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Jan 13, 2005


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mbt kimondo Joshuah Bearman: UN v. Halliburton

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Justified Elder of Mu Mu

Hey, thanks for the response! I appreciate all of that, but I think it's wrong to characterize Annan's acts as "asleep at the wheel" - I think the record shows that he was fully informed, and in any event it wouldn't excuse his attempts at cover-up. As for the US, Clinton not only wasn't asleep, he proactively worked to keep the world from ever acting in Rwanda, a sin only outdone by the Belgians and French, who proactively supported the genocidaires. I don't think Annan's record on human rights has been much better since becoming chairman, though I know he doesn't not deserve all the blame for that.

In any event, I think if the left's defense of the UN comes without acknowledgement of the institution's deep internal flaws I think it comes off as opportunistic. It definitely is
harder to defend to the red state crowd (or at least the pink state crowd). I'd also argue that the biggest life-saving move the UN could make right now is securing an additional 20,000 peacekeepers for the Congo before that nation falls completely back into Hell. The issue is barely on anyone's radar, right or left.

Take care and be thankful you're not here in Chicago or you'd have some very different photos on the blog!


Funny you should mention because I was going to discuss this in the original post. I know all about Annan being asleep at the wheel at the UNHCR as Rwanda unfolded. As was the rest of the world, however, including the US. Where there is hypocrisy at the UN, there's twice as much everywhere else. The complaint by the Right in this country isn't the same as yours, i.e. that the UN has failed at its efforts to promote human rights or prevent genocide; it's that even the lip service to preventing genocide at the UN is dangerous internationalism -- and that any attempt at human rights, or development or environmental protection for that matter, is an attack on the sovereignty of this country, which is a crock.

Justified Elder of Mu Mu

He is a venal monster, but not for the oil-for-food program. He's the man who ordered Romeo Dallaire to allow the Rwandan genocide without doing anything to stop it (while both Samantha Power and Philip Gourevitch have documented this, you need to see the PBS Frontline program and look at the background documents on their website (under "The Triumph of Evil") for the full effect). Later he refused to let Dallaire testify to Belgian investigators. Is he doing a lot better when it comes to Darfur, other than some CYA speeches? And I find accounts of his backstabbing Clinton in 1998 with respect to Iraq very believable and, if true, a good part of the mess in Iraq is his fault.

I'm not a Larouchie, I'm not a John Bircher, I'm not a neocon. I spent uncounted hours trying to elect John Kerry. But after the Bosnian "safe havens," Kosovo, Sierre Leone, and other failures, it's hard to say anything good about them. Two dictatorships have veto power over the security council, the general assembly is dominated by dictatorships, and the most genocidal government on the planet sits on its "human rights" committee. If
conservatives had concocted such a scheme and a Democrat was President I wonder if the screams for unilateralism might not be from the left.


Dude, I hear you, but you have to chill a little and understand that the situations you describe have always been the normal operating procedure for governments to distribute wealth and influence for as far back as the East-India company. That a contractor would behave ethically and not exploit a situation is the anomally and more likely a wish of how we would like the world to work. Focus on the good and change what you can.

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