Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The U.N.'s Disproportionate Response

(My friend Claudia Rosett delivers a scathing indictment of the U.N. at National Review Online today. Claudia knows the U.N. better than most and was brilliant in exposing the corruption behind the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program. Her latest column is right on the money. Well worth the read...)

"As Israel fights to defend itself against the Iranian-and-Syrian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah, are we really seeing a reckless, damaging and — yes — disproportionate response?

You bet. But not from Israel. It’s coming from the U.N.

...With its false promises, and disproportionate deals for “peace,” the U.N. left Israel exposed to the attack that has now come, and a war that Israel did not seek. Like America when attacked by al Qaeda, Israel has been fighting back. In response, U.N. officials have come close to trampling each other in their stampede to the media microphones — not to admit the U.N.’s own failure to stop Hezbollah, not to apologize for administering a phony peace that incubated this miserable war, but to denounce Israel....

...And when operations of the U.N. itself have come under the spotlight in recent years, in some cases for behavior as egregious as pedophiliac rape by peacekeepers, or complicity in the kickback rackets of Saddam Hussein, Kofi Annan, and his entourage have rushed to impose the omerta in-house, while urging the rest of us to wait upon due process, refrain from rash comments, consider the larger picture — and preferably just shut up and forget about it.

If Annan and his retinue feel a desperate need during this current crisis to express themselves, perhaps they should channel it into actually delivering some of that transparency they’ve been promising in their own operations. That would be good preparation in the event the U.N. Security Council decides, say, to impose sanctions on Iran, and needs the Secretariat staff to perform with at least slightly more integrity than was displayed under the Iraq Oil-for-Food program.

Right now it is the job of the world’s more responsible political leaders not simply to deplore the horrors of war, or construct another false U.N. peace leading to even worse nightmare ahead, but to seek real answers to the miseries and menaces of the Middle East. That is a task perilous, contentious, and rough enough, without a parade of unelected and largely unaccountable U.N. civil servants using public platforms to insinuate into the process their private prejudices."