Der Speigel has a two-part series updating us all on the "state" of the United Nations. It's a sad story, aptly entitled "Gangs of New York." This promising organization, which had so much potential and has realized so little of it, is doomed to endless failures and a permanently ineffectual existence.
How bad things have gotten is probably best summed up by what George Bush said to Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN, upon arriving at the UN a few days ago to celebrate the UN's 60th birthday. After being greeted at his limo by Annan, Bush, pointing to US Ambassador John Bolton, quipped to Annan: "Has the place blown up since he's been here?" Bush actually thought this was funny. If he had been in an airport, he would have been arrested.
That remark, however, is testimony to Bush's basic attitude. In private, over a scotch and soda (or several), Bush would probably be candid about his real view of the UN. Can you guess what he'd say?