Wednesday, May 25, 2005

UN Troops Leave a Legacy of Bastards In Liberia

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI use the word "bastard" hesitantly. It is not a politically correct term these days. But the shocking legacy of sexual misbehavior by UN troops (particularly in Africa) requires a shocking vocabulary to describe it. Ironically this (mis)behavior gives a new meaning to the UNICEF symbol (seen above).

Recent revelations of UN misbehavior in Congo forced UN Secretary General Kofi Anan to declare a "zero tolerance" policy on such matters (as if this was a new and surprising bit of news). The reality is damning to the UN. Consider this excerpt from a recent story in the Economist concerning a unique school in Liberia:
THE UNECO children's centre looks like any other Liberian school. Its pupils wear smartish uniforms and are eager, after 14 years of civil war and not much schooling, to learn. What is unusual is that every child at UNECO has been fathered by a foreign peacekeeper and then abandoned. The centre was founded by Dr Abraham Cole, a local teacher, "to show our gratitude to peacekeepers by taking care of their children."

Despite its name, the school receives no UN support besides food from the World Food Programme. Most of the 136 children at UNECO and a similar centre further north were conceived during the 1990s, when both the UN and Liberia's West African neighbours sent troops to Liberia. The number of abandoned babies is now set to surge, however. For the past 18 months, Liberia has hosted one of the largest and most successful UN peacekeeping missions, whose 15,000 blue helmets have now been around long enough to make more babies. A UN staffer said he expected 1,500 UN babies by the end of next year.
Two phrases from these two paragraphs stand out for me:

First: That this school was built "to show our gratitude to peacekeepers by taking care of their children." Huh? Thank you for preserving the peace while you raped, seduced and impregnated our young women and then abandoned them and your own children when you returned home to your "real" families?"

How come UN troops are honored for such behavior? If American troops commited such things they would be reviled by the world....and rightly so. And for Mr. Anan to act as though this was a "new thing?" Shameful! What does this say about the moral standards of the nations providing troops for the UN peacekeeping missions? Why in the world would we want American troops serving under the UN to be placed under the command of military leaders from such nations? Bah, humbug! Call me a Scrooge!

Second: "Despite its name, the school receives no UN support besides food from the World Food Programme." When I was in Jr High I first heard the phrase, "Slam. Bam. Thank you ma'am" and a related phrase, "Hit and run." I had no idea at the time that these phrases were describing the behavior of UN troops around the world!

I'm reminded of the man who came to rid a house of mice. After totally destroying the home he stood in the middle of the rubble holding two mice by their tails. To the homeowner he said, "There, I'm done. That will be $200 please."

Can't you just feel the love?