UNthinking UN supporters

Mark Steyn:

" 'War without the UN is unthinkable,' huffed The Guardian's Polly Toynbee a year ago, just before it happened. For a certain type of person, any action on the international scene without the UN is unthinkable. And, conversely, anything that happens under the UN imprimatur is mostly for the unthinking.

"No matter how corrupt and depraved it is in practice, the organisation's sunny utopian image endures. Say the initials 'UN' to your average member of Ms Toynbee's legions of the unthinking and they conjure up not UN participation in the sex-slave trade in Bosnia, nor the UN refugee extortion racket in Kenya, nor the UN cover-up of the sex-for-food scandal in West Africa, nor UN complicity in massacres, but some misty Unesco cultural event compered by the late Sir Peter Ustinov featuring photogenic children.

"So the question now is whether the UN Oil-for-Food programme is just another of those things that slip down the memory hole, and we all go back to parroting the lullaby that 'only the UN can bring legitimacy to Iraq/Afghanistan/Your Basket Case Here.' Legitimacy seems to be the one thing the UN doesn't bring, and I'm not just talking about the love-children of UN-enriched Balkan hookers in Kosovo.

...

"In other words, Oil-for-Fraud is everything the Left said the war was: it was all about oil - for Benon Sevan, the UN, France, Russia and the others who had every incentive to maintain Saddam in power. Every Halliburton invoice to the Pentagon is audited to the last penny, but Saddam can use Kofi Annan's office as a front for a multi-billion dollar global kickback scheme and, until it was brought to public attention by the tireless Claudia Rosett of The Wall Street Journal and a few other persistent types, the Secretary-General apparently never noticed.

...

"So the conventional wisdom stays conventional - that we need to get the UN back into Iraq. No we don't. Iraq deserves better than an organisation which spent the last six years as Saddam's collaborator. As Claudia Rosett put it, 'We are left to contemplate a UN system that has engendered a Secretary-General either so dishonest that he should be dismissed or so incompetent that he is truly dangerous and should be dismissed.' "

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