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When they were blind
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-01-29 10:02:25
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Perhaps it is just me, but every time I read a new report about the former General Secretary of the United Nations Kofi Annan I get really angry. In a latest visit to Kenya, the former General Secretary witnessed “gross and systematic abuses of human rights”; in simple words, this translates into rape, torture and murder. I hope you will excuse me but the only explanation I can come up with is that finally Kofi Annan bought a new pair of glasses because while wearing his old ones he couldn’t see anything.

I’m not trying to say that the new General Secretary is any good; on the contrary, Mr. Tourist Ki-moon is worse than anybody could imagine for the UN, the man is a failure. If the man was standing next to Kofi Annan in Kenya he would have only noticed the blue sky and the birds mating. But still what makes me angry is Kofi Annan’s behaviour, while he was the General Secretary, while he sat in the leading seat for the only organization that can guarantee international peace, why didn’t he do anything? Darfur is not something that happened in the beginning of this year and Kenya's had problems for the last decade, at least, with everybody in the area knowing it, so it would be inexcusable if he didn’t know.

But what I really don’t understand is why do they behave like that and I know very well what I’m doing using the plural. You see, there is another former who finds all the mistakes in this world after he left the position that gave him the advantage to change something and make the difference and of course I’m talking about the former US Vice-President Al Gore. When Bill Clinton was in the room with his generals deciding to bomb Yugoslavia wasn’t Mr. Al Gore with them? Didn’t he hear that these bombs were enriched with plutonium and uranium? Didn’t Mr. Al Gore know then what damage these bombs will do to the earth and to the innocent people who will have to live in these grounds?

I know, I know; I’m the one who often says if it is to save one life, if it is for the good of this poor planet it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how many Bonos, Stings and Al Gores it will take, so long as more people are aware of what's going on, but this doesn’t stop me from being angry. These men behave like football club presidents, "Look at me! Look how good I am, so you can appreciate what you have lost!" They are lucky because their replacements are the worst possible kind.

Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, was replaced by Richard B. Cheney, the man who openly and provocatively has put the interests of private companies, including a lot of oil companies, above the interests of his own country. Ki-moon replaced Kofi Annan and his best achievement after one year as General Secretary of the United Nations was to be the first G.S. tourist in Antarctica!

What stopped Kofi Annan from seeing what was going on in Kenya during the time he was in a position to make a difference? Too many parties or too many interests? You see the only other solution to understand what’s going on is to start looking into conspiracy theories. Perhaps the bureaucracy and the secret interests kept them in coma while they were in position, alien control of their minds, electromagnetic waves from the moon hit them while on duty and many other possible explanations.

Mr. Annan in Kenya saw the end of humanity, while Mr. Gore saw the end of the earth in the Arctic, both men have held seats in the past that could make the difference and they could have helped to ensure there would never be more needless death in Kenya and the USA would have signed at least the Kyoto Protocol - the only thing they had to do was to express their opinion loudly, otherwise whatever they do today looks like the petty politics of two bitter men.

The one lost the seat of the President of the United States, even though he collected more votes from a bad opponent, and the other had to deal with financial scandals during the last days of his term, both men left behind nothing for the people to remember, so they work now for their legacy using the network their former works gave them. And that makes me angry!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-01-29 10:36:23
Indeed, there are sins of commission and there are sins of omissions and it’s hard to say which are the worst, but having looked into our own hearts, do we dare cast the first stone? In Bernano’s Diary of a Country Priest there is a heated debate between two priests on the anger of Jesus in the money changers which is compared to that of Martin Luther at the Papacy, and the anger of the idealogue at the indifference of the rich toward the poor. One priest insists that anger is always good when it is rightful indignation against corruption. The other insists that it is not so simple as that. It all depends on the purity of the intention. There is the anger that unifies and heals and there is the one that divides and hurts. The devastating question to distinguish one from the other continues the priest is this: is one’s anger pity for the poor or envy of the rich? He further suggests that the answer to the query as far as Martin Luther is concerned can be gathered by simply looking at his death mask. Alas, many will die the way they have lived.

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