No Good Organizations

The New York Post has a rather shocking look into the activities of NGOs in Iraq. It appears that many of these groups are more interested in looking busy and criticizing the US than in actually helping the Iraqi people.

After the official briefings on health, power, sewage, security and even subjects like animal welfare, you get to hear the long discussions of how the next meeting should be run: Certain topics must be highlighted; it’s important that there be "break-out" sessions. It’s there that you’ll hear every shortage here blamed on the Americans and their war, even though there were severe problems here before March 20.

"All they do is complain," said a colonel who attends these meetings. "And you know what, I’m getting school supplies here with the help of my church at home quicker than all these NGO guys. A lot of units here are doing the same.

‘All these guys do is talk, talk, talk. The only NGOs I’ve seen out here are the ICRC – and they’re driving around, not working. These guys are more bureaucratic than the Army!" (They’re also more secretive, excluding the media from their meetings and trying to keep them out of the CMCC sessions.)

NGOs have a reputation for being wonderful groups that provide valuable humanitarian aid. Some of them are. Some of them also are mainly political organizations that do little in terms of humanitarian relief. Nearly all of them are heavily bureaucratic and administered by people who are no more immune from the market forces that act on these groups than the CEOs of corporations. Donors to NGOs tend to be anti-American, so NGOs have to toe the anti-American line, even when they are supposed to be working with the American forces helping in the liberation of Iraq.

Furthermore, NGOs can often make the situation worse by creating more dependency on them than on the local government. Certainly many NGO operatives did not support the war and do not support the American transitional government. Some of them might even go so far as to do what they could to undermine its authority. This could have disastrous consequences as American forces attempt to stabilize Iraq for a democratic system later on.

8 thoughts on “No Good Organizations

  1. “Donors to NGOs tend to be anti-American, so NGOs have to toe the anti-American line”

    this is not making any sense. All americans are not like you(cash-thirsty corporated, american supremacy, you-need-to-deserve-something-to-have-it-I-don’t-care-if-you-were-born-blind…)
    let me tell you that you are not representative of americans in general(I know I’m a foreigner, I shouldn’t be saying that, but I know many americans and they told me that!!).neither is Bush or Cheney. you guys are driving the world to a messy(and radioactiv but this is another story) end.the war of all against all others.this sucks.
    this was my last visit and message to this page.ever.(I know how you feel!)
    Jay, you should be shameful, because at least, YOU have education.
    Just a last parallel: most child abusers have been abused in their youth, and are doing to someone what people did to them.
    and Israel is killing palestinians…till the end!!

  2. The kind of anti-Americanism that is sweeping Europe is the same as the anti-Semitism of before. It is the belief that whatever America does must be wrong for no other reason than America itself is somehow bad. The same hatred of capitalism, the same irrational bias, the same blind animosity is what caused the most horrible war in human history.

    Should you choose to return, perhaps you’d like to explain why you think Bush is just like LePen. Or you could explain how Bush is leading the world to some nuclear war. Quite frankly, I don’t see either of those those things. Instead of making vague allusions, how about some rational arguments?

    This is why I don’t believe that France and Germany are allies to the United States anymore. Too many of them believe the United States is greedy, evil, and imperialist and they can’t make an argument as to why. They’ve been told to believe the Big Lie and they’ve done so all too willingly.

    Europe has failed to learn the consequences of history, and I fear that they may be doomed to repeat it.

  3. France and Germany do not exist merely as a “prison bitch” ally to the United States. If we expect them to join forces with us on international coalitions, we have to sign on to some of the ones they have (like Kyoto) if we expect to get our foot in the door. Most importantly however, we need to figure out a way to make a collective sacrifice by their country worth their while. With the recent war in Iraq, France and Germany had precious little to gain and everything to lose by submitting to America’s perceived entitlement to their allegiance. Once we get a taste of our own medicine, then the mudslinging starts in full force as you are proving with your repeated juvenile attacks on France.

  4. Kyoto is a horrendous treaty that would gut the US economy while doing absolutely nothing to stem global warming. If the price of "friendship" with Old Europe involves sacrificing the US economy on the altar of multilaterialism, Washington has every right to tell them to allez au diable.

    Nor are France and Germany allies when they willfully block attempts to resolve the situation in Iraq (De Villepin shot down the US disarmament proposal before Iraq did) and when the French government willfully gave the contents of private diplomatic conversations to the Iraqis. Such actions are not the actions of allies.

  5. Here lies the problem. Global treaties important to them, but irrelevant to the US, are therefore negated in your mind since “the US economy may suffer.” But let France try the same approach when the roles are reversed as they did with the war in Iraq and the US gloves come off. Are you incapable of comprehending that global diplomacy works both ways?

  6. Bah. Six months behind over 20 years is hardly ‘gutting’ our economy. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than what will happen if Shrub gets his way for the next five years… but I digress, back to the subject at hand:

  7. Estimates have indicated that the costs of Kyoto will be anywhere from 2.3-4% of the US GDP per year. For every degree of cooling Kyoto *might* produce (the actual effects of the emissions cutdowns would be barely detectable from seasonal patterns) the cost would be 12% of the US’ GDP.

    How many social programs would you like to cut to pay for that?

    What do you say to all the "working poor" that have to pay for that extra increase in everything from heating oil to food?

    It is idiotic to sacrifice a significant chunk of the US economy to only slightly impact a problem that is based on scientific evidence that is nowhere near conclusive and will probably be moot in 20 years thanks to technological change. Kyoto has become an idee fixe for the left despite the fact it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

  8. I am neither defending or disparaging Kyoto. While I’m sure the information you’re providing is coming straight from the desk of Exxon-Mobil, I’m sure there’s a valid point to the degree of economic impairment it may cause. The same chicken little arguments have been made about every environmental regulation put in place in 50 years and somehow commerce has not only perpetuated but prospered, but I’ll indulge the premise that this one is the exception and the premise that the rest of the world is not always in the right and the US is not always in the wrong. I am actually in full support of the US’s likely veto of the World Health Organization’s ruinous anti-tobacco treaty that’s up for a vote next week, a clear case where the rest of the world is on the wrong side on an issue.

    However, this is all completely beside the point I made, which apparently continues to elude you. When we choose to “respectfully disagree” with global treaties important to other nations, we must be prepared for them to respond in kind when the tables are reversed. Just as Kyoto would prove to be an economic impairment to the US, a US-led war in Iraq would be an economic impairment to France, Germany and Russia. It would be convenient for you guys if you could be the bully that punches the smaller kid on the block in the gut and steal his lunch money every day without him responding….but it’s human nature to respond in kind when one feels they’ve been slighted, so you’d better learn not to piss and moan when that sucker punch from the back ends up stinging you.

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