If you reduce the size of the bureaucracy by 5%, I will help you fight for a 5% increase in US assistance; if you reduce the bureaucracy by 10%, I will champion a 10% increase.
Since I became chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I have received thousands of letters from Americans expressing their deep frustration with this institution. They know instinctively that the UN lives and breathes on the hard-earned money of the American taxpayers. And yet they have heard comments here in New York constantly calling the US a “deadbeat.”
They see the majority of the UN members routinely voting against America in the General Assembly. The American people hear all this; they resent it, and they have grown increasingly frustrated with what they feel is a lack of gratitude.
The money we spend on the UN is not charity. It is an investment from which the American people rightly expect a return. They expect a reformed UN that works more efficiently, and which respects the sovereignty of the US. Some here may contend that the Clinton Administration should have fought to pay the arrears without conditions. I assure you, had they done so, they would have lost.
Congress has written a check to the UN for $926 million, payable upon the implementation of previously agreed-upon common-sense reforms. Now the choice is up to the UN. I suggest that if the UN were to reject this compromise, it would mark the beginning of the end of US support for the UN.
The UN must respect national sovereignty. The UN serves nation-states, not the other way around. This principle is central to the legitimacy and ultimate survival of the United Nations, and it is a principle that must be protected.
The American people do not want the UN to become an “entangling alliance.” Americans look with alarm at UN claims to a monopoly on international moral legitimacy. They see this as a threat to the God-given freedoms of the American people, a claim of political authority over Americans without their consent.
Businesses exist to make money, and I certainly have no problem with that. But let’s be honest. American businesses, even if viewed in the most charitable light, are not likely to lift a finger to promote democracy in China.
And the powerful lure of the potentially huge Chinese market has obviously clouded the judgment of some of our top companies and their executives. With regret, I have concluded that some of America’s top businesses have been willing to supplicate to the Communist government of China, hoping that the Chinese government will allow them to someday make a profit there.
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