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As Father Paolo Goes Missing in Syria, Jarba's Faux UN Briefing Compared

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 3 -- With word, even from Pope Francis, that Father Paolo Dall'Oglio has likely been kidnapped in Raqa, Syria by the opposition Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, we turn back nearly a year to August 6, 2012 when Father Paolo, a Jesuit priest, came to the UN in New York.

  He spoke not inside the UN building but at a hotel across the street. Inner City Press asked him questions, along with media from Italy and Saudi Arabia, and the US State Department controlled Voice of America.

  Father Paolo said, honestly, that Saudi Arabia's funneling of arms into Syria was a regional strategy against Shi'a Iran.

  He did not, however, acknowledge the equally political role of Herve Ladsous, the fourth French UN Peacekeeping chief in a row, in killing off the UN observer mission, and more recently refusing request that he investigate a role from Qatar in the kidnapping of "his" peacekeepers. Nor would he cite Qatar.

Flash-forward to late July 2013, when the Saudi-supporter Jarba oppositionist groups came to New York.

   In order to make it "more UN," instead of holding a press conference across that street as Father Paolo had done, or in the alternative having Saudi Arabia sponsor a session in the UN's Press Briefing Room 257, Jarba contracted with the UN Correspondents Association and held a faux "UN briefing."

  It was only publicized to those who pay UNCA money; since UNCA was outed as spying for the UN ((story, audio of UNCA's first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters, document with his "you didn't get this from me"),, this is less and less palatable. The UN has yet to answer, including questions asked on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access before the faux UN briefing, and at the next chance at noon. From the July 26, 2013, UN noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: currently, there is a meeting in the North Lawn Building of the Syrian coalition with members of the Security Council. Iíve seen, although it wasnít sent to me, a notice of a press conference in the UN building by the Syrian Coalition in room 310 of the United Nations, and I wanted you to describe what this press conference is. Is it a UN press conference? Is it only open to individuals who have paid money in order to attend it? And I saw one of the speakers described as the Special Representative of the Syrian Coalition to the United Nations, and I wanted to know, is there such a thing? Is there official representation to the United Nations by the Syrian opposition and on what basis does the UN give a large room to the UN Correspondents Association for meetings of this type, which they only promote to members that pay them money?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, Iíll have to check on that, Matthew. I donít have the information with me, but weíll check on that and get back to you.

Inner City Press: Okay, Iíd really like an answer soon, before the meeting takes place would be ideal.

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, weíre going to try.

  Neither before the meeting nor as of this writing more than a week later was any answer given by the UN. They are flim-flam; Father Paolo? Well, he is something else. Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has said there is as yet "no news." Watch this site.


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