In July 2002, Congolese military official Jean Pierre Ondekane said that all the U.N. mission in Congo would be remembered for in the village of Kisangani was "for running after little girls." Annan's special adviser from Jordan, Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein, concluded last year that the "situation appears to be one of 'zero-compliance with zero-tolerance' throughout the mission."
Human rights groups say such monstrosities have been tolerated by U.N. brass for years. Joseph Loconte noted in the Weekly Standard last month that the Congo revelations come three years after another U.N. report found "widespread" evidence of sexual abuse of West African refugees. Girls and women in East Timor, Cambodia and Kosovo have reported sex crimes perpetrated by U.N. peacekeepers.
In 2001, American whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska policewoman who worked for U.N. security in Bosnia, uncovered scores of sex crime allegations and prostitution rings in the Balkans involving her fellow U.N. employees. Girls were forced to dance in bars for U.N. personnel and beaten or raped, Bolkovac reported. After being fired from her job for "time sheet irregularities," she told a British tribunal that Mike Stiers, the international police task force's deputy commissioner, flippantly dismissed victims of human trafficking as "just prostitutes."
This mother of all humanitarian abuse scandals at the U.N. is only just beginning to pierce the world's conscience. Annan has trotted out a refurbished zero-tolerance policy and is trumpeting a few arrests in Morocco. But such faint-hearted damage control measures are not enough.
It's time to rethink the nearly half-billion dollars in aid we send to U.N. peacekeeping operations. How much more aid must we squander on holier-than-thou wolves in do-gooders' clothing? For the sake of the innocents raped and pillaged in the name of humanitarianism, let's get stingy.