No hope to be seen

Thursday, July 27, 2006 at 12:48 | Posted in middle east, USA, war | Leave a comment
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AFP writes that the UN Security Council yesterday failed to agree on a resolution on the Israeli attack against a UNIFIL observing post. Several proposals were drafted throughout the day in order to seek a wording that all members could have accepted. By the end of the day US did not even accept a statement in very general terms:

“The Security Council condemns any deliberate attack against UN personnel and emphasizes that any such attacks are unacceptable.”

How frustrating must that not be in point of view of the UN personnel serving in the mission? All UNIFIL missions have been sanctioned by the Security Council but the council refuses to adopt a statement which would say that personnel carrying out their own mission should not be attacked. If I had somebody working for me, their security would certainly be a concern of mine.

Captain Madis Morel of the Estonian army told the Estonian TV news yesterday that the base was fired with 155 millimeter cannons before it was bombed by air. He said he did not believe it was a mistake. According to captain Morel, the UN truce observers have no truce to observ at the moment. All they can do is to note and report back any fire from each side and the targets of the fire. Captain Morel is serving in the area.

The presence of the UNIFIL troops in the Israeli Lebanese border is not motivated in the present situation. The Hezbollah obviously use them as a shield when fireing rockets to Israel and thus make them an obvious target of Israeli counter fire. On the other hand, Israel wants to clear off a “security zone” (how secure that could be is another question) along the border. UN troops would serve no purpose in such a zone.

Since the Security Council can not adopt any resolution opposed by any of the permanent members, there is practically no hope that UN could be in position to reach anything positive in this conflict. The US government is simply too afraid of loosing votes in the November election (either Jewish votes or others) to let the council make any significant effort.

At the end of the day, there is no solution to this conflict that could be initiated by others than the parties themselves. This lunacy has lasted for decades and will continue as long as the parties themselves believe that there is a military solution to be reached. Which unfortunately suggests that the World has nothing else to do than watch by as the killing goes on.

Moral and ethical standards

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 18:07 | Posted in ethics, USA | 5 Comments

As Washington Post reports, a United Nations panel that monitors compliance with the World’s anti-torture treaty has called for USA to close their prison in Guantanamo Bay. The expert panel delivers sharp criticism in their 11 page report.

According to Washington Post:

The committee also expressed concern about allegations that the United States has established secret prisons, where the international Red Cross does not have access to the detainees. The report did not specifically say that such prisons existed, but stated the United States “should ensure that no one is detained in any secret detention facility under its de facto effective control.”

Pentagon released on Monday an initial list of persons ever held in Guantanamo Bay. That list does not specify what happened to former Guantanamo Bay detainees. This raises suspicions that some of them may be in secret prisons in other countries where they may face torture.

The U.N. panel concludes (quote from Washington Post):

The panel said the United States must halt all forms of torture committed by its personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq and investigate allegations thoroughly, prosecuting any staff found guilty.

The US blog Rhymes With Right quotes a passage of the Washington Post article and adds this comment:

And we should give this matter precisely as much respect as Saddamite Iraq gave UN resolutions over the years.

Heck, we just need to repudiate the entire corrupt UN organization.

This is exactly the attitude that the United Nations is ciriticizing USA for in the first place. The interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq were justified by implying that USA would hold a higher moral and ethical standard than the Taleban regime in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq. Guantanamo Bay and those secret prisons undermine the very justification of that intervention.

I am sure that the blogger did not mean it that way but Rhymes With Right actually says that the morals and ethics of USA are not and should not even be higher than those of Taleban and Saddam.

In addition to that, the blogger displays outstanding arrogance. Sure, if you do not like what is being said and thought about you, just repudiate all criticism and those that deliver it. No wonder USA is about to loose the rest of us who consider ourselves to be its friends.

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