…in a 1984 book called Loyalties, Patrick Moynihan wrote:
It seems so long ago, so remote, indeed, as to make it scarcely possible to invoke those days as an experience that makes any claim on our present behavior. Yet it is the case that, at first, we took our obligations under the [United Nations] Charter with profound seriousness — and expected others to do so as well.In the interest of bipartisanship, always an important consideration with me, I should say that the Carter administration was not part of the good old days described by Moynihan. I remember Jody Powell, discussing some issue or other that had just been handed off the UN, saying, “That’s just where it belongs. They’ll smother it in babyshit.”
In 1946, when the United States alone possessed the atomic bomb, we offered to turn it over to the United Nations for the purpose of maintaining world peace, which is to say, to use the powers of government to obtain compliance with law. This was the famous “Baruch Plan.”
And when, in 1950, North Korea invaded its neighbor to the south, the United Nations directed that the aggression be repulsed, and under United Nations banners this was done by an armed force made up of contingents from fourteen countries.