The United Nations - like NATO and other Cold War critters - is an organization in search of a purpose. The demise of the USSR constituted a tectonic shift in international affairs. The U.N.'s inability to accommodate its institutions to the supremacy of the United States, the demography of China, the decline of Britain and France and the economic clout of Germany and Japan are symptoms of denial and delusion that are detrimental to the future of this otherwise benign and useful establishment. The war in Iraq is merely a rude wake-up call. And about time, too.