Muslim Countries Must Rethink United Nations

The United Nations, after the United States had spurned the League of Nations, was forged mainly out of President Roosevelt’s idea of “Four Policemen” –” the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and China – to police the postwar world. Later, on Churchill’s suggestion France was brought in as “Fifth Policeman”. The Big Five made up the Security Council with the right to veto on all issues that come before it. The power to veto was considered essential for there could be no “peace” in the postwar world if the Big Five did not agree. The acquisition of veto power by the organization’s five most powerful member states, for all practical purposes, reduced the 184 non-veto members into a mere polyglot body of impotence, called General Assembly.

The United Nations Security Council, a totally undemocratic body, is composed of a privileged group of five countries with colonial and imperial past. Czarist Russia was known as the "prison house of nations" as it brutally and autocratically ruled over many peoples, including Georgians, Azerbaijanis and Turkic peoples. Imperialist China, through invasion and occupation, brought Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Manchuria and Taiwan under its jurisdiction. France and Great Britain exploited and ruled over many colonies all over the world. U.S. may not have occupied colonies in the manner of France and Britain, but it rules the world, like empires of the past, with its most extensive system of military bases.

Stalin’s declaration shortly after the war, that “no peaceful international order is possible” between the communists and the capitalist-imperial world, and Churchill’s famous “iron curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri set off the cold war. For the next four decades exchange of nasty barbs and fiery words between the diplomats of east and West characterized the world forum. The U.N., during the East versus West conflict, was powerless to bend any of the two superpowers or their client states to its will. Soviet invasion of Hungary and Afghanistan; American invasion of Vietnam, and recently Iraq; India’s (an erstwhile Soviet client state) seizure of Portuguese enclave of Goa, Israel’s (an American client state) flagrant violation of every U.N. resolution, are just a few blaring example of the United Nations’ inability to contain the members of the Veto Club or their client states.

The Security Council effectively serves the five economically and militarily powerful nations to dictate and perpetuate the dominance over the less powerful countries, fomenting serious global crises. The power of veto did much, as intended, to ensure that general memberships would never unpleasantly surprise the “Big Brothers” by a show of unity and tenacity that would bind them to the lofty principles of the U.N. charter.

With the fall of the Berlin wall, the most conspicuous of all symbols of the cold war, in November 1989, comes the end of the East-West conflict. The death of the cold war resurrected the age old West’s animosity towards Arabs and Muslims. Islam replaced communism as the principal adversary of Western liberal democracy. The hostility that was, to some degree, calmed by the presence of the big bear of communism resuscitated into a screeching storm of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim invective. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the unipolarization of the world, a new crusade against Islam and the “Islamic peril” is being wagged on all fronts: news media, academia, State Department, NSC, and the U.N. Security Council. The repressive measures of boycott, sanctions, and embargo, are reserved exclusively for Muslim Nations. The United States and the Great Britain employ the U.N. to impose their ideas on the rest of the world. They found it convenient to declare nations that have not caved in to their pressures "totalitarian" or "rogue states."

After the bitter experience of the Vietnam War United states came to realize that a unilateral international action is increasingly likely to be condemned abroad and unpopular at home. A military operation under the U.N. flag, rather than the Stars and Stripes, would internationally legitimize the action. Thus, U.N. has been reduced to a law enforcement agency of the U.S. State Department. It has won U.N. not the respect, but the contempt. It lost its credibility and became irrelevant, particularly in the Muslim world.

In a just and civilized community, crimes of like nature elicit like punishment regardless of the perpetrator. United Nations, under the tutelage of Western power, is free of any such moral restraint. If we look at United Nations’ retributive actions we would find an invariable pattern of categorical prejudice against Muslim countries.

In 1988, an American airliner was sabotaged over Lockerbie Scotland; blame went to Libya. Gadhafi’s refusal to hand over the two alleged suspects in the bombing, on the terms dictated by a country whose only justification is its power, brought the U.N. wrath. A few years later, on some other trumped up charge, American warplanes bombed Gadhafi’s residence killing his infant daughter. Compare the U.N. treatment of Lockerbie incident with the American downing of an Iranian airliner in the same year, during the tension in the Persian Gulf, killing more than 300 passengers. U.N. slapped Libya with sanctions, and adopted a complete silence on American downing of Iranian civilian airliner. The silence speaks volume about U.N. dealing fairly and equally with all concerned.

On 2 August 1990, the United Nations Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq in response to its invasion of Kuwait. The U.N. trade embargo prohibited the import or export of goods or capital into or from Iraq. As a result of the U.N. imposed sanctions, according to former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, about 10,000 Iraqis died each month. In a letter to U.N. Mr. Clark stated, “The history of this violent century does not reveal a more deadly, cruel, inhumane and degrading torture of the whole population of an entire nation inflicted by foreign power for so long a period of time. That a deed is done in the name of the United Nations Security Council demonstrates its cowardly surrender to the will of the United States…” The U.N. Children’s Fund estimated that 4,500 Iraqi children perished every month –” one every ten minutes –” as a direct result of American led U.N. sanctions.

In May 1995, then U.S. representative in the U.N., Madeleine Albright, cheerfully vetoed a Security Council resolution that called on Israel to reverse its decision to expropriate land in East Jerusalem. Ms. Albright is reported saying: “by injecting Council into this issue, this resolution would merely compound the problem.” Contrast Ms. Albright’s above statement with what she said when asked about the mass killing of the Iraqi children as a result of the Security Council’s resolution, she unabashedly said that 500,000 dead Iraqi children were "worth it to enforce the resolutions."

Iraq’s illegal occupation of Kuwait was not any more criminal than the Indian oppression of Kashmir or Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Syrian territory or Southern Lebanon. If Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait called for the U.N. Sanctions then, in all fairness, India and Israel should have also been subjected to the same punishment for they were guilty of the same crime. With the U.S. backing in the U.N. Security Council, Israel never faced the U.N. embargo for provocating the international will and making mockery of the Security Council resolutions. Using its veto power, the United States has stymied every effort to restrain Israeli violence and violation of international laws.

Today, the Security Council, by imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, once again, proved that it’s not a neutral and an objective body, but a highly politicized and blatantly discriminatory forum where members of the veto club protect themselves and their client states against the U.N. retribution, or block actions for political gains. United Nations in its discriminatory double standard singled out Iran for its nuclear program while completely ignoring any sanction against Israel for its stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The United States and Great Britain will never allow the Israeli nuclear program to U.N. scrutiny; Israel will never face the U.N.’s reprisal for violating more than 60 Security Council resolutions, thanks to the U.S. veto.

Security Council’s bulldoggish manner in implementing resolutions against Muslim countries, and at the same time completely ignoring the other equally valid resolutions against Israel and India, shows its fixed state of mind –” consistent discrimination against one set of people –” Muslims.

It’s time the Muslim countries must rethink United Nations.