Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Friday, December 24, 2004

Your UN Contribution at Work III
Written by: Beck

Congratulations! You just paid for the rape of a 10 year old girl!

Allow me to explain. There's a very interesting article in the London Times on the ongoing sex-with-little-girls-in-the-Congo-by-UN-personnel scandal. We learn quite a few interesting things. For instance, we learn that the 11,500 person "peace keeping" contingent, apart from completely failing to keep the peace, is behaving like a bunch of drunken frat boys in Tijuana. I've written earlier on the magnitude of the abuse of women and children, and how there are reports of girls as young as ten being raped and abused.

Next, we learn that this isn't exactly new. As long as two and a half years ago, UN personnel's atrocious behavior was known to the world--but went virtually entirely unreported.
In July 2002 the rebel commander Major-General Jean Pierre Ondekane, who subsequently became Minister of Defence in a postwar transitional government, told a top UN official that all that Monuc (the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) would be remembered for in Kisangani was "for running after little girls."
Third, we learn that the annual budget of the UN mission in the Congo is a whopping $746.1 million. Finally, we learn that the cost of having sex with a young Congolese girl typically ranges from $1-$3. In one instance, a couple Russian pilots were paying girls with jars of mayonnaise and jam, then sending back pictures to friends back home.

So let's crunch some numbers. Let's say you're a successful worker and make $100,000 and that you pay an effective tax rate of 35%. That's $35,000/year you pay in personal income taxes to the IRS. We'll go ahead and forget, for the moment, the corporate taxes paid on the fruits of your labors at work. If you make more or less money and/or pay a higher or lower effective tax rate, you can figure this out for yourself by simply multiplying the final number I'm working towards by the percentage of $35,000 that you personally pay in taxes.

According to this spreadsheet at the IRS website, total IRS tax revenues for 2003 were $1,969.648 billion. Your personal contribution then comes to about 0.000002% of total US tax receipts.

The US contributes $7 billion to the UN budget--roughly a quarter of the UN budget (I've had a hell of a time finding specific UN budget figures. More on that some other day). Using that one quarter figure, the United States' share of the Congo mission comes to $186.525 million. Your 0.000002% share of that is a whopping $3.31. That's enough to pay for sex with a Congolese girl three times! Your tax dollars at work.

You know what I'd like to know? Where's the outrage? A few dozen men in an American prison in Iraq--who were there because they'd had the poor judgment to associate with terrorists--were subjected to rank humiliation. To this day, someone who reads as much online as I do can't go a week without seeing that famous picture. You know the one. With the guy wearing the hood standing on a crate, hands extended Christ-like and electrodes dangling from his finger tips.

Well something far worse has been going on far longer, and nothing has changed. It's still going on. And every American tax payer is contributing to it. So I ask again, where's the fucking outrage? Where?

Let me make this abundantly clear, as I am wont to do. You work hard to make money. You then pay part of that to the US government, who in turn spends it on the United Nations so that men in the Congo can rape 12 year olds.

Supporting Kofi Annan isn't just bad policy, it's immoral. Continued involvement in the United Nations isn't just counter to American interests, it's immoral. And the next time I hear someone who whines about how Abu Ghraib has cost American legitimacy yet who remains silent about the United Nations, I'm going to vomit. Right in their face.

(Hat tip: Captain's Quarters)

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John Beck

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