The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

              Kofi's Crimes
With all the recent focus on the Oil-for-Food scam of the UN, and the demands for Kofi Annan's resignation because of this corruption, we forget the much more serious crimes of Annan - namely his actions during the massacres in Rwanda and Bosnia. Kenneth Cain, a former UN Human Rights officer in its peacekeeping operations reminds us how the UN was complicit in the murder of hundreds of thousands of people when Annan was in charge of "peacekeeping" for the UN.
But it isn't just the stench of death I remember so vividly; the odor of betrayal also hung heavily in the Rwandan air. This was not a genocide in which the U.N. failed to intervene; most of the U.N.'s armed troops evacuated after the first two weeks of massacres, abandoning vulnerable civilians to their fate, which included, literally, the worst things in the world a human being can do to another human being.

It did not have to happen. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the U.N.'s force commander in Rwanda, sent Mr. Annan a series of desperate faxes including one warning that Hutu militias "could kill up to 1,000" Tutsis "in 20 minutes" and others pleading for authority to protect vulnerable civilians. But at the crucial moment, Mr. Annan ordered his general to stand down and to vigorously protect, not genocide victims, assembled in their numbers waiting to die, but the U.N.'s image of "impartiality."
It is a well known fact that even with the small force that Gen. Dallaire could have stopped the murder of 800,000 people. Instead he was ordered by Annan to do nothing.

It was somewhat different in Bosnia, where UN peacekeepers were so lightly armed and so few in number that they were simply useless. Yet, they gave assurances to Bosnians that they would be protected, only to once again do nothing when Serbs came to slaughter them. Once again this happened on Annan's watch.
"Do you think the U.N. was at fault?" I asked. Not the soldiers, she said, but the leaders. "If they had done their job, and were responsible, this would not have happened." I asked if she'd heard about the current controversy over Mr. Annan's leadership. Yes she had. So I asked if she thought he should resign. It was not oil that fueled her angry answer, but genocide: "Yes," she said, waving her hand, "all the U.N. leaders. They could have reacted if they wanted to. If the U.N. goes somewhere now, how can the people there believe or trust that the U.N. will save them?"
The UN was founded in the wake of WWII and the Holocaust to prevent genocide from ever happening again. Yet in every instance of genocide the UN has done nothing, allowing it to happen despite the ability to prevent it. Even now, with the evidence of genocide in Darfur, the UN can not bring itself to act. With such a record, how can it ever be trusted again?
|| Nudnik 9:35 AM
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