Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time to get UN-United Nationed

The Iraq Oil-For-Food profiteering was just the tip of the corruption iceberg at the United Nations. Last week, Vladimir Kuznetsov, the Russian head of the U.N. Budget Oversight Committee, was arrested on charges of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes he received in return for securing lucrative contracts for various companies. In August, another Russian U.N. Procurement Department officer, Alexander Yakovlev pleaded guilty to federal charges of corruption, wire fraud, and money laundering. The list of criminal misconduct in the U.N. is ever growing: sexual abuse of minors by "peacekeepers" in West Africa, conflicts of interest involving the son of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Cotecna Inspection Corporation, a company hired by Yakovlev to inspect the Oil-For-Food program.

Perhaps this wide-spread corruption could be dealt with and the organization saved if only the United Nations was such a consistent force for good that it was worth saving. However, that does not seem to be the case. The United Nations gives legitimacy to tyrants and dangerous, aggressive nations. Not only are such nations granted membership, but in 2003 Libya was made the head of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The irony here is amazing, as the Qaddafi regime is guilty of every human rights abuse you can think of, from summary executions and execution of political prisoners to torture including application of corkscrews to the back, suffocation with plastic bags, and attack by trained dogs. The Qaddafi regime also has a long history of support of terrorism.

Not only does the U.N. prop up totalitarian governments, they also stand by and do nothing when dangerous rogue states violate international law, human rights conventions, and the U.N.'s own resolutions. For years, the U.N. did nothing about Saddam Hussein, besides make speeches expressing their dismay that he was defying their resolutions. It took our President acting without U.N. support to topple the ruthless dictator and begin the process of establishing freedom and democracy in Iraq.

The U.N. had the opportunity to be a global force for peace, democracy, and freedom. Instead they became a corrupt bunch of profiteers, socialists, and tyrants. The United Nations is obsolete, and we should get out of it.

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