Question: what do the Taleban, Serb war criminals, al-Qa’eda, Rwandan genocidaires, the Ku Klux Klan, the Kach movement, the Japanese Red Army and the Janjaweed of Darfur have in common? Answer: two things actually. The obvious one, plus the fact that — like the Spectator columnist Mark Steyn — they all passionately abhor the United Nations, see it as an obstacle to their particular agenda and call for its abolition.
The UN has always evoked violent passions, especially among its detractors. Its defenders tend to be rather calmer. For those like me, working for the UN in places such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Gaza, Lebanon and West Africa, the usual line of attack encountered is that we are agents of Western imperialism, American lackeys, even (remarkably) Israeli stooges, or — the more moderate version — simply that we are too much under the control of the most powerful member states, especially the US, and don’t take into account the concerns of smaller, poorer countries.