Carroll County Times

John Culleton: Criticism of U.N. is misplaced

What is supreme law of the land, the Constitution? That is less than half right.
Here is the exact text of the constitution itself: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
For example, one of the laws passed by the Congress and signed by the president is popularly known as Obamacare. You may not like this law. But like it or not it is the law of the land. Attempts by some states to subvert this law are simply illegal. See the Constitution passage quoted above. Measures designed to discourage voting by minorities and college students contravene the intent of the Voting Rights Act. Respect for the law is not big among right wingers.
A treaty is an agreement between two or more nations to do something or not to do something. After World War I, "The war to end all wars", President Woodrow Wilson proposed an international organization that would represent the countries of the world and prevent future conflicts. The League of Nations was duly formed, but when it came time for the U.S. Senate to ratify the enabling treaty, the Senate failed to come up with the necessary votes to approve the treaty. So the League of Nations, conceived and championed by an American president, was crippled from the start.
Although it did good work in settling some disputes among smaller nations when the Axis Powers (Germany, Japan and Italy) began their world-wide plan of conquest, the League just dithered and talked. After World War II it was mercifully put to sleep.
But the need for multi-national cooperation in the interests of world peace was needed more than ever. So again, largely at the behest of the United States and its allies, a new treaty was signed and a new organization was formed, the United Nations.
I helped drive delegates around in 1951 when a U.N. meeting was held in San Francisco to formally ratify the peace treaty with Japan.
I hope everyone knows by now that U.N. military action can only be taken with the concurrence of all the permanent members of the Security Council of the U.N., originally consisting of our military allies in WW II. This veto power of permanent members of the Security Council was insisted on by the United States when the charter was drawn up. And there is no U.N. Army. When forces are needed for peace-keeping or even war fighting operations, then various nations volunteer their forces to the cause. When I served in Korea I carried two ID cards, one for the U.N. and one for the U.S. Army.
Too many of our Carroll county right-wing activists speak of the United Nations as if it were some foreign entity plotting to take over our nation. This is totally and unequivocally false. The U.N. is largely a creation of the United States. Its headquarters is located on our soil. Any activities such as collecting money for the United Nations Children's Fund can take place on American soil only with our agreement. And despite what the right wing propaganda machine grinds out, no action has ever been taken or will be taken by the U.N. that affects our nation adversely.
Since I helped at a U.N. conference and served under U.N. auspices in a military action I take these slanders personally. Deliberate ignorance is not a crime, but perhaps it should be.