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Who will keep us safe from the peacekeepers?

ITEM: The United Nations 'official website asks the question, "What is peacekeeping?" then answers in part as follows: "Peacekeeping is a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace. U.N. peacekeepers--soldiers and military officers, civilian police officers and civilian personnel from many countries--monitor and observe peace processes that emerge in post-conflict situations and assist ex-combatants to implement the peace agreements they have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms including confidence-building measures Confidence-building measures (CBMs) are certain techniques which are designed to lower tensions and make it less likely that a conflict would break out through a misunderstanding, mistake, or misreading of the actions of a potential adversary. , power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development."

CORRECTION: The activities of UN peacekeepers do come in many forms--unfortunately, these often include rape, forced prostitution, pedophilia pedophilia, psychosexual disorder in which there is a preference for sexual activity with prepubertal children. Pedophiles are almost always males. The children are more often of the opposite sex (about twice as often) and are typically 13 years or age or younger; , and other sexual abuses, all of which have been recently brought to light among UN troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, involving girls as young as 11. After media exposes of the lurid practices, the UN was forced to initiate its own investigation--though it took another six months before its results were released.

The United Nations has tolerated such behavior for years, say human-rights groups. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a Danish film documentary, for example, UN troops had a large hand in spreading the AIDS virus AIDS virus
See HIV.
 in Cambodia in the early 1990s, with peacekeepers having sex with locals--children and prostitutes. Asked for his reaction, a UN official shown in the film answers, "Boys will be boys."

One UN publication, Africa Renewal, noted in April of 2005: "As recently as 2002 allegations surfaced that UN personnel and humanitarian workers at UN-administered camps in Liberia, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (sēĕr`ə lēō`nē, lēōn`; sēr`ə lēōn), officially Republic of Sierra Leone, republic (2005 est. pop. 6,018,000), 27,699 sq mi (71,740 sq km), W Africa.  and Guinea were forcing refugee women and young children to provide sexual favours in exchange for desperately needed food, medicines and other relief supplies." Those reports are "strikingly similar to those made in the DRC DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC Down (Stage) Right Center
DRC Director(ate) of Reserve Components
DRC Disability Rights Commission (United Kingdom) 
 [Democratic Republic of Congo]" this past year.

The Congo scandal, it seems certain, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. At least one senior UN official involved in the Bunia refugee camp in the DRC has been implicated im·pli·cate  
tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.

 in the sexual abuse, according to published accounts--which also have noted that after the scandal broke, investigators were threatened with retaliation RETALIATION. The act by which a nation or individual treats another in the same manner that the latter has treated them. For example, if a nation should lay a very heavy tariff on American goods, the United States would be justified in return in laying heavy duties on the manufactures and  by peacekeepers. The Times of London reported about Russian pilots among the peacekeepers, who "paid young girls with jars of mayonnaise and jam to have sex with them. They filmed the sessions and sent the tapes to Russia. But the men were tipped off and left the area before U.N. investigators arrived."

The Congo outrage is "the latest in a string of scandals that have hit U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world," testified Dr. Nile Gardiner, a fellow in Anglo-American Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation, before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations Internal Operations (I.O., IO or I/O) is a fictional American Intelligence Agency in Wildstorm comics. It was originally called International Operations. I.O. first appeared in WildC.A.T.S. volume 1 #1 (August, 1992) and was created by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee.  on March 1. "Indeed, it appears that U.N. peacekeeping missions frequently create a predatory sexual culture, with refugees the victims of U.N. staff who demand sexual favors in exchange for food, and U.N. troops who rape women at gunpoint. Allegations of sexual abuse stretch back at least a decade, to operations in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Despite previous U.N. investigations--and Kofi Annan's declaration of a policy of 'zero tolerance' toward such conduct--little appears to have changed in the field."

There are some 80,000 peacekeeping troops from about 100 nations in 17 countries, a number that keeps rising. American taxpayers foot the largest portion of the total peacekeeping bill, around 27 percent (the share is higher in the Congo mission). Between 2001 and 2005, U.S. contributions to such peacekeeping operations have amounted to some $3.6 billion.

Astonishingly a·ston·ish  
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise.
, UN officials have complained that, because nations want to protect their sovereignty, the world body can do little to discipline such abusive peacekeepers. We are supposed to believe that if we only gave more power to the world army, there would be less abuse of those the peacekeepers are supposed to be protecting. The chief of staff for Secretary-General Kofi Annan Kofi Atta Annan (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1 1997 to January 1 2007, serving two five-year terms. He was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.  told a U.S. congressional panel that, "for me, the United Nations is not over-sized, over-resourced or under-supervised by its member states." He complained of too much supervision, saying the secretary-general is "mired mire  
1. An area of wet, soggy, muddy ground; a bog.

2. Deep slimy soil or mud.

3. A disadvantageous or difficult condition or situation: the mire of poverty.

 in a web of governmental committees and outdated rules that impede his freedom to manage."

This is not just a matter of a few bad apples abusing their power. A liberal reporter for the Washington Post, Keith Richburg, had his eyes opened when he covered a number of UN operations in Africa; several are described in his compelling book Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. For example, he says that events in Somalia dashed the hopes of the world, as well as his own, "that Africa might somehow become the testing ground Noun 1. testing ground - a region resembling a laboratory inasmuch as it offers opportunities for observation and practice and experimentation; "the new nation is a testing ground for socioeconomic theories"; "Pakistan is a laboratory for studying the use of American  of the New World Order and the idea of benign military intervention The deliberate act of a nation or a group of nations to introduce its military forces into the course of an existing controversy. ."

Richburg describes the horrendous bureaucratic bu·reau·crat  
1. An official of a bureaucracy.

2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.

 hurdles imposed by the UN in Somalia. He also recalls journalists and international do-gooders partying in formal evening wear, with rock bands blaring, at a benefit banquet--while Somali children and refugees "climbed trees or onto nearby walls just for a glimpse of what must have seemed a very weird foreign tribal ritual." As for the warring parties, the UN just threw money at them, which is rightly called extortion by the author. The UN "was effectively paying the thugs not to shoot the [peacekeeping] soldiers coming in to keep the peace." Moreover, it didn't work.

Elsewhere, he recounts the horrendous brutality in Rwanda, where the UN was complicit com·plic·it  
Associated with or participating in a questionable act or a crime; having complicity: newspapers complicit with the propaganda arm of a dictatorship.
 in mass murder. In one incident, Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana tried to find refuge at the UN compound but was found by her killers, dragged to the street, and executed. That was about the time, Richburg writes, "when ten Belgian troops arrived to protect her. Following an instruction radioed from the UN headquarters in Kigali, the Belgians laid down their arms, hoping to avoid a confrontation with the crowd; they too were brutally tortured and executed."

Such disgraces took place while the UN was supposedly calling the shots. Do we really want to make the military arm of such a world body more "effective"?

The UN's record when it has the upper hand over vulnerable populations is hardly reassuring. Strangely, it is often those who complain the loudest about the occasional unlawful actions of U.S. troops--who are governed by a system of checks and balances and operate under a bona fide [Latin, In good faith.] Honest; genuine; actual; authentic; acting without the intention of defrauding.

A bona fide purchaser is one who purchases property for a valuable consideration that is inducement for entering into a contract and without suspicion of being
 military justice system, unlike UN troops--who would empower foreign troops with more power, even over American citizens and soldiers. Yet, as the Romans asked centuries ago, who will guard us from the guardians? A government big enough to enforce world peace is big enough to impose world tyranny.

Indeed, if the UN had enough power to enforce what it calls global peace--meaning a lack of resistance to its dictates--it surely would tyrannize the world.
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Title Annotation:United Nations
Author:Hoar, William P.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Jul 11, 2005
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