Chavez's comments are symptomatic of something predicted by the late diplomat and international policy expert George Kennan in his 1949 memo to the State Department about the UN and its relationship to the world of foreign policy. The 1980's British book "The Rise of the International Organisation" notes Kennan's "doubts about the role of the Assembly as a new 'theater of diplomatic operations.'"
Kennan's concerns were rooted in his belief that the interests and influence of smaller nations, including the dubious validity of some states' claims to equal sovereign status, would create a fragile foundation for the United Nations as a viable international organization.
Understand that Kennan, in his later years, became a strong opponent of U.S. intervention in many international conflicts, including, before he died, our involvement in Iraq.
I share his belief that the United States cannot, neither fiscally nor emotionally, continue to "see itself as the center of political enlightenment and as teacher to a great part of the world"
Yes, we're stuck in Iraq and we can't abandon our troops. But when we've finally reached the point that a room full of international freeloaders are applauding wildly as our president is called the Devil and our demise is predicted, then it's time to seriously reassess whom we want to deal with, in what manner and in what international forum.
Be assured that after this week's antics in New York, more and more Americans will come to believe that expensive, do-nothing diplomatic assemblies such as the United Nations are something we can live without.