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  • Funding Corruption

    Posted by James R. Rummel on January 25th, 2011 (All posts by )

    According to this news item, Republicans in the US House of Representatives are vowing to cut payments to the United Nations. Of greater interest to me is the promise of investigations into corruption.

    There was a great deal of drama over the UN soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Humanitarian programs were seen as chances for graft and bribes, and resolutions against Iraq certainly did nothing to convince Saddam to abide by the peace agreement that ended Gulf War I. Why does the American taxpayer pony up more than 20% of the United Nation’s budget if the organization is nothing but a toothless waste of time that is run by a collection of criminals?

    The only partially compelling reason I have ever heard to keep funding this failed organization was that many smaller countries would become alienated if they didn’t have the forum to make their voices heard. This would increase tensions, as well as increasing anti-American feelings.

    An indication that this might be true was the reaction that many non-US citizens had when the blogs back then started to float the idea of defunding the UN. Emotions were running high, and someone once characterized the sturm and drang as being similar to what would happen if the US suggested “burning down a temple”. I suppose that, since it wasn’t their money that was being stolen, many supporters of the United Nations simply did not care that resources were being diverted from those who desperately needed them.

    Frankly, I’m sick of the whole diseased organization. Cut off American support, and let us kick them out of New York while we are at it. I’m sure some room can be found in Brussles for what is left after we pull out.

    The one thing you can say about burning down a temple is that you also destroy the rot slowly eating at the supports. Maybe it is time to bulldoze the smoking remains, and see what can be built on the ashes.

     

    9 Responses to “Funding Corruption”

    1. TMLutas Says:

      The problem with the conservative critique of the United Nations is that there is no United Nations. Instead there is a complex blob of different organizations, some worthwhile, others malignant, with a whole gamut in between. The worthwhile organizations, like the ITU which makes cross border telephone conversations (and thus the Internet) easy and reliable, are whacked just as hard as the malignant ones. The end result is a lot of non-political technocrats agitate in favor of the UN in order to protect the ITO or the some other bit of non-ideological usefulness. This makes for a conservative loss, time and again.

      The winning formula is instead to create an alternate funding stream that is granular and freedom friendly. Stop the programs that are odious to the US and fully fund the good stuff, which tends to be technical and unobjectionable. Identify and shame anybody in the technocratic class with supporting rape and tyranny if they oppose the funding pathway change and you end up with a winning coalition, real change, and an improvement that is not only politically viable in the US but would be attractive to other major UN funders.

    2. Curmudgeon Geographer Says:

      Put the U.N. hq in Gaza.

      Or Lebanon.

    3. Mike Cunningham Says:

      If you examine one aspect alone of the U.N., you examine them all, so we should perhaps take a look at the make-up of the UN Committee for Human Rights.

      Tunisia Dictatorship newly toppled, wirth the Army waiting in the wings.
      Algeria Dictatorship
      Morrocco Monarchy operating dicator-like powers
      India Democracy, whilst allowing massive religious and cultural blockages to human rights
      France Alleged Democracy
      Egypt Dictatorship, under attack by muslim extremeist and othe forces.
      Japan Alleged democracy, whilst actually controlled by big business and party big-wigs
      Switzerland Democratic
      Mauritius Democracy, tinged with corruption
      South Africa Alleged democracy, in actuality a one-party corrupt state.
      Romania Gangster-ridden nation, allegdly democratic
      Ireland Democratic but bankrupt
      Peru Democratic, in their own peculiar way
      Colombia Doing its best to be democratic, but drug money rules!
      United Kingdom Vassal State of the European Union, totally undemocratic
      Argentina Nominally Democratic, but give the boys some shells for their ships, and hey-ho for Las Malvinas and the new Argentine empire!
      Sweden Democratic, but Muslim-infested, and therefore suspect!
      U.S.A. Democratic, for now at least, but give Barry a chance to change things.

      See what I mean?

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      One of the big differences between the Left and Right is that the Left is more controlled by fantasy narratives and can’t separate the real world organization from the one that Leftists would like to have. In other words, they can’t separate the real world U.N. from the noble goals it is supposed to achieve.

      When rightwingers say the U.N. is corrupt, Leftists respond with, “Why don’t you support nations coming together to discuss their problems?” or “What have you got against preventing or ending wars?” For the Leftists, supporting the real-world organization is to support the organizations notional goals and to oppose the real-world organization is to oppose the goals. Leftists are more interested in the fictional U.N. that they want to exist. They pat themselves on the back just for having the “courage” to emotionally invest in an idea.

      People on the Right however, just want to know if the damn thing works as advertised. People on the Right think that having a vision of a better world is trivial. They take it for granted and don’t believe that anyone gets any credit for fantasizing.

      You see the same thing in the dialog about the E.U. Pro-EU types always talk about the lofty goals to the EU while those opposed to the EU talk about the practical nuts and bolts problem.

    5. Helen Says:

      I cannot even begin to understand why anybody believes that the UN or any other transnational organization can be reformed.

    6. Ed Darrell Says:

      One of the big differences between the Left and Right is that the Left is more controlled by fantasy narratives and can’t separate the real world organization from the one that Leftists would like to have. In other words, they can’t separate the real world U.N. from the noble goals it is supposed to achieve.

      I’m sure you mixed up “Right” and “Left” in that part.

    7. Dan Says:

      But the UN has been an amazingly successful organization in protecting world peace —
      Lemmesee…
      Korea partitioning. That worked out well.
      Vietnam partitioning. As did this one.
      Mid-east partitioning (creation of Israel without protection). Oh, yeah, that’s been a great success in peacemaking.

      I’m sure there are others.

    8. Anonymous Says:

      Dan, the UN gets called in when everyone else has failed completely, generally. The UN has no military force, so cannot stop a war in progress.

      Who has a better record than the UN?

      Korea’s partition has held for 57 years, in the absence of an end to hostilities. Frankly, that sounds pretty successful to me. Vietnam? Remember, it was the U.S. who refused to allow elections there (and was that even under the aegis of the UN? I think not.) The peace between Egypt and Israel has held for more than 30 years. The establishment of Israel seems to have worked.

      64 UN missions since 1948, you name two that have produced no war in years, and you mis-name one that you erroneously blame on the UN.

      Contrast that with the record of the League of Nations, or the Congress of Vienna. UN operations are not perfect by any stretch. The alternatives, however, are not better in any case you mention, nor in most cases.

    9. Ed Darrell Says:

      Sorry; this comment was mine:

      Dan, the UN gets called in when everyone else has failed completely, generally. The UN has no military force, so cannot stop a war in progress.

      Who has a better record than the UN?

      Korea’s partition has held for 57 years, in the absence of an end to hostilities. Frankly, that sounds pretty successful to me. Vietnam? Remember, it was the U.S. who refused to allow elections there (and was that even under the aegis of the UN? I think not.) The peace between Egypt and Israel has held for more than 30 years. The establishment of Israel seems to have worked.

      64 UN missions since 1948, you name two that have produced no war in years, and you mis-name one that you erroneously blame on the UN.

      Contrast that with the record of the League of Nations, or the Congress of Vienna. UN operations are not perfect by any stretch. The alternatives, however, are not better in any case you mention, nor in most cases.