The Republican Quest to Defund the United Nations May Hurt the US More Than the UN

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It looks like it’s going to be a rough four years for the United Nations, as the U.S. forsakes every other country on earth to blindly follow wherever Benjamin Netanyahu leads. In fact, this might be the only sticking point between Donald Trump and his puppet master in Moscow, Vladimir Putin.

Before Christmas, Trump tweeted an ominous,

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Trump’s former rival, a now bootlicking Texas Senator named Ted Cruz, waited just a day to offer a foretaste of what to expect, tweeting a holiday message to the UN:

Even before the vote, rejecting investigation of Russian interference in our elections, Speaker Paul Ryan showed himself more concerned with Israel’s democratic process than our own, claiming,

“These stunts at the UN serve only one purpose—to defame and delegitimize the democratic State of Israel.”

So there can be little doubt that in this, at least, Ryan would back Trump.

Frequent Trump critic Bill Kristol caught the tone of Trump’s message and translated it for all:

Never mind that the vote by the UN is in alignment with decades of US foreign policy in the region, which supports a two-state solution. By building settlements on occupied territories in violation of treaty, Israel had earned the reprimand.

Naturally, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, refusing to separate religion from policy, sees the vote as an example of anti-Semitism:

“The organization is increasingly viewed as anti-Semitic and seems to have lost all sense of proportionality. I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East.”

Though the White House refused to comment, Reuters reported that “U.S. officials have voiced growing fears that a “two-state” solution is imperiled by Israeli settlement building and have been more willing to voice open criticism, including, the two Western officials said, via Thursday’s planned vote.”

Trump, naturally, drew the wrong conclusion, tweeting that it is not the illegal settlements that are a threat to peace but censuring Israel for building illegal settlements:

“The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace.Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!”

Cruz is no doubt right: cutting funding to the UN will be the least of Trump’s responses. After all, Israel has already cut funding, which all but obligates Trump to do the same. Israel has also summoned home its ambassadors from each of the countries that voted for the resolution.

Kristol is also likely right. At least from US eyes. The problem is that the United States exists in a community of nations, whether it likes how those other nations think or not.

The bigger threat is not the delegitimization of the UN, but the delegitimization of the United States in the eyes of much of that world. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s business interests will offer a breaker on his reactions against the UN. His thirst for profits might be the only consistent thing in an already erratic but highly reactive foreign policy.

The United States became a pariah nation under the last Republican president. Donald Trump seems intent on following in the footsteps, not of our most successful modern president, Barack H. Obama, but rather the least, George W. Bush.

And this is taking place as he plans to start a new nuclear arms race.