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On Syria, UN No-Comments Grab of Red Cross Workers, No Kaag & Shell Oil, Corporate Games

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 14 -- Since six Red Cross and one Syrian Red Crescent workers were kidnapped in Syria over the weekend, the UN Secretariat has had nothing to say. Inner City Press went to Monday's UN noon briefing and asked why not. Video here, from Minute 11:18.

  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky twice said to "Speak to the ICRC." He did not respond to the Press question of why the UN speaks out against the kidnapping of aid workers elsewhere, even this weekend against a warning shot fired near, but not at, a UN helicopter in Eastern Congo.

  Some surmise that because it seems the rebels did it, the UN Secretariat is slower to comment. It is in the face of this that some UN explanation would be helpful.

  But as on questions about the UN's credibility for example on bringing cholera to Haiti, raised even by the New York Times, the UN Monday refused to comment. And after Inner City Press' Haiti cholera questions, the noon briefing abruptly ended after only sixteen minutes.

And so on Syria we're left to wonder: when envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said that anyone who can help the Syrian people should come to Geneva Two, did he mean Iran and Saudi Arabia? Does the UN deny the accuracy of comments on the Saudis attributed to ex-US, now-UN official Jeff Feltman, who along with Brahimi met John Kerry?

Update: Per a US State Department run media "the UN" denies Feltman's quotes. OK - but note that the UN did not get any correction of a false report they created that UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous now screens for cholera, click here.

  What about Sigrid Kaag, Ban's pick to head the Syria chemical weapons mission -- what of her work for the UN in Khartoum, and before that for Shell Oil?

  On the corporate front, once the quickly ended UN noon briefing came off UN TV, a show appeared promoting the corporate takeover of diplomacy, promoting a US graduate school to that effect.

  The Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info has asked the UN why this show is UNTV -- it unquestioningly promoted a softball interview with Pamela Falk of CBS, 2013 president of the UN Correspondents Association which as shown and not explained spies for the UN -- and what the rules are, without substantive answer. This is how the UN is going.

Footnote: Before Monday's noon briefing so abruptly ended, the Agence France Presse scribe who once complained of how Herve Ladsous got asked a question asked the UN if Brahimi would go to Damascus, meet with a main component of the Syrian National Coalition.

  But the SNC and its president are based in Turkey -- and he should know, on the board of UNCA which hosted a faux UN briefing by Saudi sponsored SNC "president" Ahmad al Jarba. This too is how the UN is going. Watch this site.


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