Wednesday, April 25, 2007

US and UN: What's the Point?

Why anyone would enlist the assistance of the UN for any purpose is puzzling. But considering UN involvement in the Iraq war is totally absurd. Even in the Clinton Administration the UN bailed on Iraq as indicated below.
BBC News: UN withdraws staff from Iraq
As speculation grows over US military action against Iraq, virtually all UN personnel are leaving the country.

And again the UN bailed on Iraq in the Bush Administration:
Bush Gives Saddam 48 Hours: UN Withdraws from Iraq
NEW YORK, New York, March 17, 2003 (ENS) - Saying it does not mean an end of involvement of the United Nations in the Iraqi situation, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today that he will withdraw UN staff from Iraq following the failure of efforts to achieve united action in the Security Council in removing weapons of mass destruction from the country.

So again, what's the point of involving the UN on matters related to the Iraq war? They offered no support leading up to the war and stood idly by while other UN members adhered to their own selfish interests rather than apply real pressure on Saddam to comply with inspections. Many blamed President Bush for ignoring the UN and forcing a unilateral decision to confront Saddam with military action. The same UN that did nothing in the previous 12 years continued their do nothing policies, protecting financial and political interests, then blamed President Bush for going it alone. Beyond a few reliable partners like Britain and Poland, most coalition partners fled when confronted.

After the departure of John Bolton we have Zalmay Khalilzad recently appointed to attend to business at the UN for the United States. The following report gives the appearance of pleading and raises some questions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 18:54
Subject: /UN-Diplomacy/US/
New US envoy Khalilzad seeks greater UN role in Iraq

New York (dpa) - Drawing on his recent experience in Iraq, newly appointed US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Tuesday that governments should work with the United Nations to bring about "positive results" in the war-torn nation.

On his second day of work as the White House's envoy to the UN, Khalilzad sounded diplomatic and conciliatory in coaxing the UN to do more, particularly in Iraq, while pledging US cooperation.

"I have seen first hand that working with others, with the UN, that positive results can be achieved," Khalilzad told reporters. "With that perspective, I will engage, I will work hard, will listen and will be respectful, but will also speak for what we believe."

Here is a brief summary of his resume':
Zalmay Khalilzad:
1984 - US Dept of State, Council on Foreign Relations, worked for Paul Wolfowitz
1985 - Senior State Dept official during Reagan Administration (Senior after one year?)
1990 - Defense Department as Deputy Undersecretary for Policy Planning. (Bush 41)
1993 - Director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure at the RAND Corporation
2001 - All over the Bush Administration

If Khalilzad is so entrenched in GOP, or more accurately, Reagan/Bush politics, why is the current President Bush placing him in this position with the UN? It is not like the current President Bush has not made a mistake or two in the Iraq War and this may simply be just one more piece of bad advice he has accepted. But regardless of the intent, on the surface it would appear there are only two reasons for this appointment. The simplest explanation would be a pure political move to give the appearance of 'making nice' at the UN as if to say we're doing all we can to achieve success in Iraq. Or the more troubling possibility that President George W. Bush has conceded defeat and is preparing for withdrawal from Iraq before the end of his term. Of course there is always the possibility that President Bush is more intelligent than most give him credit for and has a newly formed and sophisticated strategy for successfully completing the mission in Iraq of which this is one part. That might be overly optimistic.

Stanford Matthews

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More 'Expressions' from the UN

Apr 18, 3:26 AM EDT

U.N.Council Authorizes Lebanese Mission


UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council
expressed "serious concern" at mounting reports of weapons being
smuggled from Syria to Lebanon and authorized an independent mission to
evaluate monitoring of the border between the two countries.

The council adopted a presidential statement late Tuesday reiterating its
demand that Syria tighten its border and urging all countries,
"especially in the region," to enforce the arms ban on the Islamic
militant group Hezbollah.

In light of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's
controversial trip to the Middle East, including the political sore
spot of visiting Syria, the UN seems convinced that Syria is moving
weapons to Lebanon. This is the same country responsible for the
assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. While Pelosi
still can't figure out what was wrong with going to Syria, the UN is
equally inept in responding to Middle East events. This is simply the
most recent update on why the UN serves no purpose but to allow
international crime to proceed unchecked.

So far their toothless resolution prohibiting Syrian and Iranian guerillas
from moving weapons has had no effect. The council asked politicians in
Lebanon to use 'dialogue' to prevent these problems. And their idea of
stepping up the pressure is for the Secretary General to visit Assad and
others in person. Sure, that will help. Why do they even bother with
these theatrics? After all this time and all the failed attempts to act like
united nations, who do they think they are fooling?

Stanford Matthews

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

U.N. chief eyes climate change summit

From Breitbart/Reuters:
The United Nations is contemplating a high-level meeting on climate change this year, which could lead to a world summit by 2009, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Financial Times.

The high-level meeting, which could involve ministers and other top delegates, was the most "practical and realistic approach", Ban said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Such a meeting -- on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September -- "may be able to give some clear guidelines to the December Bali meeting", he said.

Ban was referring to a United Nations conference on climate change to be held on the Indonesian resort island.

If September's high-level meeting was a success "a summit level meeting will have to be discussed later on", Ban told the newspaper. "It may be 2008 or 2009."

The FT reported there had been calls for a summit level meeting on climate change at the United Nations in September.

But Ban said: "One difficulty is whether I can see for sure the participation of all the major countries, including the United States".


Monday, April 09, 2007

Quote of the week

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New York Quotes Spank the U.N.

It is not only the general public who has grown weary of the empty
promise of the United Nations. At least some of those who
represent the public in government express their resentment also.

In the state of New York and the city which has the UN headquarters not
all public officials are enamored. If only members of the UN were
as anxious to prove themselves worthy of it's name as they are to
expand their useless kingdom again this year as in 2005.

The officials say they oppose any plan to help the United Nations,
which they describe as an antidemocratic, anti-American, and
anti-Israeli organization.

An assemblyman from Brooklyn put it this way.

"I don't know of anyone who feels differently from a year ago or
two years ago," he said. "As far as I am concerned, anything with the
United Nations turns my stomach."

A New York council member echoed sentiments of his constituents on
using park land to build a UN office tower,

"protecting the parkland that we have in an area that is starved
for it is very important," he said. "Nobody will tolerate simply losing a
A council member who counts himself among those opposed to the presence
of the United Nations in New York, Simcha Felder, said it would be a
mistake for the city to help it in any way.

Whether the extravagance of an exclusive club or the politics of money
eventually win out, it is clear many in the city that is home to the UN
headquarters are not interested in the UN or any economic impact on the


Lawmakers Vowing To Block United Nations Building Effort

BY GRACE RAUH - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 3, 2007

One of the UN's latest initiatives has been provided more
funding. This 'project' is for so-called missions in two regions
at the cost of more than half a billion dollars. You may like to
read this press release to note the scary similarities between UN
councils and votes and the US Congress. Lots of yeas, nays,
abstentions and absences which read like a playbook on how to spend a
lot of money accomplishing nothing. There is nothing united about it.

The Secretary-General received commitment authority from the Assembly
following the expansion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
(UNIFIL) and establishment of the follow-up United Nations Integrated
Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) by the Security Council last year. After
the Fifth Committee considered those missions´┐Ż full budgets during its
first resumed session, the Assembly appropriated some $403.1 million
for UNIFIL and $184.82 million for UNMIT today.

You may like to know a bit about UN peacekeeping missions and whether
or not they would have much effect. At the honorable Nobel
organization they offer a brief history on UN peacekeeping. It
would be comforting to know that all nations would contribute
collectively to an organization focused on peaceful solutions to armed
conflict. But the UN drops the ball on this too, right from the beginning.

according to the Nobel organization:

The United Nations Peacekeeping Forces are employed by the World
Organizaton to maintain or re-establish peace in an area of armed

The UN Peacekeeping Forces may only be employed when both parties to a
conflict accept their presence.

The Peacekeeping Forces are subordinate to the leadership of the United

Operational control belongs to the Secretary-General and his

We distinguish between two kinds of peacekeeping operations - unarmed
observer groups and lightly-armed military forces. The latter are only
allowed to employ their weapons for self-defence. Altogether, 14 UN
operations have been carried out.

Just some more examples of how meaningless the United Nations is or has
become. The largest mistake those in the Congress made lately was
to turn down John Bolton's nomination as permanent ambassador to the
UN. In the time he had, some progress was made by informing the
UN business as usual would be taking a new course. However,
members of Congress would rather have the useless organization continue
its corruption well into this century.

Stanford Matthews