ദി US vetoed a UN Security Council (“UNSC”) resolution today. Generally that is not a big deal, but the specifics of the vote are suspicious. I think that situations like this damage US credibility (and the UN’s credibility). And I think it is much more damaging than scandals like the Oil-for-food bribing.
The draft resolution was critical of Israel’s recent military moves in Gaza. I have not followed this latest skirmish closely, so I don’t have an opinion about it – plus the point of this article is not Israel’s actions. The point is that the vote looks like the US may have abused its veto to protect Israel’s reputation. There are 15 members on the UNSC, 10 voted for it, the US voted against it, and the other 4 abstained. Worse, the other 4 are allies of ours – Britain, ഡെന്മാർക്ക്, Japan and Slovakia. If Britain really opposed the resolution wouldn’t they have voted against it instead of abstaining?
To people outside the US, this looks like we are abusing our power at the UN to further our own policies. TO some it may even seem like the UN is just a branch of our State Dept. and not a neutral place to resolve differences. Both appearances will hurt us in the long run.
Some Americans like to complain that the UN is not a credible place because of the oil-for-food scandal. I disagree. Corruption is part of politics. It’s not that we should accept corruption, it is that we should accept that it exists and then try to fight it. All governments have corruption, and all citizens should try to minimize it. If we think the UN should be abolished just because there is corruption, then we should also abolish the US government!
I think that this veto is much more problematic. The oil-for-food scandal was a perversion of the process. Some people covertly manipulated the system and did things that were outside of the rules. (And they got caught). പക്ഷേ, this veto is actually part of the rules. The US didn’t have to do anything covertly in order to abuse their power.
If other countries think the process is rigged, then they will not want to participate. While the permanent members have vetos, they should use them sparingly or other countries will stop participating and then the veto will mean nothing.