levels in all countries in the world, except Israel, which is perhaps the USA's sole benefactor.

International treaties mentioned on this page, such as the Landmine Treaty, the 1972 treaty banning biological of germ warfare, Kyoto, Bush has specifically stated that "Americans come first" along with American economic interests. USA & Israel simultaneous rejection of the World Conference Against Racism, and USA's failure to ratify three of the six core Human Rights treaties, are often cited as reasons why people in the developed world hate whatever it is that the USA government is up to. This apparent immorality is hated across the world and is seen as one of the worst aspects of American commercialism, and world opinion was reflected when the USA was voted out of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 2001.

Commerce, oil, money and power are the only values that are apparent in Washington's lead. Over the years the world has learned to hate all American intervention because it is known full well that at the bottom of every American foreign policy these four corrupting principles are immovably roosted. Even in matters of foreign aid, the USA is abusive and two-faced. The poor USA citizens do not know the extent of the damage that their countries commercialism-at-all-costs is costing the world. World peace, world economy, third world countries, the environment and international co-operation are all victims of the USA's blatant greed.

Read / Write Comments

By Vexen Crabtree 2003 Nov 15
Last Updated: 2012 Nov 16
http://www.vexen.co.uk/USA/un.html

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Heater & Berridge
Introduction to International Politics (1992). Quotes from 1993 version, Harvester Wheatsheaf publishing, Hertfordshire, England

Sardar, Ziauddin and Davies, Merryl Wyn
Why Do People Hate America? (2002).

United Nations
Our Global Neighbourhood: The Report of the Commission on Global Governance (1995). Oxford University Press original edition.

Footnotes

  1. Sardar & Davies (2002) p69.^
  2. United Nations Commission (1995) p299.^
  3. Heater & Berridge (1992) p12.^
  4. United Nations news report (2001 Sep 03). Accessed 2003.^
  5. United Nations news report (2001 Jan 11). Accessed 2003.^
  6. BBC News (2002 Jun 04). Accessed 2003.^
  7. General Sir Hugh Beach GBE KCB MC MA, in British Army Review (Summer 2005 no.137). Article "Guarding the Guardians" by General Sir Hugh Beach GBE KCB MC MA. Commentary on "Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules" by Philippe Sands. Penguin, Allen Lane, 2005, Softback.^
  8. 2006 Aug 20: Added quotes from General Sir Hugh Beach GBE KCB MC MA on the International Criminal Court.

© 2013 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.

Google Ads: