The Nudnik File

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

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

              More on Stinginess
As rescue and recovery efforts continue in Indonesia and the other countries affected by the tsunami, the UN has tried to assert its relevance. And it seems the harder it tries, the more it is obvious that they are worthless. While the US, Australia, New Zealand, and others send supplies, the UN, in the words of Diplomad
The UN continues to send its best product, bureaucrats.
All this, of course, after charging the US and other Western countries of stinginess in their help. But while the UN talks and sends bureaucrats to further asses the situation, others are actually doing something about it. Mark Steyn describes the situation.
By the weekend, the Australians had managed not just to restore the water supply in Aceh, but to improve it. Even before the tsunami, most residents of the city boiled their water. But 10 army engineers from Darwin have managed to crack open the main lines and hook them up to a mobile filtration unit. This is nothing to do with Egeland and his office or how big a cheque the Norwegians sent.

Indeed, the effectiveness of these efforts seems to be what Miss Short finds so objectionable. Washington's announcement that it would be co-ordinating its disaster relief with Australia, India and Japan smacked too much of another "coalition of the willing". "I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to co-ordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN," she told the BBC. "Only really the UN can do that job. It is the only body that has the moral authority."

I didn't catch the interview, but I'm assuming that the Oil-for-Fraud programme and the Child-Sex-for-Food programme notwithstanding, Miss Short managed to utter that last sentence with a straight face. But, if you're a homeless Sri Lankan, what matters is not who has the moral authority, but who has the water tankers and medical helicopters. President Bush didn't even bother mentioning the UN in his statement. Kofi Annan, by contrast, has decided that the Aussie-American "coalition of the willing" is, in fact, a UN operation. "The core group will support the UN effort," he said. "That group will be in support of the efforts that the UN is leading."
|| Nudnik 2:00 PM
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