Mona Charen

There are two countries the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has no trouble condemning -- the United States and Israel. During the war with Iraq, when the United States was discovering mass graves and other atrocities, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, expressed his deep worry over "serious breaches to the Geneva Convention" by, you guessed it, the United States. During that same period, the commission passed a number of resolutions condemning Israel.

Further, we've discovered from documents in Baghdad that the United Nations itself enjoyed a fairly tidy profit from the "oil for food" program, skimming a 2.2 percent commission off every barrel of Iraqi oil sold. Profits to the United Nations are estimated to be in the neighborhood of $1 billion. A French bank was brought in to manage it all, and French and Russian companies seem to have been given the contracts to provide food and medicine.

Conservatives have always disdained the United Nations, but it would be quixotic to attempt to withdraw from it altogether. Too much trouble for what would be, for the most part, psychic satisfactions. But we can be more robust in our willingness to challenge the U.N.'s moral authority. When it comes to fighting worldwide epidemics, feeding the poor and speeding development, the United Nations certainly should have a role. When a venue is required for emergency talks between nations, might as well use the lovely and expensive spread on the East River. But when matters of national interest, war and peace, or human rights are at issue, the United Nations should have no role at all.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Mona Charen's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
©Creators Syndicate