Monday, January 03, 2005

And speaking of gifts that keep on giving, there's the United Nations

Via Instapundit we discover that
SUPPORTERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS have reportedly staged an intervention with Kofi Annan at Richard Holbrooke's home...
You mean the Richard Holbrooke that was the Clinton administration's designated UN suck-up? Yup - cut to the article:
The others there were John Ruggie, assistant secretary general for strategic planning from 1997 to 2001 and now a professor of international relations at Harvard's Kennedy School, Leslie Gelb, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Timothy Wirth, the president of the Washington-based United Nations Foundation.
The usual Democrat UN lovers. Tim Wirth's actual job title is "Deployer of Ted Turner's Depleted Billion."
The crisis meeting of veteran foreign policy experts in a Manhattan apartment one recent Sunday was held in agreed-upon secrecy.

The high profile guest of honor came unaccompanied by his usual retinue of aides and without the knowledge of most of his closest advisers. The mission, in the words of one participant, was clear - "to save Kofi and rescue the UN."
It must be serious if the usual hangers on didn't get to have their limos park in a no parking zone!
At the gathering, Secretary General Kofi Annan listened quietly to three and a half hours of bluntly worded counsel from a group united in their personal regard for him and support for the United Nations, but deeply concerned that lapses in his leadership over the past two years had eclipsed the accomplishments of his first term and were jeopardizing chances of making the remaining two years of his term meaningful.
The secret gathering came at the end of a year that Annan has described as the organization's "annus horribilis," a year in which the United Nations faced charges of corruption in the way it ran the oil-for-food program in Iraq, evidence that blue-helmeted peacekeepers in Congo ran prostitution rings and raped women and teenage girls and formal motions of no confidence in the organization's senior management from staff unions.
Lots of luck, Kofi!

Frankly when your mission statement seems to be "Pontificate endlessly while spending other people's money liberally," it's hard to see how much Kofi could really do to change things. Check out the WInds of Change's The Toyota Taliban, but only if you have low blood pressure:
I've often seen the term "Toyota Taliban" used to refer to non-governmental 'aid' agencies and U.N. bureaucrats. I've even used it myself on occasion. What does it mean, and where does it come from? Here's an excerpt from U.N. Insider's June 04 summary:
In a letter from Kabul, British satirical biweekly Private Eye reported on the private life of international community members in the Afghan capital. It claims that only 16% of the $4.5 billion pledged at the Tokyo conference goes to the government; the rest in the hands of NGO; a term used to refer to "the well heeled" international staff of the U.N. and aid organizations who reportedly spend time shopping for wide screen tvs and laptops at a new Sony Centre. "Most other shopkeepers only ever glimpse them as they are driven past in one of the $75,000 Toyota Landcruisers most of them owned by the U.N. -- known here as the Toyota Taliban," the letter says, adding that the cruisers ferried them from office to restaurant to guest house. It continues: "There's a swimming pool at a central U.N. compound and regular parties and barbecues. Memories of a party held by the DHL courier group last November, when an opium pipe was passed around by U.N. staff, are still fresh. If boredom strikes, aid workers might also sign up for Tai Chi and Argentinean tango lessons."
There's more by following the Winds of Change link including a Roger L. Simon commenter with 18 years experience in Afghanistan:
An enormous and highly profitable international aid apparatus has assembled in Kabul and has largely ignored the input of the Afghan people or their largely American liberators; the latter stand by in disbelief as taxpayers contributions to Afghanistan disappear into outfitting the extravagant needs of European aid community. The UN pays $400 a day (more than a year’s pay for an average Afghan ) plus a generous per diem. This enormous aid infestation has fostered rightful resentment. The UN and associated NGOs ran through years of aid funding in a matter of months. Now when money cannot be found for reconstruction, the UN issues reports criticizing the parsimonious Americans. Meanwhile, the UN and NGOs live like pashas. Hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for Afghans have been transformed into fleets of top-of the-line Toyota Landcruisers, villas and estates to house their workers complete with swimming pools, an endless supply of underpaid servants, luxurious furnishings (accented with looted antiquities,) the latest laptops, video equipment, cases of Johnny Walker Blue and the bling bling ...perks that might even seem excessive to Ken Lay are justifiable expenses charged off to the US. No accountability, no oversight. They don’t bother cooking the books, they don’t even keep the books!

Afghan citizens fear that vocal objections to this patronizing treatment will result in economic reprisals by the UN. They’ve looked to the Americans and ISAAF to clean up the mess to no avail. Rents have skyrocked for the Kabulis as every decent habitat in the city has been purchased by NGOs at ten times its face value. Many citizens now find their new landlords are NGOs! Everywhere in that country this toxic scenario is daily repeated--the condescending class of chauffered Eurotrash grief-relief workers are now hated and despised as the new Toyota Taliban.
There's more there too, but if that doesn't have you reaching for your holster, nothing will.

I hate to seem repetitive, but it's time to put the UN of its misery. And everybody else's misery too.