This schizophrenic book, based on papers from a conference sponsored by the libertarian CATO Institute, oscillates between tepid defenses of the United Nations by its supporters like Gareth Porter and Roy D. Morey, to the unremitting hostility of the majority of the participants. This combination does not prevent many of the critiques, like that of Nicholas Eberstadt on U.N. development assistance, from being incisive. Doug Bandow attacks the United Nations as a "snare" that involves the United States in unnecessary conflicts like Somalia. He overlooks the fact that it was the Bush administration that unilaterally decided to intervene in Somalia, later using the United Nations as a means of covering its withdrawal. The real problem for him, as for many of the isolationists at CATO, is not the United Nations but U.S. involvement in world politics.
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