Work for the UN 1072

GCHQ and the NSA between them employ tens of thousands of people.  I am bemused by the shock at the “revelation” they have been spying.  What on Earth did journalists think that spies do all day? That includes electronics spies.

Since Katherine Gun revealed that we spy on other delegations – and the secretariat – within the UN building, it is hardly a shock that we spy on other governments at summits in the UK.  For once, the government cannot pretend that the object is to save us all from terrorism, which is the usual catch all excuse.  Nor in the real world is any of the G20 nations a military threat to the UK.  The real truth of the matter is that our spies – GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 – are themselves a large and highly influential interest block within the state.  Lots of people make a great deal of money out of the security state, and this kind of activity is actually simply an excuse for taking money from taxpayers – which is from everyone who has ever bought anything – and giving that money to the “security industry”.

I do not view spying on other governments as quite as despicable as spying on ordinary citizens, which is an unspeakable betrayal of the purpose of government.  Spying on other governments is a game they all play to extort money each to their own security elites.  But I will say that spying on the South African government seems pretty low.  Why?

Interception of diplomatic communications is plainly a gross breach of the Vienna Conventions, even if the forms of communication have changed since they were drafted.  I have never studied the particulars of international law as they relate to spying, but it seems to me an area that in the modern world needs regulation.  There must be room here for the UN to be involved in preparing a Convention to outlaw the interception of international communications, with recourse to the International Court of Justice for those victim of it.

There is more work for the UN on Syria.  We should all be grateful that Russia is holding out against the very dubious western claims that the  Syrian government has deployed chemical weapons.  But while Obama can declare all the red lines he wishes, they do not give any country a right to take action on Syrian soil without UN authority.  That needs to be restated, strongly.  There is no basis at all for the continued and massive Israeli attacks on Syria – they are absolutely illegal.  Israeli strikes have definitely killed more people than the alleged deaths from chemical weapons.  Can someone explain to me why that is not a red line?

The UN Secretary General should be speaking out, and the UN Security Council should be meeting, to discuss the Israeli attacks on Syria.  The system of international law has broken down irretrievably.

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1,072 thoughts on “Work for the UN

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    “… I don’t think she’s ever engaged in discussion with anyone on anything on this blog)…” Habbabkuk, 9:02am, 30.6.13.

    She has engaged in discussion with others. Mary has been posting here for years, she’s a good egg. She has her views and her style. I often agree with her and sometimes do not. But might it be best not to focus on one person? If someone annoys you, might it not be best simply to ignore them?

    Btw, you’ve not told us the provenance of your pseudonym. Give us a clue, won’t you? 🙂

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The blog’s gone through times far worse than anything that’s happened recently. If something works, why fix it? Al Hilli thread still going on… and on. Micro-discourses, parallel cyber-time. The advent of a new regular poster and some degree of fractiousness ought not to suggest the need for structural change. Up to CM, obviously. S’always been like this, from time-to-time. Roll with the waves! What we need are some fish recipes. Where’s the fish man? Anyone seen his trident?

  • Phil

    Suhayl Saadi 30 Jun, 2013 – 9:28 am
    “I think it likely that most of these people are home-based.”

    But unexpectedly the two most credible witness tesimony I’ve heard both describe teams in rooms. Perhaps the togetherness engenders loyalty.

  • Fred

    “What we need are some fish recipes. ”

    No fish threads please, I codn’t cope with people carping on about fish, they talk a load of pollocks it gives me a haddock.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    @ Suhayl Saadi 11.05am

    If something works, why fix it?

    Totally agree, mate. I enjoy the contributions of entertaining and intelligent contrarians. It stops me from being amazed at how right I am on every subject. My favourite poster used to be AngrySoba. I even liked Larry from St. Louis, although most people didn’t seem to.

  • A Node


    At 29 Jun, 2013 – 11:53 am, you asked me a question

    At 29 Jun, 2013 – 12:51 pm, I replied.

    At 30 Jun, 2013 – 9:02 am, you ignored my reply whilst perfectly demonstrating my point …

    “… If very specific guidelines were spelt out, certain people would delight in pushing the boundary, and if their comment were deleted, they’d complain in the most nitpicking fashion why they believed they were on the right side of the line …”

  • Phil

    What’s with all the repeated suggestions about how to run this blog. It is almost as if attention has turned onto the mod.

    Chin up mate. It may be war.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Node :

    You’re on the wrong track. Re-read the 3 posts you mention, carefully.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Suhayl:

    ““… I don’t think she’s ever engaged in discussion with anyone on anything on this blog)…” Habbabkuk, 9:02am, 30.6.13.

    She has engaged in discussion with others.”

    Well, it’s true that I’ve only been visiting for the last nine months or so, but I haven’t seen a single example – despite having challenged her (and anyone else who might want to help her) to give a couple.

    And don’t forget that the mask has slipped at least once, when she said that she was here to post “information” but not to discuss or dialogue. Out of her own mouth.


    Re my handle , good Lord, why ask me for an explanation when a number of the Eminences have offered one. The one I especially liked said that I was an Orthodox Jew (or something like that)and had therefore chosen a Biblical name; but since Orthodox Jews were not allowed to write the name of the Lord or his prophets, I had got round that problem by inserting an extra “b” into the name.

    I will leave you to judge the mental balance of the poster who wrote that 🙂

  • Villager


    Thank you for a reply finally — it actually did feel like wrenching candy from a baby. Call it snide, sarcastic or whatever you will Jon, that is not the intent. I simply call it as it is.

    “The puppet was mocking Habbabkuk, whose, err, concentration on Mary has been the subject of, in my view, legitimate recent commentary.”

    Very strange indeed that you should put your “Good Housekeeping” approval to that behaviour. It now sets a precedent that if anyone wants to mock another poster they are allowed to sock puppet. Would not a timely and gentle intervention from you at the roots have been more legitimate and appropriate? Mary was no angel either continuing to call H a troll. One or two others now have taken over the baton.

    Please recognise that we had no ‘big deal’ issue with silly Sophie, it was when she also started posting as Kibo Noh when the puppeting began and, further, did not receive any prompt attention/comment from you, good bad or ugly, despite it being flagged. In the end the schizophrenic ‘narrative’ (favourite word of the puppet) broke down, but the chronology is important to your ‘justification’.

  • Jon

    Deleted a couple from Villager and Kibo. Deleted one each from Habbabkuk/Node – I think you might just have to agree to disagree. Please keep it civil and constructive folks.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “I haven’t seen a single example.” Habbabkuk.

    There’s one from today on the ‘Racism/visa/bond, etc.’ thread, where she engages with me. Anyway, why are you so fixated? It must be love, perhaps a sort of idealised troubadour romance, forever blessed and blighted by non-consummation. The blog has become a love court. Mariolatry? Perhaps the Lady Eleanor will make an appearance.

    Better than the double-b (echo of Beelzebub), or watching one’s ps and qs…


    Habbab: Affable, loving. Kuk: Nigella. Colonel-in-Chief of the CGC, the Culinary Gastrointestinal Complex, paragon of the Chocolate Dominatrix. Food for thought.

    Not to be confused with Hadad: Syrian fertility god.

    I once passed by a ground floor flat in Edinburgh, near Leith Walk, that had a larger-than-life figure of a grey-bodied, bull-headed man painted over the entire surface of the (inner) wall of the sitting-room and the figure, ‘666’ over the front door. The lights were always on inside. It were as though it was inviting one to enter. I don’t know whether it’s still there.

    Perhaps it was never really there.

  • Passerby

    Nice speech, Passerby (3:06pm, 29.6.13). I agree with key parts of the substance of it. But it’s not really about the substance, is it? Is it not about the use of language to exert control?

    A cynical opening, questioning the “substance” and asserting the underlying desire for “control”. Curmudgeon would reflect; is this not an attempt in sophistry?

    The simple fact contended; world must stigmatize zionism, and stop pandering to the ziofuckwits and debate on their terms of reference. The current plutocratic arrangements are sufficiently comfortable with the situation as it is. Therefore it behoves the wider world ie we the people to stop playing the game as per the status quo, and start clearly and unequivocally abhorring zionism at every opportunity, and counter the ziofuckwits arguments, with one simple message; “zionism is repugnant”!

    – – – – –

    ….. I think the approach of angry shouting isn’t working, and it isn’t conducive to debate.

    Although there are those whom would contend reaming cool and collected in the face of the repugnant ziofuckwits crimes against humanity, compounded with their crimes against peace, cannot be a rational and logical response.

    However, stigmatizing the abhorrent and deviant construct of zionism ought to be the first step in fighting this abominable framework of hate and oppression.

    I’ve done this merry dance with you many times, so I won’t say much more. Suffice it to say that people disagreeing with you are not necessarily paid by Israel to do so, and if you can explain your views more clearly in less words, I think it would be helpful.

    Recollecting that our debate of the Caterpilar that fed itself to a frog” was going south, and which was left up in the ether without any conclusion. Robust debate ought not be mistaken for acrimony and enmity.

    The contention that ought to have been reached then was; the proven techniques/methods/algorithms of the parasites in hijacking the brains of their victims and inducing their victims to behave in the most bizarre fashions, and counter to the victims most basic instincts.

    To enter debate with ziofuckwits and discuss the problems caused by their repugnant doctrine, on their terms is akin to the caterpillar feeding itself to the frog. For none can enter a dialogue with these racists, supremacists with a view to resolving the problems caused through their racism and claim to their superior/master race. The fact that current thrust of the corporate media, based on corporate and plutocratic imperatives all lean in the direction of whitewashing the crimes against humanity committed by the ziofuckwits, should not somehow compel us to tolerate this repugnant and murderous framework of hate.

  • Kibo Noh

    @Fedup.11 06pm

    “No it all began with the Spanish American war.”

    Beginnings eh?

    If you haven’t come across these you might find them worth a read as the nights draw in.

    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by  Dee Brown 
    A history of Native Americans in the American West in the late nineteenth century that expresses a Native American perspective of the injustices and betrayals of the US government.

    A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. A romp through American history through the eyes of the common people rather than political and economic elites.

    Pdfs of both available for free download.

    And I haven’t got near Herodotus yet!


    Re Caterpillar and Frog post, 11 45pm on UN thread.
    Clarity with Passion.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Although there are those whom would contend reaming cool and collected in the face of the repugnant ziofuckwits crimes against humanity, compounded with their crimes against peace, cannot be a rational and logical response.” Passerby, 1:45pm, 1.7.13.

    Passerby, okay, so then you are suggesting that you are being irrational and illogical? Look, you’re shouting at me, not at some “ziofuckwit”. It’s a waste of energy.

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