Tuesday, February 01, 2005


    The world has seen the tremendous outpouring of aid for the tsunami incident. Americans should be proud of our country for the fast response. It was USA assets that we saw almost immediately in the areas affected by this disaster. Both USA military and USA civilian assets were being utilized - fast, directly, fully distributing the donations that were given for the cause.

    I've read various sources about the UN's Kofi Annan choice to continue his ski fun (3 days) in Jackson Hole even after being told of the disaster and of the UN's very slow response to get any aid into affected areas. Reports of UN officials claiming to respond quickly were supposedly high level officials flying first class to the major cities of these areas and staying at the best hotels, eating the best of meals - somewhere in their schedule maybe talking about what to do.

    I think this disaster would be a great opportunity for the UN to redeem its image, especially after the oil-for-food scandal (which is still ongoing). I'd like to see the UN provide proof of where all the money has gone. I'd like to see an audit - did UN officials really fly around first class? Did they really stay at luxury hotels just miles from suffering people? How do the official UN reports compare with facts from airline, hotel, eyewitness records?

    "Past disasters have demonstrated that much of the so-called relief money donated winds up in places other than for which they were intended. Much of the money donated to the starving masses of Ethiopia was used to buy single malt scotch whiskey and fine cigars for Haile Mariam Mengistu and his cohorts. Much of the aid money sent to Somalia was used to buy weapons for the Mogadishu warlord, Mohammed Farah Aidid. Most recently, the "Oil for food" program administered by the UN was found to have over $20 billion inexplicably missing."

    There were four main UN agencies that were collecting money for tsunami relief - UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, and the U.N. World Food Programme. Since the USA pays for the majority of the UN budget and contributions for other programs, we have every right to demand an audit and accountability of where our money is going.

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