United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.Here's how it works.
The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world�s response.
But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.
"I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up," she said.
"Only really the UN can do that job," she told BBC Radio Four's PM programme.
"It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers."
Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters.
She said the US was "very bad at coordinating with anyone" and India had its own problems to deal with.
"I don't know what that is about [emphasis added] but it sounds very much, I am afraid, like the US trying to have a separate operation and not work with the rest of the world through the UN system," she added.
The U.N. has shown in Iraq that it can't handle large scale relief efforts. The SecGeneral's kids keep sticking their fingers into the cookie jar, for one. The U.N. has also already admitted, since the tsanmi disaster, that while they have money and supplies, they're fresh out of the little things... like the planes, boats and fuel to get the relief to where it is needed. So the US, Aus, Japan and India step up to coordinate.
And the U.N. throws a temper tantrum about it. The only body with the moral authority? Kiss my ass, Clare. We don't want to work with the rest of you, and this is a good example of why -- hundreds of thousands of people need help and you asshats are busy playing politics and worrying about "rivals" in the world of humanitarian aid.
Update: From FreeWill:
Sounds like somebody is a little concerned about how obviously irrelevant they are. "Moral authority"? They had the full backing of the authority of the "great powers" on the Oil-for-Food program where the UN bilked the Iraqi people out of billions. Indeed, in much of the world, UN workers are the driving behind kiddy porn and child prostitution. So yeah, you go George, and turn the UN building into condos while you're at it. Or storage units. You'll get more out of the square footage for those.