Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank You Instapundit and a UN reprise

The Mighty and Benevolent Instapundit has mentioned this little lamb of a blog and brought back to it many of the readers from the old days. My thanks to the Instapundit, the MIGHTIEST BLOGGER ON EARTH.

Some readers have asked whether the old postings from tsunami days are still on the web. Unfortunately, I had to delete Diplomad 1.0 under pressure from the weenies at State. I have copies of the postings and have put up a couple of them over the past few weeks. I will do that occasionally.  Below I have reprinted one of the more popular ones regarding the UN. It originally ran on November 23, 2004, that's about one month before the tsunami which showed how incompetent wasteful, and malicious the UN can prove itself.

Seeing the UN Plain: Corruption as a Way of Life
Ah, yes, the United Nations.
As school kids we all heard the UN described as "the last best hope of mankind" and "if it hadn't been invented it would need to be." Even now as adults we hear calls for "sending" in the UN; getting UN approval; the need to "work with the UN"; and praise for its "technical and relief agencies." On its official website, the UN modestly states, "United Nations. It's Your World."
We at The Diplomad are here to ask you to forget all that misty-eyed blather. Our Diplomads have served at the UN, in New York, Vienna and Geneva, and worked with the UN in a variety of other posts, and can tell you from experience that the UN is a massive, expensive hoax that needs to be ended once and for all.
Those who don't rely on the "elite" MSM for all their information, know about the UN's "oil-for-food" scam that is slowly being uncovered, and could prove the most massive financial scandal in human history (even bigger than Massachusetts' "Big Dig.") The "oil-for-food" scam, huge as it is, flows logically from the ruling ethos at the UN. The UN system is built on corruption, on the principle of the shake-down; whatever lofty objectives might have existed at its creation, for the UN corruption now provides the means and reason to exist.
Let us explain.
The UN as an institution is the purest of pure bureaucracy: it is the thirty-year single malt of bureaucracies. We refer you to the UN website for details on careers there, but suffice it to say that if you want a job that is VERY well-paying, has lots of perks (first class travel; a generous pension; right to retire almost anywhere you want; tax free), and involves little actual work, the UN bureaucracy is for you -- unfortunately, if you're an American (or Israeli) you'll have a hard time getting it given the solid anti-Americanism (and anti-Semitism) of the UN Secretariat. The UN bureaucracy must have served as inspiration for a sci-fi story we vaguely recall about an ancient civilization that builds an elaborate machine that continues to operate even after the civilization itself has died. Subsequent generations -- in this case, in Europe and the boardroom of the NY Times -- have no idea what the machine does, but don't tamper with it, and, in fact, begin to worship it.
Well, we know the secret of the UN bureaucracy machine. It exists to exist. To do that it has going one of the best scams imaginable. While most media and ordinary folks focus on the occasionally contentious UNSC resolutions and debates on Iraq or Iran, in fact, 99% of UN "work" has nothing to do with such high-visibility issues. No, it deals with scores, hundreds, in fact, of resolutions passed every year in the UN General Assembly, its main Committees, and in bodies such as the Human Rights Commission. It lives off those resolutions.
Slightly simplified, this is how it often works. A UN bureaucrat gets hold of a delegate from a sympathetic country and gets that country's delegation to propose some often innocuous sounding resolution -- let's make up a typical one right here, "The Effect of Deforestation on the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa." It will have a few bland paragraphs expressing concern about deforestation in Africa, note the impact it has on the livelihood of Africans especially the "most vulnerable sectors of the population," and then will have a little paragraph at the end calling on the Secretary General to submit a report to the next General Assembly on the impact of deforestation in Africa. Normally such a resolution gets adopted by consensus by the appropriate committee, and then goes to the UNGA where its hammered through ASAP. Under the Reagan Administration, the US delegation made a specialty of finding these little gems and trying to kill them or at least make clear that they would not pass by consensus. That is tough and frustrating work; it takes up incredible amounts of time and effort and burns up lots of political capital. Such efforts offend the MSM, powerful US NGOs and other lobby groups. The UN bureaucracy knows that at most only the US will fight these resolutions; the UN uses its allies in the MSM and the NGO "community" to savage the US and make the US look uncaring about deforestation and poverty, etc. As a result, often the US will back off as the politicial costs are seen as too great to be alone and on the "wrong" side of such an issue.
So the resolution passes. The UN bureaucracy gets tasked with writing a report. Usually these reports are short, based on pre-existing information that in the age of the internet would take an intern a couple of hours to put together, but, nevertheless, for some odd reason seem to require lots of travel by UN bureaucrats. The report will conclude that there is need for further study of this critical topic and might perhaps recommend the holding of a special conference or meeting on the topic. It goes to the next UNGA which agrees that further work is needed and asks the UN Secretariat to go ahead and provide another report to the next UNGA, and so on and on. The topic is now firmly embedded in the UN agenda -- almost impossible to remove -- and highly paid bureaucrats now have sinecures producing endless reports calling for more reports and conferences that will call for more reports and conferences. The US and a handful of other major donors pay for all this.
Sweet. Very sweet.
Even the much praised UN technical agencies, such as those dealing with refugees, are bastions of waste and corruption. No need here to discuss the disaster that is called UNRWA and what it has done to set back peace in he Middle East for nearly 55 years, all the while providing lucrative employment for generations of UN bureaucrats. The much-ballyhooed UN Development Programme (Note: Although the USA pays the lion's share, the UN uses British spellings) likewise is hugely expensive, over-staffed, painfully slow in delivering meaningful assistance, and rife with anti-Americanism. These programs [or, if you prefer, programmes] generate a blizzard of statistics showing that everything, everywhere is getting worse all the time, and desperately requiring more money for more UN programs and agencies.
The American taxpayer is getting ripped off in a big way by the UN. The "need" to play the UN's political games damages the US ability to act forcefully in its own interests. If the UN wants to stay in New York and frequent the bad restaurants and bars that have sprung up around UN HQS, that's fine -- but not with US tax money.
It's time for the US and other serious countries (e.g., Australia, Israel) to get out of the UN.


  1. Welcome back! Very glad to read of your return. I found your previous blog provided invaluable world insights.

  2. UNreal, UNethical, and UNsavory?

  3. Great to have you back blogging. I'm another of your old readers from Diplomad 1.0.

    The Australian Govt. will never pull out of the UN. It provides a means through the 'external affairs' power to regulate at the state and local level, in areas where it otherwise has no authority.
    UN treaties are useful in this regard as there are so many, covering a great range of subjects and can even be drafted to give the govt. the authority it seeks for domestic purposes. For example treaties on refugees, the environment and civilian firearms ownership.

    On your post a few days ago re Clinton's Saudi mission, Galrahn had already covered a ramp up of oil shipments from Saudi Arabia to the USA - an extra twenty two million barrels over the next two months.
    He sees it as preparation for war with Iran. Your viewpoint makes a lot more sense to me.

  4. It's great to have you back.

    I'm currently an Army ROTC instructor (after completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan). I talk with my students about positive ways to behave when they're overseas -- whether they're on government business or other business. (Some ROTC Cadets get real deployments -- two of my freshman students will be wheels-up in a few weeks for a month-long trip to East Africa.)

    I don't know if you'd like to write a post some time, aimed at college or high school students who want to get started as military officers, or who want to work in the Foreign Service or intel agencies. Maybe you could give them some advice, with positive (and negative) examples of what you've seen.

    Next week in class I'm giving all my students a copy of the novel "The Ugly American." It's the best book I know about positive (and negative) ways to deal with overseas assignments. If you have suggestions about good books or articles about how to behave overseas, some of your readers may be interested -- I would.

    Again -- great to know you're back.