Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 24, 2004
WAR: The UN's Abu Ghraib - and Havel for the UN!

Captain Ed notes a UN scandal larger and worse than Abu Ghraib, as there have been more than 150 charges of rape, prostitution, pedophilia and other sexual abuses by UN peacekeepers in the Congo against innocent refugees. Of course, as with the Oil-for-Food scam, stories that reflect badly on the UN get only a fraction of the attention devoted to stories that reflect badly on the Bush Administration, even if the story itself is considerably worse. And that imbalance in the worldwide press has tangible bad effects on the credibility of the US as opposed to the credibility of the UN, which by any right ought to be close to zero at this stage.

Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds, who's been doing great work pulling together the latest from the Ukraine, likes my suggestion that Vaclav Havel should replace Kofi Annan as head of the UN.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg calls my suggestion of Havel "a great, wonderful, humane, inspired idea." Now, if only I can figure a way to get traffic to the blog out of this . . .

SECOND UPDATE: Matt Welch, who knows a lot more about Havel than I do from his years in what was then Czechoslovakia, is also supportive: "I think it's a capital idea, and would likely bring a gust of support behind the growing "Community of Democracies" reform initiative."

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:50 AM | War 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Three things separate this from Abu Graib.
1. Size and scope appear on the surface to be much larger than the small group of misbehaving soldiers.
2. No pictures (so far). Pictures helped drive that story.
3. The extreme left wing media has an interest in exposing any flaw in the U.S. military but is disinterested in hurting their fellow leftists at the UN.

Posted by: LargeBill at November 24, 2004 8:52 AM

Being that ideological critics of the UN generally come from the “right” it makes a lot of sense to choose a leader who might appeal to them. Havel, as you’ve already demonstrated, appeals to people who tend, to put it kindly, to not be the biggest fans of the UN.

Personally, I’d like to see former NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson get the job, but that's just because I think the UN should be run by someone with a really cool Scottish accent.

P.S. I take it you are not among those who want to see Bill Clinton as Secretary General? Heh heh…

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at November 24, 2004 9:48 AM

Clinton would be good at some parts of the job, but (1) he'd get personally in the way of things by his need to be in the spotlight, (2) anything he did would be entangled with Hillary's presidential ambitions and probably with criticism of Bush, (3) being married to a US Senator would make him suspect among hard-core anti-Americans, and, how shall we put this, (4) when you have an institution racked by scandal and corruption (including sex scandals), the first name that comes to mind to clean up the joint is not "Bill Clinton".

Posted by: The Crank at November 24, 2004 9:53 AM
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