"Events during the past two years," Bush explained, "have set before us the clearest of divides: between those who seek order, and those who spread chaos; between those who work for peaceful change, and those who adopt the method of gangsters; between those who honor the rights of man, and those who deliberately take the lives of men, and women and children, without mercy or shame."
Any government that supports terror, Bush said, is "complicit in a war against civilization." Those are strong words, with which all reasonable people should agree. But the reason his words denouncing terrorism did not receive applause at the United Nations is because they were delivered to representatives of nations like Libya, Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Sudan -- all state sponsors of terrorism and members in good standing with the United Nations. Libya and Syria even hold vaunted positions as the head of the U.N. Human Rights Commission and on the Security Council, respectively.
Staring terrorists in the eye and putting them on notice that their days are numbered, as Bush bravely did, is what Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle astonishingly called "a missed opportunity."
Kofi Annan has spent the last year arguing that no country may take action to defend itself "without the unique legitimacy of the United Nations." He has argued with President Bush in recent months that a "vital role" for the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq is not good enough -- the United Nations must be in charge.
But when pressed about what kind of a presence the U.N. should have in Iraq, Kofi revealed the truth -- he and his troops don't want to leave their New York penthouses to go to Baghdad to help the Iraqi people rebuild their country.
"We need a secure environment to be able to operate," Kofi demanded. Hopefully, while he was in Washington, Paul Bremmer requisitioned some champagne, caviar and satin sheets to accommodate the U.N. in Iraq.
When he had his turn at the podium, French President Jacques Chirac declared that under the "leadership" of the U.N. Security Council, the war against terrorism "is well in hand." Then he went on to demand: limitations on national sovereignty; more mandatory contributions for U.N. operations; a tax on gross national product -- which, for the United States, would amount to $70 billion annually; international taxes on wealth; the creation of a "United Nations Environmental Organization"; the creation of an "International Financial Facility" -- the equivalent of a Global IRS -- and increased authority for the Security Council.
Instead of cleaning up the mess in "CullyForNeeUh," maybe the Terminator should be sent to the U.N. headquarters in New York.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.