Michelle Montas to be new UN Spokesperson

Hours ahead of the actual transition to his administration, “Incoming UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday appointed veteran Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar as his chief of staff and award-winning Haitian journalist Michelle Montas as his spokesperson, ” the Associated Press is reporting.  “The appointments were the first by...

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Just in case you were wondering, here is the UN position on Saddam’s execution

The UN is against the death penalty but understands desire for justice in Hussein case – according to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ashraf Qazi (of Pakistan) — who was presumably not present at the hanging. In a statement dated 30 December 2006, and published on its News Centre website, the UN writes: “Reactin...

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Robert Fisk today — Why didn’t he write this earlier?

In today’s edition of the British newspaper Independent, Robert Fisk writes “He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him: How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his ‘enemies’, equipped him for atrocities – and then made sure he wouldn’t squeal” “We’ve shut him up....

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I wrote about this in yesterday’s posting — (the expression, I mean)

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting today from Iraq that hundreds are flocking to see Saddam’s gravesite near his hometown of Tikrit.  One AP story has this: “Mohammed Natiq, a 24-year-old college student, said ‘the path of Arab nationalism must inevitably be paved with blood…God has decided that Saddam Hussein should ha...

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Let’s not forget Farzad Barzoft, journalist, hung in Iraq on 15 March 1990 for trying to report on possible Iraqi WMD activities – or Shlomo Argov

Farzad Barzoft was hanged on Saddam’s orders after a phony confession of spying extorted by torture, and the promise of a pardon.  Let’s not forget, either, the assassination attempt on Shlomo Argov, the Israeli Ambassador in London in June 1982, that predictably led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the expulsion of the PLO R...

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Truly wishy-washy editorial on Somalia war from The Christian Science Monitor

In Friday’s Christian Science Monitor, a commentary on Why the Somalia war unsettles the world - The Monitor’s View: “How a war ends often depends on how it began. Take the one that boiled over in Somalia last week. Islamist forces attacked a legal government guarded by an invading Ethiopian army. Which side had just cause? [&hel...

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William Shawcross on Kofi Annan's term in office

The Washington Post today carries an opinion piece on Kofi Annan’s term of office by William Shawcross, British former journalist and author of The Quality of Mercy, a great book about the limitations and contradictions of the international humanitarian effort to help Cambodians, who fled to Thailand during the 1979 Vietnamese invasion, aft...

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