Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Must We Burn the UN to Save the UN ?

In a gripping essay in the Washington Post (no, really!), young Peter Dennis, an NYU law student and apparent one-time idealist, tells about life on the ground with a UN peacekeeping mission:

Anyone who was shocked by the most recent revelations of sexual misconduct by United Nations staff has never set foot in a U.N.-sponsored refugee camp. Sex crimes are only one especially disturbing symptom of a culture of abuse that exists in the United Nations precisely because the United Nations and its staff lack accountability.

That’s my problem with the UN – hand over sovereignty to a body headed by unelected officials with no accountability? Wait until the citizens of the European Union see what it is like to live under the dictatorship of the bureaucracy…

I arrived in Sierra Leone as a legal aid worker in the summer of 2003, one year after the release of a damaging report on sexual abuse in U.N. refugee camps in West Africa. Although the report's description of widespread sexual abuse had prompted Secretary General Kofi Annan to issue a strongly worded "zero tolerance" policy, I found abuse of a sexual nature almost every day -- zero compliance with zero tolerance, as one investigator was to write. U.N. leaders had simply not expended any effort beyond lip service to carry out this zero tolerance policy.

And that’s why so many love the UN – words and actions can remain cognitively unrelated. Stern decrees take the place of action, giving all the opportunity to say one thing and then do the other. To back up your words with deed, well, maybe we should issue a few more condemnations first, then maybe schedule a meeting…

The Washington Times lays out why Bush nominee Bolton may be the best chance to save this reeking cesspool from itself:

Mr. Bolton is a very vociferous and very smart U.N. critic. In an era when the world body is beset with corruption, peacekeeping malfeasance and weakness (as is evident in the ongoing genocide in Darfur), having a reform-minded ambassador in the mode of a Jeane Kirkpatrick or a Daniel Patrick Moynihan is an inspired choice.

All of which was lost on Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday...

Mr. Bolton has overseen the implementation of two highly successful non-proliferation treaties; the Security Council resolution opposing Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait; and the repeal of the U.N "Zionism is Racism" resolution. The United Nations has a tendency to pass resolutions like that when it is full of ambassadors who do not possess Mr. Bolton's "diplomatic temperament."

Ouch. Funny how while all of these editorial pages are running down Mr. Bolton, they never seem to mention his success in overturning one of the foulest resolutions ever to come out of the UN. Isn’t that exactly the type of leadership we need from our ambassador right now? Is the Democratic Media willfully hiding the truth, wallowing in its liberal anti-Semitism, or just plain dumb? I don't know, maybe someone else has the stomach to dissect today's Times editorial,, because I don't...

I’ll leave it to Rolling Stone’s ex-token conservative PJ O’Rourke to make sense of it all:

... it's important to remember that absurdity is integral to the United Nations. The allies in a war against Nazism founded the UN, which, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1975, passed a resolution declaring 'Zionism is a form of racism' under the auspices of a secretary general, Kurt Waldheim, who was a Nazi.

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