Somewhere on A1A...

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

In this week's Letter from America, Alistair Cooke not only gives us a short history lesson the the genesis of the Ditsrict of Columbia, but also of the United Nations. He explains how the idea that the UN cannot enforce its own charter is nothing new.

Like the previous League, the United Nations had, has had, no international force which could overwhelm any combination of aggressors.

It could simply go on chanting the opening sentence of the Charter: "To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." That, for 57 years, has been the theory, the grand wish, but in fact, in life since then, there have been 250 wars not put down. This early history, and the huge and continuing ineffectiveness of the UN as an enforcing power it was conceived to be, is at the root of America's attitude to Saddam Hussein.

It's the bitter knowledge that the UN, considered as an effective world force in putting down tyrants, aggressors, threats to peace - well, Cadogan came to believe that the United Nations was not stifled in its cradle at San Francisco, it was aborted in Dumbarton House. Yo will also want to read last week's letter on The Flaws of the UN.


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