You know how I often say the UN is incompetent at best, malevolent the rest of the time? Well, anyway, I just did.
“There is no food and no clean water, nothing,” Mahmoud, a 12-year-old boy from Homs, Syria, told Reuters Thursday. “There is no shop open and we only have one meal a day. How can we live like that and survive?”
According to the World Food Program, half a million people don’t have enough to eat in Syria. Fears are growing that the regime is using hunger as a weapon.
This is the kind of emergency which should attract the attention of the UN Human Rights Council’s hunger monitor, who has the ability to spotlight situations and place them on the world agenda. Yet Olivier de Schutter of Belgium, the “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” is not going to Syria.
Instead, the UN’s food monitor is coming to investigate Canada.
That’s right. Despite dire food emergencies around the globe, De Schutter will be devoting the scarce time and resources of the international community on an 11-day tour of Canada—a country that ranks at the bottom of global hunger concerns.
Yes, but there are excellent hookers in Montreal! Or so I am told by the Secret Service.
Anyhow, back to those gaunt Canadians:
I asked De Schutter if his time wouldn’t better be spent on calling attention to countries that actually have starving people.
“Globally, 1.3 billion people are overweight or obese,” he responded via his spokesperson, “and this causes a range of diseases such as certain types of cancers, cardio-vascular diseases or (especially) type-2 diabetes that are a huge burden.”
In other words, the hunger expert is not even that interested in hunger, but the opposite. Sure, we should all eat less fries, but do Canadians need a costly UN inquiry to tell us that?
What’s that, Mr. De Schutter? I can’t understand you with your mouth full of coq au vin and moules marinière.
But you thought I cited this article as an example of UN incompetence, didn’t you? Guess again:
First, consider the origins of the UN’s “right to food” mandate. In voluminous background information provided by De Schutter and his local promoters, there’s no mention that their sponsor was Cuba, a country where some women resort to prostitution for food. De Schutter does not want you to know that Havana’s Communist government created his post, nor that the co-sponsors included China, North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe.
These and other repressive regimes are seeking a political weapon to attack the West.
De Schutter’s consistent argument is that if there is hunger, Western countries are to blame. His attacks on international trade are so ideologically extreme that even Pascal Lamy, head of the World Trade Organization and a member of the French Socialist party, criticized De Schutter’s approach for threatening to drive food prices higher and “exacerbating the negative impacts on poor consumers.”
Second, even when they visit the right countries, Ziegler and De Schutter reach the wrong conclusions. Ziegler went to Cuba, but it was a staged visit that hailed Castro’s policies as almost divine. De Schutter went to Syria—in 2010, long before the current crisis — and mentioned several problems, but his report took pains to repeatedly praise the Assad regime.
My experience is that when you hear the phrase “Special Rapporteur” you should put one hand over your wallet and the other over your testicles (sorry, ladies) because one’s about to get picked and the other about to get kicked. I’ve come to believe that the UN is so malevolent, it uses incompetence as a mere means to its baleful ends (awesome word from my online thesaurus!).