You’re more than likely familiar with Aesop’s brief fable of a mouse and a lion. If you’ve lived under a rock your whole life I’ll bring you up to speed: A mouse convinces a lion to spare his life in exchange for the promise of a future favor. Cue the future. The lion finds himself trapped in a hunter’s net and the mouse responds to his roar and saves him from the net. It’s a quaint story with a timeless message, that is, a kindness is never wasted. It’s a nice thought but we don’t live in a fable, we live in the real world.
In the real world kindness costs money, lots and lots of money. And because the cost of living and cooperating as individuals and as nation states in a turbulent world is so exorbitant, it was refreshing to see our Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, announce a nearly three hundred million dollar reduction in American largesse to the failed United Nations.
In the grand scheme of things it’s a paltry sum. Our national debt tops twenty trillion dollars and we run deficits upwards of a trillion dollars a year. Three hundred million dollars is definitely a drop in the bucket compared to the red ink we hemorrhage on a daily basis. Ambassador Haley’s announcement is a welcome first step but until the US is completely withdrawn from the UN, this move is largely symbolic.
But it’s a pretty damn large symbol.
It was a delight to watch Ambassador Haley read the UN the riot act in response to their threat to uniformly denounce President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In no uncertain terms she made crystal clear that the United States would be watching the vote closely and we will be taking names. The UN didn’t flinch and indeed voted overwhelmingly to condemn the move and demand an immediate reversal of our president’s decree. Ambassador Haley didn’t flinch either, she doubled down on her previous admonitions and made good on her promises of retribution by beginning the arduous process of defunding the UN. It may only be a symbol, but three hundred million dollars is one hell of a good start.
President Trump praised and reiterated Ambassador Haley’s words in a recent cabinet meeting where he said we stand to save a lot of money after the UN vote. This is more than reducing our contributions to the UN, which are substantial. No doubt, each member state that voted against our national interests takes many millions, if not billions, of dollars from the US in the form of foreign aid. It’s time to turn off the spigot, to cut these nations off as a just reaction to their two-faced disloyalty.
You shouldn’t have to buy your friends’ loyalty, such a person or a country, isn’t a friend at all, they’re a money-grubbing parasite who smiles to your face and stabs you in the back. Ambassador Haley and President Trump are putting our nation on the path to a new bargain with the international community. The days of mooching off the United States are finished. The days of our government succumbing to external pressures from an impotent institution, a relic from the immediate, post-WWII world, is at an end. The party is over and it’s about damn time.
In the “What We Do” section of the UN’s website, it says the following, try not to laugh:
“The United Nations came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War, with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN does this by working to prevent conflict; helping parties in conflict make peace; peacekeeping; and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish.”
This is a bad joke. The UN has failed at its stated mission of maintaining international peace and security as evidenced by the enormous number of armed conflicts occurring across the globe as we speak. The United Nations has failed and it has done so on America’s “dime”, a dime that constitutes approximately twenty-two percent of the annual UN budget. This complete and utter lack of results and the corresponding price tag are unacceptable.
In Aesop’s fable the mouse was the hero and the lion played the part of a humbled beast. But we don’t live in a fable, we live in the real world and in the real world the UN is the mouse and the United States is the lion. The UN hasn’t saved us from anything, indeed, in the real world the lion has bailed out the mouse time and time again even as the mouse’s promises have rung empty time and again. The moral of Aesop’s fable is that no act of kindness is wasted, and it’s a pleasant sentiment. But here, in the real world, the moral of the story is that no good deed goes unpunished.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau