Blog Roundup #59

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary

Informed Comment: “I am distressed at the prospect of a Cambodia in Iraq, which strikes me as a real possibility. As it is, there was that nastiness of Shiite and Sunni militiamen killing each other Thursday. I’d like to see such an outcome prevented. I said earlier that I thought the best outcome would be for Iraq to be internationalized and to have a United Nations military force enforce the peace.”

Lebanese Political Journal: “Thank God, for Detlev Mehlis, head of the UN Commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al Hariri. Mehlis realizes that the fate of at least an entire nation is staked on what he comes up with. It’s an unfair burden, but he’s doing quite a bit to help Lebanon walk on its own.”

BOP News: “The Oil for Food program run in the late 1990’s has been roundly criticized, and now the investigation has come to a head. The reality is that while some companies and individuals violated the rules, the net effect was to dramatically reduce Saddam’s access to capital. According to the Volcker report, Sadddam pocketted 1.8 billion dollars. This sounds like a great deal, until you realize that he had to pay for virtually his entire security apparatus out of it. In effect, he had just enough money to cling to power, but not enough to pay for, let alone upgrade, his military apparatus.”

Davenetics: “So who misbehaved when it comes to the UN Oil for Food Program? Uh, gotta few minutes?: “More than 4,500 companies took part in the United Nations oil-for-food program and more than half of them paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, according to the independent committee investigating the program. The country with the most companies involved in the program was Russia, followed by France, the committee says in a report to be released Thursday. The inquiry was led by Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.” Oil and human nature. The world’s most slippery slope.”

Talking Points Memo: “Ariel Sharon: “A country calling for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the UN.”

Wilson’s Blogmanac: “The UN agencies monitoring bird flu outbreaks say more research is needed to solve the puzzle of how the virus is spread and how it changes into forms deadly to humans as well as birds. Meanwhile, it recommends that wild and farmed birds should not mix.” The Age.”

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