May 20, 2004

Will The U.N. Be Welcome in Iraq?

It is notable that we haven't heard Iraqis themselves making the moral equivalence arguments heard recently from Europeans and Massachusetts senators comparing Abu Ghraib abuses to the Saddam regime. As William Safire said the other day, "Iraqis know the difference".

And Mark Steyn warns that we might want to consider the track record of the U.N. before we hand over too much responsibility for the administration of a free Iraq to them:

What do the "Bush's boast rings hollow" crowd want for Iraq? Usually, they want the UN to take over.

Is the UN perfect? No.

Is the UN good? Well, I'm not sure I'd even say that. But if you object to what's going on in those Abu Ghraib pictures - the sexual humiliation of prisoners and their conscription as a vast army of extras in their guards' porno fantasies - then you might want to think twice about handing over Iraq to the UN.

In Eritrea, the government recently accused the UN mission of, among other offences, pedophilia. In Cambodia, UN troops fueled an explosion of child prostitutes and AIDS. Amnesty International reports that the UN mission in Kosovo has presided over a massive expansion of the sex trade, with girls as young as 11 being lured from Moldova and Bulgaria to service international peacekeepers.

In Bosnia, where the sex-slave trade barely existed before the UN showed up in 1995, there are now hundreds of brothels with underage girls living as captives. The 2002 Save the Children report on the UN's cover-up of the sex-for-food scandal in West Africa provides grim details of peacekeepers' demanding sexual favors from children as young as four in exchange for biscuits and cake powder. "What is particularly shocking and appalling is that those people who ought to be there protecting the local population have actually become perpetrators," said Steve Crawshaw, the director of Human Rights Watch.

By now you're maybe thinking, "Hmm. I must have been on holiday the week the papers ran all those stories about 'The Shaming of the UN.'"

For that matter, you haven't heard the pro-U.N. crowd express too many reservations about returning to power in Iraq the people who presided over the multi-billion dollar looting of the oil resources of the Iraqi people through the Oil-For-Food program. It remains to be seen if the Iraqis will welcome these bureaucrats with anything resembling open arms. I'm doubting it.

Posted by dan at May 20, 2004 8:36 PM