.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Hammering the U.N.

From an editorial in The Washinton Post, and if I didn't know better, I'd say this was a satire. But, alas, 'tis not.
NOBODY SAYS that the United Nations is perfect. In fact, the organization's top bureaucrats are pressing for reform. But some demands for change are unproductive. The extreme bill sponsored in the House by Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) is a case in point.
You mean the U.N.'s top bureaucrats are pressing for reforms such as this?
  • Increasing Security Council seats from 15 to 25
  • 6 would be new permanent, and 4 non-permanent members
  • New members to forego veto for 15 years
  • Plan needs two-thirds approval at General Assembly
  • Security Council backing required
HeavyHanded says, "yup, you betchca for shoor, dat'll take care of da voes of da UN, ya". This is akin to increasing the size of school board because their students are falling behind in their academic scores.

As House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) said, "If you're going to reform something, reform it."

Hear. Hear.
This bill, which passed out of the House International Relations Committee on Wednesday, demands a long list of reforms at the United Nations. Some are reasonable. It's fine to call for a code of conduct for peacekeeping troops, who have sometimes abused the civilians they were supposedly protecting; the United Nations already has a code, but it needs to disseminate it better to the troops.
Yup. You read that correctly. Disseminate: verb: di' semu`neyt: to broadcast; or cause to become widely known.

Now, folks, I believe, and have said this is conversations with others, and in no way claim to be the original author of this idea, but nonetheless still firmly believe, the U.N. has no moral compass.

What better example than this drivel. The - "peacekeeping" - troops - of - the - UNITED NATIONS - do - NOT - know - that- it - is - NOT - okay - to - rape - pillage - and - plunder - the - people - they - are - sent - to - protect!

If they could only do a better job of "spreading the word," these things wouldn't happen. Maybe that's where the increase of 10 more members on the "security" council would come in handy - they will have more council members to "circulate" the already established "code", thereby providing more "security" for the civilians.
Likewise, cuts in spending on U.N. conferences, which allegedly cost as much as $8,000 per hour, are sensible. But some of the reforms demanded by the bill are not so good. Requiring that certain programs be funded on a voluntary basis by U.N. members rather than by automatic membership payments would exacerbate the precarious hand-to-mouth budgeting that saps morale and efficiency.
Boulderdash. Bunk. Bunkhum. Hogwash. Precarious hand-to-mouth? Saps morale and efficiency? Let me tell you about saps, there's alot of them at Turtle Bay. But, I digress. You know what really "saps" morale and efficiency? Poor leadership, scandals, lack of direction and purpose, lack of a moral foundation.

If you are not sure of what I speak, please Google such things as: United Nations scandals, Rwanda genocide, Burundi genocide, Darfur genocide, World Bank Funds scandal, UN auditing problems, Iraq Oil for Food scandal, Kojo Annan, UN peacekeepers rape scandal, UN children sexual abuse, UN African sex scandal, UN sexual abuse, Congo sex abuse, UN sexual harassment, Benan Sevan legal fees scandal. Well, you get the point. With just a small amount of effort, I'm confident you'll find alot of reading material.
But the bill's worst feature is that it mandates a 50 percent cut in U.S. payments to the United Nations if some of its proposals don't get implemented; other proposals come with a threat of a 25 percent cut.
Sounds about right. What's wrong with the concept of being held accountable for their spending? It' s our money, damn it.
This is like using a sledgehammer to drive a nail into an antique table: Even if you're aiming at the right nail, you're going to cause damage.
You can't cause anymore damage to something that's already broke, I say.
The bill is right, for example, in highlighting the shameful practice of allowing thuggish governments, such as those in Sudan or Zimbabwe, onto the U.N. human rights commission. U.N. managers are seeking support for a reform that would require countries seeking election to a reformed human rights council to get the backing of two-thirds of U.N. members: This would make it possible to block the worst candidates. But the Hyde bill's approach is to declare that any country with a questionable human rights record become ineligible. Given the politics of the United Nations, this reform isn't going to be adopted. Sledgehammer-style, the bill would trigger a deep cut in U.S. support for the United Nations.
Well, as former U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick's deputy, Chuck Lichenstein, once told unhappy member states that if they wished to leave America's shores, "the members of the U.S. mission to the United Nations will be down at the dockside waving you a fond farewell as you sail into the sunset."

I can say it no better than that.
Mr. Hyde and his congressional colleagues must ponder a basic question: Is the U.S. national interest best served by disengaging from the United Nations and allowing it to atrophy for lack of resources? Or is the national interest served by supporting the institution, even while pushing it to reform? The actions of U.S. administrations, Republican and Democratic, suggest that the United Nations is a helpful tool of diplomacy. It provides a venue in which to seek consensus on global issues from nuclear proliferation to anti-poverty efforts, and even when that consensus is elusive, a visible effort to seek it can increase the legitimacy of U.S. action. At the same time, the United Nations' technical agencies help manage challenges, from the monitoring of avian flu to the care of refugees to the provision of peacekeepers and nation-builders. The United Nations, for all its flaws, is needed. Hitting it with a sledgehammer is the wrong way to go.
Well, I have a couple of questions of my own. When is the last time the United States benefitted from the U.N.? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it demand/require/compell/command us to fork over our money to peoples of other countries? Specifically what "actions" of the U.S. administrations and exactly how and in what way does it "suggest" that the UN is a helpful tool to the U.S.?

The U.N. has a budget of a little over 3 Billion dollars with the U.S. accounting for 22% of its regular budget, and about 27% of its peacekeeping costs. On top of that, we give generously to support the work of UN agencies providing humanitarian relief, electoral assistance, food aid, and more. We should benefit from the UN, and it would appear to me that we are not getting a very good return on our money.

The UN has largely been ineffective (and that is putting it kindly) on "global issues" such as nuclear proliferation and poverty. And as far as the UN being a tool for the U.S to increase the legitimacy of any action the U.S. would take should a consensus fail (which it ultimately almost always does), when was the last time US took action without this so called "consensus" and was still considered "legitimate" from the "global community?"

Lastly, the editorial piece states, "the United Nations' technical agencies help manage challenges, from the monitoring of avian flu to the care of refugees to the provision of peacekeepers and nation-builders." What I recall was vast ineptitude of the UN when it came time to organize, plan, and execute ON A TIMELY BASIS, the relief aid to the tsunami victims; and then, let's not forget the aforementioned rape of women and children by the UN peacekeepers in Africa and the genocides that took place while the UN turned its head the other way ..... can hardly be considered glowing examples of "managing challenges", "taking care of refugees" or "providing peacekeepers".

I want my money back.


Post a Comment

<< Home