Posted in Geopolitics

Corruption at the UN

Corruption in the United Nations? Surely not!

The folks who brought us one of the greatest scandals of all time (the Oil-for-Food program) have figured out a way to avoid future corruption and scandal: eliminate their anti-corruption task force that had been policing the UN since 2006.

And the U.S. General Accounting Office’s estimates determined that Saddam Hussein made about $10 billion off the deal, not $1 billion as the AP story below reports.

The Procurement Task Force spent about three years chasing down about 20 major schemes, totaling about $1 billion in contracts and foreign aid.

From the AP (via Fox News):

… at the beginning of 2009, the United Nations shuttered the agency and diverted its work to the Office of Internal Oversight Services’ permanent investigation division.

Since then, the number of cases opened, pursued or completed has dropped dramatically and the division has let go most former task force investigators, the AP found in an examination of U.N. documents, audits and e-mails, along with dozens of interviews with current and former U.N. officials and diplomats.

Over the past year, not a single significant fraud or corruption case has been completed, compared with an average 150 cases a year investigated by the task force. The permanent investigation division decided not to even pursue about 95 cases left over when the task force ceased operation, while another 80 unfinished cases have languished.

It also stopped probes into contractors and cut qualified staff and other resources — and halted five major corruption investigations documented by the task force in the final days of 2008.

But we shouldn’t be concerned. Why? Because the UN says so.

“The investigations division, I am convinced, is doing a very good job, and is continuing the good work,” U.N. management chief Angela Kane said in late October. She repeated the assertion last week.

Some of the fraud from this year:

— Nothing has come of a task force report completed in December 2008 that found $1 million a day flowing out of a safe in a U.N. project office in Kabul — part of $850 million intended for Afghanistan’s rebuilding and elections between 2002 and 2006. A year later, U.N. managers say the case is still under review.

— Task force staff ran out of time before they could complete two more investigations on Afghanistan. One involved evidence that a U.S. firm padded its charges by $1 million and the other that U.N. staff diverted millions of dollars from Afghan elections, roads, schools and hospitals, according to U.N. documents and officials.

Task force investigators found evidence some of the money went to expand U.N. operations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East without authorization. And they found no documentation to confirm how the Kabul office used tens of millions of dollars meant to promote democratic elections in Afghanistan.

— No action has been taken on a task force finding that about half of $350,000 in U.N. funds intended to launch a radio station for women in Baghdad was used to pay off personal loans, a mortgage, credit card bills and taxes, as well as for cash withdrawals from a bank in Jordan. The task force recommended disciplining a U.N. staff member and referring the case to national prosecutorial authorities. Neither has happened.

— A task force investigation of collusion and bid-rigging involving a transport company in Africa found contracts steered to one company and two of its senior officers. The task force recommended the case be prosecuted; nothing has happened. U.N. managers say the case is under review.

— In another case, task force investigators obtained evidence of major corruption involving more than $200 million in transportation contracts for U.N. peacekeeping throughout Africa. U.N. procurement records show Russian companies held a large proportion — a quarter of about $400 million in U.N. air transportation contracts in 2009. The case has since been dropped.

Now would Obama kindly explain why we are wanting to send .7% of our nation’s GDP to the UN (about $100 billion from the U.S. each year alone)?

Posted in Geopolitics

Moscow signs defense pact with breakaway republics

F5DD69E9-9066-4863-89B0-4F09493EAA19_w203_sUsing the Olympics as cover, Russia invades Georgia in August, 2008; their troops burn, rape, and pillage along the way to South Ossetia and Abkhazia; the two territories are carved out of Georgia and become “breakaway republics.”

Now, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have signed 49 year defense pacts with Russia, allowing them to base thousands of troops in territories only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela Hamas also recognized their independence, but opinions of terrorists don’t count).

The U.S., Georgia, NATO, G7, and the EU along with other countries and organizations still consider the territories to be part of Georgia, and as such are occupied territories. Predictably, the UN is silent on the matter.

As a Swedish foreign minister said, Russia’s actions were “certainly just as unacceptable” as Nazi Germany “defending its rights” in Sudetenland in 1938.

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

Russia has already agreed to help defend both regions’ airspace and to train their militaries.

Russia has also agreed to defend what Abkhazia describes as its territorial waters, but which according to international law remains under Georgia’s jurisdiction.

It seems that the Soviet Union er, Russia is reclaiming it’s ‘near abroad.’ With the gutless wonder in the White House and the world’s lack of response to the Russian expansion into Georgia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states should prepare for the worst.

Posted in Quotes

UN, Ice Cream, and Dog Feces

Quote of the Day:

“It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and a quart of dog feces and mix ’em together, the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That’s the problem with the U.N.”

– Mark Steyn

Posted in Geopolitics

Misreading the Iranian Situation

[From STRATFOR’s Geopolitical Weekly]

The Iranians have now agreed to talks with the P-5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China) plus Germany. These six countries decided in late April to enter into negotiations with Iran over the suspected Iranian nuclear weapons program by Sept. 24, the date of the next U.N. General Assembly meeting. If Iran refused to engage in negotiations by that date, the Western powers in the P-5+1 made clear that they would seriously consider imposing much tougher sanctions on Iran than those that were currently in place. The term “crippling” was mentioned several times.

Obviously, negotiations are not to begin prior to the U.N. General Assembly meeting as previously had been stipulated. The talks are now expected to begin Oct. 1, a week later. This gives the Iranians their first (symbolic) victory: They have defied the P-5+1 on the demand that talks be under way by the time the General Assembly meets. Inevitably, the Iranians would delay, and the P-5+1 would not make a big deal of it.

Talks About Talks and the Sanctions Challenge

Now, we get down to the heart of the matter: The Iranians have officially indicated that they are prepared to discuss a range of strategic and economic issues but are not prepared to discuss the nuclear program — which, of course, is the reason for the talks in the first place. On Sept. 14, they hinted that they might consider talking about the nuclear program if progress were made on other issues, but made no guarantees.

Continue reading “Misreading the Iranian Situation”

Posted in Politics

Child rights treaty will expand government, hurt children

Published at Canada Free Press

The Obama administration is renewing efforts to sign a United Nations treaty supposedly aimed at protecting children’s rights. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN announced on Monday that the administration is investigating “when and how it might be possible to join” the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

While a treaty codifying children’s rights may sound harmless, the true nature of this treaty is devastating to our family structure, Constitution, national sovereignty and security. New rights granted the child would include the right to “thought, conscience and religion.”

Do our children not already enjoy these rights? Our nation is already party to the treaty’s two optional protocols: one preventing Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, the other preventing Children in Armed Conflict.

Why either of the two are “optional” is disturbing.

Our country and our children stand to gain nothing from the passage of this treaty. In fact, the CRC would provide a far more damaging environment for children. So why are politicians like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) – who pushed for a 60-day timeline for ratification – so anxious to sign?

In many ways, the CRC is a match made in Heaven for today’s Democrat agenda. Upon ratification, Congress would have the power to enact any legislation in order to comply with the treaty. The result would be what the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) calls “the most massive shift of power from the states to the federal government in American history.” National children’s health insurance and other social programs would be created in order to comply with the CRC. The U.S. would have to curtail defense spending in order to keep in proportion with these social expenses. To a western European country whose defense our military has subsidized for decades, this would have no major impact. But the effect would be devastating to both our economy and our security.

Excerpt: Read more at CFP