Thursday, August 21, 2003

Islamofascism and the United Nations

There is little point gloating – re the UN Baghdad bomb – that the terrorists have finally showed their true stripes, thus either meaning (i) these terrorists are the first to have absolutely no concept of legitimate targets; or (ii) they are just too dumb* to understand the huge gulf between the USA and the UN, including, but limited to, the fact that the USA invaded Iraq this year in the face of strenuous UN opposition.

Indeed, the irony is that the divergence in paths between the USA and the UN, although long ago set in motion, has accelerated since September 11. The psychological basis for this is not as paradoxical as it might first appear (i.e. don’t those UN-types get how close they were – and perhaps still are – to getting a passenger jet landing in their Manhattan executive office in-trays, during working hours?).

Using basic primary school playground personality-type analysis (sorry, it’s the age at which my social skills got stuck, up to this day), I can see the USA and UN are currently engaged in a quite ferocious competition called “I am the good guy!” The game is simple: both sides argue to be on the side of goodness and rightness when it comes to dealing with their claimed bailiwicks. Again, this competition is not new – the big change that September 11 wrought was that the American bailiwick suddenly expanded to the whole school playground (which domain had previously only ever been the concern of the UN).

To continue, and fill-in the school playground metaphor, the US had long been essentially happy with being the benevolent rulers of the jocks’ and popular kids’ sections (albeit with some occasional bullying forays into other areas). The nerds, ethnics and the many and various other categories of losers, meanwhile, were benevolently “ruled” (to use the term loosely) by the UN.

The trouble with occupying the high ground is that it is in short supply. Persons occupying it are thus often mistakenly called bullies, when in fact they are no more than high-ground incumbents defending themselves from competition from interlopers. Which, in a nutshell, is why Islamofascists hate the USA. And which also is why the UN has limped along as a lame duck for at least the last two decades – it has verily found a way to print title deeds for unlimited allocations of high ground, at least over areas within its bailiwick.

With the UN Baghdad atrocity, this high-ground generosity must surely now cease. The nerds (etc) have revolted – and not in a good, or even bad-80s-movie way. Under direct terrorist attack themselves, the UN must move to accept, what is for me, the most redeeming feature (and there aren’t many) of the USA’s foreign policy – that the high ground is scarce, and will always be subject to fierce competition.

Which may mean that the UN can and will suddenly become relevant, impress the hell out of everyone, and take over the USA’s current charge as watcher of the whole world – God knows that the USA (or at least its better side) would happily relinquish this role, as soon as any capable contender came along. But I think that this is a long way off, and before the UN gets any stripes, it is going to have to fight some important fires on the home front. Expelling terror-sponsoring states from its membership – with Saudi Arabia being first cab off the rank – would be a good start. And unlike George W Bush, the UN would not seem to owe Saudi Arabia any favours, large or small.

* My personal opinion is that the rumoured East Timor connection is a red-herring. Other members of Iraq's Governing Council have actually pointed to Saddam loyalists. One thing’s for sure here – there’s at least one suitable replacement for “Comical Ali” is there among the new caliphs of Iraq.

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