Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton plans to mingle with foreign leaders at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly next week. Her goal is to use the UN as a backdrop to display her foreign policy credentials, and contrast her experience with that of Republican rival Donald Trump.
Perhaps Clinton hopes to undo Trump’s successful visit to the president of Mexico last month. However, by associating herself with the UN, she has given Trump a golden opportunity.
The UN is a corrupt and destructive institution that Americans do not trust — for good reason. A recent Gallup poll showed that 54% of Americans think the UN does a poor job, while only 38% think it does a good job.
Over the past eight years, the Obama administration has actually used the UN to undermine America’s influence, interests and image in the service of his own radical left-wing agenda — and as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton participated wholeheartedly in that sorry effort.
Over and over again, for example, President Barack Obama took crucial national security decisions to the UN Security Council before approaching Congress.
In 2011, with Secretary Clinton’s full backing, Obama committed the U.S. to war in Libya on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. He never went to Congress for approval, in defiance of the War Powers Resolution. The result was a poorly conceived intervention, with terrorist consequences the world is still suffering.
In 2015, Obama did it again, approaching the UN Security Council to approve the Iran deal before Congress had any chance to review it. He did so even after signing the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act, which was advertised to the public as a guarantee that Congress would have the final say. In the end, Obama defied that law and the disastrous Iran deal — including a side deal giving the regime a ransom of $1.7 billion in cold, hard cash for American captives — was forced down our throats.
Then there is the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a club for the world’s worst human rights abusers, which President George W. Bush wisely avoided, but which Obama enthusiastically forced the U.S. to join. The UNHRC exists for only one purpose, which is to let dictators cover up real human rights abuses by attacking Israel and the U.S. Disgracefully, Obama reported his own country to the UNHRC, allowing Iran the opportunity to bash the U.S. for so-called human rights abuses.
Now, the Obama administration is running for a seat again on the UNHRC, which will hold its elections next month. His goal is to bind the next president to a three-year term, so that the U.S. has to participate again in that charade no matter who wins.
In addition, on Oct. 1, the Obama administration intends to give up control of the Internet, when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) becomes a multilateral institution, rather than an American one. Control of ICANN will likely fall, eventually, to the UN and its International Telecommunications Union (ITU). There, the free speech and free enterprise Americans have taken for granted online could be subject to the whims of tyrannical, censorship-prone regimes.
There is no reason to give up control of the Internet, which has flourished as a free medium only because it has been protected by the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration simply believes, as one critic observes, that American power is more dangerous than our enemies: better for the UN to govern Americans than for Americans to govern anyone else.
Of course, when it wants to, the Obama administration can see the problems with the U.N. In 2013, when Obama was pushing for limited war in Syria — again without obtaining congressional approval — UN Ambassador Samantha Power blasted the UN, complaining it was “structurally impossible to get meaningful international action through the Security Council.”
In the end, the Obama administration retreated anyway and did nothing to stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Trump — who already demonstrated in Mexico City his ability to represent the U.S. on the international stage — can seize the opportunity of Clinton’s UN photo-op to articulate three key policy differences:
1. A Trump administration will never submit the national security of the United States to the UN before Congress.
2. A Trump administration will refuse to participate in the UN Human Rights Council.
3. A Trump administration will not fund UN institutions that demonize America and Israel.
4. A Trump administration will refuse to cede control of ICANN, and will protect free speech and free enterprise on the Internet.
And when Hillary Clinton parades herself in front of the UN next week, Trump should thank her. There is nothing that better illustrates the contrast between “globalism” and “nationalism” than the UN and the way Obama and Clinton have boosted it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.