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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Heroes of Turtle Bay
New York Sun Staff Editorial
November 26, 2004

The New York State Legislature has come in for quite a lot of brickbats lately, most of them deserved. But no one can accuse them of equating Zionism with racism, nor making excuses for bloody tyrants, nor looking the other way during genocide. Or, for that matter, taking bribes from Saddam Hussein. This is why it warms our hearts to see those battered Albany pols questioning the continued utility of the welcome mat that New York has extended this past half-century to the United Nations.

This has come to a head as the world body seeks to rebuild and expand its headquarters in Manhattan. The scheme is, when one contemplates the U.N.'s behavior in recent decades, breathtaking. With its 52-year-old headquarters crumbling about its ears - a metaphor for its decayed internationalist idealism - the world body proposes to build a 35-story annex where Secretary-General Annan and his minions could huddle during renovations. Once they move back, the new building would harbor other U.N. employees presently scattered in rented offices around the city.

It is being argued by partisans of the United Nations Development Corporation that, at the end of this cycle of building and rebuilding, the opportunity will be at hand to sell off the three UNDC-owned office buildings at U.N. Plaza, at a profit to the city of hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars. The scale of this windfall, however, is by no means guaranteed, dependent as it is on the vagaries of the market for office space and interest rates. We would have preferred it if Mayor Bloomberg had privatized the buildings two years ago, rather than canceling a sale negotiated by Mayor Giuliani.

The new construction being proposed will only further immerse the UNDC - and, by extension, the taxpayers of New York - in the business of being a landlord to the world body that has become little more than an anti-Israel conspiracy. Supporters reckoned that, having already begged a $1.2 billion loan out of Washington, they could count on Albany for quick, quiet approval of a plan to extend the UNDC domain beyond its present boundaries. But state lawmakers - Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn most prominently - recognized that this would be just the right time to rethink this city's relationship with the blue helmets.

"We have a U.N. here that has a tendency to just ignore us, insult us, be a bad neighbor, and not do what it should do," Mr. Golden told our Wm. Hammond. "This guy Kofi Annan could have stood with us [in Iraq], decided not to. He oversaw $21 billion being robbed from oil-for-food." Suddenly people are thinking realistically about what would be the implications if the United Nations were forced out or just decamped for, say, France. And they are discovering that the implications would not be all that bad - indeed, could be quite positive.

"If they left tomorrow morning we'd fill that within a year," Mr. Golden says. "Some corporation would come in or some housing would be developed. The reason we're the capital of the world is not because the U.N. is here. We're the capital of the world because we're the finance capital of the world. Everybody comes here because of the greatness of the city, not because of the U.N." Mr. Golden's remarks were seconded yesterday by another Brooklynite, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who cited the U.N.'s track record of hostility toward Israel.

Even some politicians prepared to support the project, such as Assemblyman Steven Sanders of Manhattan, confess to mixed feelings about its tenant. "Do I always agree with their positions on issues? Most definitely not," Mr. Sanders said. "It's my constituents who see their parking spots gobbled up by diplomatic license plates. It's my district that has streets close down sometimes when heads of state visit or when demonstrations occur." Mr. Sanders makes the case, however, that the U.N. headquarters, if it is to remain in New York, ought to be as structurally sound and secure against terrorist attacks as possible - for the good of the surrounding public as well as its inhabitants.

The head of the state's UNDC, Roy Goodman, the former senator, notes that the U.N. is worth $2.5 billion a year to the city's economy - not counting the construction jobs that go with the proposed expansion. These are tempting arguments, but it is an analysis that is typically static. Mr. Goodman ignores the prospect that private enterprise making use of the same land on market terms could do more for the city than the United Nations. It's hard to see how it could do worse. So the legislators in Albany have a chance to go down in history as the heroes of the Battle of Turtle Bay.
 

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Custer, I must say that you are some piece of work. I enjoy reading your post and would like to meet you some day.
 

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They have the petition at every gun show that I attend.
 

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What do we get from being in the UN? We get abuse. We receive the enmity of the world. We receive unwarranted attacks from totalitarian nations and American leftists. We are called greedy and callous. We are told we are warmongers who abuse our power.

I say fine. Let's resign from the UN and see how long it exists. Let's keep our dough, spend it on chicks, booze and Camaros. Most of all, lets offer those Americans who so hate this country free tickets to the Third World wasteland of their choosing.

EDIT: I stole these words from somebody else, but I like them.
 

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Hahahahaha! Let the UN meet in Baghdad ... ooh, I forget, it's too dangerous! I guess Pakistan and Aghanistan are out? Wait, maybe, Germany, or France? Why not share office space with the European Union? As at least one New Yorker would say, "Good bye ya bums!"

... and good riddance!
 
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