Oliver North
WASHINGTON -- Last week, this column prognosticated that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance at the United Nations General Assembly would be celebrated by those who hate America. That's certainly true. So, too, was the prediction that Ahmadinejad would claim the mantle of "humanitarian" and be showered with praise for the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal -- the two Americans held by Tehran since they were detained on the Iran-Iraq border in 2009. And then there was the forecast that this week's General Assembly session would be devoted to bashing the United States and Israel, demanding "Palestinian independence" and ignoring the most serious threat to world peace: Iran's nuclear weapons program.

It was all spot on, but none of it required the gift of prophecy. All that's required to foretell what will happen at the U.N. is to look back at history and acknowledge what the United Nations has become: a global hate-fest toward the United States. Until now, most American presidents have been wise enough and sufficiently experienced to anticipate what was likely to happen inside the U.N. chambers -- and act accordingly to preserve U.S. interests. That's no longer the case.

Harry Truman, the first U.S. president to contend with the vagaries of the United Nations, personally engaged in formulating U.N. Resolution 181 -- the plan to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. Thanks to astute diplomacy and careful planning by his two successive ambassadors to the U.N., Herschel Johnson and Warren Austin, the measure passed the General Assembly 33-13 on Nov. 29, 1947. When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, Truman became the first head of state to recognize the Jewish state.

When the North Korean People's Army attacked the Republic of Korea in June 1950, Truman anticipated a Soviet veto on a U.N. Security Council resolution for using force to repel the invaders. He instructed Ambassador Austin to press the issue when Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik was absent. The resolution passed. Though it took a long and bloody war to finish what the North Koreans started, South Korea was saved and remains one of our staunchest allies.

In 1962, the Soviets began installing nuclear missile sites in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy instructed Ambassador Adlai Stevenson to reveal classified U-2 photos at the U.N. Historians describe Oct. 14-28, 1962, as the closest we ever have come to a nuclear war. But Kennedy's astute management of "public diplomacy" and Stevenson's description of the missile deployments as "aggression" at the U.N. were key components in defusing the confrontation.


Oliver North

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.