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UN Corruption

The Belmont Club rounds up some news stories about what's wrong with the United Nations.

Read it.

I am outraged at the lack of outrage against the UN.

The United Nations ought to be totally dismantled. It is corrupt from the bottom through the highest levels. Atrocities far worse than Abu Ghraib are committed regularly under its banner. Shut it down.

UPDATE 2004-11-26 21:26:49 UTC: Let's not forget the role of Kofi Annan's son in this mess.

UPDATE 2004-12-02 06:07:29 UTC: Tim writes:

Your argument about shutting down the UN based on corruption and atrocities could also be used to argue the same for the US Military and, indeed, the US government.

If you then throw in profiteering (as with Annan's son), you especially condemn the Bush administration where Cheney's direct influence rescued the foundering and very corrupt Halliburton. A company which continues to be chastised for overcharging and not providing the services they are being paid to do. Cheney also continues to see his personal wealth grow as Halliburton gets contracts (bid or no-bid) from the US.

When can I expect to see your blog entry demanding the dissolution of the US government?

I could dismiss this entire comment by simply identifying the fallacy — tu quoque — but it's worthwhile to respond in detail.

This is exactly what I'm outraged about. The whole e-mail is an attempt to establish moral equivalence between something I'm mad about and something he's mad about. There can be no moral equivalence here:

  • The UN Human Rights Commission includes in its membership the stellar examples of Cuba and Sudan, and infamously elected Libya to chair the group in 2003.
  • The UN did not prevent genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.
  • The UN is not preventing genocide in Darfur today.
  • Saddam Hussein's regime illegally pocketed $21 billion under the UN's Sauron-like oversight.
  • Saddam used the oil-for-food corruption to bribe the UN Security Council in a thankfully failed attempt to prevent the US invasion — without which, we still wouldn't have known about the corruption.
  • Benon Sevan, the executive director of the Iraq Program and head of the oil-for-food program is himself accused of participating in the corruption.
  • US Senators (yes, from both parties) accuse the UN of obstructing the investigation into the oil-for-food scandal.
  • The UN has a real problem with sex abuse scandals. Let me be frank: We're talking about rape and pedophelia on the part of UN peacekeepers.
  • The UN is racist; it is so brazenly anti-Semetic that the US regularly votes against anti-Israeli resolutions.
  • Even UN employees know there's a problem; the staff union recently voted no-confidence against UN leaders.

We've got human rights hypocrisy, hundreds of thousands of deaths, tens of billions of dollars stolen, bribery, obstruction, rape and pedophelia… versus what, exactly, Tim? Aren't you moved by any of this? Aren't you angry at the UN?

Even if every sleazy allegation ever directed at Halliburton is true, aren't the plain facts about the United Nations even worse? Come on, it's not even close; they're orders of magnitude apart.

The comparison doesn't matter anyway. I'm not a relativist; I do not need to compare the UN against something else in order to condemn it. The alleged evils of Halliburton or the US military or government are quite simply irrelevant to the judging of the United Nations. I condemn it on its own merits — or in this case, lack thereof.

P.S., it's not a good idea to goad a libertarian into a debate about the dissolution of the US government. I'd like to get rid of so much of it that only the Founding Fathers would recognize what would remain; we'll leave it at that.

UPDATE 2004-12-04 02:47:54 UTC: But wait, there's more!

After learning of the allegations in 1999, the U.N. kept Mbarushimana on its payroll. In fact, when he was arrested for genocide, he was working for the U.N. in Kosovo — on a project to stop genocide. [source]

Words fail me. I can only describe that with profanity. Read the article.

Tiny Island