I’ve just had a quick piece in the Washington Times as part of their special section for Monday’s foreign policy debate. One of the clear dividing lines between Obama and Romney, and between liberals and conservatives, I argue, is their attitude toward the U.N. Here’s a short description of the thesis:
Idolatry of the U.N. presents a stark dividing line between the candidates that should become clear in Monday’s debate. Mitt Romney can provide the justification for vigorous American action — unilateral if need be — against Syria and Iran. Syria supports Hezbollah, it has occupied Lebanon, and it helped Iraqi insurgents kill American soldiers. Regime change not only would save thousands of Syrian civilians, it would stop an aggressive actor from destabilizing the region and cut off Iran’s efforts to spread its influence in the Arab world. Iran not only pursues nuclear weapons, which could lead to WMD proliferation and a nuclear arms race with its neighbors, but it has spent the past three decades supporting terrorism and attempting to upend the regional balance of power. It has threatened to destroy Israel and attack its neighbors, close the Strait of Hormuz, interfere in Iraq’s transition to democracy and even plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has wrapped itself in a straitjacket of international institutions and laws that seek to prevent our freedom of action and subordinate American sovereignty to the whims of “the international community.” This not only paralyzes American initiative but tethers our national interest to a failed experiment. As the United Nations enters its sixth decade, it suffers from a crisis of ineffectiveness and corruption.