"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The Eminent United Nations

Guy Lawson, writing in the New York Times Magazine:
For seven days in February, Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian general who commanded the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Rwanda 10 years ago, sat on a witness stand in a small courtroom in Arusha, Tanzania. Dallaire had served in Rwanda during one of the worst massacres in modern history. In 100 days, some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus viewed as sympathetic to them were murdered, and Dallaire was powerless to stop it. During those months, his waking hours were a living nightmare. The bodies were everywhere, strewn in fields and latrines and stacked in neat rows next to the road as if someone were keeping score. Countless times, Dallaire had to get out of his four-by-four and move remains from the middle of the road to avoid driving over them. Denied authority by the United Nations to intervene, Dallaire tried to broker a cease-fire, protect the innocent, prick the world's conscience through the media...

Months before the killing began, Dallaire had contacted his United Nations superiors in New York, requesting permission to undertake deterrent operations; seven times he asked, and seven times he was turned down... Now as the killing grew fiercer, Dallaire's force was cut from 2,600 to 450... Calls came in to the United Nations mission pleading for protection, including one from a politician Dallaire had befriended; he was killed while on the line. The general sent 10 Belgian soldiers to guard the prime minister. She was murdered at a United Nations compound, and the Belgians disappeared.
From JohnKerry.com:
Kerry will go to the UN with a proposal to transfer responsibility to the UN for governance and the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq. The UN would succeed the Coalition Provisional Authority, and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General would become the overall international leader in Iraq.