Jonah Goldberg
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Those of us who believe the United States would be best served by pulling out of the United Nations and starting up a more morally and politically serious clubhouse for morally and politically serious nations are often accused of tilting at windmills.

The phrase "tilting at windmills" was inspired by Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote," and it means to fight something that doesn't really deserve to be fought. Quixote mistook the windmills of the Spanish countryside for ravenous giants and set out to vanquish them. ("Tilting" is a jousting expression, in case you didn't know).

Well, let's review some recent evidence.

The U.N. has been working hand-in-glove with the Chinese government to make the Chinese one-child policy as efficient and ruthless as possible. "Our conclusion is that the (United Nations Population Fund) is directly responsible for forced abortions and forced sterilizations in China," Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, recently told Congress in prepared testimony.

Of course, not everyone dislikes the one-child policy. Vice President Biden has supported it, and President Obama restored UNFPA's funding when he took office. So let's move on.

Lots of people like the Internet, right? Well, good news! The U.N. wants to take it over. The International Telecommunications Union, a U.N. organization, is secretly debating proposals to claim jurisdiction over the Web and take it out of America's hands. The major forces behind this push: authoritarian regimes eager to censor their domestic Internet and monitor their citizens. Russia and some Arab countries, reports the Wall Street Journal's Gordon Crovitz, want the power to read private email. Others want to tax cross-border Web traffic. And countries like China are working hard to bribe, bully or barter votes in favor of the U.N. takeover.

You see, that's what dictatorships do at the U.N.: work to make the world safe for dictatorships. The most brutal regimes on the planet are constantly trying to get on or game the Human Rights Council so they can spend all of their time condemning Israel and blocking any attempts to censure their own regimes.

Not everything the U.N. does is evil. Some of it is just incompetent. The whole of what passes for the "international community" has been trying to enforce sanctions on Iran and North Korea. But nobody at the U.N.'s intellectual property agency told them so, it was revealed earlier this month, so they went ahead and gave North Korea and Iran computers and IT equipment.

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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