Wednesday, December 10, 2003

UN "Peacekeeping"
A good rule of thumb is, when in doubt, don't trust the UN. But this piece by F. Andy Messing/Elizabeth M. Stafford goes even further and removes the doubt. While the UN as an effective force for stability in Iraq never rang true to me, they confirmed my suspicions by reviewing some recent UN peacekeeping.

In Somalia, U.N. elements frustrated the peacekeeping process and led to its eventual failure. Few elements were proactive or helpful. For instance, many of the 22 countries participating mostly stayed in their compounds, leaving the daunting peacekeeping responsibilities to others. ... In addition, the Pakistani contingent in Somalia looked at the Somalis with contempt and committed various human rights violations, including beating the Somalis with sticks.
Some of the 22 nations involved in Somalia came in "light" and left "heavy," stealing anything of value from the Somalis and other coalition members. Additionally, Zimbabwe sent a large contingent of soldiers who were HIV-positive, placing a burden on American and U.N. medical teams, and jeopardized the health Somali women through fraternization.

The efforts made in Haiti were much of the same. The Bangladeshis serving there for the U.N. held the Haitians in low regard and often physically abused them, as witnessed by one of the authors of this article. "Whorehouse Row" in Port-Au-Prince was constantly packed with U.N. personnel who could have been engaged in nation-building or life-saving activity.

It is bizarre that at a time when the goal is to promote socioeconomic, political and military stability, the United Nations would place persons prone to mutual antagonism alongside one another and expect their differences to disappear.

That last paragraph really encapsulates the international "community" myth that has captured so many leftists. Just because Lenin talked about an international brotherhood of workers, doesn't mean it exists. Quite the contrary. It is only the leftover socialists and communists that still believe that.

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