I'm never particularly surprised when the United Nations seems to oppose human freedom rather than promote it. At least a third of its member nations aren't democratic themselves. Many that claim to be, are only barely so.
An organization that treats democracies and dictators equally cannot be expected to be a pure force for good. When Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Il have as much say in U.N. matters as the entire populations of Poland and New Zealand, you're going to have problems.
One was the Oil-for-Food scandal. We ought to remember that the U.N. let Saddam steal tens of billions of dollars -- money meant to be spent on food and medicine for his own people. Much of that money was used to pay off U.N. officials and buy support for Saddam's regime.
Still, people keep telling me that the U.N. is a force for good -- and I'd like to believe it. The world could use an organization capable of dealing with international problems like slavery. According to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people are sold across national borders annually. More are enslaved within nations. Most are women; about half are children, and the majority are sexually abused.
That's why accusations made by former U.S. ambassador John Miller are so disturbing. Miller accuses the United Nations of promoting human trafficking by failing to punish U.N. officials and peacekeepers who have engaged in the trade.
Often, the offenders trade U.N. food and aid to desperate people for personal gain. Such incidents and the weak response to them, Miller says, cripple U.N. efforts to end human trafficking.
U.N. officials disagree, of course. They say they've instituted reforms; but we've heard this sort of thing for over fifty years. I didn't see many resignations or firings over Oil-for-Food, so I think I'll wait for some evidence.
Fred Thompson has been a lawyer, actor and United States Senator. He writes exclusive analysis and commentary for Townhall Magazine.