Tag Archives: Central African Republic

Making fun of the shallow

Yup, it is time to have fun and the Guardian got me here. They gave us 8 hours ago (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/02/uk-must-do-more-to-end-yemen-conflict). And that set in motion my need to make fun of people like Ruth Tanner and optionally Winnie Byanyima as well.

The laughter starts at the headline ‘UK must do more to end Yemen conflict’; you see it implies that the UK had done any they have not. Now, in defence here I state that it would have been hard to accomplish anything, and the stage of “it’s time for the government to respect the ruling of the appeal court earlier this year and immediately halt all arms sales to Saudi“, and as we see this letter from Ruth Tanner, Head of humanitarian campaigns, Oxfam we now see Oxfam as the joke they might need to be regarded as.

The issue is a large one, in the first, there is no mention of Iran in any of this, Iran has been arming the Houthi forces, they have been directly involved in actions into and against Saudi Arabia. In the second, we have seen humanitarian aid being stopped as Houthi forces took control of food and aid for their fighters in earlier months. All elements not mentioned in this shallow 224 word essay (an essay at best) by the head of humanitarian campaigns Ruth Tanner.

It gets to be a lot less entertaining (not for me though) when we see in other sources that Yemen foreign minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadhrami blames Iran for war, whilst he also blames the UAE for their choices in this escalating location, I will try to steer clear of that small part as it does impact, but not to the degree that allows us to make fun of Oxfam. The fact that Oxfam sails away from the fact that Houthi forces had stopped and interfered with humanitarian aid and relief is just too funny to ignore, especially as Ruth Tanner makes no mention of that part. It’s like hearing Jimmy Carr say: “I sometimes get love sick, well they call it Chlamydia“, and as we see that ‘wisdom’ styled by Ruth Tanner: “Let’s end the Yemeni conflict, let’s call it: ‘stop sending arms to Saudi Arabia’

The fact that Iran is still sending missiles, drones and other goods to Yemeni Houthi will only lengthen the entire matter and it will get additional thousands killed. If there was more consistent support for Saudi Arabia this entire matter would have ended 2 years ago. Yes, TWO YEARS AGO! As such we could make the case that Oxfam (and several other parties and players) are directly linked to the increase suffering in Yemen. We could have a go at Ruth Tanner with the additional question “Was it that time of the month for you to rely on ‘to push for a nationwide ceasefire’ whilst ignoring 50% of the involved parties here?” We have clearly seen that you have a lacking grasp of the entire matter, but you were clear enough to show your lack of the matter in a 224 word letter whilst the entire matter is a lot more complex than that. In addition we can ask Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam why she did not reign in Ruth Tanner when she could have, or better as she SHOULD have done a much better job in informing the audience, which in light of the focal point of Oxfam “alleviation of global poverty” beckons the question why global poverty is a focal point in a war torn nation when there are focal points that Oxfam (according to their mission statement) should focus on; in this case Madagascar, Comoros, South Sudan, Liberia, Mozambique, Niger, Malawi, Congo, Central African Republic and Burundi come to mind, no, we see nothing of them, just a shallow completely unacceptable piece on Yemen comes to print. In this, the Google search gives us: ‘”Ruth Tanner” Oxfam’ with as a result the hatched in the Guardian and after that a mention in the Evening Standard (July 19th), the Telegraph with one small paragraph (June 19th), a few quoted and requoted issues the day before and then the Independent on April 6th. I reckon with that lack of visibility she has a larger problem to deal with, adding what some might regard as a ‘load of bollocks’ will not (and should not) help her.

All whilst last Sunday evening we got “Houthi rebels used civilian infrastructure to launch a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia on Sunday” (at present unconfirmed), in the stage where the Houthi forces had stated that they would no longer fire into Saudi Arabia in the week before, a promise that was hollow at best. Yet in all this and in all these escalations Oxfam was all about ‘stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia’, as I personally see it they need to get a clue to comprehend or merely look at the well-being of cows in Applegarth, Aughton, Bilton and Calderdale. They might be able to stop the plight of cows (if there are any).

I agree that it is relatively easy to make fun of any charity, and for the most I never do this, yet to see a letter this short sighted getting attention in the Guardian made me want to step up my game (to deal with my own irritation and frustration). The fact that the clearly established involvement by Iran in all this was not part of the consideration and neither was the Houthi attacks on humanitarian aid in the past made it essential, again a Jimmy Carr comes to mind: “I told my best friend that I fucked his wife and got her pregnant. That cured his hiccups!” Yup, the total absence of subtlety tends to give light to the need of what cures a person (hiccups being the obvious issue here).

As we end this go at Oxfam, I wonder if they wizen up and have a realistic look at the events out there. Especially in light of the situation that was reported one month ago: ‘The UN fund for Yemen has received only a third of the funds needed; most vaccination programmes have already stopped as a result‘, and even as Al Jazeera gives us: “Abu Dhabi and Riyadh pledged $500m each but have so far failed to pay up as humanitarian disaster worsens” the underlying issue is not with these two players, the entire setting of “the UN and humanitarian partners were promised $2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis. To date, less than half of this amount has been received” gives view of a much larger failing, more important, as CNN gave us ‘CNN exposes systematic abuse of aid in Yemen‘ with the added “according to UN reports and CNN reporting on the ground, some of that food is being stolen by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, on a scale far greater than has been reported before“, as well as “humanitarian and local sources said that aid was now being held up because local tribal leaders associated with the Houthi government were blocking its work” (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/middleeast/yemen-houthi-aid-investigation-kiley/index.html). In all this there has been a massive failing on several levels and Oxfam merely whips it off with a ‘Let’s end the Yemeni conflict, let’s call it: ‘stop sending arms to Saudi Arabia’‘, which makes Oxfam come across as a joke and I have no issues whatsoever to have a go at Oxfam, especially when the stage of the matter is a lot larger, as we see in the quote: “Last year the World Food Programme publicly complained that about 1,200 metric tons of food was “diverted” — diplomatic speak for “stolen

The WFP said, asserting there had been fraud. As well as falsified records, the WFP said it discovered unauthorized people were given food and other supplies were being sold in markets in the city. In all this when we see the stage we see David Beasley, executive Director of the World Food Programme is in as we take notice of: “Beasley wrote to the leadership of the Houthis, threatening to stop collaboration with the Houthi government-linked charity blamed for the problems, and to cut off aid altogether. “WFP has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption, and we cannot allow any interference from any person or entity … including from your officials,” the letter states. The immediate problem was addressed when the Houthis and WFP agreed on a new system of registration and biometric verification to stop abuses. But that’s not yet working.

I feel completely validated in using Oxfam as a punching bag. Even as you hide it in some letter to get secondary exposure through the Guardian (and optionally other sources too), there is a line that describes a stage of stupidity and hypocrisy that as I personally see it Ruth Tanner is in and as I personally see it should force Winnie Byanyima into action as fast as possible.

So have fun and make sure you get all the information when you feel hurt or angry, because this event clearly voices the face that Oxfam is eagerly willing to keep you uninformed as you react in emotion on events that are seemingly reportedly taking place.

 

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The failure of a current generation

If we look at the failures that we have seen going all the way back to the 80’s, there is a growing concern that the United Nations might be the biggest failure of all. Before I go into the deeper more complex parts, let’s take a look at some of these failures, whilst we need to realise that other optional successes have no impact at all.

June 2016, it might be one of the few times where the existence of a whistle-blower was essential. Anders Kompass, director of field operations at the UN human rights office in Geneva was suspended because he became the whistle-blower on exposing the sexual abuse of children in the Central African Republic (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/29/un-aid-worker-suspended-leaking-report-child-abuse-french-troops-car). A man suspended whilst elements in the United Nations were on an eager path to distort the truth. The Deutsche Welle (at http://www.dw.com/en/bolkovac-un-tries-to-cover-up-peacekeeper-sex-abuse-scandal/a-19082815) gives us: “continued scandals surrounding the UN botched, covert and now overt, attempts to remove, terminate and discredit those who blow the whistle on their deeds. The terms cover-up and whistle-blower are common within the walls of the United Nations and peacekeeping missions“, in addition we see “The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, government contractors, and local organized criminals. The human rights investigators were never allowed to fully investigate, the suspects were immediately removed from the mission or transferred to other missions“. When we look at the French side we see: “A statement from the defence ministry said the government “was made aware at the end of July 2014 by the UN’s high commission for human rights of accusations by children that they had been sexually abused by French soldiers.” An investigation was opened shortly after by Paris prosecutors, it said. “The defence ministry has taken and will take the necessary measures to allow the truth to be found,” the statement added. “If the facts are proven, the strongest penalties will be imposed on those responsible for what would be an intolerable attack on soldiers’ values.”“, the issue now remains that as far as published there have been no convictions, no prosecutions have been completed after nearly 4.5 years.

March 2011, an armed conflict rises in Syria, within a year this conflict goes out of control and Syria becomes a nation where extermination and mass slaughter are the foundations of what should laughingly be regarded as Arab Spring. Syria becomes a cesspool for growing extremists and terrorists. The UN influence to broker anything substantial is set to 0%, as Syria does not have the massive resources the rich nations need, Syria is seemingly isolated so it can kill all opposition until the population becomes zero.  As the participating nations reach 45, we see that no actual incursion is ever made by NATO. Both are afraid of a new Vietnam and with the USA being pretty much bankrupt, no military activities on the ground will be possible. The failure of the United Nations grows and grows and reaches new heights (or is that a new extreme lows?) on 21st August 2013, when a chemical attack hits the Ghouta region of the Damascus countryside. In addition, on several occasions, some as recent as February 2017, the Syrian government forces have been using coordinated Chlorine strikes in a strategy to retake Aleppo. There have been no UN sanctions as Russia and China voted against these resolutions, making the United Nations the joke it has been for far too long.

So far, from these two events alone, the UN shows to be a talk, talk and no action operation that is costing the nations of the world billions, whilst nothing comes from it. The UN only has itself to thank for its own failure to get anything done. It might be not too diplomatic, yet when I see quotes like “worst man-made disaster since World War II” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein seems to be stating the obvious that nobody will fix or act against. I wonder, if these ‘talks’ would have been happening in World War 2, how many nations would now have German as their national language? Do not think I am joking, because the evidence clearly shows that if the UK did not start its offensive against Germany in September 1st, 1939 (together with France mind you), Germany would have been able to complete several lines of defence that would have made Normandy no longer an option. In addition, the Battles of Salerno and Hürtgen Forest would have gone very differently. With limited losses in Hürtgen Forest, the Germans would have been able to counter much stronger in the Battle of the Bulge, making that victory as such a debatable point. These elements show just how cheap talk would have been and as such, a United Nations that has been regarded as talk only and no actions, the existence of the United Nations becomes more and more a point of debate. Even when we try to find what the UN costs the people we find next to no clear information in the Media, the UN gives us ‘Assessment of Member States’ contributions to the United Nations regular budget for the year 2017‘, with the United States paying $610,836,578 (22%), this is excluding the peacekeepers of course. Yet, when we see the UK paying $112,569,794 (4%), we need to wonder where this all is spend on, especially when we see ‘Credit from staff assessment‘, which in case of the UK is $11 million. The Netherlands at 1.4% has a $41,148,173 contribution, minus the $ 3,767,838 ‘Credit from staff assessment‘. So is it any wonder that every party wants to talk until the seas are dry? I cannot state that this shows the inaction of the United Nations to act, but we can wonder how Syria can act with “the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent two letters to the UN Secretary-General and the Director of the UN Security Council about what it defines as “Israeli aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic in outrageous defiance of international law, UN resolutions, the sovereignty of Syria and the ban on the attacking its lands.”“, this whilst no one in the UN is achieving anything regarding the use of Chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilian populated areas. After 6 years, the war gets messier and the failing of the United Nations more and more clear. At present there are 11 million displaced Syrians. The information becomes a larger issue when we consider the Jordan Times (at http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/jordan-second-largest-refugee-host-worldwide-%E2%80%94-unhcr), they give us “Of all countries, Turkey sheltered the greatest number of refugees, hosting 2.8 million by mid-2016. It was followed by Pakistan (1.6 million), Lebanon (1 million), Iran (978,000), Ethiopia (742,700), Jordan (691,800), Kenya (523,500), Uganda (512,600), Germany (478,600) and Chad (386,100)“, which is largely confirmed. You see the part that is not confirmed is “UNHCR reported that there are 4,289,994 Syrian “persons of concern” of whom 630,776 are registered as refugees in Jordan. There are about 1.4 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, only 20 percent are living in the Za’atari, Marjeeb al-Fahood, Cyber City and Al-Azraq refugee camps“, this implies that Jordan is dealing with 800,000 floating refugees. Yet the Refugee Fact Sheet, (at http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/JordanFactSheetFebruary2017-FINAL.pdf) gives us: “the population of concern, A total of 728,955 individuals“, so there are numbers out there and all over the place. To some extent it is set to the different moment of measuring, yet some of the numbers are way too far of several marks. The question becomes what has the United Nations achieved in protecting and tracking these people over the last three years? This as well as the blunders we see in Greece, (source: the Guardian) we get “the $803m total represents the most expensive humanitarian response in history. On the basis that the money was spent on responding to the needs of all 1.03 million people who have entered Greece since 2015, the cost per beneficiary would be $780 per refugee. However, the bulk of these funds was used to address the needs of at least 57,000 people stranded in Greece after the closure of the borders on 9 March 2016, and on this basis the cost per beneficiary is $14,088“, we are looking at staggering amounts where 70% is basically wasted, down the toilet as some would state. In addition we get: “The decision by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to classify the situation in Greece as an emergency turned what had been a backwater posting into a major placement almost overnight. An office with a dozen staff who had previously spent much of their time overseeing contract workers assisting the Greek asylum service expanded rapidly. The UNHCR team in Greece expanded to 600 people across 12 offices. Roughly one-third of the workforce were international staff“, I wonder with a Greek unemployment rate why this was necessary. I have been to UN and SC sites, so I know that some functions need to be international for a few reasons, yet with the number as high as 34% beckons the question why not give Greek youth the chance to intern, make some money and get experience? We all knew that this was not going to be a short term issue and at present, if the Turkish deal falls through, there is every rick that some places will have border people sleeping round the clock as 200,000 refugees try their options going into Greece. So this situation is not over by long shot. It is in that part where I would opt that Vasilis Kikilias and Giannis Panousis fumbled a few of their own balls whilst being in charge of the Ministers of Public Order and Citizen Protection. It is not clear what mess they left for Panagiotis Kouroumblis to look at, but I reckon that there are a few issues that up to today are still not dealt with (I apologise if I am wrong), yet with the imminent risk of 200K more mouths to feed, pressures will only increase and that is right on the eve of the French elections where Marine Le Pen can claim ‘We are about to get hundreds of thousands of more refugees and security risks, what will Emmanuel Macron do?‘, if she gets to ask that question loud enough, Macron would sit with a non-response as the French Infrastructure might be in a much better place than Greece is, but such an overload of people is not something that they can easily deal with. Even as this group needs to get via several nations, if they get the jump from Greece to Italy, it will soon be game set and lost match to Emmanuel Macron. Oh, and that is before this pressure hits Italy in addition in more than one way, time will tell what it starts. Yet, most can agree that several issues will go from bad to worse in a very short amount of time.

All these events show the bitter disappointment that the people have started to realise that the United Nations has become. Like the EEC councils, the UN is seen too much as an optional gravy train where people network 7 figure positions whilst they facilitate for whatever needs to be done. These are not my own words, these are thoughts that come from a legion of blogging sites, newspapers and information sites. The UN seems to have lost too large an amount of cohesion with reality.

Another part that we see in Greece, again from the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/09/how-greece-fumbled-refugee-crisis), is seen in “But in the last couple of years Greek migration officials have had access to one of the largest money pots administered by the European Commission, the aforementioned AMIF and ISF funds. These funds are relatively complicated to access. They are arranged in seven-year programmes, commencing in 2014, and required Greece to set up a managing authority and develop a strategic plan. When Syriza took office it found little of this groundwork had been done by the previous conservative administration“, which shows us that Greece had a separate option to resolve a few thousand jobs with added opportunity to overhaul their registrations systems, whilst the United Nations would foot the bill for up to 500 million. So optional Greek industry that could grow to some extent as an identification template would be introduced. Now, this is not the easiest task or given that it would be a success, but it was an option for a larger seat at the table at the UNHCR, this is just one of the elements where I stated that some of the gentlemen fumbled the ball.

All this and Rock and Roll too?

That is the matter we are with now, because as the larger players have been questioning their contributions (the USA most loudly), so how is this about the UN and not the nations I mentioned? That is actually easier to state. You see as the UN representatives kept on talking, no one decided to take charge and as such, the discussions continue as no actual victories are achieved. A large slice of the Syrian population has been witness to that, in addition, so are the victims of sexual abuse through inaction by the United Nations.

Any organisation, especially the size of the United Nations, will have its issues and its barriers, yet, the inactions to the size we currently see is a new low for the UN. The allowance for vetos, opposition, especially when it goes at the expense of human lives it becomes the debate whether the UN has anything left to offer, you only need to ask any Syrian refugee to hear clear doubt, especially after 6 years of too little actions and for the most no solutions. We as a global population have failed these victims who turned to us for help in the most disgraceful of ways.

 

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