Imagine the following scenario: if on the eve of American independence, the founders had asked the world’s permission before they revolted against the English crown. Imagine if the question of American independence rested not in the minds of the patriots, but with the kings in the palaces of Europe. And then imagine not living in America, because had the founders not possessed the moral courage to act independently and instead adapted a policy of begging the world’s favor, America would simply not exist as it does today.

Yet on Thursday, September 12th, we had the spectacle of an American president begging the world’s favor at the United Nations. Point by point, President Bush listed how Iraq has committed acts that threaten the very lives of the free peoples of the Earth, defying UN resolution after UN resolution going on for over a decade, as if this impotent body has any credibility to even voice an opinion on whether the US can finally defeat Saddam once and for all.

For all its pretense, credibility is one thing the UN lacks.

The UN has condemned Israel time and time again for the crime of self-defense.

The UN was powerless against the Soviet Union, even as its citizens were being murdered by the thousands.

The UN was powerless as China slaughtered its people, again by the thousands.

Rather than serve as a means of expanding freedom in the world, the UN instead serves as a platform for all the tyrants of the world to wave their finger in contempt of freedom. “We shall bury you” was a threat made in the very halls of the UN.

Supporters say that the UN is a means for the US to “engage the world.” If by engagement, they mean that on every question of American national security, we must first seek the UN’s stamp of approval, that’s hardly engagement. I call that the abandonment of our right to act in our defense.

If Iraq is a real threat and Saddam must go, the US does not need the permission of the UN to act. President Bush would be better to spend his time figuring out how the US is going to defeat its enemies rather than placate a useless institution such as the UN.