If I Were Dictator (Part 6)

Posted on Wed 06/22/2011 by


By Marlin6

On 02/05/2008, I authored a post “Benevolent Dictators Make Good Government”. Examples are King David – Israel – (1010 BC –970 B.C.) in ancient times and General Douglas McArthur – Japan – (1945 –1947) in modern times. I started musing about what I would do if I were absolute dictator of the United States to fast track our country back to a position of greatness and prosperity. Therefore I am submitting a series of posts to PA Pundits (many controversial) about how I would provide solutions to the major issues facing our nation.


I would issue an order to immediately move the U.N. headquarters from New York City to Babylon in Iraq. I will also issue an order that countries who vote against us in the U.N. more than 50% of the time will not receive any foreign aid. Finally, I would cut back extracurricular payments to the U.N. such as peacekeeping. The United States has the maximum assessed contribution to the UN regular budget — 22%. In 2009 the assessed amount is $600,000,000. The minimum assessed contribution is 0.001%. The scale of assessments for each UN member for the required contributions to the regular budget is determined every 3 years on the basis of Gross National Product. Only nine countries (starting with the largest contributor: United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, China) contribute 75% of the entire regular budget. Cuba contributes .043% of the regular budget. Saudi Arabia contributes .0713%.

The idea of moving U.N. headquarters seems to resonate with many – those who believe that the U.S. is being manipulated by anti-American and anti-Israel elements within the U.N., as well as those who feel that the U.S. is doing the manipulation. For Americans, it would of course mean the loss of a global status symbol – but it would also mean the reacquisition of valuable New York real estate, fewer cases of diplomatic immunity for the legal systems, and perhaps a reduction of anti-American sentiment worldwide.

Where should it go? Try Iraq. While moving the U.N. headquarters to Venezuela or Iran is probably not wise, moving it to Iraq might be a strategic coup. There is even a ready-made location for it – Saddam Hussein’s 600-room palace and compound constructed over the remains of the ancient city of Babylon. Americans might even consider footing the bill for the relocation. Think about it. If the U.S. should be forced to abruptly withdraw from Iraq, a peacekeeping force – something similar to the International Security Assistance Force now in Afghanistan – would probably be deployed. Yet peacekeeping forces under temporary mandates, with all the associated communications problems, functional restrictions, and managerial arguments that so often spring from ego or nationalistic pride, generally won’t work. They would be even less visible in a region like Iraq, where the threat of kidnapping and indescribable torture would keep many countries from participating. Relocating U.N. headquarters to Iraq, however, might actually be a reasonable alternative.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed with member states demands for the U.S. to leave Iraq. Yet he admitted that any force reductions would have to be planned so as not to lead to greater violence and instability. Moving the U.N. to Iraq might be the only method of insuring that a departure of U.S. forces would not leave the country and the region in chaos.

Considering the severe cutbacks in U.N. personnel within Iraq following the 2004 truck bombing of its Baghdad compound, the idea might seem ridiculous; but the mission of the U.N. is to promote and preserve peace. In order to maintain its fledgling democracy, Iraq needs international commitment, an inducement to stop factional violence, and a stable form of income not subject to the terrorists’ reprisals. It is hard to imagine a more visible and binding form of commitment than a change of such magnitude. The prestige factor alone might guarantee  stability. Middle East leaders may seize upon the move as recognition of the region’s importance, thus stimulating their sense of self – and nationalist esteem while gaining further incentive for dealing internecine conflict. It would be to the benefit of all members to ensure the security of the new headquarters. A multinational coalition under the auspices of a collocated U.N would be perceived as a a more neutral and acceptable force. Additionally, since the security of the U.N. would rest on the stability of the new Iraq regime and vice-versa, there would be a strong mutual interest in maintaining a working relationship between the multinational coalition and the security forces of Iraq.

As a model for coexistence, a resident U.N. headquarters could inspire the three factors within Iraq to forgo violence, thus reducing the need for security forces. The move might even satisfy Iran’s leaders sufficiently for them to quit sending weapons into Iraq. Hugo Chavez (as a new-found friend of Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad) and possibly even militant Islamic extremists (Suni or Shia) would find it hard to justify verbal or physical attacks on a U.N. headquarters in the heart of the Middle East.

New York is an expensive city, and representation at the U.N. is currently a costly endeavor. Poor countries would benefit from the move, since costs associated with membership  would be drastically reduced. Representatives who may have been selected specifically because of social status or wealth might be replaced with individuals who maintain a higher commitment to the U.N. mission. The remaining big spenders should have a positive effect on the Iraqi job market and improve the overall economy of the entire region, which might in turn reduce the tendency to engage in violence. With such a large and formidable presence, fundamental human rights ranging from honor killing and female infanticide to state-imposed death sentences for children, religious converts and political dissidents (as opposed to those U.S. representatives have publicly identified as driven by “anti-Israel bias” could be more be effectively addressed.

What’s in it for the United States? For those Americans disappointed with the malfeasance often associated with the U.N. leadership, the move would be a victory. It could be similarly spun for those who feel that the U.S. has not been sufficiently deferent to or reliant upon the U.N. – an implication that the U.N. could and should do what the sole superpower could not. Domestically, the move would be a win-win scenario. Globally, a move from American soil – where location might appear to indicate ownership – could reduce anti-Americanism. It might change the perception of the U.S. from that of a superpower with imperial aspirations to simply a member of a global force for peace.

While America’s standing in the Middle Eastcouldn’t get much lower, you wouldn’t know it looking at the U.S. foreign aid budget. Of proposed U.S. assistance for 2012, almost two-thirds is earmarked for Muslim nations and one-third goes to Arab countries. Yet, despite those billions in aid, opinion polls show most Arab citizens still have an unfavorable view of America and most Muslim nations routinely vote against U.S. interests in the United Nations. “If we are giving money to countries consistently voting against our interest, we ought to cut them off,” says Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “But Congress is going to need to get some backbone here because it consistently gives Presidents the ability to waive the cutoff of that money.”

Here are the percentages for the times Arab countries vote against the United States at the U.N.
Kuwait 67%, Qatar 67%, Morocco 70%, United Arab Emirates70%, Jordan 71%, Tunisia 71%,
Saudi Arabia 73%, Yemen 74%,. Algeria 74%, Oman 74%, Sudan 75%, Libya 76%, Egypt 79%,
Lebanon 80%, India 81%, Syria 84%,.and Mauritania 87%…

This is foreign aid to those that hate us. Egypt #receives $2 Billion annually in U.S. foreign aid. Jordan receives $193 Million. Pakistan receives $1.8 Billion. India receives 150 Million.. Algeria receives $80 Million. Oman receives $74 Million. The Palestinian Territories receive $3 Billion, yet just 18% have a favorable view of the U.S. Years ago, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton proposed cutting off all aid to the 30 nations who consistently voted against the U.S. in the UN. Before him, President Reagan’s U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick proposed cutting off $1 million in aid for each vote an aid recipient cast against the U.S. in the U.N. In both cases, Bolton says the State Departmentoverruled them. “Foreign aid to a lot of countries could be readily cut and I think it’s been a mistake by the U.S. government for decades not to take U.N. voting into account,” Bolton said. Some other Muslim countries show almost no friendship or allegiance to the U.S. but continue to see the State Department shower them with money.

“The U.S. has to quit being kicked around. We need to quit sending our tax dollars to countries that do not have our best interests in mind, especially in these economic times,” says Chabot. Instead, if you look at U.S. aid over time, it’s largely on auto-pilot. Once a nation is on the U.S. gravy train, few are ever cut off, regardless of their loyalty, gratitude or actions. In our analysis of the numbers, of the President’s 2011 foreign assistance request of $34.5 billion, 60% or $20.1 billion goes to Muslim nations, or those where a majority practice Islam. About 33% or the total budget, or $11.6 billion is awarded to Arab countries.

Countries that vote with the United States most often are Palau 98.5%, Micronesia 94%, Israel 92%, Nauru 88%, Marshall Islands 81%, Canada 75% United Kingdom 74%, Australia 73%, France 72%, Czech Republic 63%, Lithuania 63%, and Slovak Republic 83%.

Credits  – Cynthia Ayers and David Cammons.