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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He gets the award for the following-

A day after his White House meeting with President Barack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon raised congressional hackles by calling the United States a "deadbeat" donor to the world body.

Ban's criticism Wednesday of the U.N.'s single biggest backer irked some members of the House Foreign Relations Committee. They were generally supportive of his leadership but voiced concern about U.N. efforts in areas from Sudan to Somalia.

"He used the word 'deadbeat' when it came to characterizing the United States. I take great umbrage (over) that," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the panel's senior Republican, said after an hour-long, closed-door meeting. "We certainly contribute a whole lot of U.S. taxpayer dollars to that organization. We do not deserve such a phrase."

Interviewed after the session, Ban said he had wanted to draw attention to the fact that the U.S. agrees to pay 22 percent of the U.N.'s $4.86 billion operating budget, but is perennially late with its dues -- and now is about $1 billion behind on its payments.

That figure is "soon to be $1.6 billion," Ban emphasized. Asked if he'd used the word "deadbeat" during the meeting, he replied, "Yes, I did -- I did," then laughed mischievously.

The US is dead beats, you're an ingrate Mr. Secretary. This country supplies almost 1/4th of the UN's financing. Please try finding a replacement source of those funds and see how far you get.

Someone should also remind the General Secretary, who bailed out his homeland almost sixty years ago? The United States and the UN.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Robert Koehler at Marmot's Hole


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Comments (20)

He should follow his noble ... (Below threshold)

He should follow his noble instincts and just evict us.

Wouldn't bother me at all.

'Course, he'd have to move the UN Headquarters to some other center of Freedom. Like Pyongyang. Along with some way to fund themselves. North Korea would make up the difference, I'm sure. Besides, they'd be that much closer to the source of all that global warming they're so worried about. With us out of the confusing mix, I'm sure China would step up and pay their fair share to save the planet.

Nope. Wouldn't bother me at all.

At no point did Moon allude... (Below threshold)

At no point did Moon allude to why we're in arrears. We carry the largest burden while the UN is reluctant to make any changes in who owes what. Our funds are withheld pending the outcome of negotiations year by year. As other nations become more wealthy these figures should change. The UN's largest budget by far is its peacekeeping missions (graft and corruption running a close second), yet, those nations causing a need for peacekeeping pay a pittance compared to us.

The UN would have been perfectly content to keep extracting 25% of their budget from us if we hadn't renegotiated it to 22%. Hell, I'm convinced they would have been happier to raise it 3% rather than lower it.

This goes with the last slap in the face from Kofi Annon in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake when he called us "stingy".

Maybe we're just tired of swallowing that bitter pill every year.

"the fact that the U.S. ... (Below threshold)

"the fact that the U.S. agrees to pay 22 percent of the U.N.'s $4.86 billion operating budget"

Just because the U.S. agrees to pay it, doesn't mean that the U.S. actually winds up paying it, Bill, especially under Bush II and the shortsighted Republicans.

"This country supplies almost 1/4th of the UN's financing." -- Bill.

Wrong. Maybe that's what's supposed to be happening, but it isn't happening -- read your own article, Bill.

We can't be expecting developing countries, countries like, say, Bangladesh, Gabon, or Bolivia to be paying much in the way of UN dues -- they're too poor. So it falls upon the wealthy nations to pay a higher proportion, and, of the highly-industrialized countries, the U.S. has the most people, so the U.S. will have notably higher membership dues than say, Luxembourg. Quite easy to understand, except to conservatives.

"Someone should also remind the General Secretary, who bailed out his homeland almost sixty years ago? The United States and the UN." -- Bill

Interesting that you should actually name the UN here, Bill, as many conservatives wouldn't, but unlike them, you have some knowledge of history. Yes, the Korean War was a UN-approved military action, completely unlike Chimpy's war in Iraq.

"now [the U.S.] is about $1 billion behind on its payments."


By the way, that $1 billion is about what the nation spends EACH WEEK on the Republicans' war in Iraq, arising from a foolish attempt to find nonexistent WMD which the UN weapons inspectors had found no proof of. The entire UN is definitely worth more than that shitty war. Heck, it's the UN High Commission for Refugees that has helped to look after the millions of refugees caused by that war, refugees that the so-called "Christian" conservatives don't give a damn about.

Chimpy's war in Iraq<... (Below threshold)

Chimpy's war in Iraq

That's the most racist comment I've seen on this blog and I demand an immediate apology. plus money. Because fighting racists statement like that isn't cheap.

Oh, and cake, I like cake.

i'd love to see them sent p... (Below threshold)

i'd love to see them sent packing.
nothing but a worth bunch of criminals.

Herman, if you dont like th... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Herman, if you dont like the US so much then go the UN's President homeland. I have been there. THey still have people living in straw shacks. Maybe you should join them.

Hey Herman maybe you would ... (Below threshold)

Hey Herman maybe you would like to read what it actually says, we are late paying, not that we didn't pay. As to why we pay, God only knows. The UN is a anti-semitic, anti democratic, anti equality organization ruled by the governments with the worst records on human rights, graft, corruption and not being good neighbors. We could cut back to the levels of funding that China, Russia, France, England, Canada and Germany do, I think that would match our commitment to the world and save us tonnes of money for chief in charge of wasting my children's money (Obama). mpw

HermanBTW since yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:


BTW since you are so worried about the UN Budget, if a few dem senators would just give up their earmarks than they could pay for the UN budget for a year.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - $776 million
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) - $724 million
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) - $563 million
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - $515 million

Hell that has money to pay the UN budget for the US for a year and has enough to spare for more UN Peacekeepers to go out and rape children and force women to have sex for food.

hey, Herman -f*ck ... (Below threshold)

hey, Herman -

f*ck the UN the and their child-raping security forces. I'll place you squarely in the "stupid douchebag" category for calling it the 'Republicans' war when you know it was a bipartisan vote that brought it about; I'll bet you never bothered to read the Iraq War resolution where most of the reasoning was humanitarian.

I'll make a happy general comment about liberal douchebags - they piss and moan about US actions, but they're too f*ckin' stupid to understand the payments made to the UN are only to support the bloated bureaucracy. Who responded to the tsunami in 2006? The US and Australia. F*ck the UN.

If the US pulled out the UN... (Below threshold)
retired military:

If the US pulled out the UN it would either cease to exist or become much less effective than it is today (and that aint saying much). ANy refugees the UN takes care of is mainly due to US tax dollars.

And the last I heard all the "refugees" that fled Iraq during Saddam's regime are coming back to Iraq now.

Population: 23,331,985 (July 2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 60.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 66.95 years male: 65.92 years female: 68.03 years (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 34.64 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 6.21 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 58% male: 70.7% female: 45% (1995 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 100% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 29.42 billion kWh (1999)

Infant mortality rate: 60.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

28,221,180 (July 2008 est.)
Gee a gain of almost 5 million people after 7 years of warfare

Birth rate:
30.77 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
5.14 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Birth rate and death rate down. That means that people are living longer

THat is the only thing that can account for the increase in population of 5 million people. Either that or OMG refugees coming back INTO THE COUNTRY.

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.62 years
male: 68.32 years
female: 70.99 years (2008 est.)

life expectancy has gone up for men and women after 7 years of warfare. OMG WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT.

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.1%
male: 84.1%
female: 64.2% (2000 est.)

WOW LITERACY RATE UP by 25+% for the population after 7 years of warfare.

Electricity - production:
36.92 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity production up by about 7 BILLION KWH after 7 years of warfare.

Infant mortality rate:
total: 45.43 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 51.06 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 39.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate down by 25% over the last 7 years of warfare.


HermanWhere was yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:


Where was your vaunted UN when Saddam was in power doing this?


The Iran-Iraq War in which approximately 5,000 Iranians were killed with chemical weapons between 1983-1988, plus the several thousand Iranian prisoners of war killed by Hussein. (In the "legal" part of the war between these two powerful Muslim nations, 200,000 Iraqis died and over 300,000 Iranians died. They are not counted in Scheffer's report on war crimes.)

The dropping of chemical weapons on the Kurdish city of Halaja in Iraq in March of 1988, that killed over 5,000 civilians. The U.S. government has satellite photos of the carnage. The Kurds have since reported that five to seven thousand people of 80,000 inhabitants died immediately and a further 20,000 to 30,000 were injured, many severely. Initial studies indicate approximately 52% of current inhabitants were exposed at the time of the chemical warhead attack on Halaja.

The Anfal campaigns, also against the Kurds, when Chemical Ali, Hussein's cousin, was given the orders to slaughter the Kurds. Somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed. Scheffer called it genocide.

The invasion and occupation of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 in which Saddam Hussein's forces killed more than 1000 Kuwaiti nationals, and an uncounted number from other nations while launching the environmental crime "such as the destruction of oil wells in Kuwait's oil fields. War crimes also were committed against other nationals in an "effort to coerce their governments into pro-Iraqi policies."

In 1991, when the United Nations failed to approve the actual removal of Saddam Hussein from power, from 30,000 to 60,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly Kurds and Shiites were killed.

In the early 1990s, Saddam Hussein drained the southern marshes, which deprived over 100,000 people of their livelihood and their ability to live on land their ancestors had lived on for thousands of years.

The ethnic cleansing of Persians and other non-Arabs from Iraq,

The killing, torturing and raping of political opponents and their wives and daughters and the disappearance of 300,000 people, the remains of many of whom have been found in mass graves following Iraq's liberation in 2003.

And, according to a booklet written by the U.S. Agency for International Development approximately 400,000 Iraqi civilians were seized by Saddam Hussein's various "security" organizations and simply never heard from again

Iraq, a country approximately the size of California, but with only 2/3rd its population, suffered more than a million violent deaths under Saddam Hussein's regime. That would average out at about 50,000 deaths a year in a population of 25 million before the Americans got involved. In the two years since the Americans have been fighting in Iraq, 13,650 Iraqis, have been killed, many of them by terrorist attacks by their own countrymen. Others were by military action. That averages out at 6, 825 deaths per year in a population of 25 million.

So, the mostly American liberation of Iraq dropped the rate of violent deaths from 50,000 a year under Saddam Hussein to 6,825 a year with the Americans in Baghdad. What Kennedy has labeled as American "savagery" has REDUCED deaths from violence in Iraq by 87%.


HermanHere is some... (Below threshold)
retired military:


Here is some good reading about all the good your UN is doing

"UN "peacekeepers" torture a Somali child over fire "
"One atrocity not caught on camera involved the "punishment" of a Somali child by placing him in a metal container and withholding water from him for two days; predictably, the relentless African heat killed the child. One Belgian UN soldier testified that it was a regular practice to use metal boxes as prison cells, and that other Somalis probably died similarly gruesome deaths.
"Village Voice reporter Jennifer Gould came across the accounts of the Belgian atrocities while doing an earlier story about sexual harassment of female employees at UN headquarters. "When I spoke with people at the UN, time after time I was told, 'If you think it's bad here, you ought to see what happens in peacekeeping operations,'" Gould told The New American. "I started looking into that issue and found that the abuses I reported were well-known and easily documented. They were all over the media abroad, and I was really surprised it hadn't been written about over here."

"In September, another military tribunal will be held to investigate the actions of Sergeant Dirk Nassel, the soldier photographed forcing a Somali boy to ingest worms and vomit. However, the Belgian military system -- which is deeply entwined with the UN "peacekeeping" apparatus -- has yet to inflict substantive penalties for abuses committed in the service of the UN. Several years ago, according to Gould, "Belgian soldiers were also accused of holding mock executions for Somali children and forcing them to dig their own graves; though their officer was given a suspended sentence, the soldiers were acquitted." It is thus firmly established in Belgian military jurisprudence that service in the new world army is a license to commit barbarities with impunity"
"Three members of a now-disbanded elite Canadian paratroop regiment were tried and convicted of criminal charges in the beating death of a 16-year-old Somali boy named Shidane Arone; the three "peacekeepers" had been photographed smiling beside the bloody corpse of the boy, whose hands had been bound. The incident prompted the creation of a Canadian government commission to review that nation's military and its involvement in "peacekeeping" missions; however, the inquiry foundered on the obstructionism of political and military bodies and produced what Canadian critics call an incomplete and inadequate report.
""Shocking as it is, the UN scandal in Somalia is no anomaly," wrote Gould in the Village Voice. "[An analysis] of documents and reports relating to recent UN peacekeeping operations has uncovered incidents ranging from murder and torture to sexual exploitation, harassment of and discrimination against local women and children."

"During the "frenzy of looting" that broke out in Liberia in the spring of 1996, peacekeepers used UN vehicles to make off with pilfered goods, according to the April 12, 1996 issue of USA Today. UN vehicles -- and the troops responsible for them -- have also been a boon to Balkan drug smugglers. The August 9, 1996 Washington Times reported that "U.S. and Bosnian officials suspect that high-ranking UN officials from Jordan based in the central Bosnian towns of Bugojno and Travnik have routinely provided UN vehicles to help smugglers get contraband past checkpoints. The officers appear to have received money and the services of prostitutes from the smugglers, led by Islamic foreigners who entered Bosnia with U.S. approval to defend the Muslim government."


and on and on and on

HERMAN"Yes, the Ko... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"Yes, the Korean War was a UN-approved military action, completely unlike Chimpy's war in Iraq.


"The resolution authorized President Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."
"The resolution "supported" and "encouraged" diplomatic efforts by President George W. Bush to "strictly enforce through the U.N. Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" and "obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion, and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."



F the freedom and capitalis... (Below threshold)

F the freedom and capitalist hating, non-self reliant liberals, and the UN too, but, I repeat myself.

"now [the U.S.] is about... (Below threshold)

"now [the U.S.] is about $1 billion behind on its payments.


Herman, that's our share of about one year of the UN's entire budget. If you don't do the math, it sounds like we haven't paid in a decade. And if you don't know why payment is delayed, (ie. all manner of unresolved negotiations) or you deliberately neglect to consider why, then you can have fun feeling all smug and self righteous in shouting DEADBEAT! Be careful you don't sprain your shoulder patting yourself on the back there. Money is released as payment when all have come to an agreement on terms as situations develop. It has always been thus

"We can't be expecting developing countries, countries like, say, Bangladesh, Gabon, or Bolivia to be paying much in the way of UN dues -- they're too poor. So it falls upon the wealthy nations to pay a higher proportion, and, of the highly-industrialized countries, the U.S. has the most people, so the U.S. will have notably higher membership dues than say, Luxembourg."

A) We're not expecting the "poor" countries to pay up too much. But we do expect that as countries become more wealthy, dues should be adjusted. Just think of it as channeling your most inner leftist leanings and repeat after me - "They should pay their fair share".

B) We pay by how many people we have?

Or do we pay, as France's Ambassador Jean-David Levitte said in 2000, "Our growth in the E.U. has been, unfortunately, less impressive than the growth in the United States, and the euro is going down while the dollar is going up," he said. "The E.U. contribution should go down and the U.S. contribution should go up. What we cannot accept is the ceiling going down from 25 percent to 22. It is too unfair. The principle for everybody is the capacity to pay." Oddly enough, he didn't reiterate this sentiment when the euro went up and the dollar went down.

Take it easy on Herman. It... (Below threshold)

Take it easy on Herman. It's hard to breath when you have your head so thoroughly planted up your ass.

The UN's effectiveness ended a long time ago. For the most part, it's now a slush fund for those in charge.

herman - "Interesting t... (Below threshold)

herman - "Interesting that you should actually name the UN here, Bill, as many conservatives wouldn't, but unlike them, you have some knowledge of history. Yes, the Korean War was a UN-approved military action, completely unlike Chimpy's war in Iraq.">blockquote>Interesting that you should actually name the UN here, Bill, as many conservatives wouldn't, but unlike them, you have some knowledge of history. Yes, the Korean War was a UN-approved military action, completely unlike Slick Willy's war in Serbia/Kosovo.There, got you back on the track of reality!


Can someone give me a good ... (Below threshold)

Can someone give me a good reason as to why the US should still be part of this organization. It is a body which gives positions of power to brutal dictatorships and and gets most of its funding from us and yet still feels the need to excoriate the US on a regular basis for made up offenses and interfers with our foreign policy at every step. Given that breif summary, where is the incentive for the US to remain in the UN. I can't think of anything and I wonder if anyone here can.

The US should:1. Imm... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

The US should:
1. Immediately end all voluntary contributions to the UN.
2. Suspend all payment of dues, assessment and other agreed fees until we receive a public apology from the Secretary General.
3. Suspend diplomatic immunity of those associated with the UN until we receive apologies from all members states for the actions of the Secretary General.
4. Announce that the UN has abrogated its treaty obligations to the US by its failure to control corruption, its continuing abuse of refugees and its sponsorship of terrorist regimes and organizations. And as a result all treaty obligations of the US to the UN are null and void until such agreements are renegotiated.

The US will do:
Nothing. The Democratic Party may be the only organization in the world more corrupt than the UN and will support their fellow crooks,

A smart President would con... (Below threshold)
retired military:

A smart President would consider making the following annoucement:

We plan to fully support our end of the budget for the UN. As such we need to cut our troop levels in South Korea by 50% over the next year and 95% over the next 2 years.

Then the UN Secy General can come back on hands and knees and make an apology at a news conference.

But since we have Obama as President, everyone figures it is okay to throw darts at the US as we wont fight back.

Gee only another 46 more months to go.

Obama is going to put the theory to the test that the US can survive anyone as President for 4 years (if he makes it that long).






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