UN Power Grows Like a Thief in the Night
by JBS President John F. McManus
For many years, U.S. leaders have been transferring our nation’s independence to the United Nations. Their goal, and certainly the goal of the UN’s founders and current leaders, is a world government dominating the planet. If the process continues, nations will continue to exist but only on paper. All power will have been ceded to the “House that Hiss built” (Alger Hiss being the traitorous American correctly cited as the most important founder of the world body).
When President Obama decided to unleash American war planes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria (and create a new war for our country), he didn’t ask Congress for a formal declaration of war as called for by the U.S. Constitution. He completely bypassed Congress and pointed to the October 16, 2002 congressional authorization for war against Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Neither the fact that the Hussein government no longer exists nor the further fact that ISIS and Al Qaeda are not the same seem to matter.
Looking back to 2002 and the run up to the second war against Iraq, we see that one month prior to getting Congress to approve the action, President George W. Bush spoke at UN headquarters and formally requested Security Council authorization for the conflict he was planning.
One day after the 2003 war against Iraq began, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte informed the president of the UN Security Council via formal letter that the “actions being taken are authorized under existing Security Council Resolutions, including its resolutions 678 (1990) and 687 (1991).” Those resolutions were already more than two decades old.
Summing up: The war against ISIS, newly named “Operation Inherent Resolve” by the U.S. Defense Department, is actually authorized by United Nations Security Council resolutions issued 23 and 24 years ago. Those resolutions targeted Hussein’s Iraq which no longer exists, and the same can be said for Saddam Hussein himself. Evidently, the U.S. can go to war against anyone by referring to older UN resolutions.
There’s an important principle that all Americans should consider. It is that one seeks authorization from a superior, not an inferior. The superior in this instance is the United Nations; the inferior is the United States.
This outrageous transfer of U.S. independence to the UN didn’t begin yesterday. It started when President Harry Truman responded to a UN Security Council resolution in June 1950 and sent U.S. forces to Korea. Knowing that he lacked the required declaration of war, he termed the use of U.S. forces a “police action.” Only a few members of Congress complained that the Constitution was being ignored and our nation’s war power was being transferred to the UN.
Subsequent wars in which U.S. forces have fought and died have always included UN authorization: Vietnam War by the UN subsidiary SEATO, 1991 Iraq War by UN, 2003 Iraq War by UN, and Afghanistan War now directed by UN subsidiary NATO. There have been other lesser remembered conflicts such as those in Bosnia and Libya, each given the go-ahead by the UN’s NATO.
All of this amounts to incremental transfer of the power to make war, a fundamental mark of independence, to the world body. Like a silent but menacing thief in the night, UN power continues to grow. The only sensible solution to this enormously dangerous situation is for the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations. The sooner , the better. Let Congress know.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.
Building the Case for Nonintervention: What’s NATO?
by JBS President John F. McManus
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was sold to the American people and the U.S. Congress in 1949 as an alliance needed to prevent the Soviet Union from gobbling up more nations to its West. With such an attitude prevailing, NATO won ratification in the Senate with only 13 negative votes. Opponents of entangling the U.S. in additional international pacts claimed correctly that membership in NATO would require U.S. involvement in disputes all over the world. Only a few knew that NATO was created as a “Regional Arrangement” authorized by Articles 51-54 of the United Nations Charter. Then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson didn’t attempt to hide this relationship and, in his March 19, 1949 speech to the U.S. Senate, he confidently proclaimed, “… it is designed to fit precisely into the framework of the United Nations” and is “an essential measure for strengthening the United Nations.”
The text of the very brief NATO Treaty, only 14 brief articles, actually mentions “the United Nations” five times. The treaty’s Article 5 pledges all signers to consider an attack on any member nation as an attack on all that must be met by all with a military response. In 1950, membership in NATO was cited by President Truman as his authority to send American forces into Korea to counter North Korea’s invasion of its southern neighbor. Later, the precedents established by NATO led to creation of a virtually identical treaty known as the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). President Lyndon Johnson pointed to it for authority to commit hundreds of thousands of U.S. forces to Vietnam. The two wars were the first waged by the United States without victory. And NATO is now the overall leader of the military action in Afghanistan where victory is seemingly impossible.
NATO has recently raised its voice in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean area of Ukraine, and to the further stationing by Russia of tens of thousands of troops near the Ukraine-Russia border. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that the Russian actions have “undermined the very foundations” of the relationship that NATO has been building with Russia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined with officials of other NATO member nations in planning to build up air, sea and land forces for possible use in reversing Russia’s moves. Should force be employed against Russia, one can be certain that its main ingredient will consist of U.S. military might. But such a development is extremely unlikely inasmuch as it would have to stem from authorization supplied by the UN Security Council where Russia possesses a veto.
Seemingly lost in all of this headline-grabbing activity is the fact that the people in Crimea have already approved being annexed by Russia. At most, the situation involves only the two neighbors, Ukraine and Russia. In years gone by, such a low-level problem would involve only those affected by it. Now, thanks to the United Nations and its NATO subsidiary, any such dispute seems poised to become a regional or even a world conflagration. UN and NATO leaders seem desirous of injecting their organizations and their forces. And, if they succeed, existing treaty obligations will require the U.S. to participate, even lead the response.
All of which points to reasons why the United States should withdraw from NATO and its parent, the United Nations. Doing so would terminate the ongoing U.S. policy that has American forces acting as the policemen of the world. And respect for the United States would begin to rise again to heights previously enjoyed when our nation minded its own business.