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Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2000 / 8 Elul, 5760

Julia Gorin

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Would New York still be New York without the U.N.?

      "Would New York still be New York without the U.N.? Probably."
                      – NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani

Make that definitely. In fact, it would be a lot more New York. Eighteen acres more, to be exact. That’s how much land U.N. property takes up. It isn’t rent control that’s driving up the rents here--it’s the U.N.

That’s not all it drives up. The city had to work double time last week to diffuse traffic the U.N. created as its multinational royalty descended upon Manhattan for the Millennium World Peace Summit—ambassadors, bureaucrats and about 160 heads of state, each with his own motorcade, the sum of which totaled 1300 limousines, buses and cars—causing sporadic blockades and further congesting a congested city.

Keep in mind that the U.N. is made up of folks who exist essentially to oppress their people, destroy America, promote Islamic Fundamentalism and spread dictatorship while collecting royal salaries and throwing parties for themselves under the guise of solving world problems. If former ambassador Madeleine Albright’s biography is any indication, we can be assured that the diplomatic community ranges from useless to counterproductive.

The week’s festivities featured attacks on the U.S. and its policies by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, to name the most prominent.

The summit kicked off Wednesday, when Bill Clinton rode in to give his opening speech and further his attempts to ingratiate himself to his partners in dictatorship and anti-Americanism as he continues angling for the job of General Secretary (a possible backup career in case the Hollywood connections fall through).

Of course, the U.N. will be reluctant to nominate an American for the post—it would be in contradiction to what it stands for. But they’re missing the forest for the trees: What better figure to lead their struggle in ensuring America’s demise?

Yet it was an American, John D. Rockefeller, who donated $8.5 million in 1945 (the equivalent of $80 million today) to build the U.N. headquarters here. New York City gave another $30 million to clear the tenements and slaughterhouses on the site, and the U.S. approved a loan of an additional $65 million.

Today the U.N.’s annual administrative budget is $1.2 billion a year, with the U.S. responsible for 25%, or $300 million. Add another 30% of peacekeeping costs, which this year came to $700 million, and the annual U.S. burden is $1 billion.

Still, the U.N. likes Cuba a whole lot better. And China. And Canada. And anyone else who isn’t America. For the seventh year in a row, the U.N. named Canada, our socialist social program to the north, the number one nation in the Human Development Index Survey. Meanwhile, the dignitaries were all ears, laughs and awe when Cuban dictator Fidel Castro regaled them with a comedy moment before settling into his America-bashing speech on Wednesday.

So if they hate us so much, why are the U.N. headquarters still here? Shouldn’t it be in Asia, Africa or Cuba—closer to the people they’re trying to help and in better touch with the problems they’re trying to solve? You know, "down with The People," to borrow the aspiring General Secretary’s phrase. A poorer country also could really benefit from the U.N.’s business.

Besides, we don’t need the diplomats’ immunity-protected kids raping our residents, as they’ve been known to do. New York has enough rapists of its own. Let them attack someone else’s citizens, in countries where that kind of behavior qualifies as courtship.

But no. They like reaping the benefits of being in the world’s most prosperous democracy as they work to dissolve it.

One important benefit is the view from the Secretariat building, on First Avenue and 42nd St. Scenery is such a priority to the 4,900 public servants who work there that earlier this year the U.N. opposed the new Donald Trump project across the street: a high-rise that will obstruct workers’ view of the skyline.

Their mission is so vital that they can only do this all-consuming, humanitarian and mind-wracking decision-making work if they have the right view?

While it would be comforting to think U.N. workers spend more time observing the New York skyline than destabilizing the universe, this is nothing short of an admission that their purpose isn’t all that critical and that the U.N. may be little more than a vanity organization, there to provide luxurious lifestyles for the 50,000 people whom it employs worldwide.

True, only some get the $27,000-a-month suite atop of the Waldorf Towers (as in Ms. Albright’s case), all dependents—I mean employees—start off with a month of vacation time. That includes the janitors. (If the janitors’ work is so exhausting that they need a month’s break, it’s just proof that the U.N. creates more waste than anything else.)

Meanwhile, because they’re on international soil, U.N. buildings aren’t up to code for handicap access or environmental and fire safety. There is no sprinkler system, the pipes are brittle and leaky, the walls and ceilings are insulated with asbestos, the railings are rusty and the roofs water-logged. In fact, the ceiling caved in on a room where the 160 world leaders were supposed to have breakfast--an apt metaphor for the state of the organization itself.

Today’s U.N. is occupied by airy do-gooders who either ignore history or make historical analogies worthy of grade schoolers. Pre-action analysis usually consists of: Is it a) like the Holocaust, or b) not like the Holocaust.

The U.N. breaks more than it fixes and blunders more than it relieves. Not only in operational debacles like Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Rwanda (a massacre facilitated by U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan himself)—but also in its progressive initiatives like the idea of a permanent war crimes tribunal which ultimately only the U.S. will be forced to comply with (and Israel, assuming it even survives into the next decade, given the U.N. bias against it).

The integrity of this international institution today can be summed up by its "One Condom Per Man Per Day" program, started to "combat AIDS" after U.S. officials complained that U.N. peacekeepers were spreading the disease in countries they were sent to protect.

JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a journalist and stand-up comic residing in Manhattan. Send your comments by clicking here.


09/06/00: A cornerstone of 20th Century America: Sticking it to the rich
08/14/00: Dangers in do-goodness
05/23/00: What's so funny? The death of political humor
04/14/00: The most violent people
03/24/00: Beautiful fraud
03/17/00: Patronizing the patron
02/18/00: No one likes a hater without a cause
02/04/00: Bubba's big break
12/21/00: The Sport of Sitting
11/19/99: He wants his brother back!
11/15/99: Hollywood: Just jamming
10/29/99: Bomb all bans
10/04/99: Welcome, Mr. Buchanan!
09/24/99: The Financing of Hill's House
09/10/99: 'I cause your pain'
08/20/99: Believing the hype
08/09/99: Chickens bombing ... chickens?
07/30/99: Why I'm eating so much chocolate
07/16/99: The reluctant partisan
06/29/99: Maddy and Bill went up the (Capitol) Hill
04/29/99: "Never again"? This isn't exactly what we had in mind
03/19/99: The Thin Yellow Line
03/03/99: How many more are out there?
10/19/98: Got milk? Don’t know. Do I?
07/30/98: Kofi Annan's crimes against sensibility
05/15/98: Susan McDougal: a real stand-up kinda guy
01/08/98: In defense of the appetizing shiksa

© 2000, Julia Gorin