Saturday, April 30, 2005

Striking the UN and the EU In 2 Consecutive Paragraphs

I know I've been hitting the politics a bit much lately, but with a couple of education articles posted within the last 24 hours (and the fact that it's my blog!) I'll link to this National Review Online article, which sums up why we Americans shouldn't worry too much about why the rest of the world isn't too happy with us right now. A snippet:

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The United Nations has sadly become a creepy organization. Its General Assembly is full of cutthroat regimes. The Human Rights Commission has had members like Vietnam and Sudan, regimes that at recess must fight over bragging rights to which of the two killed more of their own people. The U.N. has a singular propensity to find flawed men to be secretary-general — a Kurt Waldheim, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, or Kofi Annan. Blue-helmeted peace-keepers, we learn, are as likely to commit as prevent crimes; and the only thing constant about such troops is that they will never go first into harm's way in Serbia, Kosovo, the Congo, or Dafur to stop genocide. Even worse, the U.N. has proved to be a terrible bully, an unforgivable sin for a self-proclaimed protector of the weak and innocent — loud false charges against Israel for its presence in the West Bank, not a peep about China in Tibet; tough talk about Palestinian rights, far less about offending Arabs over Darfur. So U.N. anti-Americanism is a glowing radiation badge, proof of exposure to toxicity.

The EU is well past being merely silly, as its vast complex of bureaucrats tries to control what 400 million speak, eat, and think. Its biggest concerns are three: figuring out how its nations are to keep paying billions of euros to retirees, unemployed, and assorted other entitlement recipients; how to continue to ankle-bite the United States without antagonizing it to the degree that these utopians might have to pay for their own security; and how not to depopulate itself out of existence. Europeans sold Saddam terrible arms for oil well after the first Gulf War. Democratic Israel or Taiwan means nothing to them; indeed, democracy is increasingly becoming the barometer by which to judge European hostility. Cuba, China, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah — not all that bad; the United States, Taiwan, and Israel, not all that good. Personally, I'd rather live in a country that goes into an anguished national debate over pulling the plug on a lone woman than one that blissfully vacations on the beach oblivious to 15,000 elderly cooked to well done back in Paris.

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If you liked those paragraphs, go read the whole thing. The last paragraph is a crescendo worthy of the 1812 Overture.

20 comments:

Andrew said...

"If it's broken... ignore it."

Lovely mentality, that.

Katherine Baird said...

Now that you have finished pointing out all the bad things the UN does, why dont we go over the good things that it does. It feeds millions of children around the world because their own countries won't worry about them (UNICEF), they provide medical supplies to people during times of war when the governemtns that are fighing have forgotten about the people (World Health), finally it actually pays in on its policies to help tsunami relief funds and AIDs education programs unlike some big countires who make grandious promises but never pay up. Ex: the Unites Statres has promised African countires millions of dollars to help fight against AIDs IF they promise to teach abstience only programs (tell that to the penniless prostitutes in South Africa). Yet another example of how misguided the White House is on real life issues. So while it's not perfect, the UN is there for the poorer people of the world who don't have the money or the luxury to sit about complaining about it on a cyberspace blog.

Katherine Baird said...

Just to back up my point on the US abstience policy, to prove that I'm not making it up, from the UK telegraph newspaper (its just the first on that came up when i googles it):

"George W Bush has more than doubled funding for US abstinence-only programmes over five years, largely to please his religious-Right supporters.

The US government plans to give Ugandan abstinence-only projects £4.5 million this year"

To read the complete article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/04/01/waids01.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/04/01/ixworld.html

Darren said...

Abstinence prevents unwanted pregnancies *and* disease. Damn George Bush for thinking it would work in Africa! And if South African women are so poor that their only source of income is selling their bodies, I'm not sure we should be suporting or defending that. Likewise, I don't support needle exchange programs either--helping people break a law isn't a good idea.

Want to talk about tsunami aid? The US Navy had part of a carrier group off Sri Lanka, providing electricity, fresh water, hospital facilities, and food (carriers and their escorts are amazing little cities) before the first UN helicopter was flying to survey the damage.

And how many more reports must we hear about UN peacekeepers raping the locals in Africa?

What's truly unfortunate about all this is that the US pays somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the UN's *entire freakin' budget*. Want a couple billion spent on worthwhile projects, like perhaps solar power or social security or something? Perhaps we should stop paying the UN.

Anonymous said...

Darren, you right wing stooge.

Why don't you think some original thoughts for a change?

Watch less TV. Read more books.

Darren said...

Should I feel excited because I have a troll of my very own?

Katherine Baird said...

What's more important saving people from AIDs in Africa or pushing a right-wing Christian agenda?

Darren said...

Katherine: non-sequitur.

This post was partly about some of the evils of the UN. If the UN does something right, bully for them--even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Edward said...

Darren,

What is your opinion on the presence of Israel in the West Bank? Is this the other time of day where the UN's broken clock is right?

Darren said...

I support Israel's annexation (not occupation) of the West Bank. They were attacked and rightly are keeping that real estate as a prize of war.

Additionally, it's been over 30 years that they've been there. There's got to be *some* statute of limitations--either get your land back within x years, or forfeit it. No one's been able to take it back.... How far back do we have to go when giving back land? Does Peru have to go back to being a Spanish colony? Would Spain have to give Peru back to the indigenous peoples, the descendants of the Inca? Does China get to take Taiwan?

Edward said...

Darren,

Where do you get your information on this issue?

Anonymous said...

"There's got to be *some* statute of limitations--either get your land back within x years, or forfeit it."


Wait a sec.

Isn't Israel based off of a 2,000 year old claim?

I guess your statute of limitations test does not apply to the very existence of Israel itself.

What a "non-sequitur" stooge.

Mother Was a Hampster said...

"Democratic Israel or Taiwan means nothing to them; indeed, democracy is increasingly becoming the barometer by which to judge European hostility."


Democratic Israel? Do the Palestinians get a vote? Do Arabs born in that country get to vote?

Their government is more apartheid than a democracy.

Darren said...

Anonymous, do you think it possible to write something intelligent and, at the same time, not resort to name-calling? Let's try that, shall we?

Remember, you don't have any "right" to post here. You leave comments here at *my* pleasure. And your puerile manners are not pleasing me.

Clean up your act, now, or I will delete your comments. Notice that there are plenty of people who disagree on this site, but they disagree in a courteous and intelligent manner. Again, let's try that.

Darren said...

Edward, what information source are you requesting? I quoted that the article was from National Review Online and provided a link. What else would you like to know?

Darren said...

Mother: Palestinians who are Israeli citizens get to vote in Israel.

And we'll just disagree about the comparison to apartheid.

Darren said...

Edward, here are links to two relatively-respected blogs, and they link stories throughout the press about our tsunami efforts--if that's the information you were asking about.
http://instapundit.com/archives/020349.php
http://instapundit.com/archives/020286.php
http://instapundit.com/archives/020222.php
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14115&only=yes
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14131&only=yes
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14143&only=yes
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14192&only=yes
As for the UN budget and the US' contribution to that budget, I went to the Ask Jeeves website (ask.com) and asked, What percent of the United Nations' budget is paid by the US?

I got several interesting answers. Here's one from the 10/2/2000 New York Times:
In addition to the bill for 25 percent of the United Nations regular annual $1 billion budget, the United States is charged for 30 percent of the separate, fluctuating peacekeeping budget, which in the coming year is likely to total more than $2.5 billion. Congress has already lowered peacekeeping payments to 25 percent — a move seen here as a violation of treaty obligations — and is now demanding that the regular budget share be reduced to 22 percent.

This comes from the 12/23/2000 New York Times:
The peacekeeping scale of assessment had not been changed since 1973, though periodically the United Nations' regular operating budget had been adjusted. But Mr. Holbrooke did not get everything Congress demanded. He did win approval of a cut to 22 percent of the United Nations regular budget, from 25 percent. As to other payments for peacekeeping, the American share was cut to 27 percent from 30 percent, but still exceeds the 25 percent level set by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. To make their point, the senators had tied up payment of American debts, which the United Nations calculates at more than $1.3 billion now. Under an agreement that the committee struck with the Clinton administration in 1997, arrears could not be released until the 25 percent level was reached. Two years earlier, Congress passed a law saying the United States would not pay more than 25 percent for peacekeeping. This has added an automatic increase in arrears ever since. That law would have to be repealed.

So, that's where I got my facts. Hope that's what you were looking for, Edward!

Darren said...

Oh, and one more thing. All of the EU contributes about 35% of the UN budget. Got that from my Ask Jeeves search, too.

Edward said...

Darren,

I was talking about your information on the ME conflict. That the US pays a large chunk of the UN budget is not controversial.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that instapundit and littlegreenfootballs are respectable. If those blogs point you to respectable sources, then that's fine, but it's pretty bad form to cite the blogs themselves.

Darren said...

I pointed you to where *I* got the information, which is what you asked. The blog postings have links to where *they* got the information.

If you don't think Instapundit and LittleGreenFootballs are respectable, we'll just have to disagree on that one.

BTW, Edward, you're in the DPR of Berkeley, right? Not too far from here. We should meet up for coffee/tea/hot chocolate some time.