Blog Roundup #98

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Democracy Arsenal (Suzanne Nossel): “In scenes straight out of a Hollywood action figure, last week former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor found himself in a dragnet when the Nigerian government, after years of protecting him, finally announced plans to turn the ex-dictator over to a UN special court to be tried for war crimes and atrocities committed in support of civil war in Sierra Leone. Within 24 hours Taylor had escaped, and rumor was that he might attempt a coup back in Liberia’s capital. But the Nigerians nabbed him, and Taylor is now in UN custody in Freetown, Sierra Leone on his way to trial. If things go as planned from now on, Taylor’s extradition could become a major step toward justice and accountability in Africa.”

Informed Comment: “The UN oil for food program has continued to provide staples to most Iraqi families, but will be phased out by the end of 2006 as a “socialist” legacy. Despite the talk of staples “stabilizing,” the price of foodstuffs has skyrocketed. Nor is a share for Iraqis in some of their oil wealth socialism. The Alaskans get a direct dividend from their petroleum, and the food aid was the closest thing the Iraqi public had to that. If the end of the program produces, as is likely, hardship and even hunger, there will be big urban disturbances. I lived through one such in Cairo in January of 1977. The gloaming was polluted with the bottles and stones thrown at government buildings by angry crowds chanting against the International Monetary Fund. That will be the final indignity, if the Americans actually manage to starve Iraqis to death with their policies.”Needlenose: “The UN Security Council — led by the U.S. and its European allies — adopted an unambiguous and strongly worded resolution taking Iran to task over its nuclear program. It is a rare, unanimous statement from the Council — coupled with a clear threat of sanctions — demanding that Iran immediately open its nuclear research facilities to IAEA inspections. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice summed it up: “Iran is more isolated now than ever,” Rice said in a statement after the vote. “The Security Council’s Presidential Statement sends an unmistakable message to Iran that its efforts to conceal its nuclear program and evade its international obligations are unacceptable.”

ReidBlog: “Even as the war in Iraq has continued to go south, the chatter about the U.S. and Britain possibly opening up a second front with Iran have never really gone away. Today, the Telegraph digs in a little deeper (HT to AllahPundit in his last day as the substitute Malkin)… Says the Telegraph: “The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran. A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran. It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is “inevitable” if Teheran’s leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme.”