Friday, August 07, 2009

Why I find it easy to be cynical about government
Part 6: The Useless Nitwits of the United Nations.

OK, the UN isn't a government, quite, but it has some of the look of a government, and more than its share of problems. is a list of posts on the UN

You should at least read about the massacre of Srebrenica.

At Srebrenica the UN "peacekeepers" were actually aiding the genocide, by providing material support in the form of diesel fuel.

The link at the top includes stories of UN "peacekeepers" extorting young girls for sex with the promise of food. Not a single instance. (Congo, Liberia, etc. Sex for Food wasn't given as much press as Oil for Food.) Also their financial exploits (spending 10 times too much to redecorate offices, etc.) and of course Oil for Food. Enjoy, and consider... general discussion of Sudan, Haiti, Ivory Coast. defacing ancient artifacts in Africa Haiti sex scandal in particular those involved in sex scandals were sent to their rooms (without supper?) Sex scandal in Sudan.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. smuggling gold and providing weapons to one side of the conflict they are supposed to be defusing.

As for the UN and disaster relief... post tsunami efforts fell a bit short.
The Daily Telegraph last week described the frustration of in-country UN officials who found they had nothing to do as the Americans, Australians, Indonesians, and Malaysians flew missions. It will be the treasury departments of the G-7 missions that make decisions on debt relief, and the World Bank, aid donor nations, private corporations, and of course the local governments themselves that take the lead on long-term reconstruction. And yet we are constantly told that the UN's involvement is indispensable to the success of the whole undertaking

The UN was established at the end of WWII for the express purpose of stopping genocide before it started up again.

I would like to know 3 times where genocide has been averted by the UN. (Kosovo doesn't really count, since the UN didn't show up until AFTER the US forces were in place.) Hell I would like to know 3 places where UN peacekeepers kept peace - separate form US or NATO or Australian troops.

On the subject of genocide...
Hutus/Tutis - 300,000 to 1 million dead.
Sudan? 350,000 to ? dead
Campuchia? 1.7 million dead (21% of the population)
To say nothing of things like "The Great Leap Forward" or "The Cultural Revolution." Though I don't remember dates on "The Great Leap Forward," it may have predated the UN. is a pretty scathing review (from 2004) of the UN and the refusal to condemn the Janjaweed extermination teams.

On the subject of terrorism...
The UN and Hizbollah sharing accommodation's in Gaza or the West Bank. (Two military installations for the price of one?)
UN Outpost = Hizbollah Outpost

As I said at the time, lie down with dogs, and the IDF may just shoot your ass.

Finally we come to The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) You can be conscripted to do anything that the community feels it needs you to do. It is OK, because it is for your own good. You only achieve your full potential as a slave to the state. OK, so that is overstated a bit. But not a lot.

(2) We can limit any of your rights by law in order to preserve order. Dare I say "in the interest of National Security." None of your rights are inviolate. Freedom of speech can be denied for morality. Freedom of assembly for order. Property rights? General welfare. Religion? Your worship disturbs the public order, or is immoral. etc. etc. Now, no one can yell "fire" in a theater, but this would seem to be a bit broader than that. Could Tom Paine have published "Common Sense" under this rule?

About a hundred years ago, information about contraception was censored by the US government on the basis that it was 'obscene.' Not access to birth control, but information about birth control was restricted. (It was official US government policy to keep women barefoot and pregnant.) That is the world order my grandmother and my mother fought against. James Joyce's novel "Ulysses" - one of the greatest novels in the English language - was censored by the US Post Office, which confiscated and burned at least 2 complete editions (several thousand books) because on chapter takes place in a bordello. (Funny they don't censor Homer's "Odyssey," or any other of the classics that include nymphs. (Read the opening of "Beowulf" sometime. I recommend the Seamus Heaney translation.)

This is not the iron-clad guarantee of human rights, some would make it out to be. And that is before we get to ...

(3) Which is weasel-speak for "you have no rights, if they get in our way." Our purpose is to preserve order, and your whining about tyranny is getting in the way. We would really like you to have free speech, but you are hindering our purposes. And what exactly are the principles of the UN?

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