It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


UN Oil for food scandal

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 09:01 AM
I pulled this off the Wall Street Journal, it is a copy and paste since you need to register at Journal to read the article.

If the Mods want to dump this story go right ahead since its a copy and paste.

I think its an important story on this scandal which relates to all free people of the world and how certain UN officals have profited from the suffering of others.

here is the link to the Wall Street Journal if you want to register.
On Planet U.N.

The Security Council provides no security.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004 12:01 a.m.

A friend reports that at a meeting of the U.N. Correspondents Association last week, a high personage declared that those of us who write these columns are "from another planet." Clearly, we are getting somewhere; the Oil for Food Scandal and other embarrassments are finally forcing the U.N. to acknowledge its critics.

That's also obvious from last week's report from the "high-level" panel on U.N. reform, which began to recognize that maybe Turtle Bay needs to change to meet the humanitarian and security challenges of the 21st century. The report still didn't go nearly far enough, but at least its authors have entered--if we can extend the metaphor--our solar system.

Among the advances is the report's recommendation that the U.N. agree on a definition of terrorism that rules out the deliberate targeting of civilians. That may sound as morally basic as "thou shalt not kill." But it's actually a huge step forward for the U.N., which has been dominated for decades by the anti-Israel lobby and others who justify attacks done by "national liberation" movements.

The authors also bow in the direction of President Bush's pre-emption doctrine. True, they offer only vague criteria for its application and they insist that only the U.N. has the "legitimacy" to approve pre-emptive action. But it's a start in admitting that the world changed on September 11. The panel even admits that the Human Rights Commission--chaired by the likes of Libya--undercuts the institution's moral authority. Miracles do happen.

Where the report collapses, however, is on the matter of institutional change, especially to the Security Council. The report's not-so-bold proposal is to expand it to more than 20 members from 15, admitting such countries as India, Japan and Brazil. None of the newcomers would get a veto, however, and none of the five current "permanent" Council members would lose their veto. The idea seems to be to improve a dysfunctional committee by enlarging it.

The reformers won't admit that the main Security Council problem isn't its makeup; it is its fecklessness. Name a global security crisis of the past 60 years, and with precious few exceptions the U.N. has been missing in action as an agent of collective security. The one early exception was Korea, because the veto-wielding Soviets didn't show up when the Security Council voted.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, some of us argued that the Security Council might finally live up to its original postwar promise. We wrote hopefully about this at the time. And for one brief, shining moment after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the world united behind U.S. leadership to push him back to Iraq. But soon enough the Security Council fell back on its Cold War habit of failing to act when the moment required it. Let's call the dishonor roll:

Failing to enforce 17 resolutions against Saddam, tolerating his ejection of U.N. weapons inspectors, and even enabling him to stay in power by looking the other way as he exploited Oil for Food.

Failing to use U.N. peacekeepers already in place to stop the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and, worse, handing over thousands of Bosnian Muslim men for slaughter by the Serbs at Srebrenica in 1995.

Failing to act in Kosovo in 1999, amid the threat of a Russian veto, leaving NATO the task of preventing a bloody civil war on European soil.

As recently as this year, failing to stop the massacre of African Muslims in Sudan's Darfur province.

And failing even to bring up for formal debate, let alone action, North Korean and Iranian violations of non-proliferation agreements.

We could go on, but the point is that anyone who wants to solve a global problem knows not to take it to the U.N. The French jumped into the Ivory Coast on their own, asking the Security Council for its blessing only after the fact. Rather than facilitate "coalitions of the willing," the Council with its vetoes has become a body that thwarts them. We suspect the Security Council is now beyond saving, since the French and Russians are hardly going to give up their veto prerogatives, however outdated in terms of their ebbing global clout.

One alternative that might work is to scrap the Security Council in favor of some larger caucus of democratic nations. No member would have a veto and the body would not presume to be the voice of "international law." Having the U.N. finally distinguish between representative and non-representative governments would itself be an enormous force for peace and security, since many countries might race to qualify for the club and democracies rarely act aggressively.

We understand such changes may be impossible given the way the U.N. is currently constituted. (There's the veto problem again.) But if that's so, then countries that actually believe in effective multilateralism--rather than in merely tying down the American Gulliver--would be more than justified in setting up a parallel talking shop and letting the one at Turtle Bay stay lost in space.

Copyright 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 09:35 AM
First of all your title is misleading, the article, or better said opinion as it is an editorial, describes the overall inefficiency of the UN -and not about the oil-for-food program.

With regard to the oil-for-food program, see this quote from the Economist:
"...The programme was run out of the UN secretariat, and supervised by members of the Security Council."

So IF anything went wrong with the oil-for-food program, then clearly the security council is the one to blame as they supervised the whole operation. And clearly we know who is the king in the security council -right?

Second, the French deployed their forces into Ivory Coast in 2002 to avoid catastrophy when civil war in their former colony broke out. The French, afterwards, also helped into making negotiations between the north and the south. In fact the French helped creating less chaos untill their forces got bombed a few weeks ago. The act of the French cannot be compared with the US "pre-emptive strike" in Iraq -that's why a mandate for Ivory Coast has been made.

I agree though that the veto-system has made the UN very inefficient, and that the veto-system of the UN somehow must be reformed, but don't forget that it's the US also who frequently used it's veto power.


[edit on 7-12-2004 by Blobber]


log in