drum roll......... ROBERT MUGABE, former despot of Zimbabwe! Your prize for winning this auspicious title is falsified legitimacy, and a nice little paycheque because you did not steal enough from the people of Zimbabwe already.
DATELINE: SELLING TOURISM WITH A TWIST – That would be a twist of the thumb screws, at least when you are talking about the United Nations World Tourism Organization and their new... ambassador? Now, I have been trying, very judiciously, to refrain from emphasizing my blogs with colorful euphamisms, and I am trying not to pick on any one individual or issue. That said... what in the name of all that is fucking holy are they putting in the koolaid at the United Nations these days. I have said it before, and that was before their most recent unbelievable announcement... it is time for the whole fucking thing to be over and done with. It is time for that prime piece of downtown New York City property to be turned into a MacDonald’s or something... something useful, with meaning and that might actually not make people puke at the mere mention of the name.
Let’s start with a refresher course. Robert Mugabe... why could just the mere mention of his name create such intense outrage? Why should we not rejoince at the concept of him being the chief tourism officer of the world? Well, it could be, for starters, that tiny little detail that he is not even allowed to travel to many countries because of international sanctions against him. Why would someone put sanctions against Mugabe? It might have something to do with his complete disregard of the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe when they did not elect him, but he claimed victory and the leadership of the country regardless. It could be because he personally bankrupted the country as he was leader, or perhaps his little ‘quirk’ of ordering ethnic cleansing in his country. Yes, come to Zimbawbe, the country with the lowest average lifespan in the world, where celebrating your 37th birthday is against all odds. No worry though, because the people in Zimbabwe are too poor to have parties, food, houses, education, good health... well, you know, all those silly inconsequential things when you are talking about tourism.
What happens in Zimbabwe stays in Zimbabwe? Yes, well, that’s true, because if you are a reporter or a photographer, you were, at best arrested and inprisoned for five years if you were caught. Robert Mugabe made it illegal for reporters or photographers to report what he was doing to his people, to show their agony, their torture, their suffering... sort of a sick fucking irony, isn’t it, that he is now in position to promote camera use to record the sights as your travel the world. We are not talking ten years ago, or twenty years ago... we are talking of events that happened four fucking years ago... where the inflation rate in the country reached an unbelievable 260 million percent... yes... we worry about 2% inflation. 260,000,000% is absolutely unfathomable, and was a death warrant for almost the entire population. People were dying at a rate of 4500 a week from starvation alone... that didn’t include those who were sick with flu, cholera (you know... the cholera epidemic that also killed thousands, but that Mugabe insisted wasn't happening?) or other diseases. Now factor in the tens of thousands of Ndebele people he ordered killed – beaten, burned, shot… because they were Ndebele.
This is not some unfortunate oversight on the part of the United Nations. It is not merely asinine or ridiculous, and it sure as hell is not laughable. This is an outright insulting slap in the face to anyone who has lived or now lives under oppression, to anyone who has suffered from genocide, anyone who has lost loved ones to those conditions. In a time when we are desperate for leaders of moral fiber, to see the United Nations reward a murdering, lying, stealing, power-mongering thug with an international ambassadorship is absolutely unforgiveable, and just additional proof of the corruption and ineffectiveness, and now cruel heartlessness, of the organization that was intended to champion human rights and safety globally. That ANY country should support this appointment is unacceptable, and the saddest indicator yet that society as we know it, is truly fucked up.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
DATELINE: SITTING IN UN HEADQUARTERS, CRYING IN MY BORSCHT – What the hell is it going to take for the international community to finally do something... anything... to help the people of Syria? I can tell you what it will take. It will take nothing short of drastic immediate restructuring of the United Nations, and this is something we, as citizens, have an obligation to now push for. Once again, in light of the massacres that have occurred in Syria... again... Russia has vetoed any action that might be taken to hold Al-Assad accountable... again.
The United Nations was created with the mandate to maintain international peace and security. So far, they are doing one hell of a fucking job. Their powers include establishing peacekeeping operations where necessary, establishing international sanctions and authorizing the use of military action when all else fails. According to Security Council Resolution 1674, they have ‘a responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.’ Nowhere does it say that this only applies when it is convenient to Russian interests. This same resolution commits the security council to ‘take action to protect civilians in an armed conflict’. So, based on their own binding resolution, on what grounds does Russia veto? It doesn’t matter what grounds. They can do it, because they, like France, China, the UK and Britain, have the right to veto. These resolutions are legally binding when made under Chapter VII of the Charter – Action With Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression. Then again, legally binding is such a nebulous term when you are talking the United Nations, isn’t it?
What about the choice of sending in Kofi Annan to broker some sort of peace in Syria? Yes, he was the Secretary General of the United Nations for 10 years, and yes, he was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He was also the man who sat on his fucking thumb, tying the hands of the United Nations when they were sent in to deal with the mass genocide that took place in Rwanda. He dragged his feet, was passive at best, while watching over 800,000 people die because they happened to come from the wrong tribe. True, he has admitted, 10 years after the fact, that he ‘could and should have done more to sound the alarm and rally support,’ but apparently he has not learned that lesson yet. For a soldier sent in to help these people, it would have been absolute fucking hell to be held back from doing what they know is the right thing to do, to be observers in a massacre, and be able to offer nothing but bandaids and chicken soup. Are we never going to learn from past mistakes, especially when human lives... thousands of human lives... hang in the balance?
Let’s give this some perspective. Say your government decides to change the rules for you, that they decide there is no more need for honest elections, that they will not participate in any social programs anymore because all of the countries money will go into the military and to providing for the comfort and convenience of that leader. You aren’t really thrilled about that, as you starve, as you hold your baby in your arms as it dies from a disease that under normal circumstances would not be life threatening at all, while you watch your home crumble around you but you have no income to fix it, no way to improve anything because you are not one of the very few chosen elite in the good favor of the government. You just want to live your life, do your job, and feed your family... so you stand up and say that you want to have the basic human rights that should be guaranteed to everyone on the planet. For standing up, you get shot... but the government doesn’t stop there. They have snipers waiting on the buildings in your village and they shoot anyone who happens to come out into the street for whatever reason. They storm into your homes and shoot you, just because one day you might think you should have more than the nothing you have. They shoot children who are playing in the street, take their injured bodies to prisons, beat them, torture them, then return the dead, mutilated, bloated bodies back to their parents, dropping them on the doorstep with a shrug and a wink. Yes, this is what happens there... daily. So... if that was you, would you not want someone to do what is right and come to help you?
Of course, Russia under the charismatic Vladimir Putin does nothing without there being a political agenda to it. They can’t agree to let the world react because Russia stands guilty of a long string of international atrocities. God forbid they be held to a higher standard. What, then, is Russia doing on the fucking Security Council, and why do they have a veto? For the love of all that is fucking holy, we are talking about a world leader who is not even legitimate, who is there only because of mass election fraud, so why does he or his country have any authority at all within the United Nations? Then again, why is the United States on that same council, and why do they have a veto? They have not paid their dues to the UN for the last twenty years... leaving an unpaid debt that is estimated to be in the range of $1.3T... yes, that would be trillion. If they don’t want to pay for their fucking membership, then they should NOT have a veto. The reason for not paying it? Why, because they claim by not paying it, they can force UN compliance to their wishes. Now how is THAT for manipulating a body that was intended to help globally, without a political agenda?
The United Nations hass, from its inception, been an exercise in the political machinations of self-interested power mongers. They are totally ineffective as they allow global politics and greed to take over for the moral majority. They watch as the people in poor nations are tortured and murdered in massive acts of genocide, because the country has no massive natural resources stocks so why should they care? They watch as Russia takes tanks into a sovereign country because they don’t like the democratically elected leaders. They talk about arms control and transparency with nuclear weapons, yet no one is prepared to take the first step. They are dictated to by private interests, shackled by the greed of despots, and made entirely impotent because of the ability of five countries to veto whatever their fucking hearts desire without having to provide one iota of reason or logic, despite legally binding resolutions to protect those who need protection. We have watched countries the world over in the last five years suffer from illegal, unsound election practices... even here in Canada... but nothing is done or commented on, because the UN cannot rock the political boat. Sadly, that was what they were created to do. They were supposed to be the voice of logic and fairness, the beacon for those who so desperately need a light to look towards to guide them out of hell. They are no longer a beacon, if they ever were. They are nothing but a sham and a laughing stock, an innocent and pure idea bastardized by politicals and now offered in the guise of altruistic intentions shackled by self-serving political greed. The time for the UN to be considered viable is long past. At the very least, a Code of Conduct should be required for any nation to participate, especially in the security council -- how can they pass judgment on other nations while not holding themselves to at least the bare minimum of being a legitimate government themselves? It is time for people to demand accountability of the United Nations; if we don’t do it, who the hell will? Contact your political representative, demand they push for changes in the UN, or that they withdraw from the UN. Anything is better than dangling life on the end of a stick, just out of reach of those millions who are desperately grasping for it.