Saturday, September 26, 2009

THE EXPENSIVE UNITED NATIONS

With the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and the Security Council commencing last week in New York City it is appropriate to review the United States’ participation in that forum. The rants and ravings of some third world leaders may require further comment from me if you saw any of their antics on the news channels this week.

Buried deep in the Sunday, September 20 Parade Magazine was a revealing article titled “The Truth About U.N. Peacekeepers.” After reading the article and doing a little research on my computer, I have come to the conclusion that the taxpayers of the United States are either the most na├»ve or the dumbest people on the face of earth. Let me share some facts and statistics with you, then decide for yourself.

First, there are some 90,000 U.N. peacekeepers stationed around the world at the present time. Of that total, the bulk of the troops are drawn from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Some members of the United Nations have suggested that a permanent armed force be created like NATO, but the United States is opposed to that idea. Several countries have strongly opposed the placement of US troops in their countries under any circumstances.

It is reported that the poorer countries who are making significant commitments of military personnel have an economic motivation, because the U.N. pays them $1,028 for salary and allowances, $303 supplementary pay for specialists, $68 for personal clothing, gear, and equipment, and $5 for personal weapons for each soldier each month. That is at least $1,100 per month in payment for a soldier from countries where that payment far exceeds the earning potential of a man for a year. The individual governments then pay their soldiers, but if you think the troops are getting all that money, you would be sadly mistaken. Supposedly this funding permits these poorer countries to support a larger standing Army, but who knows if the money is really going for that purpose, because there are no accounting standards or reporting requirements.

Now while you are digesting those facts, consider this. The United States currently pays 25% of the United Nations total operating budget of $22.4 billion. Here are some shocking statistics to ponder. China’s share of the budget is 0.9%, Australia pays 1.47%, Belgium is charged 1.09%, Brazil at 1.61%, Canada is 2.82%, Mexico is charged at 0.94%, Sweden is billed at 1.09%, Germany at 9.63%, France pays 6.49%, Britain has dropped to 5.07%, and Russia only contributes 2.87%.

Now if you are picking yourself up off the floor consider the fact that there are currently 185 members of the United Nations, and I have only listed the largest contributors. Add to this debacle the fact that most of the countries that pay significantly less than the United States rarely vote in support of any resolutions presented by our country.

There are three very interesting supportive documents that will provide you with significantly more insight into this subject, and I suggest you take a look at them so you can draw your own conclusions. They are:

http://www.conservativeusa.org/UN-spending.htm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,551480,00html

http://www.heritage.org/research/internationalorganizations/em714.cfm

History has proven that the failure of the original League of Nations was caused basically because they never had a military organization to enforce their rulings. The same situation is essentially repeating itself with the U.N., because its peacekeeping forces are a total joke, corrupt, inadequate in size, and ineffective (just look at the countries supplying most of the troops).

When work frequently took me to New York City, I often stayed at the UN Plaza Hotel near the UN headquarters. The lobby and the restaurants were full of tin-horn country ambassadors and their staffs living it up, actually residing in the hotel, living in diplomatic immunity, not paying NYC traffic tickets, voting against the USA, and virtually paying nothing for their membership. United Nations representatives live lavishly while our country keeps pouring good money after bad to support highly unethical conduct. Believe me it is a disgrace, and our government does absolutely nothing about this continued abuse and ruse.

Time and time again, the United Nations has failed to react in a timely or effective manner to tragic developments around the world, such as Darfur, Somalia, North Korea, and Iran to name a current few. Repeatedly there are well documented scandals, such as the Iraqi oil for food pay-offs.

Rarely, since the United Nations aggressively addressed the North Korean incursion into South Korea nearly 60 years ago, has the UN acted promptly against unwarranted aggression. The UN’s record is a world-wide well established embarrassment. I proudly served as a member of the UN forces from the United States protecting South Korea near Kunsan in the 1950’s, but we participated in a settlement not a victory. That action led to American armed forces being stationed in South Korea to this day at our expense, not the UN’s.

Your Commander clearly remembers when the United Nations was created after World War ll, and that idea was sound, but the execution is seriously flawed. The United States, through an extremely generous gift from the Rockefeller family, provided the enormously expensive ground that the UN buildings occupy along the East River in mid-town Manhattan. The US provided the majority of funding to erect the buildings, and substantial funds are expended yearly by New York City and the federal government to support its operation. The US pays the largest percentage of the budget and we consistently are voted down by many members. Now there is nothing essentially wrong with losing a specific vote, but virtually every time? The voting structure is rigged against the United States getting a fair shake because of the veto powers of other members. So I ask you…What does the United States get out of this deal, except massive expense, and absolutely no appreciation, let alone respect? We deserve respect, and we have earned it repeatedly over the years for saving, and preserving the very existence of many of the member countries.

Diplomatic immunity is daily flaunted by U.N. members, and it is time to impound their cars. Why should the cars of UN diplomats be exempt from paying New York City for parking violations? Wouldn’t it be interesting to recommend at the next meeting that the United Nations leave NYC, and move their headquarters to say Lagos, Nigeria? What would the delegate’s facial expressions look like?

If that happened, the U.N. would likely collapse, a few NYC ethnic restaurants would close, the New York hotel room rates would drop, there would be fewer spies in NYC, many useless free-loading diplomats would then have to find gainful employment – and would no doubt look to US companies for that so they could stay here. Our country would save billions of our hard earned dollars that could be re-directed to protecting our fellow citizens or supporting worthy causes.

Just consider all the money we would save in reduced foreign aid dollars we provide virtually every country in the world to send their representatives to serve at the unproductive and ineffective United Nations. Just imagine our foreign aid dollars going to legitimate causes, and not graft. It seems to your Commander that a simple “cost benefit analysis” would dictate a sound departure course of action for the United States. Silly me, that would be logical.

COMMANDER GRANGER

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