The Disunited Nations

Written by Sam Vaknin

Arab nations plan to table a resolution atrepparttar United Nations General Assembly condemningrepparttar 126018 U.S.-British led "invasion" and "occupation" of Iraq and calling for immediate troop withdrawal. A similar effort atrepparttar 126019 Security Council last week failed, doomed byrepparttar 126020 veto powers of both alleged aggressors.

This is not likely to endearrepparttar 126021 organization torepparttar 126022 Bush administration whose hawks regard it as a superfluous leftover fromrepparttar 126023 Cold War era. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) even introduced legislation to withdraw fromrepparttar 126024 organization altogether. Nile Gardiner, a visiting fellow atrepparttar 126025 Heritage Foundation, summed up these sentiments in Insight Magazine thus:

"I thinkrepparttar 126026 U.N. has been in gradual decline for many years. It failed to act spectacularly in Rwanda and did nothing about Slobodan Milosevic's brutal regime. Iraq isrepparttar 126027 latest in a long line of failures."

Admittedly, like any bureaucracy,repparttar 126028 organization is self-perpetuating, self-serving and self-absorbed. But it - and its raft of specialized offshoots - still give back far more than they receive. In recognition ofrepparttar 126029 U.N.'s crucial role, several liberal Democrats have entered legislation to create a "permanent U.N. security force" and to "voluntarily contribute" torepparttar 126030 U.N. Population Fund.

Consider peacekeeping operations. At a total annual cost of c. $5 billion last year, U.N. peacekeeping missions employ close to 40,000 police and military and another 11,000 civilians from 89 countries. The budget is shoestring and more than halfrepparttar 126031 pledged contributions are still outstanding. The U.N. consumes less than 0.001 percent ofrepparttar 126032 world's gross domestic product. As James Paul, Executive Director of Global Policy Forum, observes:

"All UN staff, includingrepparttar 126033 specialized agencies and funds, are fewer thanrepparttar 126034 civil service ofrepparttar 126035 City of Stockholm orrepparttar 126036 staff of McDonalds. The core UN budget is one half of one percent ofrepparttar 126037 US military budget and far less thanrepparttar 126038 cost of one B-2 bomber aircraft."

Evenrepparttar 126039 United States Mission torepparttar 126040 United Nations, on its Web site, seeks to debunk a few myths. Despite a massive increase in remit and operations,repparttar 126041 organization's budget, at $2.6 billion, has remained constant since 1995. The workforce was cut by 11 percent, to 9000 employees, since 1997:

"The UN has done a great deal to increase efficiency and overall accountability. In 1994,repparttar 126042 UN createdrepparttar 126043 Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to serve asrepparttar 126044 inspector general and promote efficient management and reduce waste, fraud and abuse. Duringrepparttar 126045 year ended June 30, 2001, OIOS recommended $58 million in savings and recoveries forrepparttar 126046 UN and persuaded UN program managers to implement hundreds of recommendations for improving management and internal controls. OIOS investigations also led to successful convictions of UN staff and others for fraud and stealing UN funds."

Yet, bad - and expensive - habits die hard. Budget discipline is lax with no clear order of priorities. The United Nations suffers from an abundance of obsolete relics of past programs, inertly and futilely maintained by beneficiary bureaucrats. Follow-up U.N. conferences - and they tend to proliferate incontrollably - are still being held in exotic resorts, or shopping-friendly megalopolises. United Nations entities atrepparttar 126047 country level duplicate efforts and studiously avoid joint programming, common databases and pooling of resources.

The aforementioned OIOS has hitherto identified more than $200 million in waste and fraud and issued 5000 recommendations to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability. Disgusted byrepparttar 126048 flagrant squandering of scarce resources,repparttar 126049 United States - which covers one fifth ofrepparttar 126050 august establishment's pecuniary needs - accumulated more than $1.2 billion in arrears by 1999, doublerepparttar 126051 debts of all other members combined.

It has since repaidrepparttar 126052 bulk of these even as it reduced its share ofrepparttar 126053 United Nations' finances. It now contributes 22 percent ofrepparttar 126054 regular budget, down from 25 percent and 25-27 percent ofrepparttar 126055 costs ofrepparttar 126056 U.N. peacekeeping forces, down from 30-31 percent.

But a row is brewing inrepparttar 126057 corridors of power with regards torepparttar 126058 proposed budget for 2004-5. Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, United States Representative for United Nations Management and Reform, called it "a step backwards". The European Union, predictably, "fully concurred" with it and urged members to increaserepparttar 126059 budget in line withrepparttar 126060 U.N.'s enhanced responsibilities.

The Inverted Saint - Hitler

Written by Sam Vaknin

"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me torepparttar man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read throughrepparttar 126017 passage which tells us howrepparttar 126018 Lord at last rose in His might and seizedrepparttar 126019 scourge to drive out ofrepparttar 126020 Templerepparttar 126021 brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight againstrepparttar 126022 Jewish poison.

Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever beforerepparttar 126023 fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood uponrepparttar 126024 Cross.

As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I haverepparttar 126025 duty to be a fighter for truth and justice . . .

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it isrepparttar 126026 distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and atrepparttar 126027 end ofrepparttar 126028 week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery.

When I go out inrepparttar 126029 morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited."

(Source: The Straight Dope - Speech by Adolf Hitler, delivered April 12, 1922, published in "My New Order," and quoted in Freethought Today (April 1990)

Hitler and Nazism are often portrayed as an apocalyptic and seismic break with European history. Yetrepparttar 126030 truth is that they wererepparttar 126031 culmination and reification of European history inrepparttar 126032 19th century. Europe's annals of colonialism have prepared it forrepparttar 126033 range of phenomena associated withrepparttar 126034 Nazi regime - from industrial murder to racial theories, from slave labour torepparttar 126035 forcible annexation of territory.

Germany was a colonial power no different to murderous Belgium or Britain. What set it apart is that it directed its colonial attentions atrepparttar 126036 heartland of Europe - rather than at Africa or Asia. Both World Wars were colonial wars fought on European soil. Moreover, Nazi Germany innovated by applying prevailing racial theories (usually reserved to non-whites) torepparttar 126037 white race itself. It started withrepparttar 126038 Jews - a non-controversial proposition - but then expanded them to include "east European" whites, such asrepparttar 126039 Poles andrepparttar 126040 Russians.

Germany was not alone in its malignant nationalism. The far right in France was as pernicious. Nazism - and Fascism - were world ideologies, adopted enthusiastically in places as diverse as Iraq, Egypt, Norway, Latin America, and Britain. Atrepparttar 126041 end ofrepparttar 126042 1930's, liberal capitalism, communism, and fascism (and its mutations) were locked in mortal battle of ideologies. Hitler's mistake was to delusionally believe inrepparttar 126043 affinity between capitalism and Nazism - an affinity enhanced, to his mind, by Germany's corporatism and byrepparttar 126044 existence of a common enemy: global communism.

Colonialism always had discernible religious overtones and often collaborated with missionary religion. "The White Man's burden" of civilizingrepparttar 126045 "savages" was widely perceived as ordained by God. The church wasrepparttar 126046 extension ofrepparttar 126047 colonial power's army and trading companies.

It is no wonder that Hitler's lebensraum colonial movement - Nazism - possessed allrepparttar 126048 hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, mythology. Hitler was this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denied himself earthly pleasures (or so he claimed) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling. Hitler was a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that (Aryan) humanity should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Hitler became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman".

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