YOU would think we had the plague, the way our allies and many recipients of US foreign assistance gravitate away from the United States when it comes time to vote in the United Nations.
Time and again the insulting doors at the UN are slammed in our face. UN reaction to our actions in Grenada and to the Soviets' downing of KAL Flight 7 were fine examples of this last year.
Legislation I introduced in 1983 has forced the US State Department, for the first time, to keep track of UN voting practices and report them to the Congress. With the first report in, it is clear that the US must pay greater attention to the voting behavior of member nations.
* First, it is imperative that we take increased steps to expose the double standards in behavior that cut across much of what the UN does.
* In addition, we need to scrutinize the requests for foreign aid for nations that consistently oppose our foreign policy positions at the UN.
Member nations of the UN judge the totalitarian Soviet bloc and their sister states with kid gloves, yet are ready and eager to condemn the US and other democracies such as Israel.
Let me illustrate this hypocritical double standard through a comparison of UN votes on Afghanistan and Grenada.
The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to the present has resulted in UN General Assembly resolutions each year simply calling ''for the immediate withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan.''
The bland resolutions have named no names and represent the ultimate degree of ''minimalism'' to which multilateral diplomacy can descend. The impact of the resolutions has been minimal. Soviet aggressors are still in Afghanistan and there is no end of the agony in sight.
But the UN General Assembly rushed to action after the US completed its rescue operation in Grenada. A stinging resolution was put forward and passed after a gag rule was invoked that prevented the US or Grenada from even stating its case.
The US had gone into Grenada only after our help had been requested; we had been welcomed by those on the island and, after the rescue operation was completed, our troops were promptly pulled out. What a contrast to what the Soviets did in Afghanistan.
Demonstrating total hypocrisy, 39 countries that condemned our action in Grenada refused to support even a bland wrist-slap with regard to the atrocious Soviet devastation of a free and independent Afghanistan. Such presumed friends of the US as Cyprus, Finland, India, the Seychelles, Uganda, and North Yemen were in the group. A third of the 39 were eager beneficiaries last year of US foreign assistance or other preferential treatment from this country.
Double standard is too mild a characterization of this perverse behavior.
It is increasingly important for this country to inquire why we are passing out billions of dollars each year to nations that seldom seem to share our foreign policy goals, evidenced by their conduct in the UN.
Clearly, something is wrong when a nation we are assisting to the extent we are helping El Salvador can only see its way clear to vote with us on three occasions in 10. Egypt, which receives more than $2 billion a year in foreign assistance from the US, votes against us in the UN 75 percent of the time.
On the key votes in the UN last year, some telling stories were told. One of the most disappointing came in September, when the US pushed hard in the Security Council to bring the Soviets to task for the wanton, atrocious act they committed in shooting down the unarmed KAL 7 aircraft, where 269 innocent lives were lost. Guyana and Zimbabwe - key swing votes in the Security Council, and US foreign assistance recipients - refused to support our position.
Again and again at the UN, our report on voting practices shows most of our so-called friends are hard to find when we need them.
The results of that voting behavior could have a dramatic impact on future US trade policy and foreign assistance programs.