sacred cow, but rather as a troika composed of a white elephant, a Trojan horse, and a Judas goat."5 Thesupermarket tabloid
, while not exactly a consistently reliable heavyweight in the news and analysiscategory, expressed the sentiments of a large and growing segment of the American people with aNovember 3, 1981 article by Steve Dunleavy entitled, "Rip Down This Shocking Tower of Shame."In March of 1982, syndicated columnist Andrew Tully authored a piece headlined: "[Mayor] KochShould Chase UN Out of Town."6 Many similar articles and editorials could be cited, but perhaps one of the most surprising was the August 24, 1987 cover story by Charles Krauthammer for
, entitled "Let It Sink: The Overdue Demise of the United Nations."But the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev’s "new thinking" in the late 1980s coincided with the beginning of a remarkable rehabilitation in the public’s image of the UN. First Gorbachev, and then Boris Yeltsin,won plaudits for reversing the traditional Soviet (or Soviet surrogate) practice of using the UN as avenue for strident anti-American diatribes. Yassir Arafat and his PLO terrorists dropped their regulaanti-Israel philippics. And the UN’s "peacekeepers" won a Nobel Prize and worldwide praise for theiroles as mediators in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central America, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Then came Operation Desert Storm, the holy war against the aggression of Saddam Hussein. And
, the United Nations was once again the world’s "last best hope for peace." Suddenly UN"peacekeepers" began to appear almost everywhere — with more than 40,000 troops in the field inAfrica, Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Middle East7 — and every new day now brings newappeals for the world body’s intervention and "expertise."On United Nations Day 1990, a new Gallup Poll indicated that "American support for the UnitedNations ... is higher than it has been in over 20 years." According to the national polling organization,"Fifty-four percent of Americans now think the United Nations has done a good job of solving theproblems it has had to face...." The poll cited the "rapprochement between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.,and the dissolution of the Iron Curtain," as well as the developing Persian Gulf situation, as majofactors contributing to the enhancement of the UN’s image.8Gallup reported that "almost six out of ten Americans think that the U.N. has been effective in helpingdeal with the current [Iraq-Kuwait] crisis, with only 8% saying that the U.N. has not been at alleffective." Even more disturbing, if accurate, is the poll finding that 61 percent of those surveyedthought it a good idea to build up the United Nations emergency force to "a size great enough to dealwith ‘brush fire’ or small wars throughout the world."9 The euphoria following the Persian Gulf hostilities temporarily boosted George Bush’s approval ratingto an all-time high for any president. Rude economic realities and an accumulating number of politicalproblems then caused his star to plummet just as rapidly as it had risen. The UN’s gains, however,appear to have been more durable. As reported by Richard Morin ("U.N. Real Winner After Gulf War,"
Salt Lake Tribune
, January 24, 1992), a survey by the Americans Talk Issues Foundation "found thatapproval for the United Nations actually increased from 66 percent in June to 78 percent in Novembe, a period when other measures of war-induced euphoria were sinking fast." The
reported:[H]alf of those questioned — 51 percent — agreed that "the U.S. should abide by all WorldCourt decisions, even when they go against us, because this sets an example for all nationsto follow." That was up from 42 percent in May.