Posted by: Jeff | February 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

Stephen Walt, on the U.N.’s remarkable feat in pre-quake Haiti:

I don’t think the U.N. is the answer to all the world’s problems or an institution that can prevent major powers from pursuing their interests, but it does do a lot of good around the world and shouldn’t be bashed just for sport, or because of cockamamie fears about mythical black helicopters, alleged threats to U.S. sovereignty, or other staples of rightwing paranoia.

Those that criticize the U.N. largely do so for one of two reasons – a perceived lack of action by the Security Council and a subsequent resentment of American financial contributions; and a suspicion that the U.N. is anti-Israel (despite having been the body that created Israel in the first place).  Little notice is typically given to arms of the U.N. system that do an incredible amount of good all over the world – the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as the dozens of peace-keeping and peace-building operations worldwide like the one in Haiti.

It is  another sad layer to that story that the organization responsible for breathing new life into Haiti was largely snuffed out by the same earthquake that undid its hard work and so devastated the already-maligned country.

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