We Did Nothing: Why The Truth Doesn't Always Come Out When The UN Goes In
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We Did Nothing: Why The Truth Doesn't Always Come Out When The UN Goes In

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In recent years our newspapers and televisions have brought us stories of the failure of the UN to keep the peace in the modern world. During the 1990s Linda Polman visited peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda to try and understand how resolutions are made and how the peace is lost.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2004 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1997)
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Particularly gut wrenching in the last chapter on Rwanda and the author's time there during the massacre. If you discredit the UN then you should read this book and see why they are inaffective - if only western countries like the US pay their fees they might be equipped to have better solutions.

of 20 books for $10.
Feb 11, 2012 Lanier rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Government, Business, Historian, Social Worker types,
—Prologue xvi-xx

5—6—How the Big Five [U.S., France, U.K., China and Russia] manipulate votes for or against certain platforms. We have, on many occasions refused billion dollars to some of those temporary 10 countries.

This is exactly what happened in 1991 with Yemen, which abstained on a particular vote, so WE denied a $60 billion, literally killing off their flower exports –as they held so many “checks and balances” that by the time their flowers arrived they were all dead. During this s...more
The international good intentions and high expectations when the UN was set up, have been subverted by greed, self interest, disinterest and ideology. When major nations demand action but refuse to fund or resource action - what hope do civilians have.

While it's a brief discussion of the UN, it's members and it's resolutions; it will help the layman understand the processes and diplomatic complexity that must be overcome for anything to occur.

I had a friend who's husband had been part of a UN fo...more
Simon Wood

Written by the Dutch reporter Linda Polman, "We Did Nothing" professes to be a "clear and impassioned" book, it is not. Nor does "it brilliantly expose how these resolutions are made and what they mean in practice". Rather it is a collection of reportage, translated into English by Roy Bland, which details the authors experiences visiting three U.N. missions (Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda) as well as the U.N. headquarters in New York.

Polman quite reasonably identifies that the id...more
Usha Alexander
Oct 18, 2009 Usha Alexander rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to understand world affairs
Polman provides an eye-opening account of how the UN really works, how powerful nations manipulate it for their own gain, and who pays the price. She was on hand during the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and so many other humanitarian disasters to which the UN tried its best to respond with always mixed results—sometimes just bad results—and so is able to provide first-hand accounts and insightful, boots-on-the-ground reportage. By providing a window on the politics that drive the UN, the rea...more
Sandra Woods
As an avid reader and former member of the Canadian Forces, I started a Remembrance Day tradition several years back; every year at Remembrance Day I read a book about the military or military service, including UN missions and accounts of civilians in wartime situations.
Linda Polman's account of the multiple failures of the UN to protect civilians in (pre-earthquake) Haiti, Rwanda, and Somalia. Anyone interested in politics, world history, current events should read this; if you read or watch t...more
A liberal attack on the failings of the UN - definitely written with a bias but that is forgiven through the exposure of both the UN and its benefactors. Also a clear salute to those nations who do contribute to the "united" nations like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh - and notably Zambia in their Rwandan role. An easy read which gives good access to the somewhat fickle world of contracting around war, can be appreciated - as far as possible - by the normal reader.
Faith Swords
This book does a good job of capturing the failure of the United Nations' peacekeeping forces to keep the peace. It also gets into the structural reasons for the failures. Mostly, it's an indictment of the global community for failing to protect innocents.
Oct 04, 2007 Olin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
To understand the mumbo jumbo of INGO work or the international work, that might look somewhat fancy and contributing, but the fact is, just push more to the tension and aggrevating process of independency.
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