So 100 nations came together this week at the UN and said that the referendum that led to Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula was illegal. Cool right?
And then? Did Ban Ki-Moon rise up and demand the removal of Russian troops from Crimea? Nope. Did he send in UN Peacekeepers to undo the Russian incursion? Nope.
Why? Because it is a non-binding resolution. In essence it is the international relations equivalent of "tsk tsk tsk." And even though I'm sure he is a nice guy, let's face it, Ban ki-Moon is the Elmer Fudd of international diplomacy.
And this is the problem with the United Nations. Its heart is in the right place, but it has no balls. It's too polite. It's like the guy who shows up at a knife fight with a butter knife.
Getting anything done quickly via the UN is impossible. In comparison, you could get windburn on a retreating glacier.
And speaking of climate change. (Oh yeah, I went shopping at Segue's 'R Us today.)
If you are waiting for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to resolve the global warming issue, I'd buy a hat and some sunscreen.
Every year these climate folks get together in fabulous places like Bangkok, Barcelona, Bonn and Rio de Janeiro and talk. That's it. It makes herding cats look like the birthday celebration of Kim Il-sung in North Korea.
But I don't blame the climate folks. Who in their right mind would NOT want to go to Rio and order room service at the Hilton. There is NO incentive to reach an agreement.
The UNFCC needs to take a lesson from the Bosnian War. You know how that ended? They took all the participants and stuck them on an air force base in Dayton, Ohio in November. And after 3 weeks, Slobodan Milošević, Franjo Tudman and Alija Izetbegović said, "We'll sign anything, just get us the F%#K out of here!!!"
Incentive. That's what's missing in international diplomacy today.
So how do we incentivize the Russians to behave? Effective immediately suspend every single financial transaction in and out of Russia. When oligarchs can't buy their mistresses the latest Louis Vuitton bag, Vladimir Putin will be the first to feel the heat. Because as the old saying goes... 'money talks and bullshit walks.'
Also, check out the animated international political satire series World in Colour.