John Bolton Is Right about the UN

The UN Human Rights Council—a body that includes representatives of Cuba, Afghanistan, and Qatar—convened last week and issued five anti-Israel resolutions, one of which preposterously demanded that the Golan Heights be returned to Bashar Assad’s Syria. Meanwhile, Iran, North Korea, and Syria merited one resolution each. Such all-too-typical anti-Israel obsessions are only part of the United Nations’ many flaws, which John Bolton—the newly appointed American national security adviser—has frequently called to public attention. Bret Stephens writes:

The UN is a never-ending scandal disguised as an everlasting hope. The hope is that dialogue can overcome distrust and collective security can be made to work in the interests of humanity. Reality says otherwise. Trust is established by deeds, not words. Collective security is a recipe for international paralysis or worse. Just ask the people of Aleppo.

As for the scandals—where to start? UN peacekeepers caused a cholera epidemic in Haiti that so far has taken 10,000 lives. Yet it took UN headquarters six years to acknowledge responsibility. An Associated Press investigation found “nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel around the world” over a twelve-year period, including 300 allegations involving children. “But only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served jail time.” . . .

And then there are comparatively lesser scandals. Like Oil for Food, the multibillion-dollar program intended to feed hungry Iraqi children and used by Saddam Hussein in a kickback scheme involving a rogue’s gallery of international enablers. Or the use of UN schools in Gaza to store weapons aimed at Israel. Or the 2016 admission by a UN oversight body that some UN agencies “continue to remain in a state of near-denial with regard to fraud.” . . .

The UN adopted what were supposed to be landmark reforms more than a decade ago. Yet the mismanagement, corruption, abuses, and moral perversities remain. Iran sits on the executive board of the Commission on the Status of Women. The Syrian regime is represented on the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization, dedicated to “respect for self-determination of all peoples.” . . .

“Imagine if the UN was going to the United States and raping children and bringing cholera,” Mario Joseph, a Haitian lawyer seeking compensation for the UN’s victims, told the Associated Press. . . . I agree with Bolton about some things and disagree about others. But on the UN he’s been right all along. If his presence in the White House helps to scare the organization into real reform, so much the better.

Read more at New York Times

More about: Israel & Zionism, John Bolton, Politics & Current Affairs, UNHRC, United Nations


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus