"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Friday, September 17, 2004

United Nations nearly grows a backbone

Reverts to invertebrate status the same day

You know, it was only 18 months and over 10,000 deaths too late, but when I heard that Kofi Annan (the guy who sat next to George W. Bush when he said that Saddam Hussein "wouldn't let [the inspectors] in" and didn't blink an eye) had called the U.S. invasion of Iraq "illegal," I imagined a glimmer of hope. Then I saw and heard a short clip of the exchange myself, where the BBC reporter (who seemed spinally empowered) pressed Annan about his characterization of the situation as not in line with UN charters, and so on: "It was illegal?" the reporter asked. Annan seemed rather embarrassed to agree. According to excerpts of the interview posted on the BBCs web site, the lengthier exchange went like this:
Q: Are you bothered that the US is becoming an unrestrainable, unilateral superpower?

A: Well, I think over the last year, we've all gone through lots of painful lessons. I'm talking about since the war in Iraq. I think there has been lessons for the US and there has been lessons for the UN and other member states and I think in the end everybody is concluding that it is best to work together with our allies and through the UN to deal with some of these issues. And I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time.

Q: Done without UN approval - or without clearer UN approval?

A: Without UN approval and much broader support from the international community.

Q: I wanted to ask you that - do you think that the resolution that was passed on Iraq before the war did actually give legal authority to do what was done?

A: Well, I'm one of those who believe that there should have been a second resolution because the Security Council indicated that if Iraq did not comply there will be consequences. But then it was up to the Security Council to approve or determine what those consequences should be.

Q: So you don't think there was legal authority for the war?

A: I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security Council - with the UN Charter.

Q: It was illegal?

A: Yes, if you wish.

Q: It was illegal?

A: Yes, I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view and from the Charter point of view it was illegal. [View RealPlayer video of the interview]
Why, oh why is this "pink tutu" motherfucker allowed to lead the United Nations? Why can't he be straightforward and just say it without having to be asked repeatedly? Is he trying to uphold the UN's image as a useless piece of shit?

Wait -- there's more!
Another supreme fuck-up involving the UN occurred within 24 hours of the event described above. (Remember, the UN's charter says that they are determined "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.") Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian was scheduled to appear via video link at a teleconference for international reporters in the United Nations building. However, due to obstruction from China (that country with a population of over a billion which acts like Taiwan [population 23 million] is "picking on" it), the event was moved to the nearby UN Plaza Hotel.

Taiwan's opposition parties criticized President Chen in at least one of the local Chinese-language newspapers today for suggesting that the UN assist in arranging a summit meeting with China's president Hu Jintao. I suppose they'd prefer to either get down on their knees and kiss Hu's ass or to go to war with China than to use diplomacy (since they're utter failures at any kind of diplomacy).

It's simply amazing that China, in spite of all their bellicose rhetoric and real actions, gets to say and do whatever they want while Taiwan is relegated to "second class" status at every turn. Taiwan's First Lady, Wu Shu-chen (sometimes spelled Wu Shu-jen), representing Taiwan at the Paralympic Games which begin today in Athens, had her NPC (National Paralympic Committee) pass revoked by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and replaced with a GT (transferable guest) pass, lowering her status greatly, according to Thursday's Taipei Times. The reason given for this was that Wu didn't meet the criteria requiring the leader of a country's delegation to be a "serving NPC president, secretary-general or vice president." The Taipei Times article points to a case of selective enforcement, however:
The IPC was merely looking for an excuse in citing the regulation, [M]inistry [of Foreign Affairs] spokesman Michel Lu said.

"The ministry has checked the identities of leaders of Paralympic teams from 145 countries. The leaders of teams from Australia, New Zealand, Honduras, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Nigeria, the US and South Africa do not fit the IPC accreditation policy either," he said.
Now, isn't that special? And this is but a single day in the bully-fest that is endured daily by the peaceful people of Taiwan.

QUICK UPDATE: Good news! Shortly after posting this, local TV news was reporting that Taiwan's First Lady, Wu Shu-chen, has had her NPC credentials restored. My wife tells me that Taiwan's opposition parties were making fun of the president's Democratic Progressive Party for "seeing a stone off in the distance and going out of their way just to kick it." Looks like the stone got kicked in the direction of the opposition this time. Ha ha!
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