Tuesday, February 22, 2005

# Posted 12:32 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

A KINDER, GENTLER UNITED NATIONS: In response to the overwhelming emphasis in the blogosphere on scandals and corruption at the United Nations, Peter Daou has started up a blog called UN Dispatch that focuses on some of the good, humanitarian work for which the UN should be recognized.

I sympathize with Peter's perspective. The UN is an institution that is more than worth salvaging. Yet if one is concerned about the UN's image problem, priority number one should be an unmitigated cleansing of the UN itself.

Perhaps if the UN heard this sort of criticism from anti-war liberals, they would take it more seriously than when they hear it from the usual suspects on the hawkish side of the political spectrum (OxBlog included).

Ultimately, the UN must suffer from the same afflication that that troubles the United States as well. As self-proclaimed moral exemplars, both the UN and the must expect their critics to hold them to impossible standards and place all of their shortcomings under a relentless microscope.

The UN must bear an additional burden, however, since it is not subject to any sort of democratic accountability. Whereas George Bush can depend on the Democrats and on the media to report every possible criticism of his administration, the UN has no loyal opposition and no fourth estate devoted to righting its wrongs.

Thus, unless, the UN can right itself, few of us will attribute any sort of credibility to its pretensions as the guardian of international law.
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