Helms vs. Albright at the United Nations

By Charles Bloomer
web posted January 31, 2000

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wasted no time denouncing Senator Jesse Helms' address to the UN. Using an opportunity to meet with the UN Security Council, Secretary Albright sought to smooth ruffled feathers among her former colleagues. "Let me be clear," she said. "Only the president and the executive branch can speak for the United States."

Why the big rush to denounce Senator Helms? What did the Senator say that Secretary Albright objected to? Could it be that Senator Helms, in his normal manner, spoke the truth? Could it be that Senator Helms, who himself admitted that he was not "fully conversant with the elegant and rarefied language of the diplomatic trade," may have unintentionally offended an organization whose members include totalitarian dictatorships?

In fact, Senator Helms did say some things that may have offended the delicate sensibilities at the United Nations. Senator Helms did something the no one else has done recently – he said what he meant and meant what he said. The good Senator merely spoke the truth. And he said things that the overpaid bureaucrats didn't want to hear. He was, in fact, "a bit more blunt" .

Senator Helms pointed out that he and the American people resent having the United States called a "deadbeat," when we spent over $10 Billion in dues and direct support to the UN in 1999. He pointed out that the majority of the UN General Assembly routinely vote against the US. Senator Helms spoke of American resentment toward the International Criminal Court and the propagation of other lies and distortions by UN supporters.

In Senator Helms view, the American people will support the UN if it restricts its activities to the "core tasks" for which it was designed, and if it undertakes common-sense reforms. American will not support a wasteful, arrogant UN that does not respect United States sovereignty. The United States does not need to "ask for, or receive, the approval of the United Nation to ‘legitimize' its actions." By ratifying the UN Charter, "we did not cede one syllable of American sovereignty to the United Nations." Americans will not accept a United Nations that claims to be the "sole source of legitimacy on the use of force."

The rapid denunciation of Senator Helms is an attempt by the administration designed to do two things.

First, it is designed to discredit Senator Helms. Telling the Security Council that the interests of the United States can only be expressed by the president or executive branch dismisses the role of the legislative branch in the formation and execution of foreign policy. Impressions of an Imperial Presidency come to mind, where the 535 members of Congress are merely minor players who meekly acquiesce to the whims of the executive branch. The implied message is that Senator Helms is just one of these 535 minor participants, and the Security Council should not put too much weight on his opinion.

The rush to placate the globalists at the United Nations indicates a lack of respect, even contempt, for Senator Helms and his role in foreign policy. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Helms plays a key role in monitoring treaty obligations and the costs of those treaties to the American people. Attempting to dismiss Senator Helms' role ignores the advice and consent authority granted to the Senate in the U.S. Constitution.

Second, the Secretary wanted to reassure the globalist elite that she and the administration still support the movement toward a more powerful United Nations "aspiring to establish itself as the central authority of a new international order of global laws and global governance," as Senator Helms put it. The "New World Order" advocates do not want to hear about the primacy of the United States Constitution, or that treaty obligations can be undone by Congress. The Secretary wanted to assuage any fears among the spendthrift UN bureaucrats that the American cash cow – charged with paying 25 per cent of the UN budget – might withdraw.

The actions of the Secretary of State show just how out of touch the current administration is with the American people. Secretary Albright places a great deal of weight on public opinion polls, commissioned by UN supporters, to tell her what the American public feels about the United Nations. Senator Helms does not use polls to determine where he should stand on an issue. He uses his instinct, and is guided by the "thousands of letters" he receives from real people. The American public supports the UN in principle, but will not countenance infringements on American rights and sovereignty.

Secretary Albright may be technically correct that the president speaks for the United States. In the day-to-day execution of foreign policy, Americans expect the president and his appointees to represent the interests of the United States. But we expect the president and the executive branch to tenaciously defend our democratic principles and our sovereignty. When the president and his representatives fail to adequately defend our principles, we will look to others to make our voices heard.

Senator Helms summarized his position beautifully. "There is only one source of legitimacy of the American government's policies – and that is the consent of the American People."

"We the People" can support Senator Helms' position and remain free, or we can let the administration sell us into slavery to an unaccountable, undemocratic globalist elite.

© 2000 Charles Bloomer. Mr. Bloomer can be reached at chuck.bloomer@comcast.net

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