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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very illuminating
When I was much younger, I had a high regard for the United Nations. I liked their postage stamps. I thought that they did a good job with international tasks such as eliminating smallpox and at least a useful one with, say, Planned Parenthood.

Still, I had to notice that the UN was not very effective in times of conflict. Whether the conflicts were in...
Published on September 13, 2005 by Jill Malter

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Onesided, amusing and partly false allegations
Pedro Sanjuan doesn't like antisemitism, corruption or incompentence. He is staggered by the existence of spies in his own country, operating under diplomatic immunity in the UN. This is fine and understandable, but the problem with this book is that it is overly simplistic, onesided and at times poorly informed.

No-one should accept anti-semitism, and Sanjuan...
Published on December 8, 2009 by Herr Flick


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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very illuminating, September 13, 2005
By 
Jill Malter (jillmalter@aol.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
When I was much younger, I had a high regard for the United Nations. I liked their postage stamps. I thought that they did a good job with international tasks such as eliminating smallpox and at least a useful one with, say, Planned Parenthood.

Still, I had to notice that the UN was not very effective in times of conflict. Whether the conflicts were in Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, or Europe, the UN always seemed helpless at best. In 1974, when Arafat was applauded there, I began to have more serious doubts about how it was doing. And within a few years, the values of its postage stamps fell dramatically. For me, that was confirmation that the UN itself was of very low value. And since then, I've been in favor of getting rid of it. I think it is just too perverse to be of much help to the people of this planet. We could replace it by restricting ourselves to sets of bilateral agreements, or by creating ad hoc single-issue international organizations, issue by issue (to avoid building up too much esteem, which would permit their perversion). We could also have competing advice-giving organizations that could stand or fall on their own merits (poor ones would go out of business).

Well, just how bad is the UN? This book gives us an idea about the UN, and the Secretariat in particular. Incredibly, the Secretariat employs over 6000 people and costs over 2 billion dollars per year. And I may be biased, but I find it hard to believe that it serves any useful purpose at all.

Sanjuan describes the amount of Soviet influence and control in the Secretariat, which extended to, for example, the UN library. By the way, one of the few people the author has kind words for is the present US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton. Among other things, Bolton helped get the infamous UN resolution repealed that equated Zionism and racism.

The author describes some of the endemic anti-semitism at the UN. To me, it seems surreal. It is a little like hearing that the UN is against Martians, and that many people there suspect that quite a few of the people they meet are related to Martians, or are Martian-lovers, or are friends of Martians. And that there is a vast Martian conspiracy to run the United States or worse. In any case, these sorts of fantasies can't be productive. In addition, they have to be bad for real live Jews, even though such people rarely resemble the fantasy ones. And the assault on rationality, sanity, and truth has to be bad as well.

Sanjuan describes some of the ways that the UN wastes money. But I think that may be the least of its problems.

The book finishes with ten modest recommendations from the author. He's against UN Secretariat's nepotism, conflicts of interest, antisemitism, racism, moonlighting, contacts with local and international crime, corruption, espionage, and support for terrorism. And he thinks that members of the Secretariat that engage in them "ought to be relieved of their posts." That's nice, but I think the UN is unsalvageable. We humans do not need it, we can do better without it, and if we really need to, we can create a much better organization than the UN.

This book is very readable, and I highly recommend it.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Rebuke for the U.N., September 16, 2005
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
Sanjuan has laid bare the anti-Americanism, the incompetence and the tower of hypocrisy that has become the United Nations. Far from its original intent as an institution born out of the need to confront hatred and inhumanity, the UN now embodies those very evils. The Oil for Food scandal apparently is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Thankfully Sanjuan's book is giving us the necessary specifics if any clean-up is going to take place.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In support of The UN Gang, January 12, 2006
By 
Sevile (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
I'd like to respond to some reviewer criticisms of The UN Gang.

Indeed, as noted in Publisher's Weekly, Sanjuan eludes to a possible connection between the 2001 World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings and intelligence gathering at the UN while giving no evidence to support this hypothesis. But should we scoff at this as the Publisher's Weekly reviewer does? Sanjuan demonstrates in his memoir that the UN's New York offices (off limit to U. S. law enforcement) were utilized as a huge intelligence gathering post for first the Soviet Union and afterward for Russia. He also shows a UN propensity toward coddling Islamists. Lastly he notes the importance intelligence played in targeting the buildings at their most vulnerable locations. Should we not be concerned about the possibility of the UN being a haven for hostile intelligence gathering and could this not have consequences for us in the future? If Sanjuan overstates the case for a 9/11 connection, he does it to call attention to an important and neglected security issue.

Another criticism worth addressing is Sanjuan's accusation of anti-Semitism regarding the transfer of the Chagall stained glass mural from the UN employee entrance. One thing that the critic above (A reader - New York City) does not address is that Sanjuan paraphrases the UN Secretary General as admonishing "that was not what the UN was about" after having the window moved from a prominent location in the employee entrance to a location in the visitor entrance. The implication is that the UN director felt the staff should not have to pass by a work of art by a Jewish artist. This is quite plausibly an instance of anti-Semitism.

Other claims in the book that seem worth noting have been neglected by reviewers. For example, there are accusations against the U. S. State Department. One accusation is the toleration of a massive Soviet spy ring at the UN by spies hiding behind diplomatic and territorial immunity. Another is long standing complaisance of the State Department to anti-Semetism extending from the 1960's to its present toleration of anti-Semitism at the UN. A third is the State Department's punishing and firing a member of the UN budget oversight committee (Linda Shenwick of the ACABQ) after she exposed unbridled corruption at the UN while testifying before congress.

As other reviewers have noted: the book isn't full of numbers and exhaustive research, it does not give a detailed plan for saving the UN, and the writing often embellishes events. But then it never claimed to be an academic treatise. It fulfills its claim to be a memoir of incompetence, corruption, anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism at the UN Secretariat.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener for the blind, January 8, 2006
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This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
If you are still under some delusion that the UN is anything but the most corrupt, inept, and ineffective organization in the history of modern society, you need to read this book. Admittedly I have worked with several of the members of the current hierarchy of the UN, so I may be somewhat prejudiced because i know from experience that they are beyond hope, but Sanjuan writes about previous regimes, and doesn't get into the current band of incompetents who waste billions of dollars every year in the name of "peace" while doing nothing but prevent proper oversight of programs which only enable tyrants and criminals to continue their corrupt raping and pillaging of nations all over the globe. The sad part of this book is that it does not include the most recent revelations of the Anan regime, where billions in the "oil for fraud" programs were siphoned off by criminals grand and petty without regard to the original mission and idealism of the UN.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Core Competencies blah, blah .., February 26, 2006
By 
George Irakis (Sic Valley, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
Pretty accurate and entertaining. Especially amusing if you happen to work there and read about what you already knew happens at the UN.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Brilliant, September 26, 2005
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
Pedro Sanjuan doesn't pull any punches in this larger-than-life memoir of his time at the U.N in the 1980s. Pedro was witness to what is only now coming to light, the rampant racism, hatred of women, sexual harassment, fascism, drug dealing and money wasting that is what the U.N stands for today. Pedro explains and shows with funny and lively examples the true nature of the U.N, support for terror and genocide and the dictatorship of the worlds dictatorships. Since the UN is a democracy the fact that the majority of the world's nations suppress human rights, and women and are dictatorships means they can control the UN committees like Human rights, so that those committees never find 'human rights' violations in countries such as Libya or Cuba but magically only find them in the most democratic and free countries.

The UN was created to stop genocide, but what was the UNs role in the genocides in Cambodia(1975), Rwanda(1994) and Sudan(1985-today)? Nothing. In fact as Sanjuan shows the UN did nothing to stop genocide because those with the bloodies hands such as Idi Amin and Arafat are favorites at the UN, heroes to most of its member states.

Sanjuan shows how UN employees engage in criminal activities and how the UN supported KGB spying and drug dealing and wasted billions of U.S tax payers money(the US pays for the majority of the Un budget and receives the majority of criticism from the UN). Sanjuan shows how UN soldiers, which we now know to be true, traded sex for food in Africa.

This is a brilliant account of the truth behind the UN and its inner workings and although some stories seem too fantastic to be true, it is nevertheless a wonderful rip roaring account. Central to Sanjuans view is that anti-Semitism is rampant at the UN including a vicious UN sponsored campaign to smear U.S Jews and U.S Jewish lawmakers, the mere fact that Jews and Judaism would ever be mentioned at the U.N(given that Jews make up .00001% of the world) is ample evidence of anti-Semitism showing that UN workers have an 'elders of Zion complex' regarding Jews.

A great book, a great gift for anyone interested in America and current affairs and why the UN doesn't prevent genocide, but supports it.

Seth J. Frantzman
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turtle bay turned turtle, October 2, 2005
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
Pedro Sanjuan's wonderful book only reinforces frequently mentioned but rarely confirmed suspicions of nepotism, incompetence, fraud and chicanery that is apparently pervasive in the UN's bureaucracy. The UN Secretariat brisltes with a sorry list of anti-Americanisms, anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism but what was particularly telling is the culture of sloth and petty hatred that pervades this gigantic bureaucracy; all at the expense of the free world both in terms of dollars spent and the opportunity cost to millions who may have benefited from even a marginally less dysfunctional organization.

Two small quibbles with Sanjuan's book are that the period chronicled stops with the Soviet era and that it is much too slender given the sheer size of the topic in question. There are also minor typos with regard to the spellings of some names and a mildly excessive obsession with the fact that the UN uses British English instead of American English. All in all the author's pleasing and easy writing style makes an already engaging topic easy to grasp.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pestilential swamp, May 12, 2006
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
In his compelling expose', the author reveals the incompetence and the criminal activities of this accursed organization as he experienced it for more than a decade from 1984. In an acerbic and humorous style, he lifts the lid on the massive waste perpetrated by the useless and often devious parasites that infest Turtle Bay and other UN offices worldwide. As such, Sanjuan provides us with a lively portrait of the nature and habits of the denizens of this reeking swamp.

Waste and incompetence are the least of it, unfortunately. Drug dealing, theft, nepotism, large-scale corruption, espionage, the selling of weapons and the manufacturing of propaganda against the USA and Israel are some of the other activities observed by the author. Sanjuan mentions the names of certain individuals and the figures involved in some instances of corruption.

In the 1980s, the Secretariat was dominated by Soviet spies who also completely controlled the UN library. Since the end of the Cold War the influence of Islamic extremists has increased. He suggests that attacks against Israel and the US might even have been planned at the UN. It seems plausible that UN employees helped to gather information for the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. On 9/11, certain staff openly gloated about the atrocity.

Most disturbing of all is the rampant Antisemitism that permeates the organization at all levels. Shocked by what he observed, the author made it his duty to try to combat and expose this sinister obsession of the UN. Sanjuan deals with Waldheim, Perez de Cuellar, Boutros Ghali and Kofi Annan. The Oil For Food scam is discussed in detail and it becomes clear that Annan knew more than he has acknowledged up to now.

The author concludes the book with 10 proposed reforms that may bring about transparency and efficiency. Of course, nothing will come of this. This irredeemably corrupt and loathsome organization cannot be reformed. One can only hope that the American taxpayers who are funding these parasites will one day decide that enough is enough. The best outcome would be if the USA kicks the ghastly institution out of the country.

For further information, I recommend Tower of Babble by Dore Gold, Inside The Asylum by Jed Babbin, Global Deception by Joseph A Klein, The Beast on the East River by Nathan Tabor, The The U.N. Exposed by Eric Shawn and Nations United: How the United Nations Undermines Israel and the West by Alex Grobman.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms what any observer of the U.N. knows true, April 11, 2006
This review is from: The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat (Hardcover)
One does not have to read this book to understand that the U.N. is a corrupt, anti- American, anti- Semitic , racist organization. One only has to have followed the U.N. in its long history of hysterical anti- Israel resolutions, its obsessive focusing on one area of the world while ignoring totalitarian crimes in most of its member states to understand the moral bankruptcy of the organization.
One of course could read other books about what Dore Gold calls in his book on the U.N. "The Tower of Babel" but Sanjuan writes as an insider who knows the bureaucracy well, and so exposes the corruption of the Secretariat.
What is ironic is that an organization founded in the post- second World War idealism with deliberate intent of avoiding the mistakes of the feckless "League of Nations" should have turned out to be such a loser.
Time and again when there is a crisis ( Consider the present one in 'Darfur') the U.N. either proves ineffective or negative in influence.
Many have spoken of alternative forms of international organizations, for instance of an organization of truly democratic nations.
Sanjuan provides a convincing body of evidence of why the UN as it is now needs to be dramatically reformed or replaced.
Whether this will have any real effect or not, is however another matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Onesided, amusing and partly false allegations, December 8, 2009
Pedro Sanjuan doesn't like antisemitism, corruption or incompentence. He is staggered by the existence of spies in his own country, operating under diplomatic immunity in the UN. This is fine and understandable, but the problem with this book is that it is overly simplistic, onesided and at times poorly informed.

No-one should accept anti-semitism, and Sanjuan does relate some alarming incidents at the UN, but to suggest that it is endemic in the UN is to grossly exaggerate. Partly the problem stems from Sanjuan equating any criticism of Israel with anti-semitism, and seemingly doesn't even recognize the possibility of legitimate criticism of Israel.

He also equates criticism of America with anti-americanism. As Sanjuan further is a completely black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us type of person, then working at the UN must truly have been frustrating for him.

He shows no understanding of the finer points of diplomacy, which often involves talking to the enemy. If he sees a diplomat talking to the russians, then that diplomat is considered by Sanjuan to be in the pocket of the KGB. That he is so shocked by russians using their diplomatic status to shield their spying activities is puzzling, after all that is what diplomacy is. The US does the same abroad. He also doesn't consider that perhaps the US/State Department/law enforcement agencies allowed the russians to do what they did, just because they would have done it anyway and was easier to know what they were up to when their identities and location was known.

Sanjuan does offer some good - and funny - insights into the workings of the UN, of the the inefficiencies, corruption, incompetence and budgetary opaqueness. In this he is a useful observer, though onesided.

Sadly Sanjuan seems to have become so disenchanted with the UN that he has gone too far in the opposite direction. In a completely off-the-rocker chapter Sanjuan claims that people within the UN were connected with 9/11, because how else could the planners of 9/11 know that the WTC towers would collapse... The whole chapter should have been deleted by a mindful editor, since it contains no evidence or logic, but most probably the book was just meant for a target audience that likes these sort of wild allegations.

In any case this book has some value in its description of the inner workings of the UN, and some funny tales about russian spies, but if you want to learn something real about the UN then you need to read something else.
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