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No Confidence Vote Passes Against UN Top Leadership

By On Lawn in News
Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:21:38 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Already embattled with his ties to the Iraqi Oil for Food scandal, and what some term as the 'Food for Sex' scandal, Kofi Annan has dodged the latest bullet. Well, dodged only in the sense that specific allegations against him was removed at the last minute before passing.

The UN staff union passed a resolution sharply critical of the world body's senior management but expressed support for beleaguered Secretary General Kofi Annan.

An earlier draft of the resolution had strongly worded language about no confidence in senior staff of the United Nations, which has been buffeted by scandals over the past few months.


At the heart of the matter is Kofi Annan's pardon of allegations of "harassing members of his staff and violating UN rules on the hiring and promotion of workers" against Dileep Nair of Singapore. Allegations he staunchly denies. Interestingly enough this follows after Nair, as the UN's top oversight official, found no "legal basis" for similar claims brought against Ruud Lubbers.

Of the Ruud Lubbers ordeal, CFIF had this to say:

In response, Edward Patrick Flaherty, the attorney representing the accuser, told The New York Times, "This demonstrates that there are two sets of rules at the U.N., one for the protected class and one for the rest. [The High Commissioner] is part of that class. My client is not."

That sounds about right. The first class, of which the High Commissioner is a distinguished member, includes those U.N. employees and officials who engage in nepotism, corrupt activities and abusive behavior. The second, apparently shrinking class, includes those U.N. employees who work hard trying to pursue the world body's ideals and objectives.

It's increasingly clear that, like his allegedly lecherous colleague, Kofi Annan is part of the corrupt class. In this case, Annan went to a great deal of trouble to pardon a senior U.N. official who, at least according to the U.N.'s investigative panel for such matters, was guilty of sexual harassment and was quite possibly a repeat offender.

Needless to say, the results of the past year have been met with increasing incredulity from fellow UN staffers. An AFP article at GhanaWeb discloses some of the earlier wording of the resolution:

In a resolution set to be adopted on Friday, the union said Riza's statement "substantiates the contention of the staff that there was impropriety" and that there exists "a lack of integrity, particularly at the higher levels of the organisation."

The draft resolution, also obtained exclusively by AFP, calls on the union president to "convey this vote of no confidence to the secretary general."

Staffers who asked not to be named, afraid that speaking out could damage their future prospects in the United Nations, said the Nair decision was an example of corruption by Annan and his senior staff.

They noted that Riza, UN undersecretary general for information Shashi Tharoor and other top officials had served directly under Annan at least since 1994, when he was head of UN peacekeeping operations.

At the time, the United Nations was widely criticised for failing to stop the Rwanda genocide that left 800,000 people dead, even though UN peacekeepers were on the ground -- a catastrophe for which Annan has publicly apologised.

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Related Links
o Iraqi Oil for Food scandal
o the 'Food for Sex' scandal
o the latest bullet
o Dileep Nair
o he staunchly denies
o Ruud Lubbers
o CFIF had this to say
o some of the earlier wording
o Also by On Lawn


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No Confidence Vote Passes Against UN Top Leadership | 83 comments (81 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ok. (2.50 / 12) (#3)
by jd on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 07:38:44 PM EST

Let's assume that the upper echelons of the UN are corrupt. What, really, can be done to fix it? Is it time to move beyond the UN, in the same way that the UN was a move beyond the League of Nations?

It is worth noting that UN charity workers aren't the only charity workers who have been using refugee camps for sex tourism, and it's not only UN-related businesses that are wrapped up in the corruption in the Food-For-Oil program.

It is also worth noting that oil companies are increasingly being cited for smuggling operations in Iraq prior to the war, and that countries involved in the smuggling rackets are claiming that corruption has increased amongst Western companies operating in Iraq since the war.

In other words, the heart of the problem doesn't seem to be the UN, although that is likely involved. The UN can't escape culpability. There seems to be a lot of US involvement in the corruption scandals, too.

If the world is truly disgusted by the abuse of power that is being shown, it should express that disgust towards all parties involved. If the top echelons of the UN are, eventually, forced to resign, then it is right and proper that the directors of ALL companies involved, and the ruling bodies in ALL countries directly involved in backing, aiding or running the corruption should ALSO be forced to resign or be tried on corruption charges.

I happen to think Tony Blair is genuinely a caring guy, and I believe he genuinely believes in what he does. I don't think his conduct comes from a desire to do harm. But if he were to be deemed guilty by a thorough investigation, I'd certainly expect him to stand down and accept his wrongdoing like a man.

This would be a good opportunity for the Court of International Justice to show it is relevent and necessary, by taking action where International law was broken and evidence can be presented that Government officials or those under their command were directly involved.

A lot of companies and countries are involved. So much so, that competent prosecution could seriously cripple corruption in Governments and Corporations around the world for a long time. A lot of people showed their true colors, exposing themselves to lawful prosecution. This could clean up a lot of places.

But it's not gonna happen, because it's far easier to blame it all on the little people on the front-line, who can't answer back and aren't responsible for paying the bills of the prosecutors and investigators.

The leaking of the name of a CIA agent, because her husband contradicted official US claims about Nigeria's connections with Iraq, and the indefinite arrests & deportations without trial probably means investigators will be reluctant to dig too deep in the "wrong" places. It doesn't require a conspiracy, it just requires that an official with sufficient authority labels you "undesirable".

Just another chance to bash the US (2.83 / 12) (#4)
by godix on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 08:41:44 PM EST

Is it time to move beyond the UN, in the same way that the UN was a move beyond the League of Nations?

Actually this isn't a bad idea. A big part of the UN's problems stem from the fact it's trying to do things it wasn't designed to do. As much as some hate to admit it, the UN is designed to suck at peacekeeping, government oversight, justice, and to some extent even delivering basic aid. Time to admit it and make something that's designed to actually do those things at least semi-well.
it's not only UN-related businesses that are wrapped up in the corruption in the Food-For-Oil program

Quite true, but no one seems to give a damn about that. The fact is being used, when it's acknowledge at all, as a political weapon rather than a real problem that needs addressed. Even you fall into doing that, later you say 'There seems to be a lot of US involvement in the corruption scandals' while ignoring that the EU and Russia appears to be even more involved than the US. This isn't a 'Who sucks more, the UN or US' competition. It's a real issue that is going to remain a problem as long as people are more interested in scoring political points than fixing it.
This would be a good opportunity for the Court of International Justice to show it is relevent and necessary

While that might work for some that court doesn't have authority over all countries/companies involved. Which returns us to the 'UN sucks at this stuff' thing I mentioned earlier.
The leaking of the name of a CIA agent, because her husband contradicted official US claims about Nigeria's connections with Iraq, and the indefinite arrests & deportations without trial probably means investigators will be reluctant to dig too deep in the "wrong" places.

Again, you use events to bash the US instead of actually looking at the problem and who's involved in it. Are you just trying to score political points or did you want to seriously address the issue?

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
"The UN is designed to suck" (none / 1) (#10)
by pickpocket on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:08:48 AM EST

I'm intrigued. Why do you say this?

[ Parent ]
Because it's true (2.33 / 3) (#12)
by godix on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:40:31 AM EST

Any group where China has veto power over issues involving human rights, overpopulation, and sweatshops is useless. Any group that has the US preaching about peace proposals is moronic. It's ironic, and stupid, when the same countries that have repeatedly attacked Israel because of it's religion are included in talks about racial/religious equality. Dirt poor african countries have just as much say about financial aid to the third world as Germany, Japan, and other rich countries that provide that aid. The UN asks Russia to quit assaulting Checyna long enough to tell other countries how to solve civil wars. Countries wrecked by AIDS and malaria are asked how to improve health worldwide. Any organization that decides an appropriate 'punishment' for disagreement is to kick the US off the Human Rights Commission and replace it with Sudan is a joke, and one in rather poor taste considering the UN called Sudan a human rights crisis just three years later.

Unfortunately the UN has proven that you don't solve problems by asking the very people causing those problems how and since dictatorships vastly outnumber democracies it isn't a wise idea to give them an equal voice, and in at least one case a veto, in a democratic insitution. The only time the UN has really proven effective is when a powerful member state basically tells the UN to sit down and STFU while it fixes things (IE NATO in Bosnia, Australia in Timor, and no one at all in Ruwanda). The UN was designed as a place where countries can bitch at each other instead of shooting at each other and considering the notable lack of WWIII it does a decent job at that. If you add any other goal to the mix though the UN has proven to be totally ineffective at best.

Incidently, just today I ran into an article which provides hope that I'm not the only one with these views. It's even in a non-US paper which is a suprise.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]

Ah, I see (none / 1) (#27)
by pickpocket on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 02:16:02 AM EST

You think the UN was designed to suck because (outside of the SC) it gives every nation an equal say. What would you prefer? That the UN should kick out most of it's membership? We already have a G8, G7, etc.

"Any organization that decides an appropriate 'punishment' for disagreement is to kick the US off the Human Rights Commission and replace it with Sudan is a joke,". It wasn't a "punishment" for disagreement, but reflected annoyance that the US has not respected international agreements on landmines, war crimes, nuclear tests and greenhouse gases; not to mention that the US is behind in it's dues.

"the same countries that have repeatedly attacked Israel because of it's religion are included in talks about racial/religious equality". And which countries are these? Israel is criticized because it repeatedly violates international law and continues to brutalize the civilian Palestinian population and refuses to consider real peace agreements.

"dictatorships vastly outnumber democracies". No, not at all. Off the top of my head, there are at least 100 democracies out of 200 odd countries in the UN, and many of the others are in intermediate stages towards democratization.

"The only time the UN has really proven effective is when a powerful member state basically tells the UN to sit down and STFU while it fixes things (IE NATO in Bosnia, Australia in Timor, and no one at all in Ruwanda)." What? Australia waited until the Indonesians had already committed war crimes before acting in Timor. And Ruanda was a disastrous genocide.

"If you add any other goal to the mix though the UN has proven to be totally ineffective at best." Yeah, I guess the whole eradicating smallpox thing was a big ol' waste of time, not to mention the numerous peacekeeping efforts.  


[ Parent ]

No, I doubt you do see. (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by godix on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 03:58:45 AM EST

You think the UN was designed to suck because (outside of the SC) it gives every nation an equal say. What would you prefer?

Well, since you asked, I would prefer the UN be little more than a diplomatic club. I'd like to see the UN as a place where various nations can negotiate and form alliances for certain functions but the UN has no direct control over them. Have the UN encourage things like the EU negotiations with Iran or the 6 nation talks with Korea but under no circumstances should the UN (specifically the security council) have veto power over them. Use diplomacy to facilitate temporary alliances to tackle specific issues rather than trying to directly control things would probably be much more successful in the long run.
reflected annoyance that the US has not respected international agreements on landmines, war crimes, nuclear tests and greenhouse gases; not to mention that the US is behind in it's dues.

The US didn't argee to landmine bans, didn't agree to permanent international war crime courts, legally withdrew from the nuclear test treaties, and didn't agree to the greenhouse gasses. While you may not like those things, the fact is the US was kicked off the council because of disagreements plain and simple. You just provided further proof of what I originally said, thank you. The result is that the UN has a country on the Human Rights Council which is one of the worse violators of human rights in the world. Great, so now the UNs credability on human rights is a joke and it's lost any moral authority of influence on stopping atrocities but hey, the UN was able to register that it was annoyed with the US so it was all worth it. Christ, is it any wonder the US doesn't want to fund a group full of political fighting where scoring points is more important than actually working on an issue?
And which countries are these?

You seriously need to study some history. There are three major wars between Israel and it's neighbors and countless skirmishes. The major ones are 1948 (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq), 1967 (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and some Iraqi troops), and 1973 (Egypt and Syria). Two of the three were defensive and the third was a pre-emptive attack on troops massing for an invasion. None of them were over Palestinians or their cause.
Off the top of my head, there are at least 100 democracies out of 200 odd countries in the UN

Much of the world is under a dictatorship of some form or another although quite a few pretend they're democracies. Hell, even Saddam claimed to have elections. So, off the top of your head, name me the 100 democracies of the world that are really democracies instead of dictators putting on a show.
Australia waited until the Indonesians had already committed war crimes before acting in Timor. And Ruanda was a disastrous genocide.

Way to miss the point. To rephrase what I already said, the UN was totally ineffective in Timor until Australia stepped in and that the UN was totally ineffective in Ruwanda because no major country even stepped in. The point was the the UN can not do peacekeeping itself, a major country basically has to do the job and if no major countries are willing then the job doesn't get done no matter how many resolutions the UN makes.
Yeah, I guess the whole eradicating smallpox thing was a big ol' waste of time, not to mention the numerous peacekeeping efforts.

Ok, I'll give you eliminating smallpox, WHO was very effective at that. Unfortunately WHO has been made ineffective over time, as witnessed by the fact malaria is still a huge worldwide problem when effective means are avalable to control it. As for peacekeeping, how many UN peacekeeping missions were effective that do NOT fall under my 'major country tells the UN to sit down and STFU' catagory?

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
Whatever (none / 1) (#32)
by pickpocket on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 04:24:46 AM EST

The US didn't argee to landmine bans, didn't agree to permanent international war crime courts, legally withdrew from the nuclear test treaties,
Yep, in other words the US has shown lip service towards human rights and then complains when it gets kicked off the UNHRC.
You seriously need to study some history. There are three major wars between Israel and it's neighbors and countless skirmishes. The major ones are 1948 (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq), 1967 (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and some Iraqi troops), and 1973 (Egypt and Syria). Two of the three were defensive and the third was a pre-emptive attack on troops massing for an invasion. None of them were over Palestinians or their cause.
So? You claimed that the UN voting against Israel is because Israel is a Jewish state, not because it has repeatedly broken international law with it's illegal settlements and acted belligerently towards it's neighbours. I have NFI how you can characterize 1948 as "defensive", tell that to the 750,000 refugees, and you are conveniently forgetting Israel's unprovoked 1982 invasion against Lebanon.
The point was the the UN can not do peacekeeping itself, a major country basically has to do the job and if no major countries are willing then the job doesn't get done no matter how many resolutions the UN makes.
So? The major countries only operate as peacekeepers under a UN mandate. If it wasn't for the UN, they would no longer peacekeep. And most peacekeeping operations have multinational forces from a number of different countries, not just a few major countries.
Much of the world is under a dictatorship of some form or another although quite a few pretend they're democracies. Hell, even Saddam claimed to have elections. So, off the top of your head, name me the 100 democracies of the world that are really democracies instead of dictators putting on a show.
No, the onus of proof is upon you for making the extraordinary claim that the "vast majority" of nations in the UN are dictatorships.


[ Parent ]
Why do I bother? (none / 1) (#33)
by godix on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 05:42:47 AM EST

Yep, in other words the US has shown lip service towards human rights and then complains when it gets kicked off the UNHRC.

In other words the UN kicked the US off the council for issues that are not related to human rights and put on a country involved in one of the worse human right abuses in the world. No matter how you try and spin it the end result is that putting Sudan on a human rights council proves the council has no real concern about human rights but is instead just playing political games. About the only way the UN could make itself even more irrelevent is if it put the US on a world peace council or France on an ethics in government council.
I have NFI how you can characterize 1948 as "defensive"

It's quite easy, Israel was attacked which means Israel was defensive. See, the guy who shoots first is OFFENSIVE. The guy he shoots at is DEFENSIVE. It's really a simple concept, it's unfortunate your clear bias on Israel is making you functionally illiterate.
If it wasn't for the UN, they would no longer peacekeep.

Yeah. Right. Suuuure. Whatever you say.
And most peacekeeping operations have multinational forces from a number of different countries, not just a few major countries.

And most UN peacekeeping operations are either ineffective until a major country steps in or they are taking over after a major country has cleaned up the mess somewhat. Did you have a reason for bringing up the makeup of failed UN peacekeeping efforts or where you just throwing shit around hoping I'd forget my point?
No, the onus of proof is upon you for making the extraordinary claim that the "vast majority" of nations in the UN are dictatorships.

I'm not the one that claims I can offhandly name 100 democracies. But regardless of that, in all technicality you are right. If you define a country that kills/jails opposition leaders and their supporters, break up political rallies, threatens voters lives, and does '90% voted for me, honest' type blatent rigging of the vote as a democracy then there are ~120 democracies out of 192 countries. I personally think that isn't a democracy but some people don't think having an unrigged free election where you won't get killed if you vote for the wrong guy is required to be a democracy and you appear to be one of them. So fine, you win, the vast majority of countries are technically a democracy although you'd get yourself killed in many of them if you tried acting like they were.

Anyway, I'm done here. I'm tired of repeating myself and explaining reality to a simpleton. Feel free to go on an 'Israel is evil' or 'the UN can do no wrong' rant if it makes you feel better. After all, just because I'm going to quit replying is no reason for you to quit deluding yourself.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]

Don't let history get in your way (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by pickpocket on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:35:04 AM EST

It's quite easy, Israel was attacked which means Israel was defensive. See, the guy who shoots first is OFFENSIVE. The guy he shoots at is DEFENSIVE. It's really a simple concept, it's unfortunate your clear bias on Israel is making you functionally illiterate.
No. Israel didn't exist before the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. What actually happened is that after the UN declaration, fighting broke out between both Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Palestine. Zionist forces took the initiative in attacking the Palestinian population, committing acts which even Zionist historian Benny Morris has characterized as "ethnic cleansing", although there was violence on both sides. A woefully ill-equipped pan-Arab force was easily repulsed, and 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes.

And even the most ardent Zionist would not classify 1948 as a "war of defence", because Israel didn't exist yet. If anything, it was a war of independence.

Yeah. Right. Suuuure. Whatever you say.
Peacekeeping countries (apart from the US) would have no international mandate to operate in sovereign nations, leaving them open to charges of aggression, impartiality and, most importantly, unlawful war. Why on Earth would they bother?

Anyway, I just wanted to expose you to a few nasty facts. Feel free to resume your "Israel can do no wrong" and "UN is evil" rants.

[ Parent ]

I have to agree with godix on this point (none / 0) (#75)
by narrowhouse on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 08:06:06 PM EST

You said it yourself,AFTER the declaration of the State of Israel 5 Arab nations, hoping to annihilate the new Jewish State, intervened in an on going conflict between the Jewish and Arab militias. The MILITIAS were fighting BEFORE the Jewish State was declared, the Arab nations got involved after the fact. Like it or not the Arab nations were fielded an army on the soil of a sovereign nation, and in almost anyone's book that is an attack. The "woefully ill-equipped pan-Arab force" at least had the advantage of coming from nations that were more than a week old. It is also worth noting that the Arab nations made no attempt at pretending that they were attempting to aid their Arab brethren, it was very clear that the intention was to destroy the Jewish State. Now all these years later we blame Israel for expanding their borders by annexing the territories of nations that declared war on them?

[ Parent ]
I want to address the issue (2.75 / 4) (#24)
by jd on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 12:20:14 AM EST

Which is one reason I also mentioned Tony Blair. (Last I heard, he wasn't a US citizen, though some in England aren't always too sure...)

Yes, the EU is certainly guilty. It's a shame, I had high hopes that the EU - because it is so diverse and so modular - might be more resistant to corruption than other nations and federations. They've had the chance to see what works and what doesn't, and because it formed over time, had the chance to correct problems in the design.

The EU, in my opinion, has blown much of its credibility. The EU's charter, which demands of member countries a high degree of social justice and tolerance, is an impressive document. Perhaps more complex than necessary, but definitely a good step towards responsible and ethical Government.

Unfortunately, a document is just a piece of paper, unless the Governments involved actually believe in it. Laws are like fairies - if you don't believe in them, they die.

The EU is culpable in smuggling operations to Iraq - in the past and in the present - and is undoubtably involved in criminal activities there. That's not unexpected - France sold missile systems and high-tech weaponry to Argentina, shortly before the dictatorship there invaded the Falkland Islands. Greece openly smuggled fuel and weapons to the Serbs during the Yugoslav conflict and Greek patriots attempted to fire home-made missiles on British and American naval vessels. (The Greek authorities, sympathetic to the Serbs, ignored it all.)

Europe also makes explosives popular with terrorists, especially Semtex. This is a plastic explosive that has no odor and is virtually impossible to detect. As such, it is the number 1 favorite weapon in clandestine operations, assassinations and other operations where most conventional devices would be discovered.

The EU is also guilty of largely ignoring the slave trade, which smuggles people from Asian countries and some parts of East Europe. The slaves - often women - are bought from their families or kidnapped. They are then brought into Europe and sold to brothels or rich clients. Britain recently introduced an amnesty program, where slaves who work with officials to close down such operations are entered into a UK witness protection program and given citizenship. To the best of my knowledge, it's the ONLY European country with such a program, or that even admits such a trade exists.

Related to this is a corruption scandal in Belgium, where an investigation into a paedophile ring revealed involvement and collusion by police, judges, politicians and government officials, up to the highest levels. The ring had connections with the slave trade and evidence suggests that children were routinely kidnapped throughout the European, Asian and African continents to order. There has been no media coverage of the international connections ever being caught or identified, and it is doubtful that all the members of the ring inside Belgium have been discovered.

Russia is a more complex issue. The "Russian Mafia" smuggles weapons, people and drugs across the world, so it would be surprising if they were not involved in Iraq, or other International hot-spots, in some way. It is very likely they are involved in the drug trafficking going on, especially in Afghanistan, simply because they have established trading connections.

The Russian Government - that's a tougher call. Putin is a hard one to read. It's interesting that they have a new missile program, given that Russia is bankrupt. Unless they plan on selling missile systems to countries that the West can't be seen dealing with. Then it would make perfect sense. It could be a good money-spinner for them, and there's no doubt they need the cash.

Other than that, Russia really doesn't have much to sell anyone. Businesses in Russia - especially gunsmiths - on the other hand have a lot to sell people. Russian-made weapons are the "must-have" stocking-stuffer for all terrorist organizations, militias and third-world dictatorships, as the weapons are reliable, robust, easy to maintain and easy to obtain. If the Lugar is considered the Rolls Royce of the handgun world, the Uzi and the Kalashnikov would probably be the Volkswagon Beatles.

There are no Governments, anywhere in the world, that are free of the taint of corruption. Some do better than others - New Zealand is probably on firmer ethical ground than, say, Sudan. On the other hand, New Zealand doesn't have the same opportunities for corruption, or the means to get away with it. It's easy to be honest, when your biggest export goes "baaa", not "bang!"

The sheer magnitude of the corruption problem, in industry and in Government, around the world, is so vast that even highly-funded international news organzations can only touch the tip of the iceberg. One post, or even one entire story, on K5 can't do something like this justice.

I've often thought it would be nice if there was a news site, analogous to K5 and Slashdot, that specialized in news gathering and dissemination of stories of this kind. Nice, but extremely dangerous. Were such a site to exist - and be meaningfully successful - virtually everyone with money, power or influence would be out to have those involved in the site nailed to the nearest tree. Investigative journalists stick to "safe" stuff, by and large. Crooked car dealers don't have quite the same punch as international gun-runners.

No such site will ever exist. Or, if it does, it will do what most of these news sites do, which is repeat the stories, rather than use them as a launching pad. (What do you expect? News gathering is too expensive for most amateurs and this particular type of news is way too unsafe.) If you COULD find amateur journalists insane enough to do real news gathering on stories of this kind, those who didn't "vanish", die horribly, get arrested as "spies" or sued into oblivion would get crucified by the "official" media as Conspiracy Theorists. (Of course, it is entirely possible that for some who have been branded Conspiracy Theorists, this has already happened. How would you ever tell the difference between a real crank and a real investigator, when it's so easy for either to be made to look like the other?)

I really don't know how something as ingrained in modern society, throughout the world, can be dealt with. It's a huge problem, and I only know a very few of the stories that the media has bothered to cover of those they know about, which in turn won't be that many in comparison to what's out there. Some sort of wholly independent news source would seem to be important, but as I've already said, I simply don't know how that could be done in any way that is workable.

If anyone has any ideas, feel free to reply.

[ Parent ]

That's a damn long reply (2.00 / 2) (#28)
by godix on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 02:51:35 AM EST

Certainly longer than I expected at least.
Last I heard, he wasn't a US citizen, though some in England aren't always too sure...

Tony Blair is so far up Bush's ass that John Howard can barely see his shoes.

Sorry, bad joke that I heard and liked. Forget I said it.

I had high hopes that the EU - because it is so diverse and so modular - might be more resistant to corruption than other nations and federations.

I always figured modular and diverse governments would be more open to corruption rather than less. On the plus side, I also figured that any one individual would have their influence limited by the diversity so I expected the EU would be a bunch of small time grifters instead of like the US where a few corrupt guys can get their hands on EVERYTHING.
The EU is culpable in smuggling operations to Iraq

Some members of it at least, yes. To be fair there were several significant governments which seemed to abide by the UN resolutions and were honestly interested in solving the Iraq issue. It's really a shame that instead of the US and Germany working together to improve Iraq that we got France and the US fighting over who got the money.
The EU is also guilty of largely ignoring the slave trade

Probably the biggest failing of the EU so far and definatly the most unreported major issue they face. I doubt the EU will do much about it, much slave trade flows through Russia and various former russian satellites. The EU seems unwilling to antagonize it's neighbor by instituting border protections that would help with stem slave trade. As an added problem, many countries on it's eastern border have fairly weak governments unable to effectively fight against organized crime.
where an investigation into a paedophile ring revealed involvement and collusion by police, judges, politicians and government officials, up to the highest levels.

Hmm, that's a story I seem to have missed. I'll have to look it up. Every now and then I do hear about a major pedophilia ring being busted, although now that I think about it it's always been Britan doing the busting.
Putin is a hard one to read.

He's not really hard to read at all, Putins coldblooded and rutherless leadership would fit very well with his cold war era predecessors. Diplomatically no one wants to admit it but Putin is damned near a dictator and would be a major world threat if his country hadn't been bankrupt for the last decade.
It's interesting that they have a new missile program, given that Russia is bankrupt.

I stongly suspect it's smoke and mirrors. Putin isn't stupid, he has to know that the missle defense system the US is pursuing isn't designed to stop Russia. Bush wants a shield to stop North Korea and countries like it, we're designing it with countries that have maybe a dozen nukes max in mind. Russia could easily overpower any system we design with sheer numbers, even with the fact many of Russias nuke probably aren't operational due to neglect. I think Putin announced his new program to send a message to the US that we're not trusted, I doubt Russia will actually do what it said.
Other than that, Russia really doesn't have much to sell anyone.

They have oil and many other natural resources. Granted, their capabilities of exploiting them suck but they do have it. Unlike many countries Russia could be mostly self-sufficient if it chose to.
One post, or even one entire story, on K5 can't do something like this justice.

Certainly not on the wide range of issues you covered. One article focused on a single issue mentioned would, well, not do it justice but at least do a good job of covering the basics.
I've often thought it would be nice if there was a news site, analogous to K5 and Slashdot, that specialized in news gathering and dissemination of stories of this kind.

If you ever find one let me know. I doubt you will though for the reasons you mention as well as the fact that the most corrupt places on earth are also the least likely for whistleblowers to have easy net access.
I really don't know how something as ingrained in modern society, throughout the world, can be dealt with.

A strong and transparent government can deal with it. For example, the US operates fairly transparently (compared to other governments at least) with things like FOIA requests and a (mostly) free press making secrets are hard to keep. I'm not saying the US is perfect, a glance at the news tells you it isn't, but I do note that the last three really major presidental scandals involved lying in court, selling weapons to Iran, and breaking into an opponents office. That's a far cry from some countries where the scandals are jailing/killing thousands, embezzeling billions, or in your example having pedophilia rings reach to the highest offices. I think that's largely because a US politician couldn't hope to hide that type of action, hell Cheney can't even hide his Halliburton ties and that's fairly unimportant in the grand scheme. A transparent government is one of the least talked about but most important issues in good government. Your website idea is part of that but the issue is so much broader than that.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
Not that this has to do with anything, (1.50 / 2) (#54)
by ksandstr on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 05:39:12 AM EST

But this newfangled Americanistani idea of considering the European Union a country (i.e. so that you'll have the US, the EU, Russia, China, India and so on) is rather offensive to citizens of most countries in the EU. (Not the least because of the stereotype of the american tourist who, after visiting France for a couple of days, brags to his friends that he's been to a non-specific place known as "yurp".) To explain further, the EU is a meta-governmental body and several official whatchamacallits shared between the countries in the EU (i.e. not Switzerland for example, or Turkey) and not much else. There are other meta-governmental bits and pieces too, (international treaties and the EMU to name just a few classes) but formally speaking those have little more than a coincidental connection to the Union itself.

There's no "european presidency", no "european legislature" (since the so-called directives are not laws), no "european common law", no "border of europe", no "government of europe".

In a nutshell, when you want to speak of a particular continent delimited by a mountain range to the east and great big bodies of water to the west, south and north, say "europe". When you are talking about a meta-governmental body or one of its official parts, say "EU". And when what you say is relevant to a part of Europe, call it an "european country" or better yet call it by name.


Fin.
[ Parent ]

Can you wait till I'm wrong to correct me? (none / 0) (#61)
by godix on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 12:43:50 PM EST

Umm, I hate to be the one to break bad news but there is an organization called the EU, many European countries are a part of it, and it does adopt policies which cover all member countries. When talking those policies that cover all member countries it's appropriate to actually say EU instead of Spain&France&Germany&Italy&etc. One of the things the EU is doing is lowering the barriers to traveling from one member country to another. As such the solution to the slave trade is going to have to involve patroling EU borders like the line between Poland and Ukraine instead of national borders within the EU like Poland to Germany.

If you'll notice, right above where I talked about slave trade and the EU border I specifically pointed out that smuggling to Iraq was done by specific countries rather than the EU as a whole. Just because some Americans don't understand the EU don't assume that ALL Americans don't. That's as stupid a mistake as if I said "Everyone in the EU is a french speaking bastard eating bad cheese and whining about America"

In a nutshell, on some issues it's appropriate to refer to the EU in others the specific country should be refered to. You'd be wrong to say "The French Euro..." just like you'd be wrong to say "The EU politician Le Pen..."

As a total side note, study America well and study Europe from the days before the EU well. One of those two is the future for EU member countries. Either the EU will fall apart or it will slowly transform into a unified nation with states like the US is. The alliance of seperate countries that it is right now won't last long.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]

Ok, but... (none / 0) (#62)
by gandalf23 on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 05:37:10 PM EST

<i>But this newfangled Americanistani idea of considering the European Union a country (i.e. so that you'll have the US, the EU, Russia, China, India and so on) is rather offensive to citizens of most countries in the EU.</i>

We'll stop considering the EU a country, if y'all will stop calling us Americanistani and USians.  

:)
 

[ Parent ]

Russia (none / 1) (#52)
by Djinh on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 04:43:59 AM EST

You're wrong.

Russia is making a killing selling oil, specially at the current oil prices.

They've got plenty of cash. Unlike some other large countries we know...

--
We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, well (none / 0) (#53)
by ksandstr on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 05:21:42 AM EST

In the meantime I'll wait for your credible proposal for a League of Nations / UN type international body that isn't subject to power-plays and gradual subversion by the usual suspects, i.e. the nuclear powers with their veto rights.

It's not like the US has ever approved of any international body that could be seen as "restrictive", in that the US would then be less able to do as they damn well please. This includes bodies like doctors without frontiers, the international red cross (& crescent) and everyone else not directly and strongly under US control.

Fin.
[ Parent ]

Yup, (none / 0) (#59)
by Pxtl on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 11:02:50 AM EST

I was nodding along in agreement until the last line - a pointless shot against GWB.  I can't stand Bush, but that line just completely invalidated the whole post.

My solution, just to piss off the righties:

BILL CLINTON FOR SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UN!

[ Parent ]

Sovereignity (none / 0) (#81)
by cdguru on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 05:11:45 PM EST

The UN does not hold powers over the sovereign nations of the world - they can do as they please and ignore the UN. Unless that is changes, you can't have the UN deciding to enter a country and "establish order" when the population is rioting, looting and killing everyone. Nope, sorry, that is an "internal" problem.

It was decided that the one exception to this was when "genocide" was happening. OK, so now we spend years arguing if real genocide or some less-then-genocidal activity is taking place in the sovereign nation of Sudan.

Neither could the UN come to any agreement on Iraq. They would pass resolution after toothless resolution threatening Saddam with unnamed "bad things" unless he cooperated. He didn't and nothing happened for 12 years. After all, it was difficult to decide that something should be done other than issue empty threats to a sovereign nation.

The answer is quite simple - you want to live on the planet, you submit to the body that replaces the UN. Sort of like the provinces in Canada submit to the federal government. Like the states in the US. Probably a lot more authority than the current EU arrangement.

The problem is, it doesn't seem like anyone really wants that. So, we have a debating society in New York and nothing is going to change.

[ Parent ]

Official claims were true (nt) (none / 0) (#80)
by jeremyn on Fri Nov 26, 2004 at 06:53:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
-1, author is a republican. (1.00 / 29) (#5)
by the ghost of rmg on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 08:52:24 PM EST

also a known liar.

article is right wing garbage.


rmg: comments better than yours.

for god's sake... (1.20 / 5) (#7)
by skyknight on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 10:32:17 PM EST

take it back to Husi.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
-1, faggit (none / 1) (#26)
by Requiem for a Dream on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 01:21:49 AM EST

dumb ass loser. i am quantum field theory laugh at your pathetic stupidity.

[ Parent ]
What do we have ... (1.78 / 14) (#6)
by Peahippo on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 09:29:21 PM EST

... the UN for, again? Oh yeah, that's right: The Brussels Effect. If you send diplomats to an urban area with nice hotels and prostitutes, they will invariably conclude that you need to send MORE diplomats (and more money). After all, serving as the Ethiopian delegate to the UN certainly beats scratching the fucking dirt back home for a sub-subsistence living.

The existence of the Security Council is prima facie evidence that there is no such thing as international law. The UN is a farce. "Corruption" logically follows. Why is this even news? {shrug}

P.S. If I saw the baby-blue tanks of the UN rumbling through Washington DC due to some UN Resolution that said the tyrant G. Bush had to "disarm", I'd be right there, shooting at UN troops like the finest Iraqi "insurgent". Time to wake up from the Imperial dream, America.


Ever been there? (2.75 / 4) (#42)
by Pingveno on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 05:15:22 PM EST

Look, I've been to the UN campus in Geneva. They do much, much more than fighting wars and making layers of bureacracy. They help in humanitarian aid, settle conflicts around the world, clean up mines. Not to mention that they're a symbol of international cooperation and have a beautiful campus ;-). So please, when you're criticizing the UN, look at the big picture of the entire UN.
------
In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
[ Parent ]
Strange: (1.60 / 5) (#45)
by Peahippo on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 08:32:15 PM EST

I thought I WAS seeing the "big picture". I also don't need to visit some big government buildings -- ohhing and ahhing like some local yokel -- to discern that bureaucracy like that is a 99% waste of taxpayer money. The remaining 1% "good effort" can be assumed by nations and private citizen groups as a matter of course.

If governments would bother to take responsibility for the things they did, there wouldn't be much need for centers of diplomats like Brussels. Or New York, or London, or Washington DC. But since their goal is to evade blame and affix it elsewhere, then we get these fucking parasites.

So, you can take your "big picture" and shove it right up your fucking ass, knobgobbler. The price of "cleaning up mines" is too high when this level of parasitical bureaucrats in involved. Your "big picture" is as much a judgment call as mine is.

Pretentious wanker!


[ Parent ]
they're not great at their goals though (none / 0) (#66)
by Delirium on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 10:31:39 AM EST

The goal of the UN was as a diplomatic body that resolved conflicts and generally prevented war. That part doesn't seem too successful: The successful parts are a giant humanitarian organization.

[ Parent ]
Read the UN charter (none / 0) (#70)
by vhokstad on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 10:50:13 AM EST

I'd suggest you read the UN charter. The UN's goals are far wider than what you are suggesting, and does include a significant focus on humanitarian work.

[ Parent ]
Yes, the UN is failing at its stated goals. (3.00 / 3) (#58)
by Pxtl on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 10:59:19 AM EST

Instead of providing an organised world governmental structure, it is a large beaurocracy wrapped around a decent charity organisation.

So what are you going to do about it?  This is the problem with the US.  Rather than attempt to fix the UN, the US just flips it the bird, supporting a sort of nation-scale anarchy.  The US continuously actively cripples the UN.  When the UN wanted to create a system for punishing war criminals and dictators like Saddamn and Pinochet (rather than having to rely on local governments) the US castrated it.

Worldwide legislative bodies can work.  Look at the WTO - for some reason, on trade matters and tariffs, whatever the big megalithic trade body says is ineffible.  Meanwhile, when it comes to human rights and peace, international bodies are evil, stupid organisations.

Industrialists have got world bodies that work - like the ISO, for example.  The UN is failing because it is mishandled, and the USA is the one doing the most damage.

After 9/11, the USA could have turned the UN upside down, cleaned it out and made it into a powerful body for fighting injustice and oppression all over the world.  It could have really kickde the member nations in the ass to put up real bodies of troops rather than token committment forces, and made a true, representative World Police system.  Instead it went maverick and castrated it.

[ Parent ]

typical bureacracy (2.62 / 8) (#8)
by cronian on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 11:22:53 PM EST

There is probably a lot of corruption at the tops of most major bureacracies, and governments. Due to its complicated structure, it would seem corruption especially thrives in the UN. A better method, would be to have a more decentralized alternative.

However, I think the interesting to look at here, is how the scandals came out. Who is exposing the corruption at the UN, and for what purpose.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
decentralized alternative (none / 0) (#30)
by Delirium on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 03:47:53 AM EST

Isn't the decentralized alternative what individual nations' governments are?

[ Parent ]
not really (none / 1) (#65)
by cronian on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 11:34:03 PM EST

For large countries, the national governments are generally always removed from most of the country's citizens. For a more decentralized approach, it would be better to do things on the local or municipal level.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Checks And Balances (2.00 / 2) (#50)
by mbmccabe on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 11:00:18 PM EST

Power corrupts...Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances are the answers.

The Republicrats, Demoblicans and their lobbyist dollars are the odd wheel out of the deal - unchecked and throwing the system off.

[ Parent ]
chekcs and balances fail (3.00 / 3) (#64)
by cronian on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 11:31:56 PM EST

The whole checks and balances sounds good in theory, but it only works if allied groups can't take over all the branches. The only real way to prevent the abuse is to have weak, ineffective leaders, with no ambition. The best is to have a government that is strong enough not to be challenged, but too weak accomplish anything else.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
what a horrible impersonation. (1.28 / 7) (#11)
by the ghost of rmg on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:32:57 AM EST

you couldn't even be bothered to read a bit of the site to pick up on his mannerisms? unbelievable.

this has so much potential and some crapflooder cum troll pisses it all away.


rmg: comments better than yours.

what a moron (1.27 / 11) (#13)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:51:12 AM EST

you completely realize it is exactly this kind of smug condescending lowest common denominator crap that turned so many off and had 3 million more vote for bush in 2004 than 2000, right?

or did the election results teach you anything?

do you realize it takes more to lead and appeal to people than stupid propaganda "bush= teh hitler!"

i suppose it's just more of "the idiots run the white house now! all the red necks are retards!" crap from the likes of you for months and years to come huh?

the truth, in ways you apparently can't even begin to conceive of, is that YOU are the idiot

i'm utterly sick of fucks like you infecting the valid liberal cause with your mindless teenage righteous indignant and completely out of touch hysterical hyperbole

you really suck, boy do you suck: you sink the very ship you profess to champion with your useless, self-destructive braindead stereotypical propaganda

just DIE, PLEASE, so liberalism has a chance again!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

snicker (1.40 / 5) (#15)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 01:48:48 PM EST

i live in times square, manhattan

my resume includes aids education and outreach on the lower east side in the early 1990s (at that time, the 10009 zip code had the highest aids rate in the nation) and today, i go a couple of months every year to the the rural philippines

do i fit your braindead stereotypes there fucktwit? hmmm?

so i'll tell you what fucktwit: you go on with your bad self, please

by all means: bush is hitler! bush is stalin! bush is a terrorist!

that's right! you go girl! lol ;-P

your braindead bullshit is convincing so many people, i mean just look at the last election, right? your angry ignorant stereotyping was just SO effective in defeating bush then, right?

stupid useless fuck

THE TRUTH IS IT IS EXACTLY THE SELF-SUPERIOR INDIGNANT AND IGNORANT ATTITUDES OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT HELPED GET BUSH RE-ELECTED

that's the fucking truth!

YOU PISS ME OFF BECAUSE DIMWIT CHILDREN LIKE YOU HURT THE LIBERAL AGENDA!

did i get your attention yet you useless child?

now, do you really want to defeat bush? or do you just want to throw temper tantrums in childish righteous indignation that only serves yourself, which is it?

when you are good and ready to say words and do actions that ACTUALLY DEFEATS BUSH, you stupid useless fuck, get back to me, capisce?

but i think you're so fucking blind that you'll be spouting your useless, self-defeating rhetoric for years to come

enjoy your irrelevancy

no really: you really are, by perhaps the most complete characerization of such that i have ever encountered: you are completely, utterly, irrelevant

you really are!

keep it up moron! really, you're so effective! with the likes of you "fighting the good cause" we will have neocons in the white house for 50 years at this rate!

the truth: you don't serve the world or the quest for justice, all you serve is your own selfish righteous indignation with your braindead propaganda, and your actions hurt real liberals and real liberal efforts in this world

that's the truth!

boy are you a useless fuck, a completely utterly 100% useless fuck

i don't think i've ever had more disrespect for people in this world than the likes of you, ever, in my entire life

so blind, so self-righteous, so ignorant, so loud


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You know (none / 1) (#17)
by KnightStalker on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:13:43 PM EST

There's very little you could have said to prove his point more clearly.

[ Parent ]
IHBT (none / 0) (#18)
by KnightStalker on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:15:14 PM EST

nt

[ Parent ]
no you haven't (none / 0) (#48)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 09:12:19 PM EST

the text of the original doofus disappeared...

wonder what the retard did to piss off the admins


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i'm a neocon?! (none / 1) (#19)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:23:14 PM EST

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ;-P

such blindness is alternately hilarious and stupefying

keep it up, keep up the wall of stereotyping and prejudice

you apparently don't think you need to think or see anymore, no need to adapt or change with the times... for you, an effective stragey is just spouting braindead propaganda based on cold war era stereotypes

it's hilarious how useless you are

all you wind up doing you fucking loser beyond belief, is walling yourself off from reality

enjoy your irrelevant blind propaganda

it serves YOU so well

it doesn't serve ANYONE ELSE at all

enjoy your pointless blind existence

but here's the truth, for anyone else listening in this thread who might have a glimmer of salvation about them: pointless negative bashing never leads or convinces people of anything

you LEAD people with positive action and words

THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY OF THE WORLD

when the conservatives do something? how do you respond? you do something else even better!

that wins elections, hearts, minds, agendas!

but the policy: of when the conservatives do something, you sit there and howl at them...

that leads to increasing irrelevancy

a path this dipshit is apparently well on his way down

bye bye loser, enjoy your obsolescence

the future of the liberal agenda is NOT with the likes of you

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Split personalities arguing with each other? (none / 0) (#21)
by godix on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:25:13 PM EST

Umm, CTS, you're cracking. There's no reason to argue with yourself, there are plenty here willing to argue with you. Besides, I don't really think your a dipshit, stupid useless fuck, or fucktwit.










Yes, I realize the other guys acocunt got deleted. Just ignore me.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]

THERE ARE COMMENTS MISSING IN THIS THREAD (none / 1) (#22)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:31:37 PM EST

some dude's comments i was responding to, in between mine, are now gone!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I know (none / 1) (#29)
by godix on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 02:56:39 AM EST

I was just fucking around. If I had to take a guess I'd guess that whoever you were talking with posted the Rustina picture or some similar stunt and got wiped.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
uh-huh... (none / 1) (#49)
by skyknight on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 09:34:18 PM EST

Tell it to the judge. Both of them.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Sure sure (none / 0) (#60)
by Imma Troll on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 11:52:55 AM EST

That's what they all say.
Will somebody light my sig?
[ Parent ]
I RESPONDED TO A COMMENT WITH THE ABOVE COMMENT (none / 1) (#23)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:32:17 PM EST

and now it's gone

wtf is going on?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

CTS, You're Like the Rising Cloud ... (2.50 / 2) (#25)
by Peahippo on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 01:12:31 AM EST

... after a pointless but large detonation of captured Iraqi explosives.

The ABB philosophy was fatal to Kerry. I knew that many months ago. I knew it firmly like the force of gravity, when the Iowa caucus results were in and that they heavily favored Kerry. But you refused to admit it, and therefore hitched your cart to that horse. You made the wrong choice, for completely comprehensible reasons which you refused to acknowledge.

While you flap your lips here in K5, the Democrats are very clearly and unapologetically going from the fatality of ABB to the morbidity of CYA. Harry Reid is the new minority leader, and it's quite obvious that he'll sign anything Bush tells him to. On top of that, Daschle's departure speech was so stomach-turningly moderate that I can only yell out in disgust.

So what am I yelling?: The Democratic Party is dead! Please, somebody shoot it right in the fucking head and put *US* out of *ITS* misery.

So, if you want to push your "liberal" (in reality, Neo-Liberal, a.k.a. Leftist Imperial) agenda, please don't bother to waste our time with specious arguments that you want to hitch that particular cart to the long-beaten dead horse of the DLC and Democratic Party as a whole.

In all fairness, I can hardly laugh at you following the circumstances of this election. I wasn't even able to vote for the man (Nader) I wanted to really have in the office of President of the United States. The army of Democrat lawyers showed up in my state (Ohio) capitol and got Nader's ass tossed off the ballot entirely. He couldn't even qualify as a write-in at that point, and the Ohio Supreme Court simply refused to let the petition rejections be re-assessed. This is a terrible time. And it's just going to get worse.

Although you aim your judgments for entirely different reasons relating to support of Neo-Liberalism (a.k.a. Leftist Imperialism), you are quite thoroughly correct in seeing that the Democrats are taking all possible routes of alienation of the body politic. All this "redneck" rhetoric is a symptom of the same elitism that has cost the fucking Democrats margins in the LAST THREE ELECTIONS. And I can only predict in all my intellect, that the Dems will probably lose at least 3 more Congressional seats in 2006.

The allegedly silver lining in all this dark cloud of Republican-dominated Theocratic Fascism is that more state legislatures tipped towards the Democrats in this election cycle. It is possible then that some manner of balance can occur. For instance, when the Republican mass tries to move for a Constitutional Amendment to change the requirements for a valid Presidential candidate, it could well happen that at least 13 state legislatures will not authorize it. It may also happen that further discriminations like "anti-gay-marriage" provisions will not pass in that many more states. The demarcation between the "United States of North America" and the "Jesusland" will be firmly set.

There are other silver linings here that you may not have considered. As a heavily urbanized person, it probably hasn't occurred to you that an era of personal responsibility is returning to America. For examples, you will find it difficult to obtain a welfare check from the government, but you will also find it pretty easy to evade taxes. The government has been made more focused (as applications of more force in smaller areas), and that very design can only lead to a remarkable withdrawal of governance over many regions of various sizes. People will have to take responsibility, since it will be required for their very survival. Government structures will be more and more concerned with servicing corporations, and will less and less deal with the daily tribulations of the common man.

I note with some as-yet unnamable emotion that you can no longer head down the the unemployment office in Toledo OH (my present location). The office closed. Yet the local unemployment broke 10% at least 18 months ago, and is still rising. At first, this seemed insane, but I gradually put the pieces together and now have a firm understanding of what's happening to American society as a whole. We individuals are going to be left to our own devices.

That's going to really suck for a heavily urbanized creature like yourself. I figure that you'll have to either support Rightist Imperialism or will be thrown into significant poverty. But you may come to realize that you can de-urbanize yourself. There are many places to de-urbanize yourself without much exposure to Jesusland. Hell, it's not that you COULD grow a garden ... it's that you MUST do it. And perhaps you'll find a bit of the personal (secular) salvation that I have been promoting for some time.


[ Parent ]
"Republican-dominated Theocratic Fascism (1.00 / 3) (#36)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 10:34:20 AM EST

so many big words, so little common sense

zzzz...

and i'm the cloud of crap?

dude, your entire post above was the biggest turd of buffoonery and bluster i've seen in a long time

all hot air, so little simple common sense

it's very effective at putting me to sleep though... please respond to another comment of mine around 12, 12:30, thanks! ;-)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Your usual trick: (none / 1) (#37)
by Peahippo on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 11:58:53 AM EST

You responded to not one fact or allegation. You once again used the "common sense" empty-phrase that you intentionally used before to simply support the fatal ABB philosophy. And I do mean "simply" ... just as any Neo-Con uses the "War on Terror" to simply support any policy of Theocratic Fascism that we now have.

The Democrats are dead. Make sure you continue to link your future with theirs, since you have a keen nose for fatal dives and overall irrelevence.

Nader was the only real Democrat running in the last election. You know that like everyone else does. But 114 million people voted for the American Corporate War Party, caught up in the faux conflict of Red vs. Blue. That's the party that YOU support, CirceJerk. Every vote for Kerry was actually FOR corporate uber-power and FOR Imperial warmongering. Notice how Kerry conceded so fast that it made his volunteers' heads spin? There's a clue for you: his elite environment won the election anyway, so it was back to his mansions for some well-deserved relaxation time as a "Stratos dweller" (as David Korten likes to put it).

The next 4 years of your suffering are entirely to be blamed upon you and your particular population of spineless cavers and yes-men. ... Unless your existence is cut short, by the fact of your living in the world's premier nuclear target: New York City.


[ Parent ]
BWAHAHAHA (1.33 / 3) (#39)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 12:58:10 PM EST

due, i don't have to say anything, all we have to do is hear you talk, and my case is made

BWAHAHAHAHAHA

just listen to yourself sometime, it's quite revealing

8-P

welcome to kuro5hin, where i meet fruit loops, listen to the way they think, and grow more certain of my opinions

dude, PLEAESE let us hope you do not represent the best argument there is to challenge what i have to say

snicker


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

actually... (none / 0) (#67)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 10:59:38 AM EST

There's roughly 200 "interesting targets" around the USA. 50-60 cities (of varying size) and other military targets.

I would plan for any of them to be bombed. Even better yet is when the local TV station talks about the unsecured metric fuckload of VX 50 gallon cans that're leaking. They've all but given a map of the complex(a warehouse) they're stored in.

I like it here out in the country.

[ Parent ]

My assumption: (none / 0) (#76)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 11:10:56 PM EST

One (1) suitcase nuke and the will to use it. I an only imagine that to cripple the American economy, to kill the most Americans, and finally to kill the most Jews ... well, there's no better target than the financial district of NYC at peak business hours. I freely admit this a simple viewpoint and may not represent actual terrorist plans. If this was an actual terrorist plan, you'd be dead by now.


[ Parent ]
Who does ridicule mobilize... (2.66 / 3) (#38)
by vhold on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 12:07:16 PM EST

I couldn't agree more on the concept that spitefully ridiculing your opposition does little more then mobilize their entire camp and placate yours with a smug sense of superiority.

Having said that, I don't think your massive flame against the mysterious invisible poster had a chance in hell of possibly enlightening him on anything, it just fanned more flames.  

Your frustration is understandable, but you'll have to practice what you preach to persuade your fellow liberals.

[ Parent ]

it's about respect (none / 1) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 02:28:22 PM EST

how do you teach a child respect?

believe me, children don't learn respect until you lay down the law

you are assuming those i argue against are clearheaded rational individuals with valid and well-thought out arguments

no: they are temper tantrum throwing teenagers (not necessarily chronologically, but mentally)

you don't argue rationally and calmly with a disrespectful child

you give them verbal smackdowns

it's all about respect

and you cannot give respect to someone who does not respect you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I simply disagree. (2.66 / 3) (#44)
by vhold on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 07:57:28 PM EST

It's rather obscure, and I cannot go into specifics, but I've seen first hand, in real life, what happens when you treat adults like children in order to teach them, it does not work.  Your result is either even more childish adults or a complete backlash.  So I will just state, as opinion, that I disagree with you.

Furthermore, I have turned trolls, here and there, by treating them as mature individuals, which they potentially are.  Nothing matured me faster then adults treating me like a peer, and having to rise to that occasion, this is what I believe.

[ Parent ]

erm (none / 1) (#47)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 08:51:34 PM EST

you would be correct about treating adults like children being ineffective, if i were treating adults like children

but i'm not doing that: i'm treating children like children

ever see courtney love or michael jackson in action?

those are bad, quick examples, but you get my point: chronological age does not correlate to mental age

i've met some 12 year olds with more poise and consideration and self-respect than many 24 year olds i've met

q: how do you win the respect of someone who does not respect you to begin with?

answer that coherently, and you will make a point

but i think that you will find that you have to raise your voice now and then, for a calm cool rational tone pointed at a child who does not respect you is not given much consideration


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Winning respect, teaching respect (none / 0) (#63)
by QuickFox on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 09:45:13 PM EST

(If you'll allow me to barge in in the middle of your discussion.)

how do you teach a child respect? [...] q: how do you win the respect of someone who does not respect you to begin with?

You do this in two steps:

  • First, you capture the child's or youngster's attention in such a way that he starts noticing you, and starts caring about what you think of him, wanting you to notice and respect him.
  • Then, whenever possible, you treat him with respect and authority combined. You show him a respect somewhat similar to the respect you show an equal. You listen and care about what he says and feels (faking it won't work, you must genuinely listen and care). At the same time you show the calm, taken-for-granted authority of an adult talking to a child or youngster.
I've done this countless times, working as a substitute teacher in the schools of my city, a new school every few days, often meeting more than a hundred new youngsters every week.

Of course there's no miracle solution that will work every time. But the above does work very well more often than not.

With your method, calling the guy a moron and an idiot, I'd be extremely surprised if you got good results. Would you respect me more if I called you a moron and an idiot?

Having said that, I must confess that I enjoyed your flames against him. Catharsis. It's driving me crazy, the way discussions are so very often spoiled by people making far-fetched statements and raging rants that can never convince anyone. They're spoiling their own causes. Sometimes they're disastrously efficient.

I just wish you weren't doing similar things yourself all the time. I get the impression that you may have interesting things to say, but your angry outbursts hide them. I wish you'd argue calmly and convincingly instead.

I suggest you flame yourself just like you flamed him. Storm it out with yourself. Then come back calmer and more mature.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
[ Parent ]

just for you. (none / 0) (#43)
by Pxtl on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 07:06:09 PM EST

http://idrewthis.org/2004/elitists.html

[ Parent ]
i'm not conservative, dipshit (none / 0) (#46)
by circletimessquare on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 08:46:12 PM EST

prejudice doesn't really help you in the world now does it?

xoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I've read your posts. (none / 1) (#57)
by Pxtl on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 10:49:23 AM EST

O'Reilly calls himself "Independant" too.  If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

[ Parent ]
i'm confused (1.71 / 7) (#20)
by circletimessquare on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 09:51:33 PM EST

there's a comment of mine below this one without context: it was in reply to someone else's comment that was above it, and now that parent comment is gone...

was the site code updated to resemble slashdot with the floating, contextless reply comments that are rated high, appearing in place of the parent comment that is hidden?

wait... and comments are hidden now too?

help, someone explain ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Parent comment was hidden (none / 0) (#55)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 08:31:49 AM EST



Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I agree, the UN is weak and useless (2.41 / 12) (#35)
by crazy canuck on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 08:44:46 AM EST

after all, it allowed the US, a rogue state, to wage an illegal war against Iraq.

How did this make the front page?! (1.00 / 3) (#41)
by redrum on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 03:53:56 PM EST

Terrible error in the introduction - "Well, dodged only in the sense that specific allegations against him was removed at the last minute before passing."

Clap, clap.

It didn't (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 08:33:15 AM EST

It made section.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Yup! (1.37 / 8) (#51)
by UCF BullitNutz on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 01:24:26 AM EST

And we should get rid of that darn tootin' UN, cuz of thuh currupshun...

</johnbirchpsychomeme>
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix

OnWrong (2.87 / 8) (#68)
by A Bore on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 03:17:14 PM EST

Your URLs do not support the spin you put on them.

Oil for food:

Here is a website trying to put these claims in context.

In January of 2004, al-Mada, an independent newspaper, published a list of 270 beneficiaries a list including multi-national corporations, UN officials, and top French and Russian politicians who had received oil contracts from Saddam in exchange for either supporting the Iraqi regime, helping Saddam import illegal materials, or simply ignoring the ongoing corruption. These beneficiaries could then turn around and sell the contracts to legitimate oil traders, making a tidy profit.

Now here's where the tale gets complicated. According to AFP, Al-Mada "refused to disclose how [it] procured the documents." The documents had allegedly come from the Iraqi Oil Ministry, which at the time was run by a group of Iraqi exiles, including Fadhil Chalabi-a cousin of Ahmed Chalabi, the con man whose phony intelligence helped lead the Pentagon to war. This same Oil Ministry, note, had already issued other documents in May of 2003 alleging that British MP George Galloway-a prominent critic of the Iraq war-had received bribed from Saddam's regime through oil-for-food. Those documents, in fact, turned out to be forgeries. The Chalabi track record was not exactly airtight.


George Galloway initially sued the Christian Science Monitor for printing the allegations. And won. He is currently pursuing the Telegraph newspaper for printing similar allegations. The Telegraph's legal representatives at the trial, which has ended recently (and should give verdict in the next week or so), did not argue that the documents weren't forgeries; rather they argued there was a public interest in the information that meant they could rush to print whether the information was reliable or not. British libel laws are rather strange.

Either way, in light of past forgeries, any charge based on oil ministry recovered documents must be regarded as dubious. Or even just as requiring proof beyond unseen documents and unnamed sources. To be fair, there is significant evidence that financial irregularities were rife in the Oil for Food programme, and Kofi Annan and others deserve censure for a lack of transparancy and an apparent cover up. But your URL is ill chosen to show this: it focusses on discredited evidence. For a more thoughtful write up, try Wikipedia.

Sex for Aid:

You had already given me a URL from the BBC website that documented the food for sex aid scandal in another context. This URL contained rather more information than the cursory write up you link instead. Let us remember that you quoted this in the context of Kofi Annan being "embattled" by it. Quoting once more:

Over 40 aid agencies - including the UNHCR itself - were implicated, and 67 individuals - mostly local staff - named by the children.

It [the UNHCR report which first reported the scandal] cited lack of regulation and an absence of international staff as possible contributing factor

The UNHCR has drawn up a package of remedial measures, including increasing security and the international presence in camps and the deployment of more female staff.

Other steps include establishing a mechanism to give refugees a secure channel for raising complaints with senior UNHCR staff.

But a spokesman for the agency, Ron Redmond, said the accusations were based only on testimonies from individuals and were so far unsubstantiated.


I do not see evidence for your contention that this scandal, odious as it was, involving local people (not UN hierarchy) and revealed by the UNHCR itself, has anything to do with Kofi Annan. Could you please explain?

Vote of No Confidence:

"Kofi Annan has dodged the latest bullet. Well, dodged only in the sense that specific allegations against him was removed at the last minute before passing."

The UN staff union passed a resolution sharply critical of the world body's senior management but expressed support for beleaguered Secretary General Kofi Annan.

An earlier draft of the resolution had strongly worded language about no confidence in senior staff of the United Nations, which has been buffeted by scandals over the past few months.

Union president Rosemarie Waters said that version had left open the possibility of criticising Annan, which she insisted her committee did not want to do, despite often troubled relations with UN management.


So what has this to do with Kofi Annan? It seems the vote of no confidence was rewritten to specifically exclude him from any censure. He has not "dodged the bullet", he was never fired at to begin with.

I am certainly not arguing Kofi Annan does not face criticism over other matters you document below, I have not had time to look into it yet. I am saying that your attempt to link several different problems together to discredit Kofi Annan is dishonest and simply wrong.

Pretty much par for the course, in other words.

Playing Poker with Political Chips (none / 0) (#71)
by On Lawn on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 01:54:23 PM EST

Here is a website trying to put these claims in context.

In interesting write up indeed.

Either way, in light of past forgeries, any charge based on oil ministry recovered documents must be regarded as dubious. ... But your URL is ill chosen to show this: it focusses on discredited evidence.

How you went from "dubious" to "discredited" is what we call a 'sluff'.

The Wiki article is pretty good, but is probably in need of an update.

To the heart of the matter, as the article you points to says,

No one, of course, is claiming that the Oil-for-Food scandal never existed. Both the Government Accountability Office as well as the Congressional investigations underway found grave discrepancies in the program's audits, and evidence that corruption and bribery took place is overwhelming. As well, news reports have indicated that the United Nations have been guilty of stonewalling the investigation.
.. and as even you gave token penance,
there is significant evidence that financial irregularities were rife in the Oil for Food programme, and Kofi Annan and others deserve censure for a lack of transparancy and an apparent cover up.
... I can only imagine that your incredulity is more from vigor than rigor. I wonder how much research it would take to find a discussion between us where you would have cultivated such sour grapes from ;)

But your URL is ill chosen to show this: it focusses on discredited evidence.

I'm sure you have continued your usual streak of *not* reading what you talk about. As your only assertion of dubious/discredited evidence comes from two paragraphs from another (less thourough) writeup that calls into question the Al-Mada list. I don't even know how to do this with a straight face, you try so hard and deserve kudos for what you've dug up. But you simply didn't read the article I linked to. This is the second paragrapn in that article...

And, no, I am not talking about anything as exotic as the list of alleged bribe-takers from Saddam Hussein, published Jan. 25 by the Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada, and now under investigation. I speak simply about the U.N.-supplied numbers on Oil-for-Food's operations. Over the past 18 months, I have periodically tried to get these figures to add up. I am starting to believe the words of an unusually forthright U.N. spokesman, who at one point told me, "They won't."
There is simply no disagreement between your collection of articles and mine. In fact, your feigned incredulity aside, you didn't disagree either.

Let us remember that you quoted this in the context of Kofi Annan being "embattled" by it.

Again, your links don't disagree (though I don't think I'm the only one that reads disagreement in the tone of your writing). The issue is how he is handling the corruption as it is his office to do so. That no one is directly linking him to the matter with a memo where he says, "make sure you get good sex for the food we are making you hand out" is immaterial.

So what has this [the no-confidence vote] to do with Kofi Annan?

Kofi is a member of the 'top management" of the UN, is he not? The reporting is accurate as the only bullet he dodged was the last minute removal language that was specific to him. That you find this as fodder for subtrifuge is even less substantial than the last two attempts.

I'll go ahead and give your post a three, because you do raise good points and give good background information. But your paper-mache indignation on top of the good investigation deserves a one.

[ Parent ]

No, OnWrong (none / 0) (#73)
by A Bore on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 03:05:23 PM EST

I'm sure you have continued your usual streak of *not* reading what you talk about blah blah blah blah blah blah blah but you simply didn't read the article I linked to. This is the second paragrapn in that article...

The passage you quote in parent is from this article: "A New Job For Kay". What you actually linked to in your original article was this one: "The Oil for Food Scandal"



[ Parent ]
Quite right... (none / 0) (#74)
by On Lawn on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 07:13:04 PM EST


How sloppy of me to get my WSJ bookmarks confused.


[ Parent ]
Hilarious. (none / 0) (#77)
by Pxtl on Thu Nov 25, 2004 at 04:15:42 PM EST

So the oil-for-food scandal documents were forgeries (which has been the entire justification for the new US hatred for the UN) and nobody cares, and meanwhile Dan Rather publishes a false document and he's the friggin' antichrist?

[ Parent ]
Where are they forgeries? /nt (none / 0) (#78)
by On Lawn on Fri Nov 26, 2004 at 02:09:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
UN is useless (none / 1) (#69)
by computao on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 09:01:25 AM EST

But who can substitute UN. In the future reform, or the enlarge of security council, Japan MUST NOT BE ENROLLED INTO THE CLUB OF PERMANENT COUNCIL MUMBERS.
BBE8 DOTCOM
Out of curiousity, why not? [nt] (none / 0) (#72)
by HyperMediocrity on Wed Nov 24, 2004 at 02:58:59 PM EST



[ Parent ]
WHALES [nt] (none / 0) (#79)
by A Bore on Fri Nov 26, 2004 at 05:14:44 AM EST



[ Parent ]
WW2 [nt] (none / 0) (#82)
by Gruntathon on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 04:56:21 AM EST


__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
[ Parent ]
INCOHERENCE MASKED AS WIT -nt (none / 0) (#83)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jan 23, 2005 at 04:12:45 AM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Need for the UN (none / 0) (#84)
by PourquoiPas on Mon Mar 14, 2005 at 03:37:25 AM EST

We relevance of the UN in today's war plagued world is more apparent than ever. That there are changes that need to be made is also evident. Perhaps if certain wealthy countries would put their cash where their mouth is the UN would better be able to carry out the work it's designed to do. Kofi Annan and the UN's good works far outweigh the bad. But, let's not talk about this...
Still crazy after all these years.
Who's behind the complaints? (none / 0) (#85)
by strawser on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 03:08:51 PM EST

Is there a list of allegations and who first leveled them? All I've ever seen are allegations from Republicans who are outspoken in their dislike of the UN altogether, and I don't think I saw any major complaints against Kofi until he said the Iraq war was "probably illegal". Because of this, I assume this is all a politically motivated attack.

Are there any complaints originating from a source that's not affiliated with the GOP?

Rather than lashing out and screaming insults, could you guys consider linking me to something that would show me that this is wrong? I've just not yet seen any of these allegations against Anan that weren't from some neoconservative organization or person. Are there any?



"Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado

As the story says... (none / 0) (#86)
by On Lawn on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 04:57:09 PM EST


The complaints brought up in the no-confidence vote were from the UN's own employee union. I'm not sure how affiliated they are with the GOP, or Congo or the other states where we find the complaints coming from.

Also Volkert, who headed the UN investigation over their own corruption in the Oil-for-Food scandal was not a GOP person.

That said, look how petty and partisan you are.

[ Parent ]

No Confidence Vote Passes Against UN Top Leadership | 83 comments (81 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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