From the Christmas issue of the Economist:
‘In Liberia, a UN scheme to disarm gunmen by paying them for their weapons was forced to halt, at least temporarily, when too many showed up and demanded cash for their weapons. Reports from neighbouring Sierra Leone suggested that guns were being smuggled into Liberia to take advantage of the scheme.’
And this is the all-knowing, ‘legitimate’ world body to whom Europe is clamoring for us to hand over Afghanistan and Iraq. The UN just doesn’t get the gangster mentality, despite the fact that so many of its members states have it. The 12 year old me would’ve been able to tell you that if you pay people for something, they’ll find a way to get more of it to sell to you. Maybe Brooklyn needs its own seat at the UN, because something I learned quite early in life is that demand will always breed supply and that, shockingly, people will do whatever it takes to meet that demand and make money. This is a great reason why I hate the fact that any of my tax dollars go to this inept, failure of an organization.
Posted by Karol at 11:58 AM
The UN is a beautiful example of why the most lofty theories do us no good unless they are feasible in the real world. I don’t despise the UN’s idealism, and I don’t disagree with all of its goals. What I despise about the UN is its refusal to believe that it could be wrong. I’m tired of hearing people in the US attach immediate legitimacy to whatever the UN does just because it is loosely an “agreement” on what should be done. Entities can concur on theoretical solutions and still be wrong, and UN endorsement is not a blanket guarantee that what is attempted is right and will be successful.
Heaping scorn on the UN (as practically constituted) is necessary, but so easy as to seem unsporting somehow.
A side note on “gun buy-back” schemes: A friend of mine from back in college was quite active in seeing a similar program implemented in Washington DC. The last buy-back was in 2000. Officially, they stopped because of budgetary constraints. In practice, they stopped because the guns turned in were pieces of crap worth less on the sreet than what the government was paying out.
Good intentions combined with bad economics is a particularly dangerous combination. I mean, look at France…