Interesting quote from a U.N. official over the weekend:

Only really the UN can do that job. It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.

To what “moral authority” does this official refer? Letting grisly violence rage in the Congo and the Sudan? Allowing money meant to feed Iraqi children go to Saddam Hussein’s palaces? Giving Syria and other despotic regimes a seat on the human rights commission?

The United Nations holds “moral authority” only if one imagines what it could be, not what it is.