On the United Nations

It is not just that the United Nations is useless; it is, in fact, almost entirely detrimental to the interests of the United States. The problem posed for America, and for other nations such as Israel that suffer more than they gain from the existence of the UN, is that enormous numbers of people in the United States and around the world have somehow gotten the notion that the UN alone is capable of conferring moral legitimacy on the use of force, no matter how much that force is justified by humanitarian and security concerns. The dominant force in the UN is the Security Council, whose permanent membership is a relic of World War II and does not at all represent today’s political realities. In order to get the council’s approval for the defense of vital American interests, it is necessary to avoid a veto by France, Russia, or China, three nations whose interests are often diametrically opposed to America’s and at least one, France, that harbors deep and probably permanent anti-Americanism out of envy. Russia and China appear more likely to act out of various motives, not all of them noble, but unlike France, not out of spite. Why most of the people of the world, including Americans, suppose that the UN is essential to confer moral legitimacy on the actions of America and its numerous allies remains a mystery.

Coercing Virtue, p. 49-50

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