Sunday, May 13, 2007

Development Chic

Claudia Rosett describes some of the politics behind Zimbabwe's nomination to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. It seems that one of roots of the UN's problems is that its structure encourages some member nations to spend other members' resources. Third World dictatorships can use their nominal positions to appropriate programs to which they contribute nothing.

One possible solution would cut back the UN's functions to facilitating diplomacy. There isn't any compelling justification for delivering global services through an international bureaucracy. The current army of nongovernment service providers is testimony to the fact that without outside contractors, the UN civil service would be incapable to doing much. So why not cut out the middleman?

Pitting NGOs against the UN for a slice of the money would have the benefit of driving a wedge between these two groups, who now make common cause against the moneybags every year to demand a larger pie. Forcing them to fight over their share might not only create efficiencies through competition it would also reduce a lot of hokum that surrounds the mystique of International Development. Serving the world's poor has always been about the development princes getting rich, either through fat fees or contracts. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the hiding it that's shameful.


Blogger Jim in Virginia said...

Wretchard, interesting solution. It will take a cataclysm (economic collapse, NYC nuked, a Third World War, or Tom Tancredo as President) for it to happen.

5/14/2007 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Our biggest ME Intelligence Failure

The biggest failure in our intelligence field involved, or I should say DID NOT INVOLVE, the Operations Directorate of the CIA.

We went into Iraq sure of finding WMD's, but they weren't there. We know they existed at some point in time, just ask the Kurds.
But by far the biggest failure was to make absolutely SURE we found them by having the CIA DDO PLACE them there covertly.
It would not have required but one or two C-130's, some crates of various binary compounds and one or two nuclear artillery shells.
It was all so simple to get done and we blew it.
The C-130's land in some desert area way away from any villages or cities, bury the stuff, take off and it's done. We then go in and find it and the case is made.

What a sorry state of affairs when the USA can't pull off a simple operation like that.
The crews don't have to know whats on board. The backhoe operator doesn't need to know anything but where to dig, in fact that person shouldn't even be able to read or write very well.
When we conducted Project Jennifer three fourths of the crew on the Glomar Explorer didn't know the mission. All they knew was the cover.

We were pitiful and now we are paying the price. Just pitiful

5/14/2007 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

well, there's your proof that Bush didn't lie. A lie would've certainly involved just what habu outlines.

Say, cutting out the UN middleman is a GREAT idea! How do we do it?

5/14/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Aquarium said...

I think we quit funding the UN and begin building a new organization that will be wait I was gonna say less corrupt but that'll never happen...OK rewind..

I think we quit funding the UN and build a new organization with no General Assembly..just the big powers, or countries with big numbers headed tward being big powers, ie India. Let's say we have an odd number, 9, 13 whatever. We then just force our will on the world without having to support Trick or Treat for UNICEF or lavish lifestyles for boonies who back home are fileting each other with machetes.

5/14/2007 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

Robert Conquest's idea of an association of Britain's colonies (at the end of his book Dragons of Expectation) is a good one. US, UK, Canada, India, Australia. That's who we work with most of the time anyway. They're also less corrupt countries.

I'd like to see more cooperation with the EU. It is the other half of Western civilization, like it or not. They won't be true allies the way Australia is, but we could do more with them. They are democracies. Hopefully the next slate of leaders in the US and Europe will do a better job.

5/14/2007 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Aquarium said...

The Missing Context in Media Reporting on Iraq
By Gerd Schroeder, from the American Thinker

The US mainstream media are failing to provide the public the context it needs to accurately understand both the successes of our progress in Iraq.

I came to this harsh conclusion after studying the ongoing Brookings Institution Report titled "IRAQ INDEX Tracking Reconstruction and Security in Post-Saddam Iraq" for several months. The Brookings Institution is a left-of-center think tank, led by Bill Clinton's close friend Strobe Talbott. But its information in the Iraq Index is generally accurate and reliable. The information mainly comes from the US Military and other US governmental agencies' official statistics. It is updated at least weekly to provide in one place the most up to date information on the war that I have been able to find. Two small examples will suffice to show how neglect of context creates a misleading public impression

Very,vert illuminating

American Thinker

5/14/2007 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Aquarium, from a Ukrainian who knows what he's talking about--and how to express it--this great piece on that missing context in media reporting.

5/14/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger warhorse said...

Come on, habu, you know the CIA wasn't going to do anything of the sort. The part of the agency that hates GWB would never do anything to support him, and the part that likes him would figure that the other twenty or so reasons for war that Congress signed off on should be sufficient, regardless of the presence or lack of WMDs in Iraq.

5/15/2007 02:00:00 PM  

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