Friday, 23 April 2010

Helen Clark at Work

By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them

On the 31st of March 2009, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark was appointed head of the UN Development Programme. She was made responsible for an annual budget of billions of dollars to spread around the world to help poor countries develop.

Along the way she has hit a few unfortunate speed bumps. One was in an impoverished Caribbean nation called Haiti. It came in the form of a devastating earthquake. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, yet is shares a border with the Dominican Republic which is considerably better off. Same location.  Same natural resources.  Same climate.  Only the one, however, is listed as one of the world's poorest nation.

What many may not be aware of is Haiti has already been the recipient of billions of dollars of international aid for over twenty years. Things have just got worse. How could this be?

Clark's PR machine has always framed her as fiercely intelligent, clever, smarter than the average bear. In other words her PR coterie and the Lame Stream Media saw a mirror image of themselves when they gazed upon her.

Now that Clark's legendary fierce intelligence would be put at the helm of the UN Development Programme which had already wasted billions in Haiti, maybe things would change. Or, not. The "nots" have it.

According to a recent report, two-thirds of peace-keeping aid in Haiti is going to UN personnel.
The United Nations has quietly upped this year's peacekeeping budget for earthquake-shattered Haiti to $732.4 million, with two-thirds of that amount going for the salary, perks and upkeep of its own personnel, not residents of the devastated island.

The world organization plans to spend the money on an expanded force of some 12,675 soldiers and police, plus some 479 international staffers, 669 international contract personnel, and 1,300 local workers, just for the 12 months ending June 30, 2010.

Some $495.8 million goes for salaries, benefits, hazard pay, mandatory R&R allowances and upkeep for the peacekeepers and their international staff support. Only about $33.9 million, or 4.6 percent, of that salary total is going to what the U.N. calls "national staff" attached to the peacekeeping effort.
Amongst the expenditure is a very necessary piece of equipment dubbed the Loveboat.
Presumably, the budget also includes at least part of some $10 million that the U.N. has spent on renting two passenger vessels, the Sea Voyager (known to some U.N. staffers as the "Love Boat") and the Ola Esmeralda, for a minimum of 90 days each, as highly subsidized housing for some of its peacekeepers and humanitarian staff. The tab for the two vessels, which offer catered food, linen service and comfortable staterooms and lounges, is about $112,500 per day.
Now, last time we checked Haiti had not been at war. Why a peacekeeping budget?
The Haitian peacekeeping budget is relatively unique among U.N. efforts, because there was no civil war or widespread bloodletting to inspire the original peacekeeping force, which arrived in 2004. Instead, the mission has mainly been intended to bolster political order in a society crushed by hurricanes, political turbulence, and grinding misery.
And just so we get the complete picture. The "peacekeeping" budget, most of which is circulating straight back to UN personnel, is only the tip of the iceberg of aid which is supposedly floating  Haiti's way.
The revised peacekeeping tab is over and above the roughly $15 billion in short- and long-term aid that the international community — led by the U.S. and European Union — pledged to Haiti at an international donor's conference last month.
Our expectation is that when all this money has been "dumped" on Haiti, it will be left worse off than it is now. Most of the money, which represents exaction of taxes upon ordinary human beings by their soft-despotic governments, will have been expended upon UN elites. The "beneficent" iceberg will have melted away.

Sitting astride it all will be the fearsomely intelligent Helen Clark. But at least we can acknowledge her consistency. All her life Clark has held the peculiar view that the ultimate and most profound solution to any human problem is more government and more government money. She will no doubt be convinced that wonderful and great things are being done in Haiti. There are no limits to the fearsome stupidity of Clark and her ilk.

To Clark, whose god is government, and who believes its worship requires never-ending illicit exactions of property from citizens, intelligence is indeed the stuff of myth and legend. She will go down in history as one of the human races most notorious wastrels.

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