Category Archives: United Nations

Afghanistan expels footloose UN and EU staffers for visiting with the Taliban

It is time for some news from the Far End of the World, the region that touches the sky where the Pashtun tribes live between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has asked a staffer from the UN and one from the EU to leave the country. If the pair hadn’t had diplomatic immunity they would have been arrested. One of the pair is a Briton from Northern Ireland, and the other is from Ireland. Which one is from which NGO is not yet known. It also seems likely they have connections to British Intelligence. Apparently the two were wondering around in Helmand province talking to Taliban elements and otherwise threatening the national security of Afghanistan. UN spokesman Aleem Siddique claims this is a “storm in a teacup.” Judging by an article Siddique wrote for Australian ABC last week, the UN was “reaching out to groups hitherto involved in the insurgency,” presumably without Afghan government approval. The beeb ties these talks to drug eradication efforts in Helmand. The Telegraph confirms the report and adds that British Intelligence (MI6) has been holding secret talks with the Taliban, contrary to explicit denials from new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Note that Siddique has a semi-famous, 5-star quality quote at ThinkExist.com.

We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly.

So he’s the guy who said that! I would have thought that was a line from Casablanca. </sarcasm>

Across the line in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto has been busy identifying the elephant in the room.

Speaking to about 25,000 supporters near her ancestral home in the southern town of Larkana, she also renewed accusations the government had done nothing to stop militant violence.

“They always try to stop democratic forces but don’t make any effort to check extremists, terrorists and fanatics,” she told a rally at a cricket stadium, two days after a suicide bomber killed nearly 50 worshippers in a mosque.

Bhutto said President Pervez Musharraf had spoken of the need to reform religious schools, or madrasas, but had done nothing. She said she respected genuine religious schools. […]

“Then there are the political madrasas, the political madrasas that teach their pupils how to make bombs, how to use rifles and how to kill women, children and the elderly.”

God bless her and keep her alive long enough to make a difference. Also, God please help guide her towards true morality so she does not once again rob her country blind if she gains office.

A dozen Jihadists belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen surrendered in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the sort of thing that the political attempts to speak to the Taliban in Afghanistan are trying to create: Cracks in the alliances between the Taliban, various Jihad organizations, and al Qaeda. The problem is that al-Qaeda is a revolutionary vanguard that spins off cells and subsidiary organizations like a semi-truck tire throws off pebbles. A different name is no guarantee of any meaningful difference in goals, methods, or morals.

But it is, like the 40% drop in cross-border attackers from Pakistan into Afghanistan, an indication of progress.

On the other hand, Afghan intelligence agents near the Pakistani border arrested a 50 year old foreign woman who was transporting a bomb-vest in her burka to be detonated by someone else. In this case foreign means Pakistani.

Recently some bomb-makers in Afghanistan have begun to defile corpses by placing bombs in them.

The British Army Field Hospital at Camp Bastion is doing impressive work, though the treatment of the Taliban is a step too far.

2500 tons of Afghan opiates (mostly heroin) are getting into Iran every year, 25% of which stay in Iran. The rest is going through Iran in the direction of Europe.

The India Times reports that al-Qaeda poses a threat to Musharraf’s life. Duh!

Trackposted to Is It Just Me?, Right Truth, The Uncooperative Blogger, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog, and Chuck Adkins, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Bush better on greenhouse gases than Kyoto

Mark Steyn doth opine:

For anywhere other than Antarctica and a few sparsely inhabited islands, the first condition for a healthy environment is a strong economy. In the past third of a century, the American economy has swollen by 150 per cent, automobile traffic has increased by 143 per cent, and energy consumption has grown 45 per cent. During this same period, air pollutants have declined by 29 per cent, toxic emissions by 48.5 per cent, sulphur dioxide levels by 65.3 per cent, and airborne lead by 97.3 per cent. Despite signing on to Kyoto, European greenhouse gas emissions have increased since 2001, whereas America’s emissions have fallen by nearly one per cent, despite the Toxic Texan’s best efforts to destroy the planet.

Had America and Australia ratified Kyoto, and had the Europeans complied with it instead of just pretending to, by 2050 the treaty would have reduced global warming by 0.07C – a figure that would be statistically undectectable within annual climate variation. In return for this meaningless gesture, American GDP in 2010 would be lower by $97 billion to $397 billion – and those are the US Energy Information Administration’s somewhat optimistic models.

That Toxic Texan quip is a perfect use of irony to expose the bankruptcy of ideas suffered by the Global Warming internationale. The point to the economic argument is somewhat more pointed even than this quote indicates. If the US economy had not expanded in the last 30 years, then the money and scientific research needed to reduce pollution of all sorts in America (even while expanding the population and economy) would not have been there. The US would have had to do with intensifying the use of heavily polluting resources. And if it had foolishly signed Kyoto like Europe and Japan, it would have failed its Kyoto goals and had to pay lots of steep fines to the United Nations.

The United Nations, by the way, yesterday announced a 25% increase in its non-Peacekeeping budget for next year and 40% in the Peacekeeping budget.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s proposed “initial” budget for 2008-09 is $4.2 billion, a mere 15% increase over the Secretariat’s current budget. Oops, make that $4.8 billion, which includes the “add ons” the Secretary General has already identified. But even that’s not the final final figure. The U.N. budget is released piece by piece — how convenient — and the U.S. estimates that the full budget will end up being in excess of $5.2 billion, a 25% increase over the last two-year budget cycle of 2006-07.

Yes, the U.N. has a lot on its plate and the world is full of challenges. But Mr. Ban’s proposed increases aren’t going for humanitarian assistance in Darfur or development aid to Africa. Roughly 75% is for salaries and other staff costs — in other words, toward boosting the size of the U.N. bureaucracy. Peacekeeping goes on a separate budget, which is anticipated to grow 40%, to $7 billion from $5 billion.

Coincidence?

What is really at stake here? The climate, or monetary transfers to pampered, corrupt bureaucrats in New York City and Geneva?

h/t: Dissecting Leftism

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Bush Aznar Conversation: Full Transcript on Pajamas

I am extracting a few choice paragraphs from the full English-language transcript.

Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for me, from now on, I’ll try to use the most subtle rhetoric I can, while we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We have two weeks. In two weeks, our military will be ready. I think we’ll achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council, we have three African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that Saddam will be dead by then or will have flown. But these possibilities won’t be there until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs. Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us that in these circumstances there is a big chance that he’ll get killed.

We would like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act militarily, we’ll do it with great precision and focus on our targets to as high a degree as possible. We’ll decimate the loyal troops, and the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. We sent a very clear message to Saddam Hussein’s generals: we will treat them as war criminals. We know they have stocked big amounts of dynamite to blow up the bridges and other infrastructure, and the oil wells. We are planning to take control of those wells very soon. Also, the Saudis will help us by putting as much oil as necessary on the market. We are developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction. We are already working on the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends and allies.

Aznar: It’s very important to have that second resolution. It will be very different to act with or without it. It will be very advisable to have a sufficient majority in the Security Council backing that resolution. In fact, having that majority is more important than whether some country vetoes. We think that the resolution should, among other things, clearly state that Saddam Hussein has squandered his opportunity.

Bush: Yes, of course. That would be better to mention than “the necessary means.”

Aznar: Saddam Hussein hasn’t cooperated, hasn’t disarmed – we should summarize all his non-compliance and make a more elaborate message. That, for example, would allow Mexico to change [its opposition].

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Afghan Orphans flying Kites

In the most meaningful development to date in the entire history of mankind </sarcasm>, the UN mission to Afghanistan marks the climax of a campaign to halt violence by getting Afghan street children to fly kites.

On the eve of the International Day of Peace, some 100 Afghan street children flew kites adorned with doves and olive branches atop a hill overlooking Kabul today, marking the closing stages of a United Nations-backed campaign to halt violence in the war-torn nation.

Today’s event, on Nader Khan hill, was one of many around the country in the final days of a two-month campaign launched by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the global campaign group Peace One Day. Kite flying was banned under the brutal Taliban regime which was ousted in 2001.

The initiative has grown to encompass scores of organizations, businesses, and institutions, as well as politicians and individual citizens – all urging a halting of violence in Afghanistan on and around 21 September, which is observed annually as the International Day of Peace.

Since the Taliban was ousted, kite flying has re-emerged as a popular past-time, particularly for Afghan children.

The success of the violence-reduction aspect of the UN plan has not been determined.

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Iraqi WMD samples were hidden in UN File Drawer

The UN has been lying to us about Iraqi WMDs. In a sarcastically titled article, California Conservative sets out the timeline that proves it:

TIMELINE:

  • 1996: Chemical agents found in Baghdad, moved to U.N. office
  • 1996: U.N. began corrupt Oil for Food programme that lined Saddam’s pockets with billions in kickbacks.
  • 2003, Feb 14:  on the eve of war Saddam “issues directive banning private companies and individuals from importing WMD materials or producing WMD”, according to the Iraq Survey Group/David Kay.
  • 2003, March: U.S. invaded Iraq.
  • 2003, Sept. 16:  John Bolton as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security address Congress concerning Syria’s WMD capabilities.
  • 2003, Oct: Kay and ISG told Congress WMD may have moved over Iraq’s border.
  • 2004, March: U.N. reports Iraq had no WMD after 1994.
  • 2007, Aug: U.N. finds WMD from 1996 in their NYC building.

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Beware Iraqi Red Crescent Anti-American Propaganda

Justin Rood, Brian Ross’s buddy at ABC, reports:

Pregnant Iraqi women who have been forced from their homes by worsening violence are obtaining illegal abortions because they are unable to get medical care for themselves and their unborn, […] according to a new report by the Iraqi Red Crescent organization, the largest aid group operating in Iraq. (ABC)

My reponse seems to have been deleted:

This is not a trustworthy report. ABC is promoting jihadist propaganda.

I trust the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent about as far as I can throw them. They are both well known for letting the Hezbollah and Hamas jihadists use their ambulances as props in Pallywood videos, to transport killers around, and their ambulances even have ended up as car bombs.

This is propaganda just like the three-year-old lies about white phosphorus and American soldiers going on drunken rampages of rape against Iraqi women. It is pure poison aimed at idealistic, naive American minds. It is not true. It is lies. Wake up!

Think Progress is hopping on the fake scandal, shedding crocodile tears, though normally a progressive socialist site would be cheering for any increase in abortions. Yet if they can hypocritically play up perceived hypocrisy in their political opponents they are happy to betray their principles, which can be summed up as “Abortion: Safe, Legal, and Recommended.”

My response to Think Progress, in case they delete it:

I’m surprised to see this presented as if Think Progress disapproves of abortions in Iraq. Aren’t abortions one of the sacred rituals of the progressive feminist PETA voluntary-human-extinction movement?

For a reminder of the lies of the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent, review the Red Cross Ambulance Incident at Zombietime, and the Mohammed al Durah fiction and all about Pallywood at the Second Draft.

Previous: Raking in the Shekels in Pallywood

h/t: memeorandum

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