Monday, October 26, 2009

October 24, 2009

     On this day in 1945, the New York Times reminds us, the United Nations charter took effect.  Mankind did something right.      That was 64 years ago, and we haven't had World War III yet.  We had an international organization, the League of Nations, between Wars I and II, but the United States didn't join, and the League didn't work.  Only twenty years, one generation, separated Wars I and II - not 65.      Sometimes the U.N. itself has intervened.  I remember being sent to Congo in the 1960s when a province then named Katanga tried to secede.  The U.N. intervened--Indian Army troops on the ground, Swedish helicopter pilots, and so on.  The secession failed.      More often, of course, the U.N. simply gave us Cold Warriors, and the rest of the world, a place to talk.  "Jaw jaw," Winston Churchill once said, "is better than war war."  We and the Soviets jawed a lot.  And we had some awful wars too, of course. 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam.  But we've avoided the big one.      In a nuclear age, I remember some wise man saying years ago, mankind has, for the first time, the ability to destroy God's created order.  But we haven't done it. Dumb luck, sure, but the U.N. probably deserves some credit too.    
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