It may be time to start channeling Noah and begin building an ark. The world is a huge mess, and it's getting worse every day. Iran is on track to develop nuclear weapons, but global warming may incinerate us first. The Israeli-Palestinian hate fest rolls on, and Afghanistan is falling apart. Drug criminals have overrun Mexico, and Third World poverty is as horrific as ever. I think things are OK in Finland.
This week President Obama implored the United Nations to do something, anything, to combat terrorism and global warming. The president was blunt: "Consider the course that we are on if we fail to confront the status quo: extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world; protracted conflicts that grind on and on; genocide and mass atrocities; more and more nations with nuclear weapons; melting ice caps and ravaged populations; persistent poverty and pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our action."
The response from France was to indicate it would no longer support tough sanctions against Iran.
So what we have here, with apologies to Cool Hand Luke, is a failure to communicate. But is that Obama's fault? He laid it out there clearly: The nations of the world must unite against evil and begin problem solving.
The response from China is that it will "look into" its massive pollution problem.
The hard truth is that the USA can't force nations to do the right thing. We can't force the Afghans to fight for their country against the brutal Taliban. We can't force India to adopt cleaner energy policies. We can't even persuade Russia to cooperate against Iranian nuclear ambitions.
It must be tough for Obama to sleep at night knowing the world is such a malevolent place.
The Bush administration basically did what it wanted to do without world approval. That made President Bush deeply unpopular, but it also caused bad people to fear him. The signature achievement of the Bush years was a ruthless campaign against terrorists. And it worked. Al-Qaida was decimated, and no further foreign terror reached American soil.
Now we have a kinder, gentler president who is desperately trying to build world cooperation to solve problems. But President Obama is getting hammered. Europe doesn't help much in Afghanistan, China and Russia actually help Iran, and North Korea can pretty much do crazy things all day long. It's enough to give Uncle Sam a facial tic.
There is big trouble brewing overseas. How much wood does it take to construct that ark?
• Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor."