COMMENTARY | The United Nations has been a failure. Recent news highlights three brewing crises that reflect the international body's inability to force rogue states to comply. Syria has been in the spotlight in recent months for its brutal crackdown on protesters of repressive President Bashar al-Assad. According to Reuters, the U.N. has reported over 90 civilians killed in Houla. Activists report that the deaths were caused by a government artillery attack on suspected dissidents.
The international community has also been unable to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions, as Reuters reported, and continues to allow atrocities and nuclear brinkmanship from North Korea, as discussed by The Lookout. The United Nations has failed over multiple decades to live up to its responsibilities to protect the international community from these rogue states. Like the League of Nations failing to check Italian and Japanese aggression in the 1930s, today's United Nations is also mired in hesitancy and doomed by the bystander effect, where nobody wants to take the initiative and act first.
When the U.N. was founded in the waning days of World War II, could leaders like Harry Truman and Winston Churchill have ever anticipated their international creation would become so bloated, cowardly and useless? Russia and China refuse to vote for Security Council action against rogue states because those states purchase billions of dollars in arms from them. The U.S. and Britain don't want to get their hands dirty with boots on the ground. France shouldn't be a member of the Council at all. The Allies who defeated Axis tyranny in the 1940s have devolved from noble warriors to cautious bureaucrats.
People in these nations are suffering and the threat of nuclear war looms, but the U.N. is just like the defunct League of Nations when it comes to using force. The U.N. either needs to change its rules or dissolve and encourage the institution of a new international body with a greater impetus toward action. When North Korea becomes a nuclear-armed failed state and mushroom clouds rise over Jerusalem and Tehran it will be too late.