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By Richard Reeves | June 7, 1996
NEW YORK -- The most significant foreign-policy achievement of the Clinton administration may be unintentional. Judging by action and inaction over the past two years the United States seems determined to either destroy or replace the United Nations as the world's arbiter of war and peace.In one dangerous area after another in recent years, the United Nations has failed to end war, or make or bring or keep peace: in Bosnia, in the Middle East, in Northern Ireland, in Haiti, in Somalia, in Liberia, in Rwanda and a few other places the world would rather forget.
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NEWS
August 14, 2014
Buried in the hue and cry of the war in Gaza has been the one glaring question not yet answered by the media: If Israel indeed overstepped the limits of asymmetrical warfare, then what exactly is an acceptable "symmetrical" loss ( "Hamas' terror is dwarfed by Israel's," Aug. 9)? Should Israel lose one for one, two for one, three for one? This question is not to diminish the loss of the innocent but to understand a benchmark by which the United Nations and much of the world seems to grade such questions.
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NEWS
October 9, 2006
Gerald Lavin, a former United Nations officer, died Oct. 2 of complications after surgery at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Annapolis resident was 79. Born in Queens, N.Y., he graduated from Queens College and earned a master's degree from Hofstra University. Mr. Lavin taught school in New York City and then moved to Indonesia, where he taught the children whose parents worked at the Caltex oil company based there. Upon returning to the United States, he worked as a corporate media writer, producing copy for print and film.
NEWS
May 7, 2014
Wow, it sure has taken a long time for this story to get out! Last month over 20 young girls were kidnapped! Talk about "snail news!" ("Nigeria sect threatens to sell abducted girls into slavery," May 6.) I learned the story just a week ago from a family member who went to Washington trying to make people aware of this horror. I've contacted my senator suggesting countries place sanctions on Nigeria until the girls are returned unharmed and proposed that the United Nations get involved.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | April 28, 2004
NEW YORK -- The war in Iraq has been a particularly painful event for the United Nations, whose prime objective for the more than half a century of its existence has been the avoidance of military confrontation. The bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad in August prompted Secretary-General Kofi Annan to withdraw all U.N. personnel working there and to declare he will not reopen it until their security from terrorist attacks can be effectively addressed. One of the organization's rising stars, Sergio Vieira de Mello, head of the U.N. mission in Baghdad, was killed in the bombing, which shattered the longtime assumption that the United Nations was accepted as a neutral force in world affairs.
NEWS
By Jonathan Power | December 7, 1990
London.THE ECONOMIST magazine ran an amusing piece last week suggesting that Margaret Thatcher run for president of the United States -- after all, two years ago she topped George Bush in a poll held on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. She'd certainly cut the budget deficit in no time at all.What The Economist didn't suggest is for her to be the next secretary general of the United Nations, a post soon to become vacant and one for which she is more than eligible.For some months now the talk on the East River has been that it must be a woman or an African -- the five secretary generals so far have all been male, three were European, one Asian and one Latin American.
NEWS
By RON SILVER AND DAVID BOSSIE | September 28, 2005
WASHINGTON -- As the United Nations celebrates its 60th anniversary as a symbol of peace and a beacon of hope, we must offer a frank and critical assessment of its failure to deliver on the promise to halt global human rights abuses, improve economic and social development and significantly enhance world security. In all three categories, the United Nations has either ignored its charter mandate or has been so overwhelmed with bureaucracy, ineptitude, corruption and inefficiency that it could not carry out its mission.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | January 25, 1993
UNITED NATIONS -- While the United Nations probably enjoy a higher profile today than at any time in its history, its most important peacemaking missions are bogged down or threatened with collapse in trouble spots as varied as Angola, El Salvador, the former Yugoslavia, and Cambodia, raising the possibility of a damaging reversal to its influence in the year ahead.Despite these setbacks, demand for the organization's services as peacekeeper, mediator, election monitor, and distributor of aid remains so strong that the secretary-general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, fears it may be unable to cope with the strains.
NEWS
By ROBERT M. HAYDEN | June 27, 1993
The recognition that the Vance-Owen plan for Bosnia is dead andthat that supposed "state" has been partitioned coincides with the second anniversary of the Croatian and Slovenian secessions from Yugoslavia that initiated the war.These two years have shown that the original policy of opposition to those secessions was correct. Overall, the population of what was Yugoslavia has been impoverished; and three million people have been driven from their homes while perhaps 150,000 have been killed.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 1, 2002
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - In what seems to have become a never-ending diplomatic two-step, the United Nations has revived the possibility of putting Cambodia's former Khmer Rouge leaders on trial. In February, it cut off five years of discussions with Cambodia, saying the government had displayed what it called a "lack of urgency" that had raised questions among diplomats here about whether it truly wanted to proceed with a trial. More than two decades after they were driven from power after causing the deaths of more than 1 million people in the late 1970s, it appeared that the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders had gotten off scot-free.
NEWS
By Steve Phillips | March 20, 2014
President Barack Obama came into office promising to limit United States commitments abroad in order to focus on the economy and health care at home. Such an approach may have been prudent immediately after the excesses of the Bush administration, but strong measures are needed now to confront the crisis in Ukraine. During the past few weeks, political instability in Ukraine led to the resignation and flight of the pro-Russian president. Russia responded by invading part of Ukraine, Crimea, then engineering a vote for independence in that region.
NEWS
March 5, 2014
Whatever the outcome in Ukraine, I'll bet most Americans want us to keep hands off. I'm sorry for everyone in that beleaguered country, but dragging the United States into a military confrontation with Russia would be reckless ( "Obama, Kerry condemn Russian 'aggression' in Ukraine as U.S. readies aid," March 4). Right now, it looks like President Barack Obama is the only one standing up to President Vladimir Putin. Instead, I think we should "lead from behind" since the Ukraine conflict is in Europe's neighborhood, not ours.
NEWS
February 15, 2014
I totally agree with Melani McAlister's point that the "question of how Americans should respond to the deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine - what our government should do, what we as individuals can or should do - should be openly and freely debated" ("Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom," Feb. 12). Already, social pressure tends to convince numerous concerned Americans to voluntarily refrain from criticizing Israel. Some stay silent because they do not want to be falsely labeled as anti-Semitic.
NEWS
February 7, 2014
The United Nations has decried the Vatican for not being transparent about the sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals over the past few decades ("UN panels urges Vatican to turn over sex abusers to authorities," Feb. 5). Moreover, the United Nations holds Pope Francis to be accountable, in a manner of speaking. The Vatican has a centuries-old twisted, cloudy and convoluted past. Pertinent information from the Vatican and the Roman Catholics around the world must be shared in order for the church to move forward.
NEWS
September 16, 2013
United Nations inspectors aren't saying who launched the chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 people in Syria in August, but it would be difficult for anyone - including President Bashar Assad's apologists in Moscow - to maintain the argument that it was anyone but the Assad regime. The report found that Sarin gas was used on a large scale and was delivered by surface-to-surface missiles, some of which were marked with what appear to be Cyrillic characters. That suggests a level of armament and technical ability far beyond what any rebel group in Syria is capable of. Meanwhile, another U.N. panel monitoring human rights violations in Syria said it is investigating 14 incidents of possible chemical weapons use in the country.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | September 16, 2013
While the slaughter goes on in the Syrian civil war, a remarkable war of words has broken out over the threatened use of American force there, led by of all people Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow's strongman of the post-Cold War era, or at least some assigned wordsmith, wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times making a clever pitch for taking the dispute to the United Nations, where an anticipated Russian veto had deterred the United States from doing so in the first place.
NEWS
June 25, 1999
THE SENATE vote Tuesday to pay $819 million of what the United States owes the United Nations is welcome and overdue but imperfect.It comes in a deal to confirm the nomination of Richard C. Holbrooke to be ambassador to the United Nations, also overdue. But a string attached would reduce U.S. contributions from one-fourth to one-fifth of the U.N. budget. That is a worthy goal of negotiations but not something Congress should try to legislate as if the United States unilaterally decides.The worst aspect of the bill is that this is only the Senate.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 2, 1997
UNITED NATIONS -- Three years after the United Nations established an inspector general's office to combat waste and fraud, a clearer sense of the scope and style of corruption within the organization is beginning to emerge. So is an understanding of why it is often difficult to detect and stop.On Thursday, Undersecretary General Karl T. Paschke, the German foreign service officer who has directed the anti-corruption office since its founding, released his third annual report.It reveals a pattern of sloppy management in which contracts are awarded and money disbursed without reference to the organization's financial regulations or accepted rules of accounting.
NEWS
September 11, 2013
Most people have apparently made up their minds about what we should do about Syria, but I find myself dithering ( "The decisive moment," Sept. 9). Doing nothing seems like a terrible idea, and military action seems also seems a terrible idea. It comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils, but the perils inherent in either choice are daunting. I pity the leaders of our country who have to make these truly life and death decisions. I do believe that there are some lessons to be learned as the result of this crisis.
NEWS
August 27, 2013
Regarding your recent editorial on the U.S. response to reports of Syria's use of chemical weapons, America's rush to war against Syria is dangerous, unnecessary, unwanted and unconstitutional ( "Punishing Syria," Aug. 26). You state that "the U.S. has no choice but to exercise its moral leadership and military might. " My question is: Why haven't the United Nations, the Arab League, NATO and Congress been consulted? What gives this country the right to police the world at taxpayer expense and without consent of Congress?
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