What exactly does the United Nations do? It started with good intentions to prevent mass devastation as occurred in WWII. When the organization was founded, German cities were in ruin, Japan had suffered the devastation of two atomic bombs, Russia was starving, nations were bankrupted, European Jews were decimated, and war-weary soldiers returned home with PTSD or shrapnel still lingering in their bodies.

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With WWII the globe entered an arena of potential future atomic warfare where, for the first time, human annihilation was possible. Maintaining world peace became a high priority, and a large multinational effort was called for. Every errant nation needed to understand that acts of endangerment of other nations, or of cultural groups within their own borders, would no longer be tolerated.

The United Nations has instead become an organization providing “nice” programs to help people. It is grossly ineffective when it comes to preventing warfare. Its member nations need to focus more effort as enforcers against those who are repeatedly threatening the world’s tottering boat. Ethnic groups are being erased, irresponsible dictators defy international laws, and greedy warmongers remove weapons from pacified areas to sell them to both sides of warring groups in another location. A growing unmonitored inventory of war weapons (tanks, guns, helicopters, jets, bombs, missile launchers, drones, and ammunition) are constantly being bought on a black market and moved around the world.

No amount of peacekeeping, rebuilding, food or medical supplies will prevent war, or heal the trauma war evokes. Only stopping weaponry and demagogues can prevent war. Harsher preventive actions are needed. Crimes against humanity must be punished. Despots must be eliminated. The United Nations needs to have more progressive and demanding discussions and actions. No purpose is served in financially supporting an organization that thinks good social services for needy people will appease complex rivalries and abate historic tensions.

Feeding survivors of attacks without freeing them of the fear of future attacks is futile. Providing prosthesis for victims of war when they have no safe place to live is wasted effort. Females taken as sex slaves must be found and freed, but if the practice is not stopped, if the men are not punished and incarcerated, the women will never be safe. Bringing food to places where food could be grown except for the fear of war is not solving a problem. And, relocating people simply serves to increase world tensions. War is the problem that keeps demanding infinite mop-up.

War’s continuation only serves to inculcate more hatred and suffering which will play out repeatedly in more wars, especially when there’s a profit to be made by someone.

Leading countries of the world must align and take a hard line to stop war and stop those who profit from war. If we can’t achieve worldwide peace, WWIII will stop all of us, forever.

KAREN COODY COOPER, LAKE WORTH