NoonShadow

An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

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Blue Helmets and Purple Helmets, v. 7

Heretofore, our Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers have suffered no punishment when they have, for example, gang-raped 12-year-old girls, organised prostitution and human trafficking rings, used food to entice starving children into sex and the like.

The UN's attitude has typically been, 'Boys will be boys.' (That disgusting phrase was actually uttered by the UN Undersecretary General in Cambodia when confronted with evidence of similar exploits there by UN peacekeepers.)

You see, the UN wishes to avoid punishing pedophiles and chickenhawks and serial rapists, because 'creating a taboo' will make it harder for the UN to attract peacekeeping contributions in the future! Logic tells me that the UN must be seeking to attract pedophiles and chickenhawks and serial rapists...

They are getting tougher now, though. If, for example, a Moroccan soldier is caught, say, paying a 15-year-old Congolese girl with a jar of mayonnaise, to bump uglies without the benefit of protection, the UN may withhold his pay packet.

And now we have confirmed reports of more sexual abuse, rape and pedophilia by UN peacekeepers in Liberia. The fact that even the UN admits that such is the case in every UN peacekeeping operation is what would be known in mental health circles as 'a pattern of abuse.'

And the UN feels that these criminal abusers deserve no punishment, or at most, the forfeiture of a portion of salary.


Let us reflect now, on the words of Jacques Klein, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Liberia. He spoke movingly to the UN Security Council in September 2003, pleading with UNSC members to approve the despatch of UN peacekeeping forces to Liberia:

Mr Klein said that one of the primary tasks of the new peacekeeping force would be to bring justice to the people of Liberia.

"Without justice there can be no healing. Without justice those who believe that they can act with impunity will be tempted to do so again," he said.

"Without justice Liberia cannot bring this dark past to closure and look to a brighter future... Ultimately, if you do not punish the guilty, you cannot absolve the innocent," Mr Klein said.





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