Thursday, October 14, 2004
The UN- Just say NO
As Sherry at Bittersweet and others have posted, the UN is looking to form and deploy it's own rapid deployment force, or 'hit squad.'
I suppose the idea would have merit if the UN had the moral credibility. Trouble is, they don't.
Canadian General, Romeo Daillaire was sent to intervene in Rwanda for 100 days.
He came back a suicidal, pill popping wreck of a human being. Why? Because the UN restricted his activities to simply watching the genocide and slaughter taking place in front of his eyes- until he could watch no longer and defied UN orders and actually tried to save live.
The UN was not amused at his activities as other 'peacekeepers' were pulled out.
The same UN that is allowing the genocide in Darfur to continue. The same UN that seems to think 'hit squads' are what the UN needs to restore it's credibility.
From the Third World Traveller, a few extracts:
In an indifferent world, Gen. Romeo Dallaire and a few thousand ill equipped U.N. peacekeepers were all that stood between Rwandans and genocide. The Canadian commander did what he could-did more than anyone else-but he sees his mission as a terrible failure and counts himself among its casualties.
After a 100-day reign of terror, some 800,000 Rwandan civilians were dead, most killed by their machete-wielding neighbors. Dallaire had sounded the alarm. He'd begged. He'd bellowed. He'd even disobeyed orders. "l was ordered to withdraw...by [then-U.N. Sec. Gen. Boutros]Boutros Ghali about seven, eight days into it... and I said to him, 'I can't, I've got thousands' -by then we had over 20,000 people-'in areas under our control," Dallaire said in a recent interview with Amnesty Now. The general's hands, always moving, rose beside his face as if to block the memories. "The situation was going to shit...And, I said, 'No, I can't leave..."
Dallaire and his troops were about to become spectators to genocide. As bodies filled the streets and rivers, the general, backed by a UN mandate that didn't even allow him to disarm the militias, pleaded with his UN superiors for additional troops, ammunition, and the authority to seize Hutu arms caches. In an assessment that military experts now accept as realistic, Dallaire argued that with 5,000 well-equipped soldiers and
a free hand to fight Hutu power, he could bring the genocide to a rapid
The U.N. turned him down. He asked the U.S. to block the Hutu radio transmissions. The Clinton administration refused to do even that. Gun shy after a humiliating retreat from Somalia, Washington saw nothing to gain from another intervention in Africa, and the Defense Department, according to a memo, assessed the cost of jamming the Hutu hate broadcasts at $8,500 per flight-hour...
Three days after the Rwandan killings began, with Dallaire's troops running short of rations as well as ammunition, about 1,000 European troops arrived in Kigali. The general watched with frustration as the well armed, well-fed Westerners landed and left again as soon as they'd evacuated their own nationals. Then, after Hutu militias killed 40 Belgian paratroopers, Brussels withdrew all of its peacekeepers (the only significant Western contingent and the only one that was properly equipped) from the U.N. mission. Dallaire's depleted force was on its own...
Remarkably, with scant resources-indeed, with only one satellite telephone for the whole mission-Dallaire was able to maintain safe areas for those 20,000 terrorized Rwandans. But he could do little else, and the killing continued
Dallaire says that about 20 percent of troops and humanitarian workers on missions like his suffer much the same thing, as do 5 to 10 percent of diplomats. "They are casualties," he tells me. "High suicide rates, booze, drugs, pornography, finding themselves on skid row."
Read it here. It isn't at all pretty- and it's happening all over again in Darfur.
Without the UN, the US would no doubt have intervened. Instead, we are held hostage as we play to the 'lets talk about it' crowd at the UN-- and then, no matter what, it will be our fault.
And when you're done, ask yourself about supporting the UN 'ideals.'