Blog Roundup #53

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Suburban Guerrilla: “Case Study: How the right-wing media methodically exaggerated and distorted the oil-for-food scandal.”

Rob’s Blog: “Trimming the fat could do with a start in Iraq, where we’ve wasted hundreds of billions. Some examples: On 12 April 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Erbil in northern Iraq handed over $1.5 billion in cash to a local courier. The money, fresh $100 bills shrink-wrapped on pallets, which filled three Blackhawk helicopters, came from oil sales under the UN’s Oil for Food Programme, and had been entrusted by the UN Security Council to the Americans to be spent on behalf of the Iraqi people.

King of Zembla: “At last the people of Afghanistan know what it’s like to live in, say, Florida. Or Ohio: “Election officials and observers said Sunday that with 80 percent of the ballots counted in Afghanistan’s national and provincial elections, they had found significant incidents of fraud. Whole districts have come under suspicion for ballot box stuffing and proxy voting, said Peter Erben, the chief of the United Nations-assisted Joint Election Management Board. He said ballot boxes from 4 percent of the 26,000 polling places – about 1,000 stations – had been set aside for investigation on suspicion of fraud and other irregularities.”

Protein Wisdom: “From BBC News: Former South African President Nelson Mandela has topped a BBC poll to find the person most people would like to lead a fantasy world government. More than 15,000 people worldwide took part in the interactive Power Play game, in which players were invited to choose a team of 11 to run the world from a list of around 100 of the most powerful leaders, thinkers and other high-profile people on the planet… And UN General-Secretary Kofi Annan just made the fantasy world elite in 11th place.”

Terrorism News: “This is an interesting read By Luciana Bohne from online journal: “Most Americans like to believe they live in the best country in the world. They don’t. According to the United Nations Human Development Report for 2005, Norway is number one. Why? It’s a welfare state. There is a pleasant economic equality enjoyed by the Norwegian polity. No one is too poor; no one is too rich. In fact, great wealth is regarded as some sort of social disease. Third oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia, Norway is tucking away a national fund of over $180 billion for when the oil runs out, guaranteeing each family the quaint sum of $22,000 per year-in addition to guaranteed health care, education, pensions, and paid maternity leaves and vacations to die for! True, a glass of beer will cost you $8, but the waiter makes a good salary.”