Are even liberals ready to kick the UN out of New York?

Martin Peretz, former owner and editor-in-chief of the flagship leftist magazine The New Republic, is calling to get the United Nations out of the United States.  Although he notes it, Peretz says this has nothing to do with the inconveniences the U.N. creates for a lifelong New Yorker like himself, such as traffic jams and the like.  No, rather it's that Peretz sees the U.N. is an abject failure in its anointed mission of bringing peace to the world.  He writes, "Move the U.N. out of New York and the U.S., so we don't have to host and legitimize the pernicious showmanship of autocrats and killers."

So far, I cannot disagree with Peretz.  The United Nations is an abominable failure.  Getting it out of America is certainly an excellent idea, at least as a first step, anyway.  This erstwhile liberal also emotes that the existence of the U.N. as it's currently constituted is actually making peace in the world less, not more likely.  Probably so.

Where Peretz and I part company is his reasons for expelling the U.N. from American soil.  Basically, he thinks the U.N., what with its endless debates and resolutions without meaning, "gives the U.S. cover for abdicating its role as the world's most powerful democratic state, handing its responsibilities over to what is vaguely called 'the international community.'"

Responsibilities?  What responsibilities?  Scrape away Peretz's rhetoric, and it is basically to police the world to prevent atrocities and other unpleasantness.  This is to ensure what Peretz calls a "minimum level of good conduct by states to allow a peaceful, liberal order" to exist.  Give Peretz enough rope, and he'd probably see America's responsibility to feed, educate, and provide health care for the rest of the world, too.  After all, this is the logical conclusion for universalism.  As I recall, it was not that long ago that Madam Hillary was hinting at such extended responsibility on our part.

Peretz is unequivocal.  He wants America to use its power and wealth to fix a broken world – a fool's errand if there ever was one.  This requires treasure and blood.  Whose treasure?  The American taxpayers'.  Whose blood?  The middle and lower middle-class kids' from flyover country.  These young people have to be made to believe that establishing a liberal world order is really a fundamental security issue for the U.S. to sign up for the mission.  If not enough can be so convinced, don't put it past those like Peretz to argue for bringing back the draft.

Peretz is not an outlier.  He articulates the feelings of a sizable segment of the foreign affairs establishment.  Fortunately, we have Donald Trump in the Oval Office, and Trumpster is not about to engage in the folly of nation-building or leading a crusade on the behalf of the international community or establishing a liberal order among nations.  Trump will take action, but it will be when America's interests are at stake.  As Trump said, "I was sworn in as president of the U.S., not the world."

So Peretz is right about moving the U.N. out of the U.S.  MAGA conservatives believe that this is a grand idea, as the more separation America has from that corrupt institution, the better.  However, it is hard to figure out what Peretz thinks from his standpoint would be accomplished by getting the U.N. out of America.  Does he think relocating it to, say, Europe, will somehow shame the U.S. into accepting what he considers its responsibility to the world?  Sorry Marty, but that ship sailed about ten years ago.  That foreign policy coffin was nailed shut by the election of Trump.

Perhaps Peretz thinks a U.N. located in Paris or the Hague would be more inclined to reform itself.  That's a silly thought.  The corruption of the U.N. is institutionalized within itself.

Who knows?  Maybe the lofty rhetoric and grand vision are a smokescreen, and the presence of the U.N. in New York City, with its freeloading workforce and entitled representatives mucking up the traffic, really does disturb Martin Peretz enough to call for the organizations ouster.

Image: sanjitbakshi via Flickr.

Martin Peretz, former owner and editor-in-chief of the flagship leftist magazine The New Republic, is calling to get the United Nations out of the United States.  Although he notes it, Peretz says this has nothing to do with the inconveniences the U.N. creates for a lifelong New Yorker like himself, such as traffic jams and the like.  No, rather it's that Peretz sees the U.N. is an abject failure in its anointed mission of bringing peace to the world.  He writes, "Move the U.N. out of New York and the U.S., so we don't have to host and legitimize the pernicious showmanship of autocrats and killers."

So far, I cannot disagree with Peretz.  The United Nations is an abominable failure.  Getting it out of America is certainly an excellent idea, at least as a first step, anyway.  This erstwhile liberal also emotes that the existence of the U.N. as it's currently constituted is actually making peace in the world less, not more likely.  Probably so.

Where Peretz and I part company is his reasons for expelling the U.N. from American soil.  Basically, he thinks the U.N., what with its endless debates and resolutions without meaning, "gives the U.S. cover for abdicating its role as the world's most powerful democratic state, handing its responsibilities over to what is vaguely called 'the international community.'"

Responsibilities?  What responsibilities?  Scrape away Peretz's rhetoric, and it is basically to police the world to prevent atrocities and other unpleasantness.  This is to ensure what Peretz calls a "minimum level of good conduct by states to allow a peaceful, liberal order" to exist.  Give Peretz enough rope, and he'd probably see America's responsibility to feed, educate, and provide health care for the rest of the world, too.  After all, this is the logical conclusion for universalism.  As I recall, it was not that long ago that Madam Hillary was hinting at such extended responsibility on our part.

Peretz is unequivocal.  He wants America to use its power and wealth to fix a broken world – a fool's errand if there ever was one.  This requires treasure and blood.  Whose treasure?  The American taxpayers'.  Whose blood?  The middle and lower middle-class kids' from flyover country.  These young people have to be made to believe that establishing a liberal world order is really a fundamental security issue for the U.S. to sign up for the mission.  If not enough can be so convinced, don't put it past those like Peretz to argue for bringing back the draft.

Peretz is not an outlier.  He articulates the feelings of a sizable segment of the foreign affairs establishment.  Fortunately, we have Donald Trump in the Oval Office, and Trumpster is not about to engage in the folly of nation-building or leading a crusade on the behalf of the international community or establishing a liberal order among nations.  Trump will take action, but it will be when America's interests are at stake.  As Trump said, "I was sworn in as president of the U.S., not the world."

So Peretz is right about moving the U.N. out of the U.S.  MAGA conservatives believe that this is a grand idea, as the more separation America has from that corrupt institution, the better.  However, it is hard to figure out what Peretz thinks from his standpoint would be accomplished by getting the U.N. out of America.  Does he think relocating it to, say, Europe, will somehow shame the U.S. into accepting what he considers its responsibility to the world?  Sorry Marty, but that ship sailed about ten years ago.  That foreign policy coffin was nailed shut by the election of Trump.

Perhaps Peretz thinks a U.N. located in Paris or the Hague would be more inclined to reform itself.  That's a silly thought.  The corruption of the U.N. is institutionalized within itself.

Who knows?  Maybe the lofty rhetoric and grand vision are a smokescreen, and the presence of the U.N. in New York City, with its freeloading workforce and entitled representatives mucking up the traffic, really does disturb Martin Peretz enough to call for the organizations ouster.

Image: sanjitbakshi via Flickr.