Goldstone, UN's Ban Files Only 4 Paragraphs of Observations,
on Sri Lanka, Nothing
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 4 -- The Goldstone
Report filing by UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon has been asked about for days at the UN. When it
became available on the evening of February 4, it was a let down and,
say, a lie.
letdown part is
easier to describe. Ban's submission is a mere 11 paragraphs, mostly
boilerplate recitations, of which Ban's "Observations"
comprise only four paragraphs. It is not even a cover letter, one
involved source told Inner City Press. It is more like a fax cover
word "lie," when
raised to Inner City Press, was directed at paragraph 9, which in
I believe that, as a matter of principle, international humanitarian
law needs to be fully respected and civilians must be protected in
all situations and circumstances. Accordingly, on several occasions,
I have called upon all of the parties to carry out credible domestic
investigations into the conduct of the Gaza conflict. I hope that
such steps will be taken wherever there are credible allegations of
human rights abuses."
of belief that "civilians must be protected in all situations
and circumstances," during the bloodier Sri Lanka conflict in
2009, when tens of thousands were killed by air assault by the Sri
Lankan government, Ban has not similarly called for credible
UN's Ban runs in Gaza -- from, some
when the UN's own Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions Philip
Alston called on Ban to order an investigation of executions in Sri
Lanka, Ban and his spokespeople went out of their way to say they
have nothing to do with Alston.
paragraphs are the submissions by Israel, the Palestinian Authority
and Switzerland, each going up on the web site of the President of
the General Assembly. Watch this site.
* * *
Coy on Opposing Sarkozy and Intervening in Greece, Denials
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 4 -- The managing director of the International
Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn bragged Thursday to radio
station RTL in his native France that he might leave the IMF early --
and perhaps challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency --
and that if
asked by Greece, the IMF could "intervene" in
both comments were dodged later on Thursday by the spokesperson for
Strauss-Kahn and the IMF, Caroline Atkinson. Strauss-Kahn is quoted
that "As it stands... I am planning to see out my mandate.
But if you ask me whether in certain circumstances I could reconsider
this question, the answer is yes, I could reconsider this question."
consciously leaving open the door to reconsider and leave.
But Ms. Aktinson emphasized only his "planning to see out my
mandate" and called everything else "hypothetical."
Greece, Strauss-Kahn said
regally, "I have a mission on the ground to
provide technical advice requested by the Greek government. And if
we're asked to intervene, we will." He added, "I understand
that the Europeans don't want this for the moment."
on Thursday morning asked Dimitris Droutsas, Alternate Foreign
Minister of Greece, to describe his government's thinking about IMF
help. Mr. Droutsas responded on the record, "Categorically may
I state, any idea of the IMF... there is no idea about that."
Thursday's IMF biweekly briefing, Ms. Aktinson emphasized the "the
IMF" -- not just Strauss-Kahn -- "had a technical team in
Athens because the Greeks are very interested in getting any help
from us on the technical implementation of the plan." As with
the wider UN, the rush to be relevant.
ready to "intervene" in Greece, could leave IMF - "hypothetically"
then, that when Inner City Press asked Ms. Aktinson about Yemen --
using as the lead in a quote by UK Foreign Secretary (Ivan Lewis)
that "we address the economic problems that face Yemen,
especially through the IMF program" -- Ms. Atkinson said she
didn't have information about Yemen and would have to respond later
to Inner City Press. Yemen is in the news, and one would expect the
omnipresent Strauss-Kahn to be all over it. We'll see.
a pro-IMF spin in responding to Inner City Press' question about the
IMF's new loan to Haiti, but we'll be writing about that later, along
with the IMF's Yemen response. Watch this site.