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June 16, 2005
Taking A Pass On The Freakers Ball

Oh, they're gonna have a Freakers Ball,
Tonight, at the Freakers Hall,
And you know you're invited, one and all ...

After weeks of waiting for an RSVP from the White House about its invitation to the UN's 60th anniversary bash in San Francisco, Turtle Bay got its answer yesterday. The United States will send a representative to the party -- Ambassador Sichan Siv:

Organizers of a celebration here to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations had expressed concern for weeks that the Bush administration would shun the event as a snub to the world body.

On Wednesday, organizers learned that big-name invitees - among them, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - would not attend.

In their place, said Nancy L. Peterson, president of the United Nations Association of San Francisco, the administration indicated that it would send Ambassador Sichan Siv, the United States representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

"I am just reading into this that the administration is taking a very dubious stance symbolically toward the importance of the United Nations to the American people," she said.

Peterson misunderstands the White House response. It doesn't reflect a symbolic message about the UN's importance; it sends a direct message about its relevance and its moral stature. The Bush administration wisely decided that celebrating the anniversary of an organization that has created the largest embezzlement and corruption scheme in human history, where the graft now goes all the way to the top and whose members appear unwilling to do anything to hold its leadership accountable, sends a message that we condone its activities. Holding a gala ball with the President or any of his closest advisors in attendance, while UN peacekeepers continue to exploit the women and young girls it supposedly protects in refugee camps for sexual gratification while the same leadership wrings its hands but delays any meaningful action to stop the abuse, sends a message that we endorse that as well.

Frankly, I would have preferred that even Ambassador Siv had been given another assignment that night and the US went completely unrepresented at the Freakers Ball. With no offense intended to the ambassador, however, the level of representation shows exactly and directly how the administration feels about the unreformed United Nations, in the same manner that a nickel tip sends a server over no tip at all. While I'd like to think that the UN will get that message, it will likely cover itself in self-pity and bemoan the "unilateralism" of the Bush administration instead, and at least in San Francisco, they will find plenty of enablers and collaborators willing to excuse their corruption and obstinate incompetence to join them.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 16, 2005 5:41 AM

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