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Kofi Annan Unimpressed by Bush's Psychopathic Ramblings about Legitimacy of Iraq War
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Khaleej Times: "Kofi Annan opened this year's annual debate of world leaders at the United Nations by critising Bush's plan to deliver democracy to Iraq through force in a pointed speech aimed at underlining the importance of the rule of law.' Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it,' Annan said, according to his prepared remarks.' In Iraq, we see civilians massacred in cold blood while relief workers, journalists and other non-combatants are taken hostage and put to death in the most barbarous fashion. At the same time, we have seen Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused.' Annan has laboured for a year to heal the deep divisions over the war that brought down Saddam Hussein, and his wide-ranging address referred to the catastrophe in Sudan, the Middle East conflict and Russia's hostage tragedy."

World Leaders Say Biggest Problems Confronting Earth are Terrorism, Economic Inequity and George W. Bush
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IC Network: "World leaders gathering at the United Nations confront a depressing global agenda dominated by new terrorist threats, a humanitarian disaster in Sudan, turmoil in Iraq, and a growing gap between the richest and poorest inhabitants of planet Earth"...and G. W. Bush. "UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says if there is one theme to the ministerial meeting of the 191 member General Assembly it is "the rule of law".A senior UN official, previewing Annan's speech at the opening session, said it would focus, "very unhappily", on those who break laws on the basic rules of human conduct, which include respect for innocent civilians, children and prisoners of war....The official said there is a feeling the rules are made "by some bunch of very rich and powerful people, or rich and powerful states, who make them for their own convenience and don't respect them when it's not convenient". Gee, who on Earth could he mean?

Peacekeeping, Bloody Peacekeeping: When Protecting Corporate Interests comes First
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Laura Neack writes, "The business of peacekeeping has been getting a lot tougher. Rich nations are putting their muscle where their immediate interests lie, leaving the job of patrolling in hardscrabble territory to their less financially capable U.N. colleagues. The Bush administration's refusal to acknowledge that it makes mistakes combines disastrously with its refusal to acknowledge that the immediate past holds any lessons for its messianic version of a new world order. Whether they are for or against the Bush administration, the more powerful members of the international community are now focused on Bush administration demands almost to the exclusion of all else. Finally, the Bush administration wants to create a new kind of international force to protect U.N. activities in Iraq rather than concede authority and devote resources to a U.N. peace support mission."

Bush Appoints Anti-Abortionist as UN Ambassador
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More evidence of Bush's deteriorating grasp on reality - especially global reality. First up as UN ambassador, he had John Negroponte, who was more fit to be the object of a UN investigation into human rights offenses (Central America in the 1980s) than an ambassador. Now Negroponte will be replaced by John Danforth, a rampant anti-abortionist with no international affairs experience whose biggest claim to fame was helping insure that Clarence Thomas's way was greased into the Supreme Court. This pro-life site considers the Danforth appointment a major chance to impose their views on the ENTIRE WORLD.

Bush Wants UN to Renew Resolution That Will Place Him and His Pals Beyond International Accountability
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Just as an investigation gets underway into the torture of prisoners in Iraq - an investigation that may well lead to Bush's door - Bush has asked the U.N. Security Council to renew a controversial resolution exempting the US from prosecution for any war crimes or other human rights offenses by the new International Criminal Court. Two years ago the same resolution was adopted unanimously after the United States threatened to veto U.N. peacekeeping missions, one by one. Guess who is representing the US at the UN? John Negroponte, who condoned and then covered up torture, rape and murder in Central America. Under Clinton, the US was one of 135 nations that signed the treaty, but Bush, in anticipation no doubt of his contemplated crimes, rescinded the signature. Makes ya proud to be 'Merican, eh?

Kofi Annan's Refusal to Step in and Fix Bush's Iraq Mess Has Made UN Target of Smear Campaign
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The UN will not ride to Bush's rescue in Iraq - not until the violence and chaos has been reduced. So now, in classic vicious NeoCon-rightwingnut style, a massive smear campaign against the UN has been launched, aided and abetted (as ever) by the corporate media. While the corporate media can't be bothered to pursue the colossal fraud of Halliburton or the White House's outrageous manipulations to achieve its war, they can fill the media with rumored allegations of impropriety by a couple of UN officials! But then the Bush-Necon machine wonders why no one wants to help them? Check out the third red "Q" (as in slanted question by reporter) in this briefing. Also, every rightwing website and corporate media outlet is carrying the allegation story.

Former UN Chief Weapons Inspector Butler Says He Was Bugged for Years
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BBC reports: "Weapons inspector in Iraq, Richard Butler, says his phone calls at the United Nations were bugged during his tenure from 1997 to 1999. He told Australian radio at least four UN Security Council members monitored his calls, and he would leave the UN building if taking a confidential call. ABC Radio cited Australian intelligence sources as saying Hans Blix, the last weapons inspector, was also bugged." The defense of the "buggers" is 1. Everybody was doing it and 2. It helped people do their jobs better. Reality: 1. bugging UN offices is ILLEGAL, period, 2. The infantile excuse "everyone was doing it" should be reserved for 10-year-olds, not used by people with an international public trust. 3. The bugging of Blix and Annan was used to promote a war that has killed thousands. Is that the kind of "job" we want to "do better?"

UN Spying Case Widens -- Blair's Operatives Bugged Not Just Annan, But Blix
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The Scotsman reports: "Former Cabinet minister Clare Short yesterday sparked a massive row when she claimed the UK had bugged Mr Annan's telephone conversations and that she had seen transcripts of them. Now the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has revealed that Mr Annan was not the only senior UN figure being spied on. Investigative reporter Andrew Fowler said that Mr Blix, the head of a team of 75 weapons inspectors searching Iraq for chemical and biological arms, was also being bugged in the run-up to the Gulf War. Mr Fowler, who said he got the information from an 'impeccable' intelligence source, said of 75-year-old Mr Blix: 'I'm told, specifically each time he entered Iraq, his phone was targeted and recorded and the transcript was then made available to the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK and also New Zealand.'"

Annan Says the UN Security Council Should Be Expanded, Made More Democratic
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"Kofi Annan today called for expanding the membership of the Security Council to make the 15-member body more democratic and more representative and thus give it greater legitimacy, especially in view of recent divisions over Iraq.... [H]e noted that UN membership had almost quadrupled since the world body was founded nearly 60 years ago and yet the structure of the Council had not changed since its first day, with five permanent members with the right of veto and 10 members elected for two-year terms from the various regions of the world. 'Yes, we are an organization of sovereign States, but the structure of the Council has not changed and I think it is about time that we took the reform very seriously. It will entail expansion in membership,' he added.... 'I think if we can reform the Council and make it more democratic and more representative, it will gain also in greater legitimacy. I think most Member States would want to see that happen,' he declared."

Former UN Chiefs: UN Has Become an 'American Appendage'
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"The UN is in crisis because it is seen as little more than an American appendage, two of the organisation's most senior former leaders have warned. The former secretary-general Boutros Boutros Ghali said there was deep resentment against the UN across the developing world because of policies adopted under America's influence. He warned that nothing more than drastic reform would allow the organisation to start rebuilding trust outside the west. His comments...have been echoed by his colleague, Denis Halliday, the former UN assistant secretary-general, who says many senior figures at the organisation are similarly disturbed at America's dominance. Mr Halliday, meanwhile, said the UN security council had been taken over and corrupted by America and the UK. 'The UN has been drawn into being an arm of the US - a division of the state department.... Kofi Annan was appointed by the US and that has corrupted the independence of the UN.'"

Collateral Damage: UN's Role as a 'Tool of the Superpowers' Has Scarred its Reputation
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LA Times reports: "The silence said the most: Aside from a chorus of official sympathy and condemnations, the devastation of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad drew barely a shiver on the Arab street and in the Middle Eastern media Wednesday. In a shift made blazingly clear with the bombing, the United Nations' status has become so thoroughly degraded in the Arab world that many people here no longer draw a distinction between the international body and the United States. Throughout the Arab world and Iran, the bombing was chalked up - tacitly or explicitly, depending on who was talking - to a blundering U.S. occupation, an organic outgrowth of the untenable instability in Iraq. Moreover, many Arabs argued, the U.S. invasion endangered the United Nations by rendering it irrelevant. 'There has been resentment simply because the U.N. became a tool in the hands of superpowers,' said Hasan abu Nimah, a longtime Jordanian diplomat and former representative to the U.N."

Annan Names Veteran Arms Inspector to Replace Blix
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AP reports: "U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named a veteran arms expert Tuesday to replace Hans Blix, the United Nations' chief weapons inspector who led a fruitless search for illicit weapons in Iraq. Dimitri Perricos, who ran the search on the ground in Iraq for Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons and nuclear programs, has been Blix' deputy for three years at the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission... The U.S.-led coalition's failure in more than two months to find any weapons of mass destruction -- the reason cited for the war -- has caused international anger. President Bush insists Saddam had a weapons program. The Greek-born Perricos was an inspector for 28 years with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and moved to UNMOVIC in 2000 shortly after it was created."

Was Bush Behind Watergate-Style Bugging in Europe?
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Bruce Ticker writes: "Did Dick Cheney and Richard Perle tell George W. Bush that he needs to take risks to conquer? Did the risks comprise violating the United Nations charter and pulling other tricks comparable to one which placed Richard Nixon on a path toward sure impeachment? Someone pulled a fast one that conjures up memories of and outdoes the Watergate burglary: The New York Times reported ...(March 20) that the European Union discovered a bugging operation directed at five of the15 member nations in a headquarters building in Brussels... Whoever is responsible, it is no great leap to suspect Bush's forces as being behind this. If it is true and can be proven, the EU buggings are far more serious than the Watergate break-in and would reflect a pattern of impeachable offenses. These are people who are bound by treaty to operating within the authority of the United Nations. They are violating a treaty which has been respected by eight previous presidents."

Bush's W-ar on the UN Has Made it More Relevant, Not Less
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William Pfaff writes, "Iraq is a crisis for the US because UN members see this prospect of unchecked American world power being tested. What they have seen is a US that insists on its way and no other. They have seen it unable to provide a rationale for its Iraq policy that can convince the majority of the democracies, its natural supporters. They have seen it intemperately denounce those who criticize it, and threaten serious and damaging material retaliation against the democracies that actively oppose it on the Iraq issue - France, Germany, Belgium, and Turkey. They have, in short, seen Washington demand submission, and take steps to obtain this through force... Unchecked American global power has precipitously lost appeal... [Bush] has managed in this Iraq affair to undermine if not destroy the American offer of benevolent and responsible international hegemony. It has made the UN seem more relevant than ever."

'Murdoch's Mouth' Says US Should Pull Out of UN
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Rupert Murdoch's mouthpiece Bill Kristol declares, "'I've never been a fan of the U.N., but I've also never been excessively alarmed about it. I just thought it was kind of pointless,' Kristol told us. 'But I now think we really should rethink the whole American relationship with the United Nations.' Is withdrawing from the U.N. on the table? 'I'm open to that, absolutely,' Kristol replied. 'I just think it's a new moment, and that is an institution that has a certain rationale, I guess. 'It's a different era. It didn't even have that much rationale then [when the U.N. was formed]. But look, it's one thing if it's just useless and harmless. It's another thing if it actually becomes harmful. And I think you can make a case that it's actually become harmful.'" Hey Bill - we can make a case that your paymaster, Rupert Murdoch, has been the single most harmful force in the world for the past 20 years. (Kristol is chairman of the PNAC, the drafters of the Iraq War plan back in 2000).

France Has Vetoed 1 UN Resolution, While US Has Vetoed 73
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AP reports, "France last cast a lone veto in 1976, over a resolution to recognize the tiny island of Mayotte as part of the newly independent state of Comoros. For the United States, it was three months ago, over a resolution condemning violence in the Middle East, specifically the killing of U.N. employees by Israeli soldiers and the destruction of a U.N. warehouse filled with food for needy Palestinians. The power to veto, held by an exclusive five-member club of the Security Council, allows the world's most powerful nations to shape international peace and security... In the United Nations' 58-year history, the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, have used the veto 117 times - most coming during Cold War decades. The United States is second with 73. Since 1990, America has cast more Security Council vetoes than any country, many of them favoring Israel, a longtime ally."

Bush Contemptuously Dismisses Warning from Kofi Annan
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"Secretary General Kofi Annan warned today that if the US fails to win approval from the Security Council for an attack on Iraq, Washington's decision to act alone or outside the Council would violate the UN charter. 'The members of the Security Council now face a great choice,' Mr. Annan said. 'If they fail to agree on a common position and action is taken without the authority of the Security Council, the legitimacy and support for any such action will be seriously impaired.' Mr. Annan's remarks drew a sharp response from Washington... White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in a strongly worded retort that 'from a moral point of view,' if the UN fails to support the Bush administration's war aims, it will have 'failed to act once again,' as it did in Kosovo in the face of persecution of the ethnic Albanians by Serbia and earlier in Rwanda in the face of widespread massacres by Hutus against Tutsis." EXACTLY WHERE WERE THE REPUBLICANS DURING THOSE GENOCIDES???

Bush Wants to Tear Up the UN Charter, Just Like He Tore Up the U.S. Constitution
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The UN Charter begins: "WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED - to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and - to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and - to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS - to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and - to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and - to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest..." Which part of PEACE does Bush not understand?

Picasso Under Wraps, UN Under the Thumb
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Ian Williams writes for Global Vision News Network: "But the modern UN has, so to speak, brushed the carpet under the debris. Outside the Security Council, where diplomats come to brief the world's media after meetings, is a huge tapestry reproduction of Guernica, Picasso's memorial to the horrors of air warfare on civilians. In the old days, the one UNTV camera could be guaranteed not to embarrass, say, American Ambassador John Negroponte, by backdropping his statements with images of screaming women and children, but with the world's new interest in the UN, the hordes of outside TV crews there may be less discreet. So Guernica has joined the statue of Justice in Attorney John Ashcroft lobby, covered in blue drapes to hide her nakedness. Together they make a potent metaphor... On Wednesday, the shrouded tapestry will be the backdrop for the diplomats who emerge from Secretary of State Powell's briefing on the 'evidence' of Iraq's failure to meet the demands of resolution 1441."

Rummy Won't Believe Hussein Lacks WMD; Questions UN's 'Future'
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"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday the United States would not believe Saddam Hussein if he claimed Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. But Rumsfeld did not say whether that assertion would trigger a military response. The United Nations has given the Iraqi president until Dec. 8 to disclose its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. Iraq insisted earlier this month it no longer possesses any banned weapons, despite Washington's insistence it does....Other nations are hesitant about military action against Iraq. Among them are France and Russia, which have vetoes in the U.N. Security Council. Rumsfeld said 'the future of the United Nations is at stake.' 'Is it interested in having its resolutions recognized and complied with or not?' he said." Is it telling that Rummy said the "future" rather than the "credibility" of the United Nations is at stake? Or is a slip of the lip that Bush is ready to target and undermine the UN with his unilaterialism?

Did the Iraq Resolution Violate the UN's own Charter?
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"On November 8, the U.N. Security Council voted 15-0 vote in favor of Resolution 1441, which concerns Iraq. Through its passage of the Resolution, the Security Council indirectly supported the U.S.'s threat to go to war against Saddam Hussein. Some parts of the Resolution are unobjectionable. But others may violate the U.N. charter, and thus violate international law. If they do, what are the consequences?"

Bush's Pick for UN Ambassador Exposed in 1995 as Treasonous Liar!
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In 1995, the "Baltimore Sun" ran an investigative series on the human rights abuses being systematically committed in Honduras by the military. Up to his armpits in blood and unconscionable lies was John D. Negroponte. "An ambassador, someone cynically once said, is sent abroad to lie for his country. U.S. career diplomat John D. Negroponte confused that with lying to his country. As U.S. ambassador to Honduras during the early '80s, Mr. Negroponte systematically suppressed reports to Washington describing kidnappings and murders of political dissidents by a secret unit of the Honduran army. Instead he was responsible for false reports to Washington that portrayed the Honduran regime as committed to democracy and the rule of law." Incredibly, this evil liar is Bush's pick as UN ambassador. Guess he wants a man who will lie to the American people on command. We would rather see an empty seat at the UN General Assembly in September than to see one filled by this evil man. NOTE: LINK TROUBLE. Stay tuned, as on Monday, we will try to make the entire 4-part Sun series & 4 editorials available. If you want to get the series now, go to http://www.sunspot.net/search/bal-archive-1990.htmlstory and put John D. Negroponte into the keyword, and put in the year 1995. It will cost $1.95/article.

Bush Wants Iran-Contra Figure To Be UN Ambassador
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Bush wants to fast-track the confirmation of John D. Negroponte as UN ambassador. Negroponte was heavily involved with efforts to arm the contras battling the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. As ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, he helped conceal from Congress the murder, kidnapping and torture committed by a Honduran military unit armed and trained by the CIA. These abuses are not allegations - they have been documented. Bush's nomination of Negroponte amounts to spitting in the face of UN members - and in the faces of decent Americans.

Why One Hour with Kofi Annan is Worth a Thousand Bush Photo Ops
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Bush breezed through Philadelphia on July 4, stopping long enough to say a few inane (not to mention inaccurate) platitudes about the founding fathers and to pose with smiling kids and a football. In poignant contrast, across town, UN Chief Kofi Annan, also a visitor to the City of Brotherly Love this week, discussed the African AIDS crisis, the problem of bigotry, and the danger of weapons of mass destruction. A few hours after Bush breezed out of town for his next photo op, Kofi Annan was given the prestigious Liberty Medal from Mayor John Street who commended Kofi Annan for dedicating his life to help "create a better, more compassionate world." So what was one of Shrub's first act after returning from his jaunt? To propose slashing $41 million in aid to poor nation's struggling to curb air pollution.

Suspicious Deportations Of Admitted Honduran Death Squad Collaborators While Negroponte Awaits Appointment
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"If anyone could shed light on the controversial history of U.N. ambassador nominee John D. Negroponte, it is Honduran Gen. Luis Alonso Discua Elvir. Discua helped form a U.S.-trained intelligence unit, Battalion 316, blamed for the torture and killing of more than 100 Hondurans" while Negroponte was the US Ambassador to Honduras. "A U.N. diplomat until February, Discua is now back in Honduras, his diplomatic visa revoked…three weeks before Negroponte was put up for the U.N. post...Discua had once warned…that he had kept CIA documents as an insurance policy [with which] he would expose U.S. collaboration…And indeed, in interviews and a court hearing, he began to parcel out details." Said a State Dept. official: "It raises interesting questions. If there is a link [between the deportation and Negroponte's nomination], it was at a level much higher than ours." Moreover, "two other men who claimed involvement with Battalion 316 in efforts to win political asylum" have been deported.

The World is Already Tired of Right Wing 'Conservative Movement': UN Boots America Off Human Rights Commission
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The conservative majority in DC, with Bush now leading the charge, is intent on giving us one reason right after the other to be "proud to be American" (not too sarcastic, eh?). Now we've been booted off the 53-nation Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. It's the first time in the commission's 54-year history that America has not been a member. But other countries are sick of hearing our sable-rattlers gripe about everyone else's record on human rights when the U.S. can't even get it together to ban landmines, sign the Kyoto Treaty (which will preserve the health of the entire world), or honor its nuclear treaty commitments. Bush is returning us to the status of "Ugly American." With another 100 days of his antics, we will be stripped of all our friends - and all respect.