The Clinton Administration is trying to bamboozle Congress to pony up a extra billion dollars in handouts to the United Nations. Congress should assert its appropriations authority and say no. The notion that we “owe” the UN $1.2 billion (some say $1.7 billion) in back assessments is ridiculous. For years, we’ve been paying 25% of the budget while being treated like a Third World nonentity. Sob stories about the UN’s “financial crisis” deserve a belly laugh. The UN’s cash shortage is caused by its corrupt and extravagant spending, not by a backsliding or penurious United States.
The general annual UN budget has expanded from $20 million and 1,500 employees in 1945, to $10 billion and 50,000 employees today. Of this, U.S. taxpayers are contributing an estimated $4 billion a year.
Although we have the power of the Security Council veto, for the most part the United States has played the role of just one vote among 185 in the General Assembly. The other countries even ganged up and voted the U.S. off of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions which makes up the UN budgets. The United States is assessed 25% of the UN’s general budget, double that of any other nation. Japan is assessed 12.45%, the United Kingdom 8.93%, and more than 90 countries only 0.01% each.
When he was Secretary General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali endorsed the notion that the UN should impose global taxes in order to relieve the UN of any accountability for contributions from its member nations. The first thing Madeleine Albright should do is demand that the new UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, repudiate that impudent suggestion.
In addition, the UN “peacekeeping” budget has expanded from $700 million in 1990 to $3.5 billion today. The UN assesses the United States 31.7% of the “peacekeeping” budget (U.S. law now limits us to 25%), compared with 8.5% for Russia, 6.3% for the United Kingdom, and 7.6% for France, all of whom have more direct interest in the various UN expeditions than we have.
The Clinton Administration, having succeeded in dumping Boutros-Ghali, will now claim that we should pay our “peacekeeping arrears” so that we can demand fiscal reform. That puts the cart before the horse; if we fork over the cash first, we’ll never get reform. The United States is the only country that really wants UN reform. Most of the others are not spending their own money, they are spending ours, and their overpaid UN representatives feel threatened by American ideas of fiscal integrity.
The arrogant UN bureaucrats didn’t even pay lip service to reform until Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) introduced his bill called the United Nations Withdrawal Act. It would require the United States to withdraw from the UN by the year 2000. One of the best things President Reagan did was to pull the United States out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which was the most corrupt UN agency. It would be great if Congress would immediately terminate all funding for a lot of other useless UN groups, particularly the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Development Program.
Congress has repeatedly tried to force the UN to impose fiscal discipline on itself, but all our efforts have failed. We shouldn’t give the UN any more money until the UN makes major cuts in its colossal bureaucracy, which is now spread around 70 agencies doing mostly useless paper-pushing. For starters, Congress should reduce our contribution to 20 percent of the UN budget, and we should withhold all payments until the staff is reduced by at least 10 percent. That’s the only language the UN understands.
Even more important is dealing with UN mischief. Congress should expose the fakery of UN participation in “peacekeeping” expeditions to places where there is no peace to keep. Under Boutros-Ghali, UN “peacekeepers” were sent to intervene in civil wars and to carry out a nebulous new activity called nation-building. Of course, such projects are expensive and always involve more missions, more time, more risk, and more troops than anticipated.
But the worst part is that they involve U.S. troops and U.S. risk in faraway places where we have no national security interest. Congress should make it clear that U.S. armed services are not UN policemen or a UN foreign legion, and will be sent only on missions required by the U.S. national interest and voted by Congress.
Congress should reassert its constitutional authority over the U.S. armed services, making it clear that we will not engage in any UN military action disguised as “peacekeeping,” that U.S. troops will never serve in UN uniform, or under UN command or UN rules of engagement, and that no U.S. ground troops will be committed for any UN enterprise.
UN Treaties Are All Bad News
President Clinton called a special news conference last month to announce that he finds it “an embarrassment” that the U.S. Senate has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. He said that, although 130 other nations have ratified this treaty, the United States hasn’t, and “there is no excuse for this situation to continue.”
A treaty to enforce uniform rules for us and 130 other nations, under the supervision of UN busybody bureaucrats, could only diminish the rights and benefits now enjoyed by American women, who are the most fortunate class of people on the face of the earth. Ratification of this UN Treaty on Discrimination Against Women would be craven kowtowing to the radical feminists, exceeded only by its unlimited capacity for legal mischief. And it would be a massive interference with U.S. laws as well as with our federal-state balance of powers.
Article 1 purports to abolish discrimination against women “in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” Private relationships should be none of our government’s business, much less the business of the United Nations.
Article 2 reiterates that the treaty would “eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise,” including “customs and practices.” No human behavior is beyond the purview of this impudent UN document. The treaty would mandate the longtime feminist goal of total sexual integration in the military. It would turn over to the United Nations all decisions about military personnel, including the assignment of women to ground combat.
Article 3 would require us to pass new federal laws not only in political but also in “social, economic and cultural fields.”
Article 5 would require us “to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women” and to give assurances that we are following UN dictates about “family education.”
Article 10 would make it a federal responsibility to ensure “the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education . . . by the revision of textbooks … and teaching methods.” Unable to persuade Americans voluntarily to go along with their censorship attempts, the feminists are trying to get the UN to do this job for them.
Article 11 would chain us to the feminist goal that wages should be paid on subjective notions of “equal value” rather than on objective standards of equal work. It would also require the federal government to establish “a network of child-care facilities.”
Article 16 would require us to allow women “to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children.” In feminist theory, this means that the United States would have to allow abortions at any time for any reason. On the other hand, this language does not protect Chinese women victimized by their government’s policy of forced abortions. China takes the position that it is not “responsible” for a woman to bear more than one child.
Article 16 also levels a broadside attack on states’ rights. It would obligate the federal government to take over all family law, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and property.
To monitor the “progress” made under this treaty, Article 17 sets up a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women consisting of 23 “experts.” No doubt that means “experts” in feminist ideology, probably as certified by Hillary Rodham Clinton and/or Bella Abzug.
The State Department memo that explains the treaty, which was written by the late Edmund S. Muskie, candidly admits that it applies “to private organizations and areas of personal conduct not covered by U.S. law.” It also admits that the treaty completely fails to take into account “the division of authority between the state and federal governments in the United States.”
President Jimmy Carter signed this terrible treaty in 1980, and ever since the Senate has had the good judgment to refuse to ratify it. We trust the Senate will retain its sanity on this issue, despite Mr. Clinton’s embarrassment. (More information about this UN Treaty is available in the Phyllis Schlafly Report of September 1990.)
Another Bad Treaty: Chemical Weapons
The U.S. Senate showed good judgment last year in refusing to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), a treaty that purports to ban chemical weapons and forbid their production, stockpiling, and use. Contrary to its announced purpose, this foolish treaty would increase, not eliminate, the risk of chemical weapons use, and would seriously damage U.S. national security interests. The Senate should continue to reject this bad treaty.
Bad guys are deterred by force, the threat of force, or by their cold calculation that the costs of evil behavior are not worth the risk. Many dangerous countries, such as Libya, Syria, Iraq and North Korea, have not signed the CWC and would not be deterred by pieces of paper. China and Iran, which have significant chemical weapons programs, are unlikely to comply. Of particular concern is Russia, which has the largest arsenal of chemical weapons; the actions and statements of its military leaders confirm that Russia would not comply at all.
Even though the CWC would not rid the world of chemical weapons, it would impose a terrible regulatory and reporting burden on every U.S. company that produces, processes, or consumes a scheduled chemical. The CWC would affect U.S. firms that make dyes and pigments, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, nylon, paint and varnish, electronics, textiles, and soap and detergent.
The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency estimates that 2,175 U.S. companies would be saddled with reporting requirements and data declarations; others estimate that the burden will fall on 10,000 U.S. production facilities. This time-consuming reporting could, in turn, produce additional government oversight and regulation by agencies such as OSHA, EPA, and IRS.
No previous treaty has ever subjected U.S. private industry to international inspection. CWC is the New World Order closing in on American business. The process of allowing teams of foreigners to investigate, inspect and challenge all facets of private U.S. businesses could open them up to industrial espionage and the theft of their proprietary information. Forcing them to spend unnecessary funds to hire more people to fill out more government forms, and submit to routine inspections, would reduce their ability to compete in world markets.
Of course, the CWC would give birth to a new international bureaucracy. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is already headquartered in The Hague with a Conference of State Parties, an Executive Council, and a Technical Secretariat with a hundred pages of verification responsibilities.
Every time we hear trendy slogans such as “global village,” “world economy,” or “international cooperation,” Americans should remember that other nations have no familiarity with or understanding of our Bill of Rights or our federal structure of government with separate state laws. Treaties are customarily written as though all power to make and fulfill international commitments resides in the head of state who signs the document.
If the CWC goes into effect, what happens to our Fourth Amendment rights? The CWC’s Technical Secretariat, without a warrant, would be empowered to inspect virtually everything within the premises, including records, files, papers, processes, controls, structures and vehicles, and to interrogate on-site personnel.
Under CWC, what happens to our First Amendment rights? Freedom of Information requests would not be permitted under the proposed CWC implementing legislation, so Americans would have fewer rights under this treaty than if a U.S. agency, such as the FBI, investigated them.
The CWC is unverifiable and unenforceable. Former CIA Director James Woolsey testified on June 23, 1994 that “the chemical weapons problem is so difficult from an intelligence perspective, that I cannot state that we have high confidence in our ability to detect noncompliance, especially on a small scale.”
In closed societies, factories making fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, or plastics can easily cover up their production of chemical weapons. After receiving notification of a challenge, a facility has six days to hide the evidence before inspectors are admitted. Small amounts of concealed chemical weapons can be militarily very significant. Used against critical military targets, chemical weapons can have dramatic consequences.
To paraphrase a popular bumper strip, when chemical weapons are outlawed, only outlaw governments will have chemical weapons. Our World War II experience shows that the best way for civilized countries to prevent the use of chemical weapons is for the good guys to have their own deterrent arsenals of chemical weapons.
Alger Hiss Fallout on Politics
The 1950 conviction of Alger Hiss for perjury in denying that he was a Communist spy was a seminal event in American politics. It is difficult to name any other trial that had such a widespread effect on American politics, even including the convictions of atomic bomb spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Alger Hiss was the quintessential Establishment Man: Harvard Law School, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, erudite, good looking and perfectly tailored, with a glorious resume and fervent testimonials from everyone who was important.
His social friends did not suspect, indeed found it incredible, that Hiss could have been a Jekyll-and-Hyde double persona, living half his life underground where he carried out traitorous missions. When the facts were spread on the table, one of his friends told me in shock, “If Alger could be a Communist, anyone could be.”
Indeed, anyone could. In those years, many people who had as elegant an image as Hiss were secret Communists. The handsome husband of my best friend in college turned out to be a secret Communist, a fact which my friend learned only when the FBI told her after the Party ordered the husband to get a divorce and marry a Party member.
Good looking men and women leading double lives held jobs throughout the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations in the 1930s and 1940s. When the House Committee on Un-American Activities exposed this Communist virus, the liberals in and out of government, especially in the media, counterattacked against the anti-Communists with a frightening ferocity.
The culpability of the liberals in standing cheek-to-jowl with the Communists was summed up by the founder and first chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Martin Dies, in his book Martin Dies’ Story. He wrote: “Without exception, year in and year out, the American Liberals have defended, protected, encouraged, and aided the Communists, both in the United States and abroad.” Dies said that there is a “sympathetic tie between the ultra-liberals and the Communists. Actually, the ultra-liberals have always been socialists at heart.”
Because the Rooseveltian liberals were soulmates with the socialists and Communists, they closed ranks to defend Alger Hiss, and continued to defend him year after year, even after he exhausted his appeals and spent four years in prison, and even after all subsequent revelations confirmed his guilt beyond quibble. On the other hand, Hiss’s conviction proved that treachery and subversion were real, and, to the anti-Communists, America’s honor was at stake.
Alger Hiss wasn’t merely a middle-level bureaucrat who turned over classified documents to the Soviet espionage network. He was the number-two man in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State Department and a key player in our foreign policy and relations with the Soviet Union.
Hiss was the principal author of the United Nations Charter, which was drafted at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. Hiss presided as the UN’s first Secretary General at the San Francisco Conference in April 1945, where we learned that a secret agreement had been made at the Yalta Conference the preceding February, giving the Soviet Union three votes in the UN, while every other nation has only one.
Poland, the first country to resist Hitler and supposedly the reason why the West entered World War II, was barred from the UN until the legitimate anti-Communist government of Mikolajczyk was replaced by Communist stooges from Moscow. As this was not accomplished until the fall of 1945, Poland’s seat was empty in San Francisco.
At the Yalta Conference, Alger Hiss had been the chief aide to Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. In the telephone system set up for the U.S. delegation, Roosevelt was #1, Stettinius #2, and Hiss #3, and Hiss’s hovering presence is apparent from the news photographs.
Most of the obituaries on Alger Hiss since his death on November 15 were encrusted with layers of liberal bias. The New York Times headlined the event as “Alger Hiss, Divisive Icon of Cold War, Dies at 92.” That headline is misleading. Alger Hiss was an icon of the liberals in their war against the anti-Communists. He was the personification of the Communist chic which patriots believed should be removed from our government.
The definitive account of the Alger Hiss story was written by Allen Weinstein in 1978. He started out as a liberal determined to prove Hiss’s innocence by getting access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents convinced Weinstein that Hiss was guilty, so he entitled his book Perjury.
Hiss’s guilt was reconfirmed in 1993 by the release of the files of the Interior Ministry in Budapest, and again in 1996 by the release of the Venona papers. The Venona papers are hundreds of messages sent by Soviet agents between Washington and Moscow which had been decrypted and translated by our National Security Agency.
The Alger Hiss story proves that traitors made policy at the highest levels in our government during the 1930s and 1940s. The Alger Hiss story validates the courageous battle waged by anti-Communists to rout traitors out of our government.