Archive for February 11th, 2008

Getting back to the tens of millions of dollars the UN has wasted in Sudan that I mentioned yesterday, but had neither the time nor the stomach for, I find it more than a tad disingenuous that the same day this story came out in the Washington Post, the “UN News Centre” had only this to say … a long, drawn out whine from Ban Ki-moon as he “strongly condemned” Janjaweed militia attacks killing 200 people in West Darfur.

Mr. Ban “stresses that all parties must adhere to international humanitarian law, which prohibits military attacks against civilians,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

First … Yeah, Ban. Like that’s gonna work! (Gee, whiz … slap forehead … Let’s just explain that genocide is “prohibited”! Wonder why Kofi didn’t think of that … )

And, second … Why the hell should the Janjaweed listen to the UN talk about obeying laws?

From the WaPo:

A U.N. task force is examining the United Nations’ handling of nearly $300 million in contracts for food, transportation and fuel for Sudan, including a $200 million contract with Eurest Support Services, a Cyprus-based subsidiary of the Compass Group, a British catering company. ESS also has been charged with rigging bids in Liberia, Congo, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to what a “task force” not under UN employ might find?

But back to the UN news that goes on to sing the praises of something called the Status of Forces Agreement … unfortunately, but probably prophetically abbreviated to SOFA … that was signed recently.

A couple of points to make on this.

First, on this:

SOFA covers the activities of the military, police and civilian personnel of the mission, known as UNAMID, which seeks to stem the violence in the war-ravaged Darfur region, where over 200,000 people have been killed and 2.2 million others forced to flee their homes since fighting began in 2003 among Government forces, rebel groups and allies militia groups known as the Janjaweed.

Yep. Those same damned numbers they’ve been trotting out for the past five years … 200,000 dead, 2.2 million displaced.

When and why did the UN stop counting? Counting the dead and displaced is one of the few things the UN can actually do, but not in Sudan. There were 200,000 dead and 2.2 million displaced way back during GW’s first term and way before George Clooney ever went to Darfur … and now he’s not only been back for ages, he’s working for the UN. (Talk about a powerful PR machine!)

The other thing in the UN News:

Mr. Guehenno, who recently visited Sudan, emphasized that UNAMID operation is “severely under-resourced for the tasks which it was mandated to perform” since it lacks the necessary troops, police and equipment, including military aircraft and ground transportation, to provide protection to Darfurians.

No mention there what 10s of millions of wasted dollars could have provided on this front, is there? No. There wouldn’t be.

Back to George Clooney for a moment …

Last September I wrote a post responding to a question he asked during his testimony before the UN where he said:

We were brought up to believe that the U.N. was formed to ensure that the Holocaust could never happen again. We believe in you so strongly. We need you so badly. We have come so far. We’re — we’re one yes away from ending this. And, if not the U.N., then who?

I looked around a bit at the time and came up with:

In 2005, UNICEF received over $53 million in contributions for Darfur, meeting approximately 43 percent of total requirements. As of April 2006, UNICEF has received about $1.85 million in contributions from government donors, while UNICEF’s National Committees have raised approximately $966,000.

This means UNICEF has a total of just over $2.81 million in donor resources against its Darfur target of $89 million in 2006 – so its programmes in the region are just 3.1 per cent funded moving into the second quarter of the year.

Pointing to this as, “the UN’s own justification for doing squat!” led me to compose another post I called “If not the UN, why?”

Today, as last year, as the year before, what I said then holds true now:

Lack of funds … lack of will …

Where does it make sense, however, that this body … the UN, I’m taking here … would CHOOSE to sit back once again and allow a genocide to happen and happen and happen?

Which brings me to the real why?

Why does the UN exist at all?

A very quick look at stories from the past couple of days could be taken to prove the utter uselessness of the organization without even having to mention Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica, or more stops along the genocide trail that’s been well traveled without hindrance from those folks in the big building with all the flags around it.

With a recent article in Newsweek addressing the UN’s creeping agenda on international adoption that does so much damage to so many and now seems to have the children of Haiti ready to serve up on a plate that doesn’t include adoption as an option, I do not feel any inclination to judge gently what the UN calls waste.

When 10s of millions of dollars disappear, that’s not just sloppy, it’s criminal.

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