The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The United Nations, your tax dollars at play

Today the the UN special investigator, hen house guarding fox Paul Volker, released a list of companies that did business under the Iraq-UN oil for food program. Brit Hume described the release as a "rare example of the release of public documents" by the UN. Set aside that the son of UN secretary-General Kofi Annan ran the program and the fact that Volker was appointed by Annan and lacks subpoena power. Set aside that the head of the UN's Internal Affairs Department is, himself, chest deep in oil for food and refusing to cooperate. You can even set aside the fact that the companies that benefited from oil for food were largely from security council countries that opposed US action in Iraq. Forget all of that and you are still left with the biggest financial scandal in the whole of human history! By the UN's own numbers, the program generated more than 62 billion dollars and the Iraqi regime earned more than 10 billion through smuggling and kick-backs. The bank that handled all that dirty money? PNB Paribus, a French banking interest with close ties to Chirac's inner circle. Hmmmm. But there is a bigger question that comes out of this mess. Does the UN have the credibility and the flexibility to deal with large global issues effectively? The evidence points to no. The UN has been overpriced, under-effective and largely impotent since its inception. It has failed to prevent genocide in Sudan, Rwanda, Iraq, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Yugoslavia. It has been unable to stem the spread of AIDS, improve living conditions in the Third World or prevent armed conflict. It has had some limited success in peace keeping, but even this has been at a massive price and at the cost of national sovereignty to nations around the world. The UN has given a forum and comfort to the worst human rights violators in the world. All the while, it sponges off the United States as its members attack us, our values and our leadership. The oil for food mess is only a small aspect of the problem. The US should withdrawal from the UN and tell them to go set up shop in Brussels. It does not serve our interests but we pay the price for its incompetence. Neither Bush, nor Kerry will tell you this because the political price for that kind of candor would be fatal. And so, American presidents continue to go to the UN with hat (and check book) in hand asking for cooperation from countries that despise us and at the cost of our credibility.


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