13 June 2005

Department of PotKettleBlack

According to today's NYT,

A Congressionally mandated panel will report this week that the United Nations suffers from poor management, "dismal" staff morale and lack of accountability and professional ethics but will acknowledge the broad changes proposed for the organization by Secretary General Kofi Annan and urge the United States to support them. Among its recommendations, the panel says the United Nations should put in place corporate style oversight bodies and personnel standards to improve performance. It also calls on the United Nations to create a rapid reaction capability from its member states' armed forces to prevent genocide, mass killing and sustained major human rights violations before they occur.

Warren, Hoge, "U.S. Report Criticizes U.N. and Proposes Overhaul" (fake paragraphing removed for clarity). Let's see; are any of these problems prevalent closer to home?

  • Poor management like the situations in Iraq, in the US intelligence internecine war community, defense acquisitions, and IRS
  • "Dismal" staff morale reflected in the problems at OMB, at the GAO, and with military recruiting and retention
  • Lack of accountability and professional ethics shows up all over the US government, such as Gitmo, but perhaps just saying "DeLay" is enough
  • Corporate style oversight bodies seem to be particularly lacking in the sciences, because "corporate style" means "mandated to work for the health of the organization" and not, as at the various President's Councils and attempts to undermine the NIH, to politicize so that preconceived and politically convenient answers come out
  • Personnel standards to improve performance might include things like actual contested elections, which both parties have done their best to eliminate through political gerrymandering and refusal to seriously consider eliminating the Electoral college
  • Rapid rection capability… to prevent genocide, mass killing[,] and sustained major human rights violations probably doesn't mean Marines and Army units that can't speak the language of either the victims or their assailants

So, gentlemen, may I suggest cleaning up the US's own act before criticizing the UN's?