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.


1,072 thoughts on “Work for the UN

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  • The CE

    This Flaming June nutter does seem a bit obsessed by Israel and ‘the Zionists’. I suggest you get out more and enjoy life.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Flaming June, while it is easy and understandable that one becomes inflammed reading accounts of injustice, characterising the Palestine/Israel situation as an elemental struggle b/w good and evil, as I think you did (virtually in those words) on another thread recently, simply invites robust challenge. Surely, this view is just the mirror-image of those in, say, the USA who see it as an end-of-days, quasi-Biblical narrative.

    I hope I am not labelled as a “ziofuckwit” (a gorgeous, if somewhat geek-ish) for suggesting that.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The above should read: I hope I am not labelled as a “ziofuckwit” (a gorgeous, if somewhat geek-ish) neologism for suggesting that.

  • fedup

    I hope I am not labelled as a “ziofuckwit”

    What do you mean by: “simply invites robust challenge”?

    Robust challenge from whom?

    .. who see it as an end-of-days, quasi-Biblical narrative.

    This kind of conflation of injustice with dogma is hardly an original line of thought, seeing as for the last seven decades the ziofuckwits have been busy pushing this line as the reason for their land theft and murderous conduct.

    The fact that June is highlighting the plight of Palestinians, and reflects her anger at the current barbarous conduct of the ziofuckwits in zionistan ought to be commended, seeing as the medjia has been bought and paid for.

    Further with the coercions abound, most of the talking heads/pundits have shut up and are paying fealty to the ziofuckwits and their imperatives that are set for all to adhere to. The silence in the face of injustice is in fact to aid and abet the genocide in Palestine, and clearly to cooperate in making acceptable the unacceptable conduct of the ziofuckwits.

    June must be proud that these many numbers of ziofuckwits have been targeting her, alas she takes this negative attention the wrong way, she ought to be pleased to know that she is hitting the mark so effectively that a whole squadron of the ziofuckwit keyboard warriors are assigned to suppress her fire and passion.

  • Macky

    “characterising the Palestine/Israel situation as an elemental struggle b/w good and evil”

    If slow genocide, frequent mass murders, daily killings, continuing inhuman oppression, etc, etc, are not evil, then what is ? !

    “Surely, this view is just the mirror-image of those in, say, the USA who see it as an end-of-days, quasi-Biblical narrative”

    No, and what a strange comparison; are you on the “herbal” teas again ?!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Dreoilin

    You know, you got me thinking when you posted (was it on this or another thread? No matter) that Macky wasn’t the sharpest blade in the drawer.
    And, having tried to engage with him on Craig’s latest thread, I’ve got the feeling you’re right.

    BTW, fully endorse what you say about a “Breaking News” or whatever you want to call it thread. But it’s not likely to happen (unfortunately).

    Best to you!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    and there he was, old Macky, arriving right on cue to add more substance to my comment.
    Thanks, buddy!

  • A Node

    Jemand, check the link you gave me … it’s not pointing to your “suggestion in relation to self-regulation.”
    Its pointing to you telling me you have “already posted a suggestion in relation to self-regulation.”
    Circular logic?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    It’s the words, “elemental”, “good” and “evil”. It is a land dispute. Israel is vastly more powerful and is supported by esp. the USA and is oppressing the Palestinians and has occupied their territory and one ay o another is squeezing them out. It is a political situation. It is in no way, ‘elemental’, and the use of that term, and of the terms ‘good’ and ‘evil’, suggest a theological framework. In that sense, they are redolent of sort of language used by, say, Tony Blair or Ronald Reagan.

    The dynamics might be described as ‘tribal’ or ‘militaristic’ or ‘imperialist’ or (in terms iof international law) ‘criminal’ or ‘religious fundamentalist’ or ‘exceptionalist’ or ‘supremacist’ or ‘racist’ or… [choose your precise term]

    I am critiquing the ontology suggested by the statement.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “June must be proud that these many numbers of ziofuckwits have been targeting her, alas she takes this negative attention the wrong way, she ought to be pleased to know that she is hitting the mark so effectively that a whole squadron of the ziofuckwit keyboard warriors are assigned to suppress her fire and passion.” Fedup

    Well, it seems to be brought up almost gratuitously on every single thread, regardless. Which, one could argue, simply allows the “ziofuckwit” keyboard “squadrons” to pile in repeatedly. It’s a bit like someone always mentioning ‘9/11’. It begins to have a sort of talismanic effect.

  • fedup

    I am critiquing the ontology suggested by the statement.

    The semantics of death and dispossession are in fact death and dispossession, and let us not get too grandiloquent with a view to lessen the degrees of primordial evil so manifest and on display. This would be classed as evil by any standards.

    As the Afrikaans’ narrative of Cain and Abel that held the murderous Cain’s offspring were cursed to remain blackened face Kaffirs! The current life and death struggle of Palestinians that is so dismissively portrayed as a “political struggle”, in fact is heavily reliant on the Bible as a land registry record. Further, as any puerile fascist doctrine will resort to; “Archaeology” and “genetics” (racial purity) science is called upon to validate the evil conduct of thieving, and murdering lowlifes as a natural consequence of the birth of a nation!

    Fact is parasitic entities as a matte of course, affect the behaviour of the organisms these invade and feed upon. The parasitic ziofuckwits have infected and affected various systems, with changes thereof in the interactions of these systems with the world at large culminating in varying results. However the trend of these results all lean into one aim; the legitimisation of an illegitimate and parasitic entity as in zionistan.

    The fact that, the deaths and suppression of innocent people of Palestine is being classed as a mere “political struggle” itself is a manifest and desirable behavioural norm from the point of view of the infectious parasitic ziofuckwits.

    Ask a Palestinian child whose hunger pangs is stopping him/her from going to sleep for a temporary respite from the theocratic apartheid they find themselves in to define evil. Only then can we sanguinely debate the merits of the application of humanist liberalism to be zionistan, and its intractable appetite for land, chattel, and money of all nations near and far.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    You see, it’s no longer possible to have a rational discussion on the subject or even on the nature of comments on the subject and that itself is a reflection of what I was describing. It’s almost like the thought police.

  • The CE

    SS- It’s the words, “elemental”, “good” and “evil”. It is a land dispute.

    halle-fricking- lujah, that’s exactly what this conflict and pretty much all others concern. This view will prove non too popular with some of the ‘hardcore’ present here though no doubt.

  • Macky

    “It is a land dispute.”

    No shit Sherlock, that happens to involve a slow genocide, frequent mass murders, daily killings, continuing inhuman oppression, etc, etc, all of which are the opposite of ontology “Good”; now what may that be ?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    The thought has struck me that some of the “regulars” might have been in touch with the moderator privately in order to urge bannings and/or an active deletions policy.

    I know that this is an unworthy thought – perhaps their well-developed sense of paranoia is infectious – but I should be delighted if Jon were to assure us that this has not been the case.

  • Jemand - Censorship Improves History

    A Node

    As per my comment at 26 June, 8.02am :

    “Certainly, standards should be upheld on this blog to maintain a productive activity and to that extent I once entertained an idea that I had yet to share – one involving setting up a permanently open page titled ‘Code of Conduct’ with comments serving to guide its construction and improvement. It was to contain an enumerated list of principles and dos-and-don’ts that could be tersely quoted by commentators for self- regulation. Given the nature of how things have transpired, I doubt it could ever see the back light of your monitor.”

    Now if you had bothered to do a simple page search, you would have saved us both this pointless game of ping-pong. As you can see, I did indeed make a suggestion that was reasonable, simple, practicable (it could even be started today) but judging by the response, one that was ultimately preordained for the wish-bin.

  • Jemand - Censorship Improves History

    Suhayl, hysteria has taken over and, as you have observed, rational discussion is not possible. I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that people need to separate their personal preferences from their observations and not attack others in the mistaken belief that their often inceptive observations about political matters represent an expression of approval of a dynamic, arrangement, incident etc.

    This reminds me of another thread on which I commented extensively about my prediction of the development of mom-n-pop eugenics as new technology presents opportunities to people that were never before anticipated. I discussed the proven tendency of parents to attempt to choose attributes of their children including the speculative possibility of sexual orientation. And I went on to explore the social ramifications, including the idea that homosexuality might later be considered a ‘race’ and that homosexuals might see eugenics as a threat that demanded countermeasures such as active reproduction of homosexual children. I think I called it a eugenics war.

    Anyway, I thought the subject matter to be fascinating and full of genuine possibilities that would need to be confronted in the not-too-distant future. Science fiction on the cusp of science fact – I thought. What do you think the reaction was? Apparently, making intelligent, factual observations and logical analyses demonstrated that I was a ‘homophobe’ and that I was advocating gene therapy for annihilation of homosexuality. Thus, hysteria reared its ugly head and an unpleasant, unneccessarily long exchange ensued with absolutely no positive outcome.

    I believe David Hume referred to this as the ‘ought problem’.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, people. I should say (though it ought not to need saying) that I am pro-Palestinian, have been since… since I was aware of anything, really and that I share Flaming June’s (and others’) anger on the subject. I just think that the tendency towards absolutist/quasi-theological positions and the jettisoning of a dialectical approach actually ends up weakening one’s arguments.

    Jemand, the thing in the news yesterday about triple parenthood is fascinating, isn’t it? We’re entering the world of science fiction! Of course, gene therapy is becoming widespread. There was a time, not so long ago, when ‘test-tube babies’ seemed out there.

    Now, where did I put that mitochondrion…?

  • Dreoilin

    “No shit Sherlock, that happens to involve a slow genocide, frequent mass murders, daily killings, continuing inhuman oppression, etc, etc”

    Do my eyes deceive me? This is Macky lecturing Suhayl on Palestine/Israel, right?

    —————————————

    “It was to contain an enumerated list of principles and dos-and-don’ts that could be tersely quoted by commentators for self-regulation.”

    Jemand,
    You did indeed say that. But according to Jon, Craig won’t entertain the idea. So I don’t know where we go from there.

  • Passerby

    I just think that the tendency towards absolutist/quasi-theological positions and the jettisoning of a dialectical approach actually ends up weakening one’s arguments.

    “absolutist/quasi-theological positions” is adopted by which side?

    Which side has jettisoned any alternative other than the “absolutist/quasi-theological position”?

    These are projections, and nothing less!

    The cup out to stop highlighting the barbaric behaviour of a murderous bunch of lunatics who are drunk on the blood of Palestinians and high on the spoils of plunder is ……. (you fill in as you wish).

    A time comes when silence is betrayal, and those advocating such a silence can only be classed as collaborators in genocide. This blog has kept its independence, because the founder of this blog is a decent soul who has forgone his; rank, benefits thereof, pension, and many other advantages. Hence the freedom of expression that is getting afforded to many people who also hold onto principles of universal human rights, and universal human values.

    Although of late there is a sinister and unsavoury undercurrent to suppress, and diminish this platform so readily available for those of us who have for long opened the windows and shouted out;”I am taking this no more”!

    Those wishing to change the current arrangements of this blog, perhaps ought to learn to scroll passed the comments these find offensive, and challenging to their sensibilities, instead of attempting to change the blog as per their liking. Simply put this blog is not their sitting room to be arranged and rearranged as per their preferences, reflecting their individuality.

    Hats off to Craig for providing this little speakers corner in the cyberspace.

  • A Node

    “Now if you had bothered to do a simple page search … “

    Jeez, you’re touchy. You referred to a comment you’d made some 60 hours and over 100 comments previously, I searched back 24 hours then asked for a link, you gave me the wrong one, I ask for clarification, and now you’re having a go at me.

    Let me suggest that this is a pretty good example of how not to have a blog discussion. If you think I’m an idiot, don’t talk to me or else make allowances for my idiocy if you do. Aggressive comments invite aggressive responses, then escalation.

    “Certainly, standards should be upheld on this blog to maintain a productive activity and to that extent I once entertained an idea that I had yet to share – one involving setting up a permanently open page titled ‘Code of Conduct’ with comments serving to guide its construction and improvement. It was to contain an enumerated list of principles and dos-and-don’ts that could be tersely quoted by commentators for self- regulation. Given the nature of how things have transpired, I doubt it could ever see the back light of your monitor.”

    I agree, though for me the list would be pretty short, something like:
    (1) Try and keep on topic, at least for the first 24 hours of a new thread.
    (2) Insulting or inflammatory comments towards other posters run the risk of being deleted without further explanation.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Dreoilin

    “So I don’t know where we go from there.”
    _____________

    It’s possible that all this kerfuffle isn’t wholly artificial and perhaps this blog’s equivalent to the “silly season” which newspapers are said to have at this time of year.

    Or, alternatively, an attempt by some to ramp up the normal tensions with a view to forcing the blog owner and/or moderator to reach for his blue pencil with regard to the small group of ‘contrarian’ posters (who are not responsible for the heightened tension but whose removal would no doubt be very welcome to the some). I realise this sounds a little ‘conspiracy-theorist’, but I do find it interesting that attempts at serious debate, including from myself (cf the newest thread), far from being welcomed, have actually stirred up some people to an even greater extent than before.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ A Node

    “Insulting or inflammatory comments towards other posters…”
    ____________

    and that’s exactly one of the problems, isn’t it: what counts as insulting or inflammatory?

    There is very ample evidence that some posters on here see any attempt to question their viewpoint (whether in terms of accuracy, expression, motivation or relevance) as being either insulting, inflammatory, or both. Take an example : when a certain commenter drops yet another post which just happens to mention, irrelevantly, someone’s religion or someone’s wife’s religion (you know what I mean, I’m sure) and when this is pointed out by another commenter, the latter tends to get a bucket of la merde flung over him (“disrupting, derailing, troll, Hasbara agent, bullying, hounding, stalking”, etc etc etc). Is highlighting someone’s often unpleasant obsession insulting and/or inflammatory?

    Even a definition of unacceptable language isn’t easy. Personally, I don’t especially like being called a c**t but on the other hand “buffoon” seems part of acceptable robust dialogue. Although I guess most people are capable of appreciating whether or not the unacceptable language is being used as a substitute for reasoned argument and rebuttal.

    But to conclude, I don’t think we should all act as if the world’s about to come to an end. It’s only a blog after all, and attendance is not compulsory. It’ll find its balance again in due course.

  • Dreoilin

    “attempts at serious debate, including from myself (cf the newest thread), far from being welcomed, have actually stirred up some people to an even greater extent than before.”

    Yes, I saw that Habbabkuk. You’d think they’d have the opposite reaction.
    There’s nowt so queer as folk!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    ” Which side has jettisoned any alternative other than the ‘absolutist/quasi-theological position’? ” Passerby, 11:03am, 29.6.13.

    Exactly. If we behave, or adopt hermetic, self-contained conceptual frameworks, as they – Blair, Reagan, the Rapture Mob – do, then what’s the point?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Dreoilin

    Well, I’m glad someone else has noticed that as well, I hereby judge myself not to be suffering from paranoia! 🙂

    Seriously, though, there could be any number of explanations – if the phenomenon deserves an explanation, of course. I advance three:

    1/. They could be following the line of “we’re going to make Habbabkuk pay”. This would be a variant of the ostracism line.

    2/. The release of frustration in the face of a feeling of impotence. Impotence in the face of the sinister and malign powers that some people feel rule the UK/world: the feeling that nothing they write or do is going to change anything in the real world (as opposed to the virtual world of the blog)and so frustration is exorcised through attacks on me, who is seen as the mouthpiece or representative of those malign powers. And of course that feeling is even accentuated by the realisation that they can never land a knock-out blow on me.

    3/. I’ve forgotten what this one was going to be.

    So : no paranoia, but perhaps the onset of Alzheimer’s. 🙂

    Have a good weekend.

  • Jon

    Silly season indeed! Trying to organise a sensible discussion here is like shepherding cats sometimes 😉

    Righto, thanks for your thoughts everyone. Moderating of any kind (whether it is light touch or not) is a hard job, especially given the unpleasant dynamics we’ve seen over the last year or so – in my case it means I am working at something for free whilst not being rewarded by enjoyable participation.

    Villager: you and I had some good discussions on the old Assange threads, but it rather went downhill from there, and I don’t know why. Your tone towards me is often snide and sarcastic, even though your frequent appeals to moderator give me a disproportionate amount of work. Moderators do have to be a bit bulletproof, but nevertheless, if you abuse them, don’t expect them to jump to your instructions (I should think that advice would apply on all forums).

    I’ve traditionally taken a dim view of sock-puppetting, but moderation is more about judgement than science. I’d already deleted a few posts, and in that situation, remaining edge-cases may end up left standing. The puppet was mocking Habbabkuk, whose, err, concentration on Mary has been the subject of, in my view, legitimate recent commentary.

    Jemand, I am sorry to hear it is genuinely your view that I am “Stalinist”, that I am “bullshitting”, and that I am really here to build a pro-Craig comments section. That nonsense is not in keeping with some of your excellent commentary elsewhere, but I might venture to say that it’s not written in the spirit of cooperation that this blog is presently lacking. If I am wishing to “shape” anything, it’s encouraging more discussion and less bickering – are you on board?

    Since moderation requires judgement, unfortunately not all mod decisions will be popular (or correct even, since it is done by humans). I cannot overstress how much deletions are not personal, even though they feel like it (I post elsewhere where I am not a moderator, so I am only too familiar with how it feels).

    I fully agree with the points made earlier about the “ziofuckwit” shutting down of discussions. Israel/Palestine is hugely complex, and discussion ought to be treated as such. Fedup/Passerby, if you can join in to that debate when it happens, it would be appreciated.

    Having separate threads for moderation or news items isn’t a bad idea. I’ll see what can be done, but again, this isn’t my blog, so I can’t just go reorganising stuff on a whim!

    Habbabkuk, you ask whether people are in touch with mods off the board. In general, no – there have been one or two exceptions where an enormous fight has occurred, and I’ve needed to soothe some bruises out of the limelight.

    A_Node, good suggested posting guideline. I sent something similar to Craig a while back, it may yet come to fruition!

    ***

    A final thought, which might help. We probably have around 30 regulars, and at a wild guess, 100 semi-regulars who comment infrequently. I don’t have access to the hit statistics, but I think this represents a single-figure percentage of the people who actually visit the blog without commenting. Thus, we are a very small group of people wanting some liberal discussion on the internet.

    Meanwhile, whilst we might be in need of a basic set of guidelines from our benevolent host, it isn’t particularly important in the scheme of things. Writing a book, looking after a family, speaking at meetings on the Scottish question and foreign policy, going to Africa etc, are all much more pressing upon Craig’s time.

    Thus, whilst I do hope we can get some good discussions going again, perhaps we also need to take it a little less seriously. Let’s have some humour, fresh bread from Nevermind, tea expertly brewed by Suhayl! Computer turned off, and music turned on!

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