Of all the targets for fund-cutting, the idea from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) might be the most popular — and the most appropriate. Ros-Lehtinen wants to save money by cutting all funds supporting the United Nations’ worst practical joke, its Human Rights Council. The Congresswoman rightly calls it a “rogues’ gallery”:
A key House Republican is quickly pressing forward with her goals to scale back U.S. funding for the United Nations.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Hill that oversight would be a key function of the panel, particularly funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) that is “a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“I’d like to make sure that we once and for all kill all U.S. funding for that beast,” she said last month. “Because I don’t think that it advances U.S. interests, I don’t think that that’s a pro-democracy group, it’s a rogue’s gallery, pariah states, they belong there because they don’t want to be sanctioned.”
The fact that this panel exists at all is a testament to the lasting power of both irony and corruption. The panel consists in part of some of the world’s most oppressive governments, including Saudi Arabia, China, Libya, and Cuba. It spends most of its time obsessing about Israel rather than addressing their own monumental shortcomings in human rights, when they’re not scolding the US, while of course taking our money.
The irony transformed itself into mawkish farce last year. For the first time, the US produced a report on its own human-rights shortcomings, including in it the law passed in Arizona that required state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws that the federal government likes to ignore. It did, however, give Barack Obama the opportunity to claim ObamaCare as a big step forward in improving human rights in the US, hoping to convince countries like Cuba and China that we may soon meet their own high standards of human rights in the near future.
The US should have cut off funding to the UN after the Oil-for-Food corruption scandal got exposed from the files of the Saddam Hussein government in Iraq. If we can start cutting off funds at the HRC first, that’s a good start.