Tag Archives: UN

Israel Continues Military Operations

The dogs of war when unleashed are difficult to reign in once they get their teeth into the flesh of victims. Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak made clear the Israel Defense Force (IDF) will continue its operations despite attempts by the UN to halt fighting and restore decent living conditions for the Gaza population. He emphasized while Israel respects the UN, “the fighting goes on and he IDF is continuing to apply force.” The Israel argument is they have a right to restore peace in southern areas of their nation and the operation, according to Chief of Staff, General Ashkenazi, “we have achieved exceptional results in damaging Hamas, its infrastructure, and its military wing.” He denied reports that IDF is using white phosphorous bombs.

Israel claims to have destroyed about 70% of the tunnels in Gaza which leaves one wondering why there was need to bomb civilian areas if tunnels were a major focus of the attack. One is also left wondering if Hamas leadership overestimated their ability their ability to deal with an Israel attack. In cases where two parties indulge in constant rhetoric and defiance, the end result is civilians will suffer as are the people of Gaza who are caught in a no man’s land where words of defiance are hurled nonstop until guns begin to blaze and children begin to die. Israel went beyond the limits of a response by killing hundreds of civilians and Hamas went beyond its own capacity to defend Palestinians by seeking a military confrontation that could have been avoided.

In the end, death and destruction results for the innocent.

Death In The Congo–The Forgotten Slaughter!

Over five million people have died in the Congo over the past several years which represents a slightly higher murder rate than the 700 killed in Gaza, but the world is focused on the Middle East while millions of black skinned people die. The United Nations is endeavoring to hold peace talks not only in Gaza, but in the Congo where rebel forces from Rwanda led by guerilla chief Laurent Nkunda is attempting to disrupt the entire governmental process in the Congo nation. There is something pathetic about the UN which has spoken many words, but done little in reality to aid the ignored people of the Congo. Thousands of women will be raped and brutalized over the coming months while UN discussions take place with thugs like Nkunda and those in the current Congo government.

World attention is focused on Gaza where Israel is killing people and Hamas is enjoying the spectacle of death and destruction. It is clear there is scant appetite among UN officials to assume responsibility for doing anything specific to aid the Congolese people. Their nation lacks oil and their skins are black so why should the UN try to do something about a cease fire in the Congo?

Take Guantanamo Inmates Says UN

Manfred Nowak, the UN’s torture investigator, insisted on Monday that many being held in Guantanamo were there simply because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and had never been guilty of any crime other than being entrapped in the Bush mania to up figures on capturing “terrorists.” Nowak urged nations to put aide their fears and accept those coming out of the infamous American prison in Cuba. “Many (detainees) were clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time, and simply fell into the hands of Pakistani bounty hunters paid by the Americans.” Australia has already refused to take any of the men leaving the prison and according to Nowak this is unfair to those who are innocent of any crime. He even pressed his own native Austria to take up to 250 former prisoners.

The tragedy of Guantanamo prison is that those who created this monstrosity will never be punished. They will live out their lives in peace while those who endured their brutality must spend years trying to explain how an innocent man could wind up in a prison. Perhaps, the best thing any of these men can say is simply, “I am a victim of George Bush’s illegal behavior, are you?”

End Bombings! — Cease Fire Now!

Bombs continue falling on Gaza as Hamas leaders continue their rhetoric of defiance and sending rockets into Israel A one ton bomb killed Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, and four members of his family. Rayan had consistently refused to negotiate with Israel or, let alone, recognize it as an independent nation. “There is nothing called Israel, neither in reality nor in imagination.” Unfortunately, the non-exisant Israel is pounding away at Gaza in a fierce determination to kill Hamas leaders and force a cease fire that will end rocket attacks. The decision by Hamas to end the cease fire and to resume large scale rocket attacks on Israel must rank as among the most misguided actions of 2008. The only result was the death of dozens of innocent civilians and massive destruction of facilities.

Many international groups are urging Israel to halt the bombing, but the Israeli military establishment wants guarantees that all rocket attacks will cease. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni went as far to state, “there is no humanitarian crisis in the strip.” Yes, Ms. Livni, there is a humanitarian crisis that must be resolved as soon as possible to prevent the death of innocent Gaza civilians.

We urge the following steps be taken:

1. An immediate cease fire by Israel with the understanding that within 48 hours, all rocket attacks from Gaza will cease.

2. A United Nations force be sent to Gaza to supervise crossings and ensure there are no future rocket attacks. The Turkish army would be the logical military force to enforce a cease fire– it has the confidence of Israel and is Muslim.

Rice Warns Hamas-Hamas Warns Israel-Israel Warns Hamas

The warning game is being played in the Middle East as Secretary of State Condi Rice warned Hamas that acts of violence only damaged the cause of Palestinians.”I sincerely hope that there will not be a resumption of the violence because that is not going to help the people of Gaza. United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon urged rocket attacks to cease and called upon both sides to cooperate. A spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry urged Israel to be more flexible about opening the Gaza crossings while urging Hamas to avoid rocket attacks.

President Bush told reporters we’ve “made a good deal of progress” in the Middle East while Israeli officials insisted there could not be a half truce,but there must be an end to rocket attacks.

The only conclusion any reasonable person could make is that everyone is “urging peace” but no one has the slightest interest in actually bringing about peace. Of course, people have been “urging peace” for almost half a century.

Congo Cease Fire??

The Congo has been the scene of unprecedented horror as several nations and dozens of insurgents vie for control of its resources. It is estimated about five million innocent people have died in the Congo since 2000. UN peacekeeper forces have been unable to halt the genocide which now envelops the nation. A prominent rebel leader, General Laurent Nkunda, has agreed to a temporary cease fire that will be monitored. The agreement was hammered out with the assistance of former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obsanjo. However, Nkunda was not apparently receptive to the idea of a UN peacekeeping force that would enforce the cease fire.

According to Obsanjo, “He(Lukunda) accepts the UN envoy as a mediator between his side and the government side. He wants the government to accept responsibility for a ceasefire by what he called government allies.” So called “General” Lukunda is actually from Rwanda and was part of groups that entered the Congo in search of riches, not in an effort to help the people of this sad country. Frankly, there is no possibility for a “peace” that benefits the people of the Congo unless other African powers become serious and exert pressure on Rwanda for its interference in the affairs of a neighboring nation.

Israeli- Arab People Break Bread

In an unusual eating event, Israel and Arab leaders broke bread together at a dinner arranged by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Ban hosted a two day conference which focused on promoting global dialogue about religion, cultures and common values. The UN leader refused to discuss seating arrangements and made clear he was not arranging discussions, but hopefully spending time together in conversation might eventually result in future discussions between opposing groups. Ban hoped “their participation in the meetings and through this social-diplomatic gathering they will be able to promote better understanding.”

The idea for the conference came from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which is somewhat strange given his nation does not afford religious freedom to all people living in the realm. Human Rights Watch urged participants to push King Abdullah to deal with his own nation as well as helping other countries of the world attain religious tolerance.

Nigerian Leader Appointed Congo Mediator

The horror that is the Congo continued on its destructive path resulting in the death of thousands and rape and destruction engulfing millions of people. Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was asked by the United Nations to assume the role of attempting to mediate the madness that has become the Congo. He is trying to persuade Rwanda leaders to send negotiators to assist in the peace process. Meanwhile, UN forces have evacuated large areas in the Congo as rebel troops led by General Laurent Nkunda swept through areas killing, raping and looting even as retreating members of the Congo army killed, raped and looted on their way far from any fighting.

A UN convoy finally reached a camp that supposedly held thousands of refugees only to find it deserted since the people fled to avoid the oncoming slaughter of General Nkunda. Part of the problem is although nations contributed troops to the UN they are tied by restrictions not to engage in battle. Unfortunately, General Nkunda has no such restrictions.

Burma Remains In Disaster Mode

Six months have passed since a huge cyclone ripped through Burma leaving over a hundred fifty thousand people suffering from lack of fresh water, food, and lodging. The thug military rulers of the nation refused to take immediate action, but finally allowed in some outside aid groups. However, after months of doing the least necessary action possible, thousands of people remain without access to fresh water, and as the dry season hits, many good watering places will dry up. The United Nations pledged about $500 million in aid, but there is not enough evidence this money has been wisely used. Ironically, the cyclone has proven a blessing in disguise for the military rulers of Burma. The world is not as concerned about lack of freedom in the nation since all thoughts are on economic rebuilding.

Aid does get through, but most of those who suffered still lack access to the aid that is coming from outside sources. There may yet be a worse outcome if basic necessities such as water and food doesn’t get through to those who were most impacted by the cyclone.

Who Caused Deaths In Somalia?

Somalia is to Africa what Afghanistan has become to Asia, a center of turmoil, destruction, bombings, and murder of innocent people. North Somali authorities arrested a local sheikh who is suspected of being behind this week’s rash of bombings that rocked the nation and killed dozens. The United States believes al-Qaeda was behind the bombings while most Somali authorities blame local Islamic militants. Medical staff at a hospital blamed recent killings on Somali and Ethiopian soldiers. The horror of the entire death and destruction is the lack of any group or nation which can find a way out of the madness that has become Somalia.

The UN is trying to broker some sort of peace but there is no indication local Somalian Islamic groups have any interest in accepting peace. It is estimated over 10,000 people have been killed since the first of the year and there is not doubt another 10,000 will die next year.