Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Jan's at it again!

Granted, the above isn't an entirely fair statement; after all, it is the function of the U.N. to stand around and point fingers while others do the actual work. And actually, I shouldn't be complaining. Usually, when atrocities are happening in Africa, the U.N. stands aside, wrings its hands, finally deploys a token force of peacekeepers, lets its "peacekeepers" get butchered, uses the said butchering as an excuse to withdraw all of its forces, then conveniently forgets while a million Tutsis are butchered. Then memorializes the genocide with a teary-eyed ceremony in New York led by the man who was ultimately responsible for the genocide in the first place. This fact conveniently fell down Wretchard's memory hole.

Anyway, you may remember U.N. humanitarian coordinator Jan Egeland. The U.N. official who called the United States stingy in its tsunami relief efforts...after we had contributed an aircraft carrier battle group, countless C-130 aid flights, and millions of dollars worth of goods through USAID, to say nothing of the U.S. NGO contributions. He's at it again in the Sudan, criticizing the AU for not providing enough military montiors to prevent atrocities. He has a valid point; if there are still atrocities going on, as most everyone agrees, there are obviously not enough troops in country. This begs the question, why?

No doubt, a large part of the problem is the fact that most African militaries and their respective governments are chronically underfunded and that most African militaries lack the expeditionary capability to deploy and sustain a sizeable force in another country. So the problem is money and a lack of trasportation capability. The U.N. has the money and the ability to arrange air transportation. This situation is EXACTLY the kind of thing the U.N. was designed to resolve: a ruling minority is brutally repressing a majority of a different race. By any decent standard, the Sudanese government is engaging in genocide. This is what the U.N. is supposed to fix! So why hasn't it?

The answer comes later in the article.

" The resolution authorizes a 10,000-member peacekeeping force in the south and calls for a partial arms embargo as well as travel and an assets freeze against those guilty of gross human rights abuses. But Russia, China and Algeria still object to sanctions."

So, the hold up is due to the fact that China, Russia, and Algeria don't wish to lose their supply of cheap oil, nevermind the hundreds of thousands that have died. And thus we have the inherent weakness in the U.N. The voice of a totalitarian government like China or Algeria (or, increasingly, Russia) that is only interested in oil gets to be heard at the same level and with the same degree of respect as that of the democracies who are standing up for basic human rights.

Because of this system, hundreds die daily for the cheap oil of China, Russia, and Algeria.

And as a final absurdity, I leave you with this quote from Mr. Egeland:

" "And those (troops) could have been there last summer if we had been able to deploy tsunami-style," he told a news conference. "There are many countries in Africa that could give more forces, quicker. What we need is more forces on the ground.""

I'm not sure who Mr. Egeland is addressing with his use of 'we.' If he is addressing the U.N., I hope he is kidding. After all, if that was the case, the first thing established in the Sudan would not be aid flights or health care, but a camp for the U.N. staffers to make sure they do not undergo undue stress.

The memory hole...