NYT Columnist Uses Haitian Cholera Outbreak As Example Of U.N. Failure; Letters To Editor Respond
New York Times: John Bolton Is Right About the U.N.
Bret Stephens, New York Times columnist
“…The U.N. is a never-ending scandal disguised as an everlasting hope. The hope is that dialogue can overcome distrust and collective security can be made to work in the interests of humanity. Reality says otherwise. … As for the scandals — where to start? U.N. peacekeepers caused a cholera epidemic in Haiti that so far has taken 10,000 lives. Yet it took U.N. headquarters six years to acknowledge responsibility. … The U.N. adopted what were supposed to be landmark reforms more than a decade ago. Yet the mismanagement, corruption, abuses, and moral perversities remain. … [O]n the U.N. [U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has] been right all along. If his presence in the White House helps to scare the organization into real reform, so much the better” (3/23).
New York Times: Letters to the editor: Bash the U.N.? There’s Another Side to the Story
Stephen Schlesinger, author, and Philip Alston, U.N. special rapporteur
“…Yes, the United Nations does have flaws. Nobody will dispute that. But there is another side to the story. The United Nations, through the years, has helped bring peace to states … These are hardly negligible accomplishments” (Schlesinger, 3/27).
“…[Bret Stephens] is right that [the U.N.’s role in bringing cholera to Haiti] is scandalous, but what he doesn’t mention is that it was the United States that pushed hardest to cover up the real source of cholera when it erupted in Haiti, and it was the United States that applied pressure to the secretary general to prevent an acknowledgment of responsibility and the setting up of the mechanism legally required when the responsibility of the United Nations concerns a private law matter. If John Bolton, the new national security adviser, wants to set the United Nations right, he can begin by persuading President Trump and the secretary of state to immediately announce that the United States accepts that the United Nations was responsible for the cholera outbreak and that it should set up a mechanism to settle the victims’ claims” (Alston, 3/27).