The United Nations is impotent. That's the only diagnosis an objective person can arrive at if you look at the facts. Time and time again, the United Nations has been called upon to protect innocent people and has failed.
In Rwanda, in the Balkans, in Somalia, in Iraq and now in Lebanon, perhaps as many as a million people have died on the U.N.'s watch.
Let's take Lebanon. On July 29, 2004, the Security Council reiterated its strong support for the "territorial integrity" of that tiny country. To back up that support, the U.N. continued to fund a force of soldiers to make sure any misbehavior on the part of terrorists, Syria or Israel was kept to a minimum.
Less than two months later, the Security Council passed Resolution 1559, which called for, among other things, the disbanding and disarmament of all militias inside Lebanon. That means you, Hezbollah.
Well, the Hezbollah guys and Syria and Iran were all greatly amused by Resolution 1559, and soon thereafter, thousands more long-range missiles began finding their way into southern Lebanon, where some of them were placed in private homes and mosques.
The U.N. did nothing.
Then, three weeks ago, Hezbollah attacked, killing eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two others inside Israel. Obviously, this was an act of war to which Israel responded by bombing Hezbollah positions throughout Lebanon.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan then swung into action and called for an immediate cease-fire. Annan is really good at doing that. He is an expert at giving peace a chance while innocent people are being attacked. Would Kofi want a cease-fire if thousands of missiles were pointed at his house? I don't think so. Kofi might want those weapons destroyed. Maybe I'm wrong.
Anyway, there is no question that once again the United Nations was supposed to diffuse a bad situation - the chaos in Lebanon - but actually made things worse. There is not enough Viagra in the world to fix the U.N.'s impotency problem.
So now the world faces an onslaught on Islamic fascism with no credible international body to stand in its way. The left in the U.S. and Europe has no solution to the growing menace, and the right is on the defensive because of the bloody stalemate in Iraq.
In the meantime, the terrorists believe they are winning.
Put yourself in the sandals of an Iranian mullah who hates Jews and Americans. He sees that the world is not going to help Iraq form a democracy. He sees the United Nations failing in every attempt to impose order. He reads the New York Times and grins while its columnists savage any anti-terror measure the Bush administration comes up with. He sees Russia and China not willing to take action against Iran as it continues to pursue nuclear weapons. And, finally, he sees much of the world siding with Hezbollah against Israel.
This mullah is one happy guy, is he not?
So that's where we are right now in the war on terror. Just as in World War II, the bad guys have gotten off to a fast start. The good guys turned it around 60 years ago, but, today, the betting line in Tehran is that Kofi and the world body he represents will continue to be no problem.
Sounds like a safe bet to me.
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His column appears on Friday. His "Radio Factor" can be heard weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM.