Among the many idealistic human endeavors I have witnessed in my life, the United Nations is perhaps the most ambitious. It was a noble idea. To dreamers like U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (who tried to get America to join the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations), mankind would be able to live in peace if there were a benign central organization to guide and protect us.
The dream has not been realized, of course. The League of Nations collapsed and the United Nations has developed into a political theater with very little real authority. With Russia and China on one side and America and the West on the other, the UN’s Security Council is frequently gridlocked. But despite its inherent defects, the UN has managed to accomplish significant good in the world.
Peacekeeping forces, contributed by diverse countries around the globe, have risked their lives to protect the defenseless, avert genocide and keep local squabbles from exploding into regional or global conflicts. And the UN provides a meeting place where potentially inflammatory disagreements between superpowers can be discussed, possibly saving the world from disastrous military confrontations.
Yet many people in America view the UN not as a force for good but as a threat to their sovereignty and freedom.
I saw an ad on TV the other day warning that the UN was coming for Americans’ precious guns and urging viewers to join some kind of protest.
Crazy? Of course. But there’s a persistent conspiracy theory that includes black helicopters and underground prisons, a One World government and so on. I’ve come across it on the Internet and heard it mentioned on those wild-eyed talk shows so many Americans love.
Today, a Texas judge is in the news for trotting out the theory on TV. Judge Tom Head (at right in photo above) told Lubbock’s Fox 34 News that civil war is likely if President Obama is reelected. Head declared:
He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.
Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’. And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said ‘you gonna back me’ he said, ‘yeah, I’ll back you’. Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.
This is not some escapee from a mental health institution. This is a judge. He is Lubbock County’s emergency management director, and was supposedly making a rational case for a tax increase to hire more law enforcement officers. This guy really believes that President Obama is plotting to hand America over to some kind of international cabal that’s working through the UN.
I know we’re talking Texas here, but even so, how wild is that?
Not any wilder than the prevailing ideas among many members of Congress. President Obama’s administration is often at odds with these members, who oppose nearly everything involving the United Nations. For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently expressed exasperation after “black helicopter” conspiracy theorists blocked U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea treaty for the second time.
Where does this stuff come from? There must be some prolific rumor mill somewhere, spewing out nightmare scenarios… the same rumor mill that concocted the bizarre “birther” theory, perhaps? And the denial of pollution’s impact on climate change? And the “scientific” rebuttal of the theory of evolution? And the nonsense about a fertilized egg being a human being?
Somewhere, someone is working diligently to dumb down America. How’s that for a conspiracy theory we can believe in?