Nation: Birthday Without Candles

Concerts at the United Nations often include Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which ends with the choral affirmation of Schiller's Ode to Joy: "All mankind shall be brothers . . ." The U.N. was founded 25 years ago on that dream. Disillusionment over its failure to achieve this goal has become a permanent feeling, like a chronic toothache.

Sometimes the disenchantment appears by indirection. In the U.N. anniversary week, that reality was made evident by one of the oldest diplomatic devices—a protocol snub. On the final evening of the eleven-day anniversary observance, President Nixon is pinching the visiting U.N. heads of state for a...

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