Building An Alternative To The UN

A few years ago the idea of leaving the UN or building an alternative to it was proof that you were a member of a heavily-armed militia group, holed up in Montana with UN conspiracy theories swirling through your deranged mind. Today, after people have gotten an idea of how the UN actually works and the character of the countries that can interfere with our foreign policy, it’s not such a crazy idea.

[sidebar] I realize that the “Remember Your Info?” functionality isn’t working on this site or any of the others I’m hosting. I’ve been trying to fix it since I switched URLs and have run out of ideas. The way my ISP, HostingMatters, is set up is that you have a primary URL and any additional URLs are really sub-domains of the primary URL masked as primary domains. My MT installation is installed on my primary domain — Hundreds of MT users are on HostingMatters and if you can help me with this “Remember Your Info?” Problem for commenters, I’d appreciate it.[/sidebar]

One of my commenters who calls himself ‘A’ — I suspect at least in part that he uses that name because of the “Remember Your Info?” mentioned in the sidebar above — has made a proposal regarding how we should approach the UN:

I find a lot of the talk about such topics as the UN destructive rather than constructive. Granted that you wish to destroy the UN, it remains a fact that a lot of people around the world are enthusiastic about international organisations. You therefore need a plan of action to achieve your goal – indeed you need a vision to move towards.

If America resigned from the UN, then it would probably migrate towards an overtly anti-American organisation. So I suggest that this is not the best policy.

It would be better to do everything to degrade the UN – withhold financing, veto resolutions and so on while building a separate organisation – say a democracy league – that would appeal to people. It would be difficult to argue against an organisation with the aims of spreading democracy throughout the world.

If we need to think about matters then it should be the shape of such a new organisation. I submit a few suggestions.

1) Only democracies allowed in the club.
2) Members can be expelled.
3) No bureaucracy. As the EU and UN show, they tend to evolve into serving the bureaucracy’s own interests rather than their members.
4) Should have fighting terrorism and restricting WMDs as primary aims.
5) Can vote to label a country as a supporter of terrorism, making any attack on it legitimate.
6) Members can (if they wish) submit foreign- (or even domestic-) policy problems to the body. Then a detailed diagnosis and a prescription made.
7) Anything agreed that is enforceable should have a time limit of 4 or 5 years. That overcomes the problem of restricting the democratic will of nation states.
8) The structure of the organisation should be reviewed every 10-20 years.

I agree with most of this proposal. The most important part is the idea of having membership criteria. In addition to limiting it to democracies, I’d limit it to liberal democracies only — those that embrace individual liberty. Instead of limiting it to dealing with WMD and terrorism, I would give it a broader mandate but require that any resolutions passed — other than those done for show, such as congratulating a world leader on his birthday — have enforcement spelled out and have prior agreement from a “coalition of the willing” among member nations to carry out said enforcement. I would also require that a minimum of 2.5% GDP be spent on the military for membership so the U.S. doesn’t carry the burden alone. Discuss.

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