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  • Archive for the 'United Nations' Category

    International Gun Prohibition

    Posted by Jonathan on 2nd October 2007 (All posts by )

    Via Instapundit and Outdoor Life comes this AP article about a new UN scheme to restrict trade in weapons. It is the same old nonsense.

    But in the U.S., the NRA says it sees a creeping attempt to limit civilian gun ownership within nations — even though the focus now is on setting standards for arms exports and imports.
     
    The international issues “necessarily will come to involve at some point domestic laws and policies regarding firearms,” said former congressman Bob Barr, a leading NRA voice on the subject.
     
    “That’s not what we’re looking at here,” countered Greg Puley, of the Control Arms coalition of pro-treaty advocacy groups. “The point is to control trade in weapons that contribute to conflict and atrocities.”

    Contra Mr. Puley, US domestic restriction of private gun purchases is exactly the expected outcome here. How could it be otherwise?

    Just as domestic restrictions on guns serve to keep weapons from law-abiding citizens without affecting the ability of criminals to obtain them, so international restrictions only make it more difficult for oppressed populations to defend themselves from “conflict and atrocities” perpetrated by their own governments. State supported Sudanese Islamist militias will not be impeded in the least while the defenseless people they kill in Darfur will be blockaded.

    Of course the dictators’ club at the UN will support any effort to disarm free individuals. That’s how dictatorships behave. But why should democracies like the UK, Australia and Japan support such efforts? Bravo to the NRA for standing up to the dictators and foolish democrats.

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, RKBA, United Nations | 3 Comments »

    Minor Aggregation – 3

    Posted by Ginny on 12th May 2007 (All posts by )

    Belmont Club & Samizdata are having a little fun with the appointment of Zimbabwe, now head of the Commission on Sustainable Development at the United Nations. Samizdat quotes an American spokesman: “We don’t think that Zimbabwe would be a particularly effective leader of this body”. Belmont observes “The UN can do little harm as long as it is universally understood that it operates according to the principles of magical realism.” On the other hand, the first comment at Samizdat makes a sensible observation: “In terms of taking the world back to a bleak, pre-industrial existence (which is what many people in favour of “sustainable development” seemingly want) the government of Zimababwe is doing a good job of leading by example.” Of course, this wryness would be a good deal funnier if there weren’t real people with real needs ill served by a government that now is in a position to suggest others follow its disastrous policies.

    Posted in United Nations | 1 Comment »

    Checking Their Credentials

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 1st March 2007 (All posts by )

    The United Nations has once again criticized the United States for our treatment of enemy combatants held at Gitmo. They claim that we are violating their “fundamental human rights”.

    The UN’s opinion means so much to me right now.

    Maybe we just don’t agree on what the word “violation” means.

    Posted in United Nations | 19 Comments »

    The UN: a Case of Regulatory Capture

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on 29th January 2007 (All posts by )

    In today’s National Review Online, Mario Loyola argues that conservative esteem for the rule of law should extend to a refined understanding of international law, backed up with consistent enforcement of its principles (in other words, either both Kosovo and Iraq, or neither). Too late. That issue was settled over 60 years ago.

    Here is how the Economist defines regulatory capture:

    Gamekeeper turns poacher or, at least, helps poacher. The theory of regulatory capture was set out by Richard Posner, an economist and lawyer at the University of Chicago, who argued that “REGULATION is not about the public interest at all, but is a process, by which interest groups seek to promote their private interest … Over time, regulatory agencies come to be dominated by the industries regulated.” Most economists are less extreme, arguing that regulation often does good but is always at RISK of being captured by the regulated firms.

    Familiar examples of regulatory capture in the US would include those agencies charged with setting rates, fees, and prices. The ICC, originally meant to keep railroads from overcharging farmers with no other means of shipping their commodities, eventually became a means by which trucking companies and interstate bus lines set prices, limited competition, and allocated routes. The FAA, until deregulation in 1978, assured airlines of an orderly and profitable division of routes, without the prospect of interlopers disrupting the arrangement. Similarly, the United Nations, formed in the very act of destroying a murderous tyranny, came to become a system for regulating tyranny and allocating the areas in which tyrants might operate without interference.

    The immediate predecessor of the United Nations was actually not the League of Nations, but the Atlantic Charter between the United States and Great Britain. This was purely an Anglo-American document in terms of its principles as well as its origin. The two signatory nations disavowed any territorial claims, embraced consensual sovereignty and self-determination for all people, and stated their support for international economic cooperation, freedom of the seas, and eventual worldwide demilitarization. Even though the US had not yet entered the war, the treaty embraced the destruction of the Nazi regime as a common foreign policy objective. It also contemplated, but did not establish, “a wider and permanent system of general security.” The original agreement between the two countries was signed August 14, 1941. On January 1, 1942, the representatives of 26 governments, including some governments in exile, signed the “Declaration by United Nations, Subscribing to the Principles of the Atlantic Charter.” The United Nations then became the formal name of the anti-Nazi allies.

    The signatories included the USSR. Stalin’s government had no intention of following most of the principles set forth in the treaty; its signing was a transparent fraud. The Atlantic Charter and the United Nations were designed to restrain the practices of aggression, brutality, dictatorship, and government-sanctioned murder, yet the United Nations brought in one of the most brutal and murderous dictatorships as a founding member. Stalin’s USSR set a precedent which is followed to this day.

    The contradiction was present from the beginning in the UN Charter:

    Preamble
    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

    2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

    3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

    4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

    These ends were not and could not be harmonized. They were in fact placed in opposition:

    Article 2
    Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.

    Article 55
    With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote … universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

    Note the contrasting strength of the language in these two provisions (“nothing …shall authorize” and “shall promote”). If human rights are truly universal, the interposition of national boundaries must be irrelevant, since they exist everywhere. As a practical matter, Violations of human rights were defined as outside of the scope of the UN, as long as they took place within a country’s borders. It is as though there had been no reason to fight Hitler except for his invasion of Poland.

    We cannot defeat tyranny by leaving tyrants safe and secure, as long as they stay close to home. The rights to life, liberty, and property are not just local customs. Either human rights are universal, or they are nothing.

    Posted in Political Philosophy, United Nations | 2 Comments »

    A Matter of Perspective

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 15th December 2006 (All posts by )

    There was a time, many years ago, when I took a six month sublet on a house. The rent was so reasonable that I couldn’t pass up on the deal, but the place was going to be sold after the lease was up so I knew that I couldn’t stay there any longer than that.

    The house wasn’t furnished, and I wasn’t about to shell out a few hundred bucks for curtains or blinds for all of those windows. I thumbtacked bedsheets up so the neighbors wouldn’t have to see me wandering around the place.

    A woman I was seeing at the time was appalled! “You have bedsheets over the windows! What will the neighbors think?”

    She didn’t understand, so I sat her down and gently explained that it didn’t matter one little bit what opinion the neighbors formed. I was going to be gone in 180 days, never to see any of them again for the rest of my life. No, what really mattered was what I thought of them!

    After all, I work nights and keep odd hours. All I would have to do would be to turn my TV or stereo up a little in the wee hours of the morning to be a real nuisance. I didn’t own the house, so it was their property values at risk if I didn’t bother to mow the lawn or take the trash out. There wasn’t a thing they could do to me in the brief time I was going to be there that would matter one little bit, while I could cause a fair amount of frustration.

    Not that I was looking for a fight, of course. Just like most people, I prefer to get along. They didn’t bother me so I acted just like I always do and was the best neighbor on the block. Considering my sensitivity to security issues and my odd schedule, that little section of suburbia was actually safer while I was living there. Sort of like having an unpaid security guard living next door.

    I am sharing this slice of my past with you because of this news story on the Reuters website. It seems that Arab attitudes concerning the United States is growing ever more negative, which supposedly indicates that a change in US foreign policy is needed.

    In recent years, a Liberal talking point has become the linchpin of many complaints concerning the Bush administration. This trope can best be summed up by the phrase “They don’t like us anymore!”

    It seems that the American public in general and our elected government specifically is supposed to drop everything and pay close attention to the opinions and attitudes of people living in other countries, people who cannot vote in US elections and who almost certainly do not have our best interests at heart. These opinions are supposed to dictate how the US public votes, and it is supposed to play a central role when our government makes major policy decisions.

    The big problem is that I just can’t see why I should give two hoots about how the US polls overseas. This goes double when it comes to opinions collected in third world dictatorships, places where the press is a tool of whatever royal family or oppressive religious organization that demonizes the US in order to cover up their own failings.

    When considered in this light, actually changing our foreign policy just because an opinion poll says we should would mean that our elected officials aren’t doing their job to look out for our interests. In fact, it might even be a treasonous act.

    This blog normally tilts towards the right side of the political aisle, so there aren’t too many Liberals dropping by. But if there should happen to be one or two that stumble across this post, maybe they could explain why the opinion of the great unwashed in other countries should matter one fig when it comes to our foreign policy.

    After all, history teaches us that these people are going to hate us no matter what we do. Why in the world does it matter if they hate us a little more?

    Discuss this post at the Chicago Boyz Forum.

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Europe, International Affairs, Middle East, United Nations | 22 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by In-Cog-Nito on 2nd September 2006 (All posts by )

    “Western nations yesterday pledged $500m (263m) in aid to the Palestinians as the UN humanitarian chief warned an economic crisis meant the Gaza strip was a “ticking time bomb”.

    A total of $114m will be spent on humanitarian aid. The remaining money will be used to meet a shortfall in UN emergency funding and to cover the reconstruction of infrastructure.”

    Posted in United Nations | 6 Comments »

    Humility & the UN

    Posted by Ginny on 28th July 2006 (All posts by )

    Shannon said it succinctly: “I can think of few things more vile than advocating for the deaths of innocents for what amounts to a very large and expensive piece of performance art.” But Joshua Brook’s “Human Rights Advocates Embarrass Themselves” lays out a similar common sense argument.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in United Nations | Comments Off on Humility & the UN

    The UN Continues to Please

    Posted by Ginny on 27th April 2006 (All posts by )

    Poem of the week: Richard Newman’s Coins. Kooser notes these “become a ceremonial and communal currency.” Meanwhile, the UN pimps its “ceremonial & communal” collection.(Latter thanks to Insta.)

    Posted in United Nations | 5 Comments »

    Huh?

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on 17th February 2006 (All posts by )

    Take a look at these two articles. Is it just me, or is this a very strange juxtaposition?

    February 14:
    Annan seeks U.S. help for Darfur peacekeeping

    February 17:
    Annan backs UN Guantanamo demand

    UPDATE: Gay Patriot has a related question.

    Posted in United Nations | 6 Comments »

    Waving Goodbye

    Posted by Lexington Green on 6th December 2005 (All posts by )

    Steven den Beste gives us a heads up to this op-ed in the International Herald Tribune. The author, a 20 year veteran of the United Nations, asks why the organization should keep their HQ in New York City. Why not move to Montreal?

    I was shocked to find that I actually agreed with some of the authors reasons for the move. The cost of building a new UN campus could be offset by selling the old HQ, land is cheaper in Montreal than New York, and Canada has enough high-tech infrastructures to accommodate the day-to-day business of the international body.

    One thing the author stated that I certainly dont agree with is that moving the UN to Canada would send a clear signal that rampant corruption will no longer be tolerated. Instead I see it as a way for the UN to become surrounded with people that have a common understanding.

    The author also didnt mention the greatest benefit that might be realized if the UN moves out of the United States. It might make it easier for the American people to accept the idea that wed be better off without this group of crooked career bureaucrats.

    Hey, I might just donate some money for the move myself!

    Posted in United Nations | 15 Comments »

    I Think I’m Going to Apply for a Job

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 15th November 2005 (All posts by )

    According to this news article, the only official at the United Nations that was fired over the Oil for Food scandal has been reinstated. Not only that, but hes been given back pay for the time he was out of work.

    So that means that he was innocent, right? Someone made a mistake and this is how they fix it.

    Not exactly. It seems that at least two separate investigations have found that he was guilty, but the UN still reinstated him and passed out the money.

    Joseph Stephanides was the head of the corrupt and poorly managed Security Council Affairs Division, the UN agency which is at the heart of the Oil for Food scandal. It was while he was holding down the top chair in 1996 that he advised a British company on what they should bid in order to snag a UN contract. This is hardly as bad as loading up the trunk of his Mercedes with raw yellowcake and driving across the Iraq border, but it is a clear act of favoritism. The bidding process was tainted by his actions.

    Stephanides maintains that he was simply acting on orders from the UN Security Council sanctions committee. He claims that singling him out is a cynical ploy to deflect criticism from those who are guilty of more serious crimes. This is almost certainly true, but it doesnt detract from the fact that he contributed to the snakepit of corruption in his own little way.

    I need to get my resume together and apply for a job at the UN. Looks like you can do no wrong even when its obvious that you did wrong.

    Posted in United Nations | 7 Comments »

    The Slaughter of Innocence

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 12th October 2005 (All posts by )

    The UK Telegraph reports that UNICEF Belgium has produced a short film in order to raise money for a program to rehabilitate former child soldiers in Burundi. The film shows the popular cartoon characters The Smurfs as their village is bombed. The final shot is of Baby Smurf as he cries in a field of unmoving blue bodies and the ruins of the village burns in the background.

    The reasoning behind such horrific images is to motivate jaded contributors to open their wallets and dig deep.

    Philippe Henon, a spokesman for UNICEF Belgium, said his agency had set out to shock, after concluding that traditional images of suffering in Third World war zones had lost their power to move television viewers.

    If relatively bloodless scenes will rake in the cash, why didnt the people who created the ad really lay on the gore? It seems that they wanted to but cooler heads prevailed.

    Julie Lamoureux, account director at Publicis for the campaign, said the agency’s original plans were toned down. “We wanted something that was real war – Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head -but they said no.”

    So this is the civilized version. Glad they cleared that up for me.

    The Smurfs have been around since 1958, so its certain that most adults have a certain amount of affection for these beloved childhood icons. The ad is also not to be broadcast before 9 PM, an obvious attempt to reduce exposure to younger viewers. But Smurfs are, after all, cartoon characters that are at the center of childrens lives. Images showing the violent death of these characters are bound to have a profound and long lasting effect on the most vulnerable and impressionable section of the population.

    Everyone involved in the project say that they just want to raise money for a noble and worthy cause, but I cant help but think that there is another agenda here.

    Posted in United Nations | 8 Comments »

    Scratching my Head

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 1st September 2005 (All posts by )

    Another item of interest at Strategypage.com is this essay by James Dunnigan. It seems that Russia has petitioned the United Nations to outlaw the production and sale of AK-47 knockoffs.

    Ive always wanted to make a living as a writer, so Im actually in favor of reasonable copyright and patent laws. But I cant help but wonder what the Russians are trying to accomplish here. What do they think the UN will be able to do, anyway?

    It also strikes me as ironic that Russia is appealing to the one body which has been at the forefront of efforts to ban the sale of small arms. While its logical to assume that the UN would be in favor of outlawing the sale of knockoff AKs, I dont think theyll be too thrilled that the main reason for the measure is so Russia can reap the benefits of exporting assault rifles.

    Its a strange world we live in.

    Posted in United Nations | 7 Comments »

    There’s a New Gunslinger in Town

    Posted by Jonathan on 1st August 2005 (All posts by )

    One of the top news stories for today is that President Bush sidestepped the Senate and appointed John Bolton as US Ambassador to the United Nations.

    The reports available at both CNN and the BBC are factual and avoid much by the way of spin. Thats not true of the story found at The Guardian, where the headline screams Bush bypasses Senate to install neo-con at UN.

    I personally approve of Boltons appointment, mainly because Im hoping that he will increase awareness amongst US voters of the UNs incompetence and corruption. If he does then a decision by America to pull out of the organization and reduce it to insignificance will come all the sooner.

    I think that this is also why Liberals like the staff at The Guardian are upset by Boltons appointment.

    At any rate, Bolton has a great deal of work to do. I think he should start with the UN renovation scandal that Ginny has been writing about.

    Posted in United Nations | 5 Comments »

    Easy Come, Easy Go

    Posted by Ginny on 23rd July 2005 (All posts by )

    Corruption, bid-rigging and plain inefficiency are not foreign concepts – they are, indeed, true to human nature (and were as true in villages on the plains as in New York high rises). Still, villages on the plains never had the UN’s budget nor resources. Hinderaker gives background on the UN renovations. Of course, we are not surprised; the UN is not great at transparency. And projects like these are seductive if your conscience is unbothered about using other people’s (indeed, other nation’s) money. Trump is probably a good deal more careful than would be the average bureaucrat; he has had enough experience to know where such projects can come to grief. His testimony is quite specific in comparing his building costs with the UN’s projections.

    A brief USA Today report notes: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who led the hearing, criticized the cost of the project and contended the United Nations was reluctant to disclose details. Trump & Coburn may not be reliable (I dont know & Trump obviously has his own ambitions); nonetheless, I do know that they are describing a human tendency that transparency and specificity in government projects are designed to control. And these are human tendencies to which the UN has not appeared immune.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in United Nations | 8 Comments »

    Bridge Out

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 14th July 2005 (All posts by )

    I just came across this news story. It seems that the United Nations is going to undertake efforts to build new bridges between the West and Islam. The program is going to be called Alliance of Civilizations. An excerpt

    The campaign’s aim was to “bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization which potentially threaten world peace,” U.N. chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

    Recent events had “heightened the sense of a widening gap and lack of mutual understanding between Islamic and Western societies — an environment that has been exploited and exacerbated by extremists in all societies,” he said.

    They readily admit that the bombings in London one week ago prompted this move. Taking seven days to call a press conference and announce their resolve to take action is moving at warp speed so far as the UN is concerned. But how long is it going to be before they actually do something? Read the last paragraph of the article and youll learn that theyre going to form a committee to study the problem and make suggestions. Dont expect anything resembling a plan of action until late in 2006.

    So nothing concrete is going to be done for at least the next 16 months or so. And this is just for what is, essentially, a public relations campaign. Instead of any internal committee, the UN should hire one of the ad agencies from Madison Avenue. They probably would save some money. They certainly would save a great deal of time.

    I haven’t tried to avoid sounding too harsh because, lets face it, thats impossible so far as the UN is concerned. Instead Ill make the prediction that this as yet unformed committee will be very careful to try and assign blame for acts of terrorism equally between Western culture and Islamic society. This is entirely unfair because there is a decided difference between the types of extremists the two environments produce.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in United Nations | 11 Comments »

    Not Optimistic

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 18th June 2005 (All posts by )

    Long time readers of this blog know that Im not very happy with the United Nations. I think that its a corrupt, money hungry organization that routinely fails to live up to its promises or hype. Nothing would make me happier to live long enough to witness its end.

    Supporters claim that it provides a great service to the majority of the worlds population and governments. The voices and concerns of smaller nations would remain unaired and unheard without the forum that the UN provides. If this is the case then I think the world can do it cheaper and more efficiently. Tear down the UN and replace it with something thats not impotent with a bloated bureaucracy, doesnt pander to despots and murderous dictators, and isnt reflexively anti-American.

    Considering all that, it should be a surprise that I wasnt very enthused when I read this news item. (Hat tip to Sondra K.) It seems that the US House of Representatives has passed a bill that will require the UN to reform in order to avoid a serious reduction in contributions from the United States. The purpose is to force reform and reduce corruption.

    The reason why I dont support this move is because it allows the UN to hedge its bets. They can lurch along for decades on a reduced cash flow from the US, while cutting them off completely might just cause a total collapse. Token attempts at reform will allow supporters to claim that the United Nations has become a new organization, and that the US should start paying 100% again. (Any similarity between this fanciful scenario and how Saddams supporters actually tried to get sanctions against Iraq lifted is completely intended.)

    Bottom line is that I think the US should sit back and allow the UN enough rope to hang itself. Link continued payments to reforms and unelected bureaucrats will be motivated to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. Let them operate as usual and eventually they wont be able to cover up the corruption and incompetence.

    Posted in United Nations | 11 Comments »

    Propaganda of the Day

    Posted by In-Cog-Nito on 8th June 2005 (All posts by )

    The last time the U.S. withheld funds, it led to a huge debt to the U.N. and inhibited our ability to lead within the institution, Wirth said. This is like trying to force a bank to renegotiate your home mortgage by refusing to make your monthly payments.

    Timothy Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation

    Uh… no. Witholding funds to the U.N. is more akin to a casino withholding credit to a gambling junkie who can’t win and can’t stop.

    Posted in United Nations | 5 Comments »

    Time Becomes Horizontal

    Posted by Ginny on 28th May 2005 (All posts by )

    I think the people who support the UN can be divided into three broad groups: anti-Americans; people who were taught at a young age that the UN is good and who don’t pay close attention to current affairs; and people for whom support for the UN is a matter of religious faith, not unlike faith in the benefits of recycling or the threat of global warming. Obviously there is overlap between these groups. – Jonathan G ewirtz responding to a Rummel post.

    Jonathan is right, of course, that the UN isn’t what we thought it would be when I was growing up. I suspect he doesn’t know how strange it seems to be critical of it now, how strange to worry about its usefulness. I’m one of those who was taught at a young age the UN is good, but that is because it represented much that we still like: a forum for international debate, a chance to listen to other perspectives. The critics either seemed to see it as wielding power it didn’t have (the black helicopter types) or were isolationists. I can understand drawing back from the world in the fifties; Europe seen from a tank and Asia from a Navy deck didn’t make the world outside our borders all that attractive. But, frankly, distaste for the UN was associated with the kind of cranks who, a few years later, would obsess about the Kennedy assassination.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in United Nations | 12 Comments »

    It Will Never Pass

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 20th May 2005 (All posts by )

    According to this news item, the House International Relations Committee has drafted a bill that will require sweeping reforms at the United Nations. If they dont comply then the United States will withhold up to 50% of its yearly dues.

    The United Nations is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. The organization relies on member states paying yearly dues in order to remain solvent, but in recent years many governments have cut back on the amount of money they pay. Private donations are also falling off mainly because people are finally waking up to the fact that the organization is completely inefficient and wasteful, if not downright inept and corrupt. Their handling of the tsunami crises, as well as their attempts to steal credit for the good works of others, certainly didnt help matters any.

    So far as the HIRC is concerned, it has been one of the driving forces in the United States government to bring accountability to the UN. Its a thankless job, but someone should have done it long ago. Making future dues payments conditional on reforms is brilliant, and it hits the UN where it hurts.

    But I think the bill is doomed to failure, even though I think its a good idea and wouldnt mind seeing it in place. There are two reasons for this.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in United Nations | 7 Comments »

    Good Stuff

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 12th January 2005 (All posts by )

    First thing’s first.

    Murdoc Online is asking for your help. He wants anyone who has a link that states what the United Nations has done to help the tsunami victims to let him know. He’s rather droll when he frames his request, but it’s a sincere one.

    Let me say that this is something that I’m very interested in myself. If there is evidence that the UN actually fed someone or worked to save lives in danger from the tsunami crises, then I’ll gladly put the link up here for all to see.

    Please note that press conferences where the UN claims credit for work that others have done isn’t good enough. We need a link to a news report, something where the author was standing next to a line of refugees receiving food from UN personnel.

    The next item I’d like to bring to your attention is this post at The Diplomad. They respond to some of their critics by pointing out where the majority of money donated to the UN actually goes. It’s certainly an eye opener.

    If you do click on that last link, check out the first comment. It’s worth a read.

    Posted in United Nations | 4 Comments »

    They’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 11th January 2005 (All posts by )

    This news item has the headline “UN SAYS TSUNAMI DONORS MOVING WITH RECORD SPEED”.

    International donors have moved with record speed to meet a near $1.0 billion appeal for immediate aid to victims of Asia’s tsunami, with over 70 percent already raised, the United Nations said Tuesday.

    (snip)

    “This has never happened before that two weeks after a disaster we have $717 million that we can spend on immediate emergency relief effort,” Egeland told a final news conference.

    The news item points out that the $717 million comes from 80 countries. According to this post from The Diplomad, the US has pledged about the same amount, and we’ve been spending more than $5 million a day by using our military to move the aid to the affected region. So far as I know, the United Nations still hasn’t fed a single refugee.

    I found it interesting that the article discussed ways that the UN was thinking of implementing so people could track what happens to the money. They make no bones of the fact that the Oil for Food debacle has caused this sudden concern for transparency.

    It looks like the UN is hurting due and trying to shore up their damaged credibility.

    In closing, I’d like to point to this BBC article, which says that the UN’s own watchdog agency has confirmed that UN troops have been sexually abusing the people they’ve been tasked with protecting. Some of the victims were children, and it would appear that the abuse is still going on even though the UN knows about it.

    I suppose the victims of the tsunami should thank their lucky stars that the US military is at the fore when it comes to aid.

    Posted in United Nations | Comments Off on They’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do

    Diplomad is on Fire!

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 4th January 2005 (All posts by )

    The authors of group blog The Diplomad has been very critical of the United Nations in the past, but right now I figure they’d volunteer to drive the bulldozers if we kicked them out of New York and wanted to turn the complex into a parking lot for our SUV’s.

    What got them so upset? The UN’s response to the tsunami disaster in Asia.

    They got to grumbling a little bit when the UN started to claim that the US wasn’t doing enough. But then the authors, who have a man on the ground in one of the ravaged countries, started to wonder when the United Nations was actually going to show up.

    But they really started to get up a head of steam when the United Nations started to take credit for the work that the American military was doing.

    There’s lots more there, such as the tale of a UN team that arrived in one of the tsunami ravaged countries, set up shop in a 5 star hotel and demanded that the hotel staff provide 24 hour catering.

    I can’t do justice to it. Just click on this link and keep scrolling down.

    Posted in United Nations | 3 Comments »

    Rope a Dope?

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 9th December 2004 (All posts by )

    So I’m reading Instapundit, and the good professor has a link to this LA Times op-ed. The author, Max Boot, points out that the scandals at the United Nations haven’t received the same attention from big media that they should. He also points out that the UN is corrupt, inept and impossible to reform.

    But Boot also says that leaving the UN is “unrealistic”, and that the institution is useful for a variety of skullduggery. He doesn’t go so far as to say that the UN actually makes any progress in it’s stated purpose, which is to promote peace and lessen human misery. (Nor does he adequately explain why it’s “unrealistic” to want to leave an organization that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Oh, well. Maybe in the next op-ed.)

    Then I see this news item. It would appear that the White House, reacting to calls from a few US politicians for the UN Secretary General to resign, has issued a statement of support for Kofi Annan. The United States Ambassador John Danforth has even said “We have worked with him very well in the past. We anticipate working with him very well in the future.”

    One could take this on it’s face value. The Executive Branch doesn’t want to see Annan leave because he’s done some good in the past. (I can’t seem to think of anything so stellar as to wash away the stain of the Congo sex-slave reports or the Oil for Food corruption. But I’m sure that something will come to me.)

    Or you could, like myself, be a wary and suspicious type who thinks that this is just a clever ploy. The first step in leaving the UN would be to so thoroughly discredit them that a majority of the American people would gladly see it wither and die from lack of US support. This would be very difficult if those who support the UN could say that things were about to improve since a new hand was at the helm. With Kofi still in they can’t whitewash anything.

    It’ll take awhile to find out how it’s going to pan out. Come back in 10 years and we’ll see.

    Posted in United Nations | 6 Comments »