Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obama on U.N. Dues

"Our ability to effectively lead in [the United Nations] is substantially undermined when we do not fulfill our financial obligations at the UN. As President, I will insist that Congress provide funds to pay our dues on time, in full, and without improper conditions. "
So says Obie in the Better World Campaign questionnaire for presidential candidates.

This is another thing on which I'd have to disagree with him. Au contraire mon ami, unconditional love in the form of a never-ending flow of dollars from Congress contributes to the U.N.'s ineffectiveness.

Or, better put, if we ever want the U.N. to be effective, we're going to have to put conditions on those financial obligations. What incentive do they have to change otherwise? Money talks. By taking this off the table as a negotiating tool, Obie further reveals his unfortunate naivete.

By inserting that word "improper", of course, he has left himself plenty of room for flip-flopping . How Clintonesque. Now if he ever does have to use the power of the purse against the U.N. (i.e., if the polls ever show that it would be politically expedient for him to do so) he can do so. And then say, "I never said never impose conditions. It's right there in black and white in that Better World questionnaire: I said never impose improper conditions." Ahhh, I see, it's only improper conditions that he's against.

I don't know what's worse, the pandering qualification or the naivete of writing the U.N. a blank check.

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