The United Nations?
There has been a lot of talk following the
recent war in Iraq that the United Nations
is an impotent anachronism. I have long
heard complaints about the defects of the UN,
and also long heard it said that the UN is
the last best hope for humanity. I rather
suspect that both sides are right.
Some ten or twelve generations ago,
there were 13 British colonies along the
east coast of the North American continent.
They were basically the same culture, and
were comparable in size to each other.
They united in a government to gain their
independence from Britain, called the
Articles of Confederation. This union
was about as successful as the League of
Nations in the early 20th Century. When the
Founding Fathers were at work trying to
create a more perfect union than this,
they were on the point of producing a
compromise and going home, when George
Washington rose and said the following:
"If, to please the people, we offer what we
ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards
defend our work? Let us raise a standard to
which the wise and the honest can repair."
As a result of this famous speech, the
delegates produced one of the greatest
documents in human history, our Constitution.
This masterpiece, however, enshrined the
"peculiar institution" with a compromise
which basically said that Negro slaves had
three fifths of a human soul. This little
time bomb was to explode nearly a century
later in one of history's bloodiest civil
wars, and very nearly rip the country
asunder, leaving problems which fester
to this very day in our society.
The United Nations tries to bring together
countries with a few thousand people and
countries with hundreds of millions. They
have governments ranging from democratic
republics to military dictatorships to
theocracies, and everything else a
government can be. Languages, religions,
economies...everything is different between
the member states. Almost every one has
been at war or on the verge of war with
some other member at some time in living
memory, if not at present. The imperfections
in this organization are astounding only
because they are not worse. As someone
once said about a pig dancing, the wonder
is not that it is done so poorly, but that
it is done at all.
But Kennedy once said that mankind must put
an end to war, or war would put an end to
mankind, and I am afraid he was right.
So I wish the United Nations a lot of luck.
They (and we) are going to need it.
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME