- The Washington Times - Monday, February 21, 2005

Camilla the intruder

I am a great fan of your columnist Suzanne Fields but she got her knickers tied in a knot in her analysis of the most recent escapade of Britain’s lonely and seemingly-useless future king, Prince Charles (“Camilla’s graying Camelot,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

Mrs. Fields writes, “She (Mrs. Bowles) didn’t actually break up a marriage that was doomed from the start”.

Nonsense. It is not for an intruder, even an invited intruder as she was, into another’s marriage to decide the merit of the relationship or its likelihood of long-term success.

The moral imperative and the societal imperative that should have controlled her behavior is that she was required to do two things: get away and stay away. Mrs. Bowles should have handed Prince Charles a shilling and said, “Call me if you’re ever free to do so. Otherwise, we will just be old friends.” It is true, she “caught her prince,” but she should be ashamed of the way she did it.


Warrenton, Va.

Not going to take it any more

I read with great delight the editorial (“Nobles and knaves,” Saturday) about the traders of the International Petroleum Exchange who repelled the unlawful entry of some common “Swampy” protesters acting on behalf of and with the blessing of Greenpeace. Americans will do well to follow the example of those lads and repel future affronts to their lawful pursuits by wacko, lawbreaking extremists.

I do wish to correct the erroneous statement of one of the Greenpeace invaders who stated “I took on a Texan SWAT team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” He didn’t “take on a Texan SWAT team,” he merely enjoyed the veil of unwarranted protections legislated from the benches of activist judges, like those President Bush hopes to replace in the future with constitutional constructionists.

Perhaps the anti-capitalist zealots of Greenpeace and their Marxist ideologues will come to understand that free-thinking citizens are not going to sit idly by while hooligans disrupt lawful enterprise.


Ford City, Pa.

U.S. economy survives outsourcing

In his commentary (“Jobs sellout,” Saturday), Paul Craig Roberts is up in arms about job losses due to outsourcing. He believes that this is the fault of President Bush. He says “During Mr. Bush’s entire first term, there was a net loss of American private-sector jobs. Today there are 760,000 fewer private-sector jobs in the U.S. economy than when Mr. Bush was first inaugurated in January 2001.”

It is true that the president did nothing to prohibit outsourcing, but then Congress has never asked that he should. The decline in private-sector jobs is a result of the slowdown in gross domestic product growth that began before Mr. Bush took office and continued until last year. Similarly, the temporary boost in H-1B visas (for aliens employed temporarily in a specialty occupation) occurred before he was elected. In any case, people working under H-1B visas are included in private jobs data.

The economy of the United States has survived the outsourcing of the production of most of our electronics goods, garments and toys in the 1980s and ‘90s with no noticeable decline in private-sector job growth. But Mr. Roberts predicts that outsourcing will lead to our fall to Third World status. Perhaps he could follow up with another article that gives the president some ideas on how to prevent such an outcome.



U.N. policing itself

Michelle Malkin’s column (“U.N. scandal in the Congo” Commentary, Friday) highlights the unconscionable actions of a relatively small number of U.N. personnel assigned to the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have sexually exploited and abused some members of the local population.

Indeed, sexual exploitation and abuse by U.N. personnel is an ugly stain on a distinguished record of collective achievement and individual sacrifice. It violates our fundamental “duty of care” and casts a shadow over the significant contributions the United Nations has made in helping the Congolese people recover from years of devastating conflict.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his personal outrage when reports emerged about the situation in the Congo. He continues to make clear that we cannot tolerate even a single instance of a U.N. peacekeeper victimizing the people whom peacekeepers are sent to protect and serve. Mr. Annan raised this issue with emphatic disgust and alarm in a recent letter to the Security Council.

Mrs. Malkin however neglects to mention the measures the United Nations is and will continue to take to confront this deeply disturbing issue.

U.N. policy is clear: all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse are prohibited by United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations and Codes of Conduct, which also forbid U.N. staff and peacekeepers from interaction with prostitutes, even if host country law permits it.

In the Congo, the U.N. mission is implementing a number of robust measures to combat this problem, including a strict curfew and non-fraternization policy for all military contingents and “off-limits areas” for all U.N. personnel including civilian staff. These measures are being vigorously enforced.

The United Nations has dispatched three different teams of investigators to look into all outstanding allegations, and their work has resulted in criminal and disciplinary action in several cases, as well as the creation of improved measures of prevention and enforcement. Reports on 50 military personnel have been sent to their national authorities for action, including prosecution. One civilian is in prison awaiting trial and disciplinary action has been initiated against four others.

U.N. officials and a special adviser named by the secretary-general are working with the governments of troop-contributing countries, which are ultimately responsible for the discipline of their personnel, to ensure effective follow-up and to prioritize concrete ways they can assist in combating this serious problem.

A number of countries contributing personnel, such as France, Morocco and South Africa, have already begun to take action on this front and have filed criminal charges against individuals alleged to have committed sexual exploitation or abuse while serving with the U.N. mission in the Congo.

Morocco recently announced the dismissal of one contingent commander and his assistant and the arrest of six alleged perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The United Nations will hold accountable those in the chain of command who fail to act decisively in enforcing the “zero tolerance” standard. The secretary-general has asked the Security Council to strengthen the United Nations’ capacity in the Congo to conduct self-monitoring and enforcement programs through the provision of 100 additional military police and more investigative resources. U.N. policies are being re-examined, while we are focusing on broad and tangible reforms in enforcement, training, staff welfare and victim support.

Much remains to be done in the Congo and in all our peacekeeping missions, and much is at stake. We will work tirelessly, as the secretary-general has said, “to restore United Nations peacekeeping to its rightful place among the world’s most noble callings.”


Assistant Secretary-General

Peacekeeping Operations

United Nations

New York

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