Friday, October 27, 2006

# Posted 7:23 PM by Taylor Owen  

I AGREE WITH TED TURNER: hmm, that felt odd. But seriously, Ted Turner on the UN:
The fact is that the UN works - for the world's poor, for peace, for progress and for human rights and justice.

And we need it to go on working if we're going to deal with the serious and sometimes frightening challenges facing us in the 21st Century.

I'll admit that cooperating through the UN can be difficult at times; and I'll admit that the UN can be improved. But anything worthwhile is hard - and frankly I can't think of a more worthwhile endeavor than what the UN does to foster peace and prosperity on a global scale.

Let's look at the reality.

The reality is that the UN has succeeded in its essential mission of preventing World War III.

The reality is that UN peacekeeping is an incredible value for the United States and the rest of the world.

In fact, UN peacekeeping is one of the great bargains of all time, ensuring that no one country has to pay all the bills or take all the risks for peace and security around the world. The RAND Corporation has estimated that UN peacekeepers can do the job at a fraction of the cost of U.S. troops. The U.S. does not contribute any of the almost 100,000 UN peacekeepers deployed around the world. Financially, the U.S. share of the UN's 17 peacekeeping operations is about $1 billion this year -- equivalent to about 5 days of the U.S. deployment in Iraq. In the world of business, we call that a bargain.

The reality is that the UN handles humanitarian emergencies skillfully. When the Asian tsunami struck, the UN was there immediately, they got the job done - food, water, health shelter - and they are still on the scene helping those communities rebuild. The people of New Orleans would have been lucky to have had such an efficient and effective response after Katrina.

The reality is that there are dozens of unrecognized ways that the UN helps make our complicated world work. The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization makes possible the system of international air traffic. The Universal Postal Union makes it possible to put an American stamp on an envelope and send a letter that will arrive in an Australian mailbox. The World Meteorological Organization monitors global weather patterns. The Food and Agriculture Organization helps keep the world fed. And the World Health Organization and other health agencies help research, monitor and contain diseases that transcend borders.
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As far as Ted Turner claiming a fast response to the Tsumani, the Diplomad
blog: www.diplomatic.blogspot.com January 2005 archives has some harsh words.

"The UN's performance in this disaster has been a disgrace of epic proportions; it's vastly overfunded and overstaffed agencies, allegedly established to deal with precisely this type of event, are MIA. We are now in day 16 (DAY 16!) of the crisis, and the UN is still not ready to act. It is no wonder affected countries want to deal with the US and not the UN. At a minimum, the UN owes the world an apology; the entire upper echelon of the UN and its bloated agencies should resign."
"The reality is that the UN handles humanitarian emergencies skillfully... New Orleans would have been lucky to have had such an efficient and effective response after Katrina."

The UN is not an emergency response organization. It has a well oiled spin machine ready to take credit for the efforts of others and blame any of its many failures on others.
The UN resembles a multi-national conglomerate that needs to be taken over by a corporate raider and pulled apart so its component units can deliver more value to its shareholders.

Turner's comments about the UN's performance in Indonesia in the wake of the tsunami in 2004 seem particularly distant from the reality of the situation. However Turner has a vested position given that he's donated so much money to the UN. He doesn't want to admit that he wasted it...
"The reality is that the UN has succeeded in its essential mission of preventing World War III."

Feh. Nato succeeded. The UN had just about nothing to do with it.
No David, the U.S. was there immediately, not the U.N.. Also, the failure of our media in accurate reporting about Katrina has been admitted to already. Hell, while they were carping and perpetuating rumors on highway overpasses, the U.S. Navy was busy evacuating thousands.
Err, scratch that "No David" it should have been No Taylor...
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