Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A NEW BOONDOGGLE AT THE U.N.?

The U.N. building was built in 1951 and, as often happens with buildings in nearly non-stop use, it now requires substantial upgrades and renovations after over 55 years of service. The amount initially budgeted for this task was $700 million, a significant sum when you bear in mind that Donald Trump just built a luxury building right across the street for half that amount. But yes, renovations do frequently cost more.

Now we are hearing that the U.N. renovations will be costing $1.9 billion (of your dollars and mine principally since we still fund the lion's share of the anti-American U.N. budget, as well as the dollars of all the other member countries). No coherent explanation is available for this unconscionable jump in the projected cost and Donald Trump very much suspects the cost will reach closer to $3 billion!

Donald Trump – who knows a thing or three about construction of high rises as well as the renovations of same in Manhattan (which is a far different animal than the same work in say, Columbus, Ohio) was on Fox & Friends this morning absolutely excoriating Kofi Annan and the entire project which he insists should not cost more than the original $700 million – which is in itself a pretty huge sum of money.

What is more telling is that Mr. Trump tried to meet with Kofi Annan to discuss the proposed renovations and he says he quickly became aware that Mr. Annan knew nothing whatsoever about construction or the proposed project. In addition, he avers that within moments of them sitting down to talk, the doors to Anan’s office opened and in came the photographers! Clearly Kofi wanted “face time” but no substantive conversation.

Mr. Trump then claims that he met with the employee of the U.N. who will be supervising the renovations. He said that within a very short amount of time, he became convinced that this person had absolutely no clue about any construction terminology.

Mr. Trump has offered to spearhead the project and bring it in for the initial $700 million figure, which he claims is reasonable. His offer has been ignored. His take on the whole thing is that (a) the U.N. personnel are incompetent at best; and (b) this is another “Oil for Food” boondoggle.

Lest you think that Donald Trump is another right-winger attempting to smear the U.N., he made it very clear that he admired the U.N. and its work – up until about 10 years ago when, in his opinion, they became a useless organization accomplishing nothing and standing for nothing.

I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. But I find his criticisms to be utterly believable and logical.

Why are we still supporting this cancer on our nation's shores? It has no accountability, no ethical base and no real effect on world affairs, other than to offer a forum to a bunch of tinpot despots to call the President of the United States nasty names.

Write your Senators and Congressmen. It's unlikely that it will have an effect, but at least let them be on notice about what we think!

2 comments:

Pam said...

Donald Trump is pompous, arrogant publicity hound. He is, however, an astute businessman and I would agree that he likely knows what he is talking about (while Kofi knows zip). I would not be surprised if the powers that be at the U.N. decided to pad the estimate, thinking "no one will notice if some cash goes elsewhere."

shoprat said...

What pam said