Graham Sarasy

When the League of Nations was first imagined by Woodrow Wilson at the end of World War 1 it was meant to alleviate war and suffering throughout the world, it was seen by many as the end to all international conflicts, it was to be the impartial mediator of the world stage, in short, it was meant to solve all of the worlds problems through something akin to international group hugs, and tea parties. But as with nearly all idealistic dreams for a better human condition, it quickly showed its flaws, with Wilson’s own country, the United States, unable to ratify its own entry into the League until shortly after Wilson’s death. But even then, the League was almost completely unable to intervene into world affairs effectively. The League of Nations had, in theory, the power to engage in police action anywhere on the globe in which it was deemed necessary, with the full support of all member nations; however, those forces, when deployed were so emasculated by their obscenely restrictive rules of engagement that they may as well have been fighting with nothing but spoons. Compounding this already deplorable ineptitude was the fact that of all the vast funds that were controlled by the League, the allocation of these funds to their proper recipients was often so inefficient that in many recorded cases, it was almost absolutely useless. These problems were observed by the architects of the United Nations, the successor to the now defunct League of Nations, but despite this fact, nearly all of the same problems that plagued the League persist into present day under the guise of the UN.

The United Nations now deploys “peace keeping” troops all over the world to areas at high risk for violence or genocide, but in many cases the presence of blue helmeted UN troops in these unstable regions have caused nothing more than more violence and bloodshed. A prime example of the ineffectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations around the world is a documented case from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. An official UN report details how a large group of UN soldiers were unable to intervene while Hutus killed over 800,000 Tutsis in a single attack on a town. They were unable to defend the town because their rules of engagement stated that “One may not fire upon any individual, armed or unarmed, and one must be attacked or fired upon before returning fire.” This, in effect restricts any possible defense of any point or area, because it is absolutely essential to have the element of surprise in warfare. Another disturbing example of how UN troops cause more harm than good is in a report from 1997, it was stated that two Belgian soldiers serving in the UN armed forces, kidnapped, tortured, then roasted on a fire, a young Somali boy while on duty on so called “peacekeeping” operations.

The ineffectiveness of peacekeeping forces throughout the world is obscene, from the fact that it is impossible to fight a battle with one hand tied to your back to the fact that giving young men weapons and leaving them in situations where they have nothing to do but keep “peace” leads to violence and further bloodshed that the people who witnessed their “saviors” becoming their enemies will not soon be forgotten.

Other than keeping peace throughout the world, the UN is a philanthropic organization that sends food, medicine, and monetary aid to countries in need, however the massive bureaucracy that is the UN seems to be incapable of effectively distributing supplies in a timely fashion. An example of this can be seen just a few hundred miles south of the UN aid headquarters, in Africa. Developed nations have been sending monetary and material aid through the UN to the African continent for nearly 60 years, and continuously have yielded no visible or measurable results. This alone should say something of how the UN handles it’s distribution of supplies, but  if one strategy doesn’t work, repeating it again and again will not yield a different result. Time and again the UN has shown itself to be unable to handle what has been its goal from the date of its formation, to change the lives of people around the world for the better, and still, it has not delivered.

Ever since the beginning of this century, an international forum for different countries has been seen as the panacea for the affliction of war, yet that is not so. Such a forum quickly devolves into a conflict of interest that prevents any important matters to be sorted out effectively, and leads to ineffective allocation of funding, as well as more harm inflicted by “peace keepers” than by the original enemy. The UN remains a place for which people may discuss international policy, or try to change the world by calling for impossible things. If history and the present day are any indication, the only way to effectively elicit change in the world on an international scale is through direct negotiation between countries.