WASHINGTON -- A few years ago, my wife and I were invited to Time magazine's 75th anniversary party in New York. Since we're not regulars on the Big Apple social circuit, Betsy and I were surprised to be asked to hobnob with the likes of The Donald and his paramour, Rudy Giuliani, George Steinbrenner, assorted diplomats and sundry big wigs. Then I realized why the invitation had been tendered: The editors apparently asked every person who had appeared on the cover -- and who happened to still be living -- to attend their gala. Because my mug had been on the front of the venerable weekly several times, I was invited along with other nice people like Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev and Dr. Jack Kevorkian. All this because the folks at Time claim that those who make their cover are changing our times.
If that's true, then every American should be concerned that the face adorning last week's edition of Time is that of Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations. And even more alarming, Kofi Annan -- in his fourth year at the helm of the UN -- is intent on reshaping the world to fit his vision: a planet where the United Nations bureaucracy has control over everything from peacekeeping to international law to global finance.
The gospel Kofi Annan preaches is "World Government." He speaks of little else. He has lived on the "global dole," ensconced within the vast UN hierarchy since his career began in 1962 at the World Health Organization. And last week, when this Pied Piper of the New World Order played his flute, summoning 147 heads of state and 42 other top government officials representing their nations to the Big Apple for the UN's Millennium Summit, they followed.
These "World Leaders" praised Annan's efforts to strip their governments of power -- lawful or not -- and to consolidate it at the United Nations. Jacques Chirac of France wheedled for building a "new international society," with "common rules, principles and ambitions." Eduard Shevardnadze, President of Georgia, complained that "the resources and capabilities of the United Nations must dramatically increase." Albania's president, Rexhep Meidani, lectured that, "instead of the world concept of classic independence, we must apply a new concept of interdependence," and that nations should "pool their sovereignty within supranational authorities." "The UN is our best hope to marshal the common sense of purpose," squeaked Prime Minister Jean Chretien of Canada. And Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amre Moussa, whined that the UN needs more "resources" to control "international peace and security, matters related to finance, economy and trade
... matters related to women, children, population, social development, health, combat of diseases and the ... digital divide."
Not surprisingly, amidst all this blather and twaddle about increased authority and money for the UN, there was still plenty of time to bash the nation that has played host to this global octopus for 55 years. Vladimir Putin, the former KGB agent now running Russia, blasted plans to defend U.S. citizens from nuclear missiles, condemning it as the "militarization of outer space." Cuban despot Fidel Castro accused the U.S. of colluding to make his and other failing dictatorships " ... poorer, more exploited and more dependent." And, as we have come to expect, our own Beloved Leader used his turn at the podium to berate Congress. "All nations, including my own," fussed William the Impeached, "must meet our obligations to the UN."
What "obligations"? The U.S. already contributes more to the UN's disastrous "Peacekeeping Operations" than any nation on earth. Nearly 15,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are spread around the globe from Haiti to the Persian Gulf to East Timor in support of King Kofi's utopian ideal. There are even 800 of them wearing the UN's blue berets, just to make sure they know who the boss really is.
UN defenders say otherwise, but last week's Millennium Summit was evidence that Kofi Annan's "world government" dream is within reach. The UN's structure is designed to fulfill the three functions of most governments: legislative, executive and judicial. The UN General Assembly certainly creates international treaties and laws, just like a legislature. The Secretary-General's wide-ranging powers are referred to as "executive functions." And if the International Court of Justice and the UN's International Criminal Court aren't a "judicial branch," it would surprise the Serbs now standing trial in the Hague.
But even more troubling than the UN's organizational structure are the words of too many of the world leaders who met last week in New York. Their stated willingness to surrender their national security and sovereignty -- to place the liberty and fate of their people in the hands of the UN -- is an ominous portent for the future. To believe that the UN should have the power and authority to "protect" 6 billion people from poverty, conflicts, injustice and disease defies reality. But then, of course, they expect us to pay for it. You don't have to appear on the cover of Time magazine to know that.