Norm Geras of Normblog profile has a weekly Friday morning feature, in which a blogger is given a set of questions to answer. One of the questions asked is:
What would you do with the UN?
Here is just a sampling of the answers provided to this question:
I'm opposed to the attempts being made in the UN Human Rights Council to outlaw religious defamation.
I would replace it with a League of Democracies.
Have the UN Human Rights Council disbanded and replaced with representatives from countries vetted by a group like Amnesty International on the basis of their perceived respect for such things.
Expand Security Council membership and end the unilateral veto; but domestic political change in China would do more to change the UN than any institutional reform.
Move them to Sierra Leone or Rwanda.
I'd appoint Susan Rice as US ambassador - strike that, wish also granted.
Rename it as the Nearly League of Nations.
Reform it to reflect a non-Post-War era, perhaps better reflecting population trends right now, rather than who won the Second World War.
Make it rent its offices in downtrodden areas of town, and generally make it more of a humble organization. I'd like to decrease its bureaucracy by about 95 per cent, but don't know how to go about that.
I think the UN should be dealt with in the spirit immortalized in the words of former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick's deputy Charles Lichenstein. Shortly after the Soviets shot down KAL 007, murdering all those people, legislatures in New York and New Jersey denied Soviet aircraft landing rights. Some at the UN raised the question of whether that body should remove from the United States. And Lichenstein, fed up and in no mood for 'diplomacy', said, 'We will put no impediment in your way. The members of the US mission to the United Nations will be down at the dockside waving you a fond farewell as you sail off into the sunset.'
Scrap it. It's an obscenity. Saudi Arabia on the Human Rights Committee? I ask you! It once served a purpose, I suppose, but the majority of UN representatives do not even speak for the people of their own countries, let alone articulate their interests.
Send them all packing and turn the building into condos.
Shrink it and keep it in a snow globe.
Turn it in to an international talking shop. Er... wait...
The biggest criticism of the UN, that it doesn't get things done, that it's useless, is false because it's committing a category error. The UN isn't an actor on its own behalf in world affairs, it is merely a forum through which actual actors (countries and the like) can co-operate if they choose to do so. So I'd leave the UN alone. It may be that there's a case for making a new club that only democratic countries can join. (But who counts as democratic?)
I would convert its headquarters into New York's most striking shopping mall. The murderers and thieves who rule over many of the countries represented there should be dressed in ridiculous costumes (I mean more ridiculous than their current ones) and made to stand behind a display glass. The oppressed people of their nations should then be flown into town to point at them and spend the contents of the human mannequins' Swiss bank accounts under their noses
And now, for something completely different:
Dubai Jazz (hearts) Holocaust-Denying Cartoonist Latuff:
It appears that Arabs have hard time recalling that there was history before they had come to a place and proclaimed it their own. Thus they are shocked when they realize that the world largely knows the Persian Gulf as the Persian Gulf and not the Arabian Gulf, which they had renamed after they subjugated the heathen Persians. Thus they believe they have a claim to Al-Andalus, or Palestine, or Chechnya, or Hertzgovia, or Kashmir ...
In a typical reversal of logic, Buj and DJ refuse to accept that the territory better known by the world as "The West Bank" also has a history of being known as Judea and Samaria, which is fully acknowledged in history books and even by the world.
response came in the shape of cartoons designed by a Holocaust-denying cartoonist.
There is something very strange about talking to you, guys. It's like stepping into a world where the rules of logic and knowledge no longer apply. A bit like Bizarro Superman:
" Superman's exact opposite, who lives in the backwards bizarro world. Up is Down. Down is Up. He says "Hello" when he leaves, "Good bye" when he arrives."
Here is a history of the Arabs in Spain, an example of how Arabs like to imagine their history to be:
Update: Dubai Jazz is filtering comments, too.
Too bad. Both these UAE bloggers are so afraid of verifiable historical records, names, records. It's as if their Dream Palace will come crashing down all around them if they actually faced up to the truths of history rather than continue to nourish their myths and illusions.