Blog Roundup #56

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Political Animal: “Former New York Times UN bureau chief Barbara Crossette writes about Judith Miller’s reporting on Kofi Annan and the oil-for-food scandal: “Obscured behind the large issues of weapons of mass destruction and Joseph Wilson’s links with the CIA is another story.”

Moderate Voice: “Condi Rice Explains The Iraq War – But did she leave out a central argument, one which the administration used to the American public, Congress and the United Nations to go into Iraq, ENTIRELY?”

Global Voices Online: “In a career spanning over 40 years, Miriam Makeba, still regal at 73, is marking the end of her performing years with a 14-month farewell tour she says to thank the people in the countries where she has performed. Miriam Makeba or Mama Africa as she is fondly known is visiting as many countries as she can and has recently vowed audiences in Cuba where one reviewer called her concert ‘unforgettable and magisterial’. As well as the prodigious production of numerous albums, Miriam Makeba is also involved in humanitarian work such as being an Ambassador for the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). While in exile in Guinea, where she served as a Guinean delegate to the United Nations, she addressed the UN’s National Assembly about apartheid. She has also set up the Makeba Centre Rehabilitation Centre for Girls which works with street children where she will be focusing her strengths after the tour. Miriam Makeba, an extraordinary artiste whose music lives on through the decades, is Africa’s greatest musical ambassador.”

Prufrock’s Page: “Hari Kunzru cancels his trip to the Maldives, and explains why: “The reason the Maldives appears such an unspoilt paradise, is because tourists are kept segregated from ordinary Maldivians. Apart from the capital island, Male, outsiders are only permitted onto inhabited islands for brief visits. Were they to see a little more they’d realise they were in a place in the grip of deep crisis. The United Nations recently found more than 30 per cent of children under five were suffering from malnutrition. The acute deprivation, along with the lack of democracy, is pushing some traditional muslim communities into the arms of fundamentalists.”

Stygius: “While I ruefully admit that this blog has increasingly become a platform for my partisan hackery — when I’ve always wanted it to be a more analytically-focused page — self-imposed time constraints on blogging limit what I can produce. One regret is that I don’t focus more on terrorism and proliferation — and the need to come up with a results-focused, de-politicized/bipartisan counterproliferation scheme — a drum I beat continually during the opposition to the John Bolton UN nomination. It is widely agreed to be the most pervasive threat to the United States, and yet policy-wise it seems we are still groping around in the darkness as various neo-Reaganite ideologues more obsessed with castrating effective counterproliferation programs like Nunn-Lugar impede policy. From the people that matter, there is a stunning lack of leadership on this issue. Now, Sam Nunn’s Nuclear Threat Initiative is turning from their usual wonkery in the halls of power to appealing directly to Americans with their short “docu-drama,” Last Best Chance.”