On GMTV this morning Dr Nile Gardiner, of the Washington-based Thatcher Center, condemned the UN Security Council for failing to "deplore" the actions of Iran in kidnapping 15 British sailors. Russian and Chinese objections meant that British hopes for a resolution that called for immediate release of the sailors were not realised.
This morning's Sun was also unimpressed with the UN:
"The lumbering United Nations was last night taking its first timid steps towards asking Iran to release 15 British hostages. All gestures of support are welcome. But this slow-motion response is having to be prised out of the Security Council by the UK and its allies. Yet the sailors and marines — including terrified mum Faye Turney — were operating as UN personnel, implementing a UN mandate. They were unlawfully grabbed by Iranian pirates in Iraqi waters a week ago. Their hijacking is an outrageous breach of international law. Yet in the seven days that have passed, the Security Council response has barely risen above a whisper... It is the duty of the United Nations to bellow disapproval. Not to display weakness by muttering unconvincingly behind its hands."
Waiting for the UN to demonstrate any resolve in almost any situation is a very dangerous thing to do. Just ask the people of Rwanda or Darfur. People who object to a world with America as its chief policeman usually fail to offer serious alternatives. The UN - compromised by the human rights-abusing members of its Security Council - is a very inadequate alternative to a world where free democracies work together to address global challenges.