TSUNAMI -- Delivering aid stymies UN

As news media are increasingly dominated by footage of US, Australian and regional military forces actually delivering aid to stricken survivors of the Boxing Day tsunami, UN officials are carping about housing in major cities far removed from the front lines and passing around elaborate business cards.



If you're trying to make a point make it.

Don't post stupid f***ing links that p*ss people off and block up their computers.
I'd do a worm check as well if I were you.
I am fully ready to be absolutely shocked if this news of more UN incompetence and ineptitude comes as a surprise to anyone on this site.

Every single UN operation I have been a part of, or been witness to, has relied on the efforts of (comparatively) few servicemen and women from the usual TCC and the odd dedicated professional - and a host (literally thousands) of thoroughly corrupt UN workers, usually from 3rd World nations who use the UN as an excuse to steal and embezzle what they can from the UN's coffers.

Incidentally, note how quick the UN was to retreat from its initial 'US not doing enough' strapline. I don't believe for a second that this is because the US contribute fully 1/3 of the UN's running costs and they support the cost of all the New York infrastructure to boot.

For more UN 'shockers':


Anyone remember the absolute travesty of 'humanitarian assistance' perpetrated in Srebrenica...?
It's not just the Third World UN workers on the fiddle. It's almost impossible to get sacked from the UN, and the perks of many jobs are excellent. There is an excellent book on the subject, the details of which I'll dig out later.

I remember all the brand new UN Land Cruisers that were needed to tackle the rough terrain of Split, and every restaurant being full of Timberland Aid Workers. I met an ex-US Army Capt who had resigned in disgust at the way money was being wasted on luxury accommodation, expenses, and a huge admin empire whilst much of the work was just put on the back burner. There were a few good eggs, such as Larry Hollingsworth, but most of the UN people were pretty unimpressive.
Has anyone told Clare Short what a useless bunch of barstards the UN are? Moral authority? My arrse!


The more the Yanks ( and Aussies, Kiwis and Singaporeans) show the UN up for the corrupt and inept cocktail circuit that it is, the more I like it.
Well Done the moderator for your very quick response to that twats stupid and worm ridden post. By the time I had tried to warn you of it you had dealt with it.

As for the UN. The one body in the world that makes the Labour Party look honest, upright and full of people that know the meaning of the word integrity.
The UN?
If they can't get their act together, and demonstrate that they're doing eveything possible to alleviate this disaster, they might just as well pack it in and leave it to the core aid-providing nations.
There are just too many proven instances of corruption, throughout the UN as a whole, for the main donor countries to continue their contributions without question...
It was a nice idea while it lasted; now it's just sick-making!
When I was on Grapple 4 I spoke to a couple of ex-Sgts from our mob. They were part of the UN Investigations Section (or whatever it was called)and on very good money. We asked about vacancies and they told us that whereas the section had mainly comprised of Yanks, Brits, Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans (spot the common thread?), there was now a ban on recruiting from these countries and a switch to more third world nations. The reason for this was that the original members were unearthing too much corruption and they wanted people who would turn a blind eye to it.
Article on the myth of the UN's moral authority ( and competence) in today's Sunday Telegraph. A selection follows.


If the UN keeps failing, the answer is not to ignore its faults, but to reform or replace it. There is growing interest in some American quarters in the idea of a new international association, open only to countries that elect their leaders democratically. At a minimum, Americans expect transparency, accountability, and some greater approach to even-handedness in the Middle East. But the real challenge to all of us, in all the democracies, is this: to be guided by realities, not fantasies - and especially not such uniquely unconvincing fantasies as the allegedly unique moral authority of the United Nations.
If you want to know what the UN is really getting up to on the ground, read this blog, written by a diplomat in one of the affected countries:


The most recent post reads thusly:

Saturday, January 08, 2005

UNbearable . . . .

Saturday evening moving into night. We have a slight lull in the pace of activity at the Embassy; all of today's C-130s are loaded and on the way -- even my teen-aged son whom I can't get to pick up his room was unloading trucks at the airport. After a few calls, we managed to snag another hanger at the airfield to store the pile of supplies which keeps growing despite the multiple C-130 flights. It's a pleasure to watch the Australians and our guys work together. They're interchangeable -- except for that, that . . . uh, you know, that cricket thing . . . but for that flaw the Aussies would seem perfectly normal.

You don't want to hear about Aussies and Yanks working. You know all about that. You want to know about the UN. The UN, you ask, what about the UN? Gee, fUNny you should ask. I was just thinking about the UN. Yesterday the UN rep who flew up to Aceh solely for the event, held a press conference at which he criticized the US airlift of supplies. The little S.O.B sniffed that it was "uncoordinated" and that some villages were fed twice while others were missed and that no "assessment teams" were being sent. The Guardian and AP have picked up the story, but my internet is so s-l-o-w, that I haven't been able to find it and link to it. Maybe tonight the internet will speed up and I can find it. I learn from colleagues who were there, no journalist asked the little twit just how many people the UN had fed, and if, indeed, "assessment teams" are what is needed why haven't the gadzillion UN assessment teams hanging out in the capital moved into these remote villages. I'm sorry but I detest these Vultures more and more.

What else is the UN up to, you ask? Oh the usual that you would expect from an organization with a dozen or so well-funded agencies supposedly devoted to emergency humanitarian relief . . . no, no, not feed people or provide them medical care, what do you think the UN is, the US military or something? What is wrong with you readers? Has The Diplomad taught you nothing? The correct response is put out a press release in New York claiming to be doing all sorts of things that others, e.g., US and Australia, are doing -- oh, and catch the dig at US helicopters.

The local UNocrats, not to be outdone by their New York Vulture brethren, tore themselves away from the buffet at the Hyatt, and put out a matrix, dated January 5, that sums up what the UN has "done" since the quake and tsunami hit on December 26. It's a pack of outright lies and distortions.

My favorite entries in the matrix come from UNICEF (see the prior pre-tsunami Diplomad posting on the glories of UNICEF.) Under "Water & Sanitation," UNICEF tells us "Response team being deployed." Yessiree, that'll put water into dehydrated kids' mouths -- a "response team" which is not even here yet. Under "Health," UNICEF engages in a grotesque lie: The matrix lists a number of items as tsunami relief which UNICEF had PREVIOUSLY donated to the Ministry of Health -- this is known as "double counting" or "cooking the books." Under "Food/Nutrition," they list "Deworming tablets for 676,000 children (to combat anemia.)" How about combating starvation first? In the "Education" column we learn that UNICEF has donated "100 sports kits; 50 psycho-social kits; 50 uniform kits; 100 furniture kits; psycho-social training and supplies for 300 teachers."

Let the mockery begin . . . Oops! No, no, wait, my friends, the best, the best is yet to come!

Under "Other," UNICEF proudly boasts it has sent the one item desperate people most want, UNICEF Director Carol Bellamy! Yes, she arrived, took a tour, and gave a press conference. Just think how many people were saved by UNICEF flying Bellamy and her entourage out here first class, putting them up in a five-star hotel, and flying them up and back to Aceh, and then back to New York. Makes you want to rush out and buy those UNICEF cards and go out collecting money for UNICEF doesn't it? Carol Bellamy, Queen of the Vultures and the Supreme High Priestess, Con Artist Without Peer has graced these shores, we truly live in an age of wonders.

UNDP comes close to UNICEF in the brazenness competition. All the columns save one are blank. Under "Other," UNDP states "$100K cash grant for coordination + assessment; 2 Recovery experts sent to arrive 12/31." In other words, they've spent $100,000 to do what they're supposed to do in the first place, coordinate and assess; oh and they've flown two folks out here (first class, of course) who'll do something or another. Have they in fact arrived? What have they done since then? These are questions to which you will never get a straight answer. WFP, OCHA, and WHO can barely come up with anything to brag about: in fact, WHO (World Health Organization) has NO entries at all in the matrix' columns. UNHCR claims to have provided 20 thousand jerry cans for water, there's one problem with that claim: USAID provided the cans which are filled up on the USS Abraham Lincoln with pure water and flown to affected areas by USN Seahawk choppers -- the very ones that get criticized so very much.

Our folks in Aceh report that UN "coordination" means that the UN holds a meeting every day at 5 pm near the runway in Aceh. Every donor nation and NGO stands up and states what it's doing; the UN rep writes it down. Some times, however, it's hard to hear. The distinctive "whoop! whoop! whoop!" of those nasty American choppers and the roar of Australian and American C-130 engines on the tarmac can prove very bothersome to the UN rep as he tries to hear what everyone else is doing. Poor man! If only those stingy Aussies and Yanks would have the decency to shut down relief operations while the UN rep is trying to hold a meeting, after all, he's here to help, help himself, that is, to taking credit for what the others are doing.

One last thought. Who ever said Mother Nature didn't have a black sense of humor? Let me tell you a true story about an Acehenese cow. She survived the earthquake and the tsunami. On January 5, as she was crossing the runway a B-737 bringing relief supplies hit and killed her. The 737? Crumpled undercarriage and damaged wing. Nobody human hurt. Runway operations shut down until (please play Flight of the Valkyries) a superb combined USAF/USN team came choppering in with the most amazing gadgets and moved the thing off the runway, restoring full operations in just a few hours. To paraphrase the Joker, "Where do they get such wonderful toys!"

Back to the airport . . .
One of the most egregious things about the UN is that it goes over the top to be morally neutral (like Libya chairing the Human Rights commission). You could thus violently take over a small sub-saharan African country over the weekend, and be sitting in the UN making demands and getting taken seriously as a "World Leader" on the same basis as a democratically elected President from a European country, on the Monday morning.

I therefore rather like the suggestion that the UN should be replaced by an organisation which permits only countries with properly democratically elected representative governments to be members.

/still proudly wears his t-shirt which says "UNITED NATIONS: keeping third world dictators in caviar since 1945" :twisted:
The United Nations. As top heavy in vacuous poseurs as Westminister and the Scottish Parliament.

Feeding off disaster and at public expense

Sir - Having survived the tsunami in Sri Lanka, I have one abiding memory of the aftermath.

On New Year's Eve, I was returning to my evacuee relief centre, when I passed one of Colombo's finest restaurants. It was with surprise and dismay that I saw it was filled with freshly suited UN officials, their finely polished official cars and dutiful drivers parked ostentatiously outside (News, Jan 10).

I went to bed early, on the floor of a sports hall along with 500 other displaced tourists. I couldn't get into a hotel; they were full of aid officials.

Tarquin Desoutter, Battle, E Sussex

Indonesia tightens Aceh controls

Foreign troops helping the tsunami aid effort in Indonesia's Aceh province must leave by the end of March, the government in Jakarta has said.
Foreign aid workers and journalists in the ravaged province must also now register travel plans, officials said.

Correspondents say the army wants to re-establish control over Aceh, where it has been battling separatist rebels.

The restrictions came as creditor nations discuss whether to freeze debts owed by countries hit by the tsunami
Good old Indonesia, don't let a disaster get in the way of normal business.

Ethical Foreign policy anyone?

Similar threads

Latest Threads