Newly appointed Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has been a harsh critic of the international body and has accused it of lacking a spine when it comes to action. This is a valid criticism as even some liberal bloggers will admit (that doesn't make Bolton the right choice for the job, but that's another matter). Yet I seem to remember a time when both paranoid Americans and Science Fiction authors prophesized a day when the UN would take over the world. Was this scenario ever possible or probable? Probably not, but it makes for a good story.
Imagine this little sci-fi concept: The United Nations, with the backing of those nations that routinely condemn U.S. foreign policy, dispatches troops in order to replace our current government. They put the president and his cabinet on trial for war crimes as well as other infractions of international law. They make sweeping changes including the outlawing of firearms and capital punishment while making abortions and gay marriage legal. Most of all, they make a permanent separation of Church and State, excising all references to God and Christianity in our government.
A large portion of the population begin digging into forests, farms and anywhere else they can hide out and defend. They tell their family, their friends and themselves that they were right all along about the UN and how it was a great evil in the world that would someday come into their sovereign nation and try to destroy their way of life. They make plans, great plans, on targeting blue helmets through their gun sights for the rest of their lives, and they will be pleased to do it.
The UN publicly acknowledges that there will be resistance and they are determined to put an end to it. They will say that the ones who resist must immediately put aside their old narrow minded ways and embrace the progressive thinking that is the future of our planet. Those that do not will eventually be tracked down and taken care of. This is exciting stuff.
It also happens to be ludicrous. On a most basic level, the United Nations does not have enough troops to occupy a country as big as ours. They could never suppress the massive resistance that would form from such an invasion, despite the support the UN might receive in some areas. The people who would oppose their new laws would fight until their last dying breath. Even if the UN did grow a pair, they would know that such an action would be doomed to fail. Not because of the validity of their reforms, mind you, but because it would be the wrong method to effect permanent change. All it would bring is carnage.
Still, it makes for great fiction.