Certainly the moral condition of the United Nations is not likely to improve soon. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Moynihan and Kirkpatrick represented us, the threat to America was mostly ideological and a matter of power politics. The U.N. did, of course, allow Zionism to be equated with racism. It did see a moral equivalence between the West and the Soviets. But the moral quality of the U.N. has actually gotten worse in the absence of the Soviets. Its peace keepers now are guilty of rape and rampage in Africa. Even its bureaucrats have been caught in sexual harassment, to say nothing of graft. The oil-for-food scandal is probably the largest instance of corruption ever recorded. And the anti-Semitism at the U.N. is even more rampant. Recall, if you will, the 2001 Durban meeting on international racism that seethed with anti-Semitism. Finally, there is the absurdity of the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission, where nations such as Cuba and Zimbabwe pass on the alleged human rights abuses of Americans.
Bolton will cut through this corruption, at least with oratory, if not with policy. While at the State Department, Bolton has fashioned some memorable policy, perhaps the most useful being the Proliferation Security Initiative. At the United Nations it is hard to see what sort of policies Bolton can get the body to adopt. Its corruption is so extensive, and the United States is but one member against the mob. But Bolton can sober up the assembled popinjays by pointing out each U.N. failure. The fact is that the U.N. is no longer of any value in maintaining the peaceful intercourse of nations. Possibly Bolton will fulfill the historic role of becoming America's last ambassador to the U.N. No gravy train lasts forever.