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Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos Paperback – October 25, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140005494X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400054947
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Far from fulfilling its founding mandate to stop aggression and protect human rights, the U.N. "makes matters worse," argues Gold (Hatred’s Kingdom), Israel’s U.N. ambassador from 1997 to 1999. In this vigorous if one-sided polemic, Gold contends that the U.N. has proved unable to forestall or resolve international conflicts: its peacekeeping forces allowed genocide to proceed in Rwanda and Bosnia; it has failed to curb terrorism and nuclear proliferation; and it has allowed the General Assembly to become a forum for the anti-Western demagoguery of authoritarian regimes. The U.N.’s rigid stance of "impartiality" leads it to accord "moral equivalence" to every party, no matter how stark the contrast between aggressors and victims—a lack of "moral clarity" that Gold finds particularly galling when the U.N. has criticized or obstructed Israel or the U.S. Gold covers many of the salient international crises, from the U.N.’s founding to the current war in Iraq, paying special attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict. His indictment is sometimes telling and sometimes tendentious. His criticism of the U.N. inspection programs and sanctions against Iraq, for example, obscures the fact that they succeeded in disarming Saddam. And his assumption that moral clarity alone should be sufficient to unite the world’s democracies behind American leadership will strike some as willfully naïve. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Bound to be one of the most controversial critiques in the public debate on the UN.” —Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State

“An exceptionally valuable and timely book . . . Shocking . . . Gold brings us face to face with the reality that, even with the passing of the Soviet Union, the UN’s moral failings have not much diminished.” —Commentary

“Most conservatives, of course, realize by now that abolishing, or withdrawing from, the United Nations is never going to happen. Instead, they’re seeking to bring it to heel. The strategy is outlined by former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold in his book Tower of Babble.” —Los Angeles Times

“Dore Gold’s excellent book Tower of Babble documents the UN’s shortcomings.” —New York Sun

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Customer Reviews

It does not distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil or victim and aggressor.
Pieter Uys
The sooner people realize that the fight against evil in the world will never end, the safer countries like America will be.
Albert Lee
I nonetheless would highly recommend it as providing a real understanding of this organization's role in the world.
Shalom Freedman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By N. Tsafos on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"The UN is protected by a very high wall of political correctness," writes Dore Gold, "that makes criticism of it tantamount to an attack on all of mankind. But it is high time to recognize that it has utterly failed to achieve its founders' goals: to halt aggression and assure world order." This is the conclusion that Mr. Gold, author of "Hatred's Kingdom" and Israeli Ambassador the UN from 1997 to 1999, reaches after examining the UN's record.

Mr. Gold's grand narrative of failure begins in the beginning and ends in the end. His indictment of the United Nations comes even before the Cold War supposedly paralyzed it (the initial tests, writes Mr. Gold, were the first Arab-Israeli War and the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir) and lasts until the UN's failure to deal with Saddam Hussein, terrorism and WMD. In between are failures to deal with aggression, either across states or within them.

What is refreshing is that Mr. Gold has refrained from simply barraging the UN with its failures. Rather, he has identified certain trends that explain why the UN fails either when expressing the collective will of its members or when acting with its own mind. For Mr. Gold, the primary failure of the UN is its lost moral clarity; the UN founding fathers set up a system where evil existed and ought to be resisted. From the beginning, however, this clarity subsided-there are no aggressors and victims for the UN, writes Mr. Gold, just "warring parties"; and there is no cause and effect, just a "cycles of violence." This happens to avoid compromising the UN's most cherished ideal: impartiality. Even if it means standing idle to aggression, standing by evil.
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104 of 121 people found the following review helpful By David Honaker on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The "Tower of Babbel" delineates the history of the United Nations from its inception to present day (latter half of 2004).

The Author, Mr. Dore Gold, served as an ambassador to the United Nations (UN) representing the State of Israel from 1997 through 1999. This professional association has allowed Mr. Gold to be an eyewitness to the flaws and failures of the UN, which are at once eroding and challenging the original concept of human dignity and freedom from oppression, upon which the UN was founded.

From the ashes of the League of Nations which failed to maintain peace and deter tyrants, as evidenced with the horrors of the Nazi regime; the ennobling concept of the UN was envisioned.

Established at the conclusion of World War II, the mandate of the UN was to prevent despotism, maintain individual human rights, and strive for universal peace.

The "four policemen" of the world: the USA, China, Russia, and Great Britain, were to be the backbone of the UN. In time, as other nations were admitted, the erosion of moral clarity in the UN became prevalent.

The "Tower of Babbel" demonstrates through historical record how the UN repeatedly failed to liberate the oppressed. As despotic regimes were admitted, the emphasis on the rights of the individual over the state subtly shifted to the rights of the state over the individual.

An organization created to prevent oppression devolved into a defender of oppressive groups and countries, almost from its infancy. The first two major tests of the moral authority of the UN proved abject failures when the UN refused to do anything to prevent the outbreak of the first Arab-Israeli war, as well as a conflict between India and Pakistan around the same time.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
On one particular issue I for many years knew of the negative role of the U.N. that is in its one-sided anti- Israel bias- and its use of UNRWA to exacerbate the Palestinian Arab refugee problem instead of working to reasonably solve it. But this book provides a deep and thorough understanding of how the U.N. which was founded at a moment of international ' moral clarity' has degenerated into a major source of conflict and problem on the world- scene. Gold writes of how the Allies after the Second World War thought to found an organization which would help promote world- peace. Originally the only members allowed to join were those who had contributed to the war- effort against Nazi Germany and Japan. Churchill even wanted the organization to be called ' The Allied Nations' but the name United Nations was chosen. The organization almost from the outset failed in its peace- keeping tasks both in the Arab states invasion of Israel and the India- Pakistan War. Gold shows how this pattern of failure has persisted . And even more troublingly he shows how the U.N. has contributed to mass murder, including that of eight-hundred thousand Tutsis in Ruanda, and in the enclave of Sbrenica. UN peacekeepers insisted on their 'neutrality' and in fact sided with aggressors in these instances.

Aside from the case studies Gold outlines the fundamental moral and ideological failings of the organization. He shows how it tends to side with aggressors, with anti- democratic regimes, with totalitarian tyrannies. He shows how the US has repeatedly been forced to bypass the UN in order to forward its own efforts at democracy. The exception to this was the first Gulf War when President Bush did forge a UN backed coalition against Saddam.
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