After taking issue with Ted Turner’s positive take on the UN’s handling of the North Korea crisis, Schraged at Redstate asks, “Can anyone Provide any evidence that the UN has ever actually accomplished anything beyond spending US Tax Dollars, providing a platform for Terrorists and Tinpot dictators to spew the Anti-American filth, and provide a retirement for corrupt burocrats [sic] like Kofi Anan [sic]?”
I can.Consider this: since 1988, when the UN-sponsored Global Polio Eradication Initiative began, cases of polio have plummeted worldwide from 350,000 in 1988, to 1,263 in 2004. This success comes on the heels of the global eradication of smallpox by the World Health Organization almost 20 years earlier. And in addition to ridding the world of these scourges, UN agencies have combated obstetric fistula, and helped to contain outbreaks of deadly diseases like yellow fever and plague.
The United Nations is also on the front lines in the fight against the most terrifying global health scenario: an outbreak of bird-flu. United Nations agencies are working in east asian countries to help detect and contain the virus from spreading across borders and across shores.
In areas of peace and security, the UN has a long list of accomplishments. Let’s start with the most recent. Hezbollah and Israel are no longer fighting each other in Southern Lebanon. Why? Because Kofi Annan shuttled around the region following Security Council resolution 1701 and shored up the peace. He secured peacekeepers from Europe and Israel-friendly Muslim countries (as Israel demanded) and negotiated the lifting the sea and air blockade (as the Lebanese demanded). Now, refugees have returned home in southern Lebanon and Northern Israel.
Other less visible peacekeeping missions are also paying dividends for American interests worldwide. If UN peacekeepers were not in Haiti right now, US marines would have to be. If UN peacekeepers were not in Liberia, Marines and the British Army would be there. And if Peacekeepers were not in East Timor, the Australian military would have to deploy large numbers of troops there. It is no wonder why both the Quadrennial Defense Review and National Security Strategy for 2006 would emphasize the importance of UN peacekeeping for American national security. These are the three biggest contributors to the coalition in Iraq.
And on that same topic, something that Redstate would likely agree was a highlight of the Iraq war, the “purple finger moment,” was accomplished using UN workers with experience in running elections in conflict zones. Similarly, the UN helped to administer elections in Afghanistan in 2005.
So yes, the United Nations does use American dollars to pay for these services. But the return we get on our investment is a bargain.