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UNICEF replies (sort of)

Posted by Helen Thursday, October 20, 2005

Today's Daily Telegraph carries an indignant letter from David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, which purports to respond to Mark Steyn’s article on Smurficide.

How dare Steyn imply that UNICEF is not entirely accurate and might have a political agenda, fulminates Mr Bull. Everybody knows what a wonderful organization it is and how terrible life is for children in conflict areas (can’t argue with that). The aim of the film is to raise awareness and no, it has nothing to do with Iraq. Or, rather, yes, it does have something to do with Iraq, but it is also about all those other nasty places.

“However, the advert was not connected solely to the conflict in Iraq. Children are always among the first affected by conflict and not just in Iraq but in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Somalia and many other countries where violence lays siege to childhood. Unicef works to provide assistance and ensure that children have a healthy and protective environment within which to flourish.”
Unfortunately, with all that hand-wringing and self-praise, Mr Bull has no time to deal with the central point of Mark Steyn’s article: why does UNICEF show that the worst massacres are the result of aerial bombing? Why is there no mention of machetes of AK-47s?

Come to think of it, why is there no mention of explosive-packed vans? Or of UN officials raping children in various African countries?

Clearly, one should not be asking such questions as that would introduce certain doubts about the role of that wonderful organization, UNICEF. Can’t have that.

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