Blog Roundup #54

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Mobjectivist: “Finally, someone noticed the lack of balance in the so-called Iraq Oil-For-Food (OFF) scandal stories over the past few years… as of June of this year, the geniuses at Powerline blog had contributed a total of 26 stories on oil-for-food but none on peak oil/oil depletion.”

Scrutiny Hooligans: “I heard on NPR this morning that the Shiite/Kurd coalition reversed themselves and returned to the original rules regarding this referendum. *loud sigh of relief* It appears that the U.N. still has some oomph in this regard. Here’s to you, Kofi, for helping to defend democracy where others might seek to subvert it.”

Hit and Run: “With the president’s opponents always ready to call him a dictator, I feel compelled to tamp down the Chicken Little panic over totalitarianism created by President Bush’s suggestion that he might use the military to quarantine areas hit by the avian flu. [I]t wasn’t Bush who first raised the possibility (at least not in public). He was replying to a question about the possibility.: “…during my meetings at the United Nations, not only did I speak about it publicly, I spoke about it privately to as many leaders as I could find, about the need for there to be awareness, one, of the issue; and, two, reporting, rapid reporting to WHO, so that we can deal with a potential pandemic. Obviously, the best way to deal with a pandemic is to isolate it and keep it isolated in the region in which it begins.”

In the Bullpen: “Yes…the nuclear program that “doesn’t exist” won’t be used for “peaceful purposes only” it seems. From the Washington Times: “Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has placed the military firmly in control of his nation’s nuclear program, undercutting his government’s claim that the program is intended for civilian use, according to a leading opposition group. … “The military under the new president is firmly in control of the nuclear program and the nuclear negotiations with the United Nations and the West,” said Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the NCRI’s foreign affairs committee, in a telephone interview yesterday.”

Moquol: “Iraq Parliament Reverses Rule Change: “Iraq’s National Assembly voted on Wednesday to reverse last-minute changes it had made to rules for next week’s referendum on a new constitution following criticism by the United Nations and a boycott threat by the Sunni minority.” This story doesn’t do a great job of explaining the sham Khalilzad and the US and the Iraqi government were trying to pull on the Iraqi people. You can see the writer’s agenda as well, describing the system set up to ensure minority and regional representation as a “loophole.” But the UN did their job (funny how they keep seeming to do that despite being mocked and belittled at every turn by the US) and shamed the Iraqi government into restoring the rules everyone had agreed to.”

Norwegianity: “Via Daou I encourage you to read Kofi and the Scandal Pimps, and if you’re a wingnut, I double dare you to read it.”

Penraker: “After loads of jibber jabber about how Sunnis in Iraq hate the new constitution, we finally have some data. The Iraqi Center for Development and International Dialogue (partially funded by the United Nations) says: “Although support for the constitution was particularly high in the northern Kurdish areas and southern regions dominated by Shi’ites, Mr. Hafedh said it topped 50 percent even in central provinces known as the heartland of Sunni unrest — a sign, he said, that the Sunni-Shi’ite split is not as wide as many fear.”

Voice in the Wilderness: “It seems that — surprise! — the Afghanistan elections have been found to have been, as Carlotta Gail of The New York Times puts it, rife with “significant incidents of fraud.” In Monday’s paper, she writes: “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. (Read the entire article.)”