Thursday, March 02, 2006

Steyn hammers the UN

But what does Mark Steyn really think about the UN?
…the UN is a shamefully squalid organization whose corruption is almost impossible to exaggerate.

With broadsword and rapier, Mark Steyn has at the current corrupt U.N. administration, its “peace keeping” activities, and its global ineptitude.
What’s important to understand is that Mr. Annan’s ramshackle UN of humanitarian money-launderers, peacekeeper-rapists and a Human Rights Commission that looks like a lifetime-achievement awards ceremony for the world’s torturers is not a momentary aberration. Nor can it be corrected by bureaucratic reforms designed to ensure that the failed Budget Oversight Committee will henceforth be policed by a Budget Oversight Committee Oversight Committee. The Oil-for-Food fiasco is the UN—the predictable spawn of its utopian fantasies and fetid realities.
O’boy. That gets right down to the theme, doesn’t it?

Okay, so they have a little corruption within the organization. Surely it doesn’t ruin the entire premise of the UN, does it?
It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and a quart of dog mess and mix ’em together, the result will taste more like dog mess than ice cream. That’s the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn’t that they’ll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters or seven-eighths of the way. Indeed, the UN has met the thug states so much more than half way that they now largely share the dictators’ view of their peoples—as either helpless children who need every decision made for them, or a bunch of dupes whose national wealth can be rerouted to a Swiss bank account.
(I think I preferred the one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel cliché for the mental image. I may never look at a bowl of ice cream the same way again.)

Steyn uses a line from the latest Batman movie to peak behind the curtain of the UN and reveal the uselessness of the bureaucratic cesspool it has become.
The tsunami may have been unprecedented, but what followed was business as usual—the sloth and corruption of government, the feebleness of the brand-name NGOs, the compassion-exhibitionism of the transnational jet set. If we lived in a world where “it’s what you do that defines you,” we’d be heaping praise on the U.S. and Australian militaries, who in the immediate hours after the tsunami dispatched their forces to save lives, distribute food and restore water, power and communications.

According to my favorite foreign minister these days, Australia’s Alexander Downer, “Iraq was a clear example about how outcomes are more important than blind faith in the principles of non-intervention, sovereignty and multilateralism.... Increasingly multilateralism is a synonym for an ineffective and unfocused policy involving internationalism of the lowest common denominator. Multilateral institutions need to become more results-oriented.”

Which is pretty much the Batman thesis: It’s what we do that defines us. And we’ll do more without the UN.
And the UN doesn’t do much right and what it does do it does late, poorly and usually with a tremendous amount of graft.

Imprimis of Hillsdale College

via Instapundit

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