Kucinich Running, but in the Wrong Direction?

Dennis Kucinich has decided to run for President once again. Big surprise. But, what might come as an even bigger surprise is that I welcome his desire for a bigger and broader stage. In fact, if someone will please stand by with smelling salts for Gordon Brumm, I’d like to make the following announcement: “I, Bret Callentine, do officially endorse the candidacy of Dennis J. Kucinich…just not for the office of President.”

President Kucinich? Probably not. However, try this one out: United Nations Ambassador Kucinich. You’ve got to admit that has a nice ring to it. With John Bolton conveniently out of the way, I can think of no better person to represent the United States at the United Nations than Dennis Kucinich. It’s a match made in heaven. He’s always been fighting for a U.S. Department of Peace. Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s just hand him the keys to the one system we’ve already got.

All kidding aside, it would be interesting to see what would happen when you mix someone with the unwavering moral conviction of Kucinich (a man who put a city into default rather than risk even the appearance of impropriety) with what has possibly become the world’s most corrupt organization.

My personal feeling is that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations and, further, that they should take their headquarters elsewhere. Among other things, I’m sick and tired of leaders such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez using the Assembly to pontificate upon the alleged oppression of the United States without even acknowledging the unique freedom our country provides which makes sacred their very right to spread such propaganda.

It’s not so much that I mind the criticism; it’s that I’m done apologizing. I refuse to feel guilt about our war in the Middle East when the people denouncing our “aggression” in Iraq are the same ones criticizing our “passivity” in Darfur. The condemnation also loses conviction when you take into account the nations that are complaining. Call me close-minded, but I’m not naturally inclined to endorse military opinions from France, Human Rights rulings from China, or Economic Development plans from Haiti.

I’ll admit that I don’t have all of the details of the working structure of the U.N. but I’m at a loss for trying to think of an area of global concern where we either need their assistance or even benefit from their affiliation. When someone in the world suffers a catastrophic natural disaster, they don’t look to the U.N. - they await aid from the U.S. Without U.S. backing, a U.N. peacekeeping force is as effective as a “Rent-a-Cop” in a race riot. And, any U.N. sanctions are a joke unless they carry the weight of the U.S. economy.

My patience and trust is all but spent when I see things like the Oil-for-Food scandal, when I see treaty after treaty broken with little more than a collective slap on the wrist, and when I hear accolades for cowardice masquerading as diplomacy.

The problem is that the nations are no longer united. If China, North Korea, or even the United States decides not to comply with a U.N. decision, there is little the boys in the light blue hats can do about it. The Secretary-General has as much real power as do the parent of a rebellious teen: “You better stop shooting missiles over Japan, or so help me I’ll take away your Xbox for a week, young man!”

In 2001, Kofi Annan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. To this day, I’m still trying to figure out what he did to deserve it other than occupy a seat that has long since lost its dignity.

As of January 1st, the United Nations ushers in a new era. Annan has finally stepped down and with him, hopefully, the black cloud of suspicion will also fade away.

I wish Ban Ki-moon the best of luck in his new post as Secretary-General. What lies before him is perhaps the most daunting task I could possibly imagine - before he can bring peace to the world, he must bring peace to the organization created to seek it.

Given my healthy feeling of contempt for the U.N., it is with a complete lack of expectation, but a great deal of hope, that I nominate Dennis Kucinich for the post of U.N. Ambassador. While I may question some of his policies, I have no doubt in his character. And, who knows, if he’s able to get something good done in that den of thieves, then perhaps he truly is ready for the Oval Office.
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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 12:12 PM, 12.15.06