U.N. under new attack --- from Leatherman tool!

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,United Nations

How far has the reputation of the United Nations fallen? Now even the makers of the indispensable Leatherman tool are taking a shot the world body in a TV ad.

"So what do you suppose has solved more of the world's problems," asks the ad airing on ESPN. "The United Nations or needlenose pliers? Leatherman, leave nothing undone."

It's one of a series of the Oregon company's humorous ads that make the point that sometimes fixing even the most complex problems comes down to a Leatherman tool.

Their simple-is-sometimes-best theme jumps out in another ad featuring the Pentagon's biggest weapons. "With all due respect to stealth bomber, super-carriers and the M1 tank, sometimes all a soldier really needs is a screwdriver," it cheers.

Juli Warner, Leatherman's marketing and communications manager, said the ads first cut late last year and on TV this month are meant to show that success sometimes comes down to a simple task with their popular tool. "The idea [of the ads] is that there could be a lot of big stuff out there, but you could be just an everyday hero with our tool doing very basic stuff," she told Secrets.

For proof, she directed us to the Leatherman website where there are hundreds of "Tool Tales," some from the war zone in Afghanistan. "We do get phone calls and letters of some very serious situations where users were very truly heroes. I have a tool on my desk right now that has a bullet mark on it from Afghanistan. But most of the stuff that people do is just everyday-- tightening pipes, or screws, or cutting a piece of cardboard, but it is still an everyday hero kind of story," said Warner.