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Iraq: The World's Problem

Rooney: Why The U.S. Needs To Change Its Attitude Toward The U.N.

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.
You might not think so from listening to me, but I like to be liked. Not only that, I like my country to be liked around the world and it isn't.

I wish President Bush would try to make this country less hated. He could do it if he set his mind to it.

To begin with, we should change our attitude toward the United Nations. There has to be some power in the world superior to our own - for our own sake. Iraq isn't our problem. It's the world's problem.

When the president spoke at the United Nations, he came off as arrogant and it made all of us seem arrogant. We are a little arrogant, of course, and we ought to watch that.

The United States can't force its ideas on the whole world. We have great military power and a store of nuclear and biological weapons that would send us running to the U.N. for help if any other country had as many.

The trouble with our weapons is they don't work against one terrorist with a jar of anthrax or a religious nut with a truckload of dynamite. We're wasting our money on weapons we can't use.

It doesn't matter what I think, but I think like millions of Americans and they do matter. I was opposed to going into Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Things went well at first and I decided I was wrong and apologized.

Now I want to apologize again. I want to apologize for apologizing. We should not have attacked Iraq without the OK of the United Nations. It wasn't all President Bush's fault. U.N. delegates were infuriating - sitting on their hands.

It's an ineffective, namby-pamby organization. The French and the Germans were against attacking Iraq because they do a lot of business there.

The president made the mistake though of deciding to attack anyway and now we have to live with that mistake. We're living with it and too many of our guys are dying with it.

I hope we remain the strongest country in the world but it isn't a sure thing that we'll always be what we are today.

Look what's happened to Great Britain, France, and Germany. They aren't what they were. Things change in the world. It could happen to us - may be happening.

It happened to the great Greek and Roman civilizations. They didn't disappear because there was anything wrong with the ideals on which those civilizations were based. They disappeared because there got to be fewer and fewer Greeks and Romans who believed in those ideals, and they were taken over by people who didn't believe in them at all.

We've got some people who don't believe in our American ideals -- so watch out.

Written By Andy Rooney