Iraq’s occupation: the role of the UN

There is a very interesting article in Al Akhbar on the role the UN (along with the US and UK) plays in crystallizing the division between executive and legislative powers in Iraq (empowering the former, and bypassing the constitutional rights of the latter, a constitution they not only imposed on Iraqis but are happy to violate). The examples include the decision to keep international forces (mainly American) in the country, something Parliamentary members whether Kurds, Arabs, Sunnis, Shi’as and what have you have dominantly voted against but was rejected by executive power and sanctified by a UN resolution.

The Truth

Having an “international tribunal” deal with the investigation of Hariri’s assassination is somehow laughable when you know that the UN commission of Brammertz has repeatedly declared that the four suspects (Raymond Azar of Army Intelligence, Ali Hajj of the Internal Security Forces, Mustafa Hamdan of the Presidential Guard and Jamil el Sayyed former head of General Security) currently detained by the Lebanese judiciary are held based on charges leveled by the Lebanese judiciary while the ‘international instances’ have nothing against them.

So you have on the one hand local powers (14th of March) that dream of a more forceful internationalization of the conflict that will finally pinned down all the ‘culprits’, and on the other hand, you have the ‘international’ UN commission that seems to say: “we hold no charges against those you think (and with them a bunch of others) are going to be tried once it is internationalized”. Of course, in this case, I’m overlooking the ‘political’ use of this ‘internationalization’ for 14th of March on one hand and for the US on the other. This ‘political’ use becomes apparent when the legal findings just sketched above are clear. It has nothing to do with the truth. It has to do with a political version of a truth. No wonder why there are talks that Detlev Mehlis, the former UN commissioner who was on Hariri’s payroll, might be back, and who in effect knew how to bark against Syria or its allies in Lebanon.

I mean why would the US keep a guy like Brammertz who, with his findings, contradicts every single aspiration of the 14th of March?

But my point here rather is to reflect on this ‘international VS local’ syndrome that we Lebanese suffer from. We think that if we just give ourselves to a perceived ‘higher’ instance then things obey a certain normality it follows a set of rules and regulations that are more trustworthy then those we have. I think this could be symptomatic of post war societies or societies where the breakdown of security and legal structures was a daily reality. And it is plainly ironic that the “international” sometimes through obscure channels come to remind the “local” that they can deal with this on their own. And the Lebanese judges and prosecutors in place know that. It may be just a matter of time before Sayyed and co are freed.

Yawn …

It seems someone woke me up from my nap with news from New York. Why do they do that? Be a dear and close the door on your way out … Thanks … zzzz ….

Parapraxis …

(This version CORRECTS that tribunal is mandated by U.N., not U.S.)

Abby … Abby Someone …*

” …it is extremely important that the court is set up so that Lebanon goes back to normal,” Rice told Al-Arabiya television.”

Gotta love it — the “normal” part …
So I am still on record saying that M14 would be idiotic for trying to go Chapt. 7 on the tribunal. Anyone have evidence to the contrary? Please, do share …

* A thousand points to anyone who gets this reference …

Cash Cow …

Much of the rest was taken by the UN compensation commission, entrusted in handling claims of damages made by those allegedly harmed by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. According to von Sponeck, the Iraqi oil pie was so large, there was plenty for everyone: Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, and all the rest. But most ironically, the commission awarded a large sum of money to two Israeli kibbutzim in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights, for allegedly losing some of their income due to the fact that the war damaged the tourism industry in Israel.