Dear Rand and Sharron:
I disagree with both of you on several issues and supported your primary opponents, but I now hope you will be victorious in your U.S. Senate campaigns. Your opponents are liberal Democrats and they must not win. You have both changed several positions since the primary, but I do not consider this a flip/flop. Your decisions were wise.
All Republicans should enthusiastically support civil rights, voting rights, fair housing and America’s special relationship with Israel. Thank you for clarifying those positions.
Both of you are now leading in the polls and 2010 will be an excellent year for the GOP. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has high negatives ratings, and voters should be reminded of his claim that the war in Iraq could not be won. The Senate Democratic primary in Kentucky has been over for a month, but Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo has still not endorsed the victor, Attorney General Jack Conway. This infighting will help Rand Paul.
We already know the strategy of your Democratic opponents. They will try to win support from moderate and independent voters by driving up your negative ratings. Both of you will be portrayed as extremists, and some of your controversial past statements will be repeated this Fall. One of the most effective issues for the Democrats is your desire to have America pull out of the United Nations, and to abandon our veto power in the UN Security Council.
There is Nothing Wrong in Advocating UN Reform
I hope both of you will reexamine your position, and there is nothing wrong in criticizing the UN or in asking for significant reforms. Major reforms were enacted when America refused to pay its dues for 22 months, but more needs to be done.
You should emphasize that the UN has passed many unwise resolutions and it has not been fair to Israel. Nevertheless, Israel is not withdrawing its ambassador from the UN. The worst thing that could happen to Israel would be for America to give up its veto power.
Iraq’s oil for food program was authorized by the UN, and it was a tremendous scandal. It is appalling that nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran were allowed to serve on the Human Rights Council.
Working with democratic nations on peacekeeping rather than the UN General Assembly is a fine idea. It is already being done. The UN mission in the former Yugoslavia failed, and it was necessary for NATO to replace the UN.
America Can Not Expect The U.N. To Handle Peacekeeping
You are wrong to advocate U.S. withdrawal because of the UN’s inability to handle peacekeeping missions. We have known that for over half a century, and the world body should not be entirely blamed because America always opposed the creation of a UN army. The poorly equipped UN member states are not good at peacekeeping when two sides are shooting at each other.
Belgium and Canada failed in their 1994 peacekeeping role in Rwanda where over 800,000 people died in a four month period. The Dutch were not successful in guarding the UN “safe haven” at Srebrenica in 1995 where over 7000 civilians died.
The Dutch soldiers threw down their weapons and ran away when the Serbian troops approached. When Germany agreed to send peacekeepers to Afghanistan in 2001, they had to lease transport aircraft from the Ukraine, and their equipment was outdated.
This does not mean the world should abandon peacekeeping, or that America should abandon its allies. America is the world’s only military super power and we are the sole nation which has power projection capabilities. No nation comes close to having our technical ability, and we are the only country with five global command centers and carrier battle groups in every ocean.
The UN Serves America’s Security Interests
The term was first used by President Franklin Roosevelt in the “Declaration by United Nations” on January 1, 1942. This was during WW II when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. The UN was formed in the US in 1945 and Americans wrote the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
The UN supported the United States during the Korean War and the liberation of Kuwait, but that does not always happen. The most glaring example is Operation Iraqi Freedom.
There was unanimous approval for UN Resolution 1441 which authorized the use of force to get rid of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. There had been 17 similar resolutions which had been enacted since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
The United States sought approval of an 18th resolution before the intervention, but this was stopped by a threatened French veto. While the United States has had to bear the brunt of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, our coalition partners also have a crucial role. Over 1000 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan, and over 600 soldiers from our allies have also died. America is not alone.
We regret the “road map” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has not been successful, but the problem is Hamas, not the UN. When North Korea threatened to deploy nuclear weapons, the UN fostered multilateral talks involving America, China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
What Has The United Nations Accomplished?
- The cost of 1991’s Operation Desert Storm was $54 billion, but America did not pay any of this. The UN member states (primarily Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) paid for everything.
- The UN was the forum in which over 80 nations achieved their independence. Most of these countries had previously been colonies.
- The UN was used to establish and maintain democratic elections in 85 nations.
- This year the UN is providing relief and protection to 23.3 million refugees. The largest UN operations are in the former battle zones of Darfur and the Congo.
- During the past six decades at the UN, more efforts have been made to protect and promote human rights than in the entire previous history of humankind. The UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by the United States.
- The UN has responded to practically every natural disaster with generous contributions from its member states. The largest food aid organization in the world is run by the U.N., and is now assisting 113 million people, primarily in Africa.
- UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, saves millions of lives every year through immunization. They deserve tremendous credit for the eradication of smallpox and polio.
- It would be wrong of the United States to leave the UN and to retreat into isolationism. America has made progress through the UN, but as Iraq demonstrated, there will be times when the U.S. will act alone. The U.N. did not stop us, and they eventually assisted our efforts.
- Americans should be proud our nation has not ignored evil in the world. America has had a strong voice at the UN in stopping genocide, ethnic cleansing and other human rights abuses. Even the liberal National Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledged the importance of America’s role when they quoted Pope John Paul II: ”The principles of sovereignty of states and noninterference in their internal affairs . . . cannot constitute a screen behind which torture and murder may be carried out.”