Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's all about the United Nations, I guess

Former UK cabinet minister Clare Short has her knickers in a twist - Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition':
United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.

The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response.

But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.

“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.

“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.

“It is the only body that has the moral authority."
Sigh. The only thing the UN brings to the table is other people's money. More perverse whining by following the link including this beauty:
Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters.
Have another hit off the bong, Clare.

Anyhow, it isn't just Clare. Apparently Kofi Annan noticed he wasn't going to get his cut and called Colin Powell - Powell, Annan Discuss Asia Aid:
Secretary of State Colin Powell conferred by video hookup U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday on assistance to the victims of the Asian and African tsunamis and then added the United Nations to the core group planning relief efforts.
Hasn't Colin left yet? On the other hand, maybe they can send the UN folks out for coffee. And there's one sure way to tell that the U.N. is involved - it's conference time!
With the death toll rising, European governments were taking soundings on holding an international donors conference Jan. 7, a senior U.S. official said.
Here's a thought, maybe the United Nations could dig into its piggy bank and come up with some loot:
The already controversial U.N. Oil-for-Food program may also have been a vast international money-laundering scheme involving potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, documents reviewed by FOX News suggest.
Anyhow, Fox News has a video of Kofi's news conference linked off their home page where he was asked explicitly whether the United Nations had enough people to provide disaster relief and he launched into a spiel about U.N. partners like the Red Cross. Hey everyone! Just provide the cash and the workers and the goods and they'll provide the "moral authority." With that and $10 and a US Air Force C-130 you can airlift a bag of rice.