Why the World Cup Kicks the U.N.'s...

By:  Rachel Marsden


Two major international events are currently underway -- the World Cup soccer tournament and the inaugural session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

People around the world appear to be far more enthralled with a soccer tournament than they are with the UN's latest excuse for a powwow.

In keeping with that spirit, here are some reasons why the World Cup is better than the UN:

* The UN's World Health Organization is constantly nagging us about the dangers of junk food. But when anti-cheeseburger cranks leverage the World Cup to publish articles in medical journals, telling us that World Cup sponsorship by McDonald's, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola is bad for our health, we can write them off. No sane person can tune in while English team captain David Beckham is playing, rivet their attention to the ads lining the field, and think, "I wonder how many calories are in my beer?" Get a life.

* At the World Cup, a player who doesn't follow the rules gets ejected from the match after two yellow cards.

The UN has its own version of yellow cards. They're called "resolutions." Third-world dictators collect them like trading cards. Saddam Hussein was allowed to rack up 17 of them before being taken out of the game.

* Unlike with the UN, there's incentive to excel in the World Cup. Mediocrity is rewarded with a trip home. And players from humble, working-class backgrounds like England's Beckham and Rooney, and Brazil's Ronaldinho, have been driven to succeed rather than wallow in victimhood.

Even Iran doesn't dare pull the same kind of stunts at the World Cup that it does with the UN.

Iran's envoy to the Human Rights Council meeting is the prosecutor whom Canada holds responsible for the arrest and subsequent death of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi. Meanwhile, although Holocaust-denying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had initially considered going to Germany for the World Cup, he wisely reconsidered (perhaps realizing Holocaust denial can get you arrested there).

* While the UN promotes a pie-in-the-sky, "one world" ideal, the World Cup operates successfully on the far more realistic principles of patriotism and balkanization -- even recognizing the English St. George flag over that of the United Kingdom.

If the UN ran the World Cup, all players would be thrown onto a single team with identical jerseys, and they'd let the worst players score all the goals.

* At the World Cup, the riots always seem to involve England's supporters, while UN events draw various leftist hooligans. English fans can actually fight, and aren't going to whine and run to court over a little pepper spray in the face.

Protesters at the UN-sponsored World Urban Forum in Vancouver recently had their leftist t-shirts confiscated. That's not likely to happen at the World Cup.

Judging by media coverage, rowdy soccer fans seem to opt for body art over clothing, forgoing all this messing around with t-shirts when the authorities arrive. Take note, lefties. How about considering a full-frontal Che Guevara tattoo?

* At the World Cup, the U.S. can leave the party early and choose to focus on baseball and basketball, if they'd rather--and not worry about getting stuck with the bill. At the UN, well, the U.S. is stuck with the bill.

* Finally, on Christmas Day, 1914, during World War I, British and German soldiers reportedly got together and had a friendly game of soccer during a brief, informal truce. If only the UN had that kind of an effect.

Here's a start: Beckham for UN Secretary General!