Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Don't Try To Slip One By The UN Press Corps

In case you didn't hear (and you're the only one who didn't!) some jihadists lobbed a mortar into the general vicinity of UN SecGen Ban ki-Moon's Baghdad press conference today. (Quiz: Who do you think is shaking in this photo, Ban or the photographer?)

Back in NY, his press secretary led off today's UN press gaggle with a detailed run-down of the SecGen's day without so much of a mention of the mortar round.

Eager to prove they really are reporters, the crackerjack squad of pencil jockies let in as soon as the Q&A opened:
Question: Marie, I noticed - I don’t know if I missed it - you didn’t mention this moment where there was a mortar that went off in Baghdad near the Secretary-General. ... Why didn’t you mention that?
After the spokesperson said it was no big deal so she didn't mention it, the next question was:
It is still newsworthy, or noteworthy, I find it unique it would not be in the regular listings of what happened to the Secretary-General.
What did they expect from the spokesgal? That Ban wet or did not wet himself when the mortar exploded? The next question helps to put it all into perspective:
Actually Marie, I’m sorry but it’s kind of the same questions. Ban Ki-moon’s going to Iraq in the first place, is this a sign that the United Nations will be increasing its activities there, in keeping with the Compact, or does this event today jeopardize that idea?
Did you get that? This reporter, who's presumably covered the UN for sometime and knows its ins and outs, believes it's legit to ask if one mortar shell is enough for the UN to drop their commitment to Iraq, raise the white flag and hightail it back to the nearest diplomatic cocktail circuit.

The UN did clear out when its office was bombed and head U.N. emissary killed, so the question does have some legitimacy.

It's a good thing the US, not the UN, is the planet's policeman, or the crooks would be running the planet.

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