|Week of: |
November 5, 2000
|One Nation Under God, or Under U.N.?
by: F.R. Duplantier
"Modern American foreign policy has departed from the sound principles which carried it through the dynamics of the 20th century," laments John Tierney of the Institute of World Politics. "In their place has risen a new version of 'progressive' activism: an ideological and aggressive global welfarism which aims to recreate the New Deal and Great Society on a worldwide scale. It is," he says, "a revolution in the philosophy and direction of U.S. foreign policy steered by leftist non-governmental organizations (NGOs)."
In a recent issue of Organization Trends, a publi- cation of the Capital Research Center, Tierney identi- fies a group called the United Nations Association (UNA) as a principal actor in this foreign-policy revolution. The bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit is, in its own words, "dedicated to enhancing U.S. participation in the United Nations system and to strengthening that system as it seeks to define and carry out its mission." Tierney calls it "a lobby. With more than 30 full-time employees and 23,000 members nationwide, UNA lobbies American citizens, businessmen, and lawmakers to embrace the alleged benefits of active U.S. involvement in the UN."
Tierney worries that UNA "wields influence over American policymakers and diplomats in pursuit of a 'new world order' that puts dreams of worldwide peace ahead of America's safety, sovereignty, and legitimate international concerns. This influence of UNA and other NGOs over the course and direction of American foreign policy," he warns, "has grown tremendously during the Clinton Administration." Tierney attributes their growing influence to the absence of a "visible enemy state or coalition on the horizon" and the seemingly reduced need for "strategy, statecraft, and vigilance in foreign affairs. This leadership vacuum," he argues, "draws in social-welfare and 'progressive' organizations to replace the older, more established geostrategic policy centers." Tierney contends that "the Clinton Administration has deliberately embraced the 'avant garde' style of foreign affairs," providing "funds, direction, and leadership to leftist multilateral movements, including a variety of global social causes. . . ."
Tierney regrets that "Republicans, until very recently, have been unwilling to offer anything in the way of constructive or long-range alternatives. This political gap has allowed NGOs to shape a globalist social welfare agenda that reflects their domestic priorities." He reports that NGOs "have found much success in influencing UN programs. The result is a series of social and political 'agenda items' which may satisfy the General Assembly but which may have little to do with, and may even harm, the American people and their interests."
Tierney charges that the United Nations Association "would expand the UN into areas of society traditionally reserved for American decision-makers and their constituencies. If only a fraction of the positions favored by UNA are adopted by future U.S. administrations," he warns, "they would be turning over much of American political authority to a global institution. The 21st century," Tierney speculates, "may well witness a cultural struggle between those who defend American national interests and value systems, with local institutions intact, versus those who would erode them on behalf of unreliable and incompatible global authorities."
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