The UN’s failures at building peace were prophesied since its earliest hours. Here’s advance news of the ‘peacekeeping’ power that will fill its shoes.
Herbert Armstrong, termed by many as an “unofficial ambassador for world peace,” attended the inaugural session for the United Nations in San Francisco in late April 1945. “Already I see the clouds of World War iii gathering at this conference,” he wrote the evening after the first session. “I do not see peace being germinated here, but the seeds of the next war! … [T]he United Nations conference was producing nothing but strife and bickering, and was destined from its inception to end in total failure. Yet world leaders were pronouncing it the world’s last hope—with the only alternative annihilation of humanity!”
Some 25 years later, he followed up: “World War ii was the ‘war to end all wars.’ The United Nations was the world ‘peace effort’ to prevent further wars. What are the results after a quarter century? There have been more than 50 wars. The UN has contributed to the shortening of four wars—BUT—there is no evidence to show that the United Nations has prevented any war!” (Plain Truth, August-September 1970).
In the January 1977 Plain Truth, Mr. Armstrong affirmed his original prediction: “The United Nations won’t be able to bring peace. The aggressor nations—and we are so gullible we never recognize them until after they plunge the world into another war—will go right on with their scheming and diabolical planning for world rule.”
Mr. Armstrong knew that the United Nations would not—could not—bring peace to this world. How did he know? By deeply studying God’s Holy Bible, which reveals the nature of man. “And the way of peace have they not known” (Romans 3:17). He saw, by prayerfully studying the Bible, that peace would never come on Earth by mankind; it could only be possible byJesus Christ, upon His return with His world-ruling government to usher in utopian peace and harmony (Revelation 20:4-6; Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-9).
So was Mr. Armstrong correct? Was he—as God’s messenger of specific prophecies concerning our time today—accurate in these predictions?
A Pyromaniac in the Fire Department
As time has gone by, the UN has descended from a failure to a farce. Sir Anthony Parsons, British ambassador to the UN from 1979 to 1982, declared it “a disastrous failure.” Jeane Kirkpatrick, American ambassador to the UN in the early 1980s, said it was “nothing more than a place for the nations to let off rhetorical steam.”
From its inception in 1945 until 2016 there have been no less than 300 wars and well over 3,000 other military conflicts—with just about as many people killed as died in World War ii itself! The UN has been involved in 71 peacekeeping missions during that time. In 2015 alone, it maintained 16 missions, and the number of conflicts worldwide was 54—resulting in over 12.4 million refugees! Is the UN succeeding in “keeping peace”? Or have God’s prophecies, as proclaimed by Mr. Armstrong, come to pass?
The 193-nation organization has been the center of growing cynicism, largely because of its corruption—but also because in most cases there are no real repercussions for a nation that violates its resolutions.
The UN appears to routinely give key positions to the most ludicrous candidates available. Back in April 2007, Iran was appointed vice chairman of the UN Disarmament Commission. This is the same defiant nation that repeatedly brags about its success in deceiving Western powers regarding disarmament of its nuclear weapons program. It is also the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism.
Also in 2007, Syria was appointed vice president of the Atomic Energy Agency, and Zimbabwe was elected chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development. That was just a few months before the zenith of Zimbabwe’s astonishing hyperinflation crisis. That crisis culminated in Zimbabwe printing a $100 trillion bank note. The bill said $100 trillion on it—that’s a one with 14 zeros—but within a few months of being printed, it was worth virtually nothing. Does that sound like the kind of country that should head up an international commission focused on making nations economically strong?
In 2013, Libya was made chair of Disarmament International Security, with Iran as its rapporteur. “Allowing Iran to be on the UN committee dealing with nuclear disarmament and weapons proliferation is like inviting Assad, the Syrian dictator responsible for the death of 100,000 of his own people, to be the head of the population census bureau,” Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, said of the shameful move.
2013 also saw China, Russia and Saudi Arabia appointed to the UN’s Human Rights Council. These selections unleashed a firestorm of criticism by analysts who decry these nations’ atrocious human rights records at home. “It was like electing a pyromaniac as chief of the fire department,” one critic of Russia’s appointment said.
In April 2014, in a particularly laughable selection, Iran was given a seat on the women’s rights commission. This means the nation that routinely lashes women for revealing an ankle and stones them for being raped now has influence over global women’s rights.
The list of ridiculous UN appoint-ments and elections could go on.
Failures, Prejudice and Scandals
The UN’s impotence was further evidenced by the Geneva deal it brokered with Iran in November 2013. In this deal, UN powers agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for promises from the Iranians to roll back key parts of their nuclear program. A few weeks later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani boasted on Twitter: “In Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.” The brash statement was factually correct. Alongside other brazen statements from Tehran, it showed that Iran never had the slightest intent to uphold its end of the UN-brokered Geneva deal.
The UN has become a platform for spewing anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric. Human rights activists such as Elie Wiesel, Bayard Rustin and Anne Bayefsky have pointed out that the organization has long been a bastion of rank anti-Semitism. One example was the 1975 passage of UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with racism. Another came in 2009 when then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his speech to the General Assembly to longwindedly rail against Israel and the U.S. The UN simply is being used to marginalize the influence of Israel and the U.S. on the global stage.
Then there are the scandals. The UN’s corruption was most evident in a con job involving the oil-for-food program that saw billions of dollars siphoned off by the highest levels of the organization. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein pocketed between $10 billion and $40 billion under the cover of the program. Some have called it the biggest scam job in human history.
Then there was the Congo sex scandal, first uncovered in early 2004, which continued for over a year even after UN officials knew of allegations that their peacekeepers had raped children as young as 12 and committed numerous other sex crimes. There were over 150 accusations of rape, child abuse, solicitation and other sexual crimes—70 in the town of Bunia alone.
In 2007, news emerged that millions of dollars earmarked for UN development projects in North Korea had instead been pilfered by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il.
Many UN peacekeeping missions have been worse than useless. Not only have they utterly failed to prevent several instances of genocide and oppression, but at times have made matters worse. In 2000, for example, UN forces actually cooperated with Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border in the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers.
A Cloak of Peace for Aggressors
For decades after World War ii, a rigid taboo prevented Germany and Japan from deploying troops overseas. Those two powers were the primary aggressors of that devastating war, and the nations of the world didn’t want to see soldiers dispatched from Berlin and Tokyo gallivanting around on their turf. But UN peacekeeping missions gave both countries a path around that rigid taboo.
Germany’s first deployment since World War ii was part of a UN-mandated mission to Somalia in 1993. Japan’s first postwar military deployment was to Cambodia in 1992—under the banner of the United Nations. Once the UN helped Berlin and Tokyo smash these taboos, it became significantly easier for both to dispatch soldiers around the globe. Since then, both nations have turned their militaries loose outside of UN missions.
The German Army, in particular, has benefited from wearing this precious UN cloak. Thanks largely to its participation in peacekeeping missions, the Bundeswehr today is among the most technologically advanced, best-equipped militaries on the planet. Its troops are now dotted throughout Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia on UN and nato missions. In 2006, the German Navy made its first official foray into Middle Eastern waters since World War ii as Germany took command of the maritime component of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, allowing it to park its ships right off Israel’s coast.
Since that first mission back in 1992, the Japan Self-Defense Force has sent its troops to Mozambique, Iraq, Indonesia, Nepal, Israel, Somalia, Haiti and Djibouti. Then in May 2013—in part because of Tokyo’s success in these missions—Japan’s ruling party approved the draft of the full-scale rearmament of the country.
Under the banner of promoting peace, the UN is allowing nations with histories of unbridled brutality to deploy their militaries around the world. Time will prove this to be a tragic mistake.
The UN was billed as man’s last hope for peace. But now it is clear that, just as Mr. Armstrong wrote in his 1966 booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, “Man has failed his last chance!” Rather than preventing World War iii, the UN has posted German troops right on the doorstep of Israel. As noted elsewhere in this booklet, it is the German invasion of the Middle East that will mark the beginning of World War iii. Instead of preventing catastrophe, the UN is helping bring it about.
As Romans 3:17 says, mankind really does not know the way to peace. Does that mean all hope is lost? No! “Now God must step in—or we perish!” Mr. Armstrong wrote. That is mankind’s real hope for peace.
The UN’s failed efforts to bring peace to the world will soon be replaced by wonderfully successful efforts spearheaded by Jesus Christ—the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6). He will rule the entire Earth, uniting all nations in His way of prosperity!
That is man’s only hope for peace. That is prophesied clearly in the Bible. Mr. Armstrong restated it for many to hear. The Trumpet prophesies the same message today so that even more can hear it. And in a very short time, that prophecy will mercifully come to pass!