Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

U.N. Uselessness, Case #1,798,433

Ibrahim Gambari, the U.N. special envoy, spent several days in Burma this week, leaving yesterday after meeting with the power-hungry, repressive @#$!%s generals who exploit the country and opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Even before the conrails of Gambari's departing jet could blur into the muggy south Asia skies, the utter ineffectiveness of the U.N. became evident to all:

At least eight truckloads of prisoners were hauled out of downtown [Rangoon], the former Burma's biggest city and center of last week's monk-led protests against decades of military rule and deepening economic hardship, witnesses said.

In one house near the Shwedagon Pagoda, the holiest shrine in the devoutly Buddhist country and starting point for the rallies, only a 13-year-old girl remained. Her parents had been taken, she said.

"They warned us not to run away as they might be back," she said after people from rows of shop houses were ordered onto the street in the middle of the night and many taken away. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, the NYT piles on with more news of U.N. ineffectiveness contrasting sharply with the brutal effectiveness of the Rangoon regime:
A local staff member of the United Nations in Myanmar and three of her family members were taken from their home in Yangon before dawn today as part of an ongoing crackdown on demonstrators.

Charles Petrie, the most senior official for the United Nations in the country, said a 38-year-old woman, her husband and two relatives were detained by security personnel at 4 a.m. He said he was not releasing their names to avoid jeopardizing their return.

The U.N. worker’s arrest is one of an unknown number of nighttime abductions conducted by the junta to identify and round up people who took part in the demonstrations, which were the largest protests against the junta in nearly two decades.

While reports of deaths and detentions running into the thousands are common and held to by most Western nations, the Junta has apparently hired Baghdad Bob as it spokesperson, saying only 10 people were killed in the protest, and figures to the contrary are "a skyful of lies."

And speaking of a skyful of lies, the nights in Rangoon are full of, if not lies, shouts of intimidation. Reports say that helicopters fly through the dark skies blasting out of loudspeakers: "We have your photos. We are making arrests."

Arrests do follow, as doors are bashed down in the dark and people hauled away to compound the fear and intimidation that keeps the Junta in power.

The U.N. is powerless against such rogue nations, and yet the world continues to turn to it in the hope it will somehow be effective this one time. But it is no more effective in Burma than it is in Darfur.

In every science fiction movie, the empire is repressive and has troops ready, like Roman legions, to crush a rebellion wherever it happens. Why can't we flip the model, and have legions of pro-democracy troops that will storm any nation that acts like Burma and hang the @#$%! by their fingernails until the raucous celebrations of newly-granted freedom die down?

Isn't that a better model than the U.N.?

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