Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Pope, the UN And Syria: Ban Ki-Moon Filled With Thunder

Commentary. ©2014, Turtle Heart

From where I am looking, Syria seems like the heart of hell itself. And the world is just watching. While every kind of madman joins in the fight. Nearly everyone is fighting everyone. The 1 per cent eat hand made food flown in fresh from Russia. Faction of the so-called resistance are accused of terrible crimes as well. They all photograph very well. Perhaps the most direct, even blunt assessment of Syria has been made by the UN. In detail and with a very determined delivery.

On another side of the Mediterranean, the Catholic Church was called out in the starkest, blistering, language for decades long abuse of and harboring of abusers of children. Relentless abuse. It was spelled out in historic detail by a special commission of the UN. The church responded by saying it is “not fair”. “Look at all we have done”. “Look at how much money we have paid everyone”. Yes, that was their response to this report. Made by the UN with a very determined delivery.

These are just the two most recent addresses of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, speaking through the voices of special commissions in recent days. It has been a long time since there has been such a rather determined an plain language Secretary General. He started off quietly enough, but has steadily become more determined and central.

During the recent so-called talks with Syria and anti-Syria fighters and officials, there is Ban Ki-Moon in a widely circulated picture with Kerry from the USA, the official Syria guy, two other official Opposition guys…forcing them, sitting in chairs to be holding hands. Looking at that line of men holding hands, it was a very tense picture…the “hand and arm language” (body language) of that scene is well worth a study. That was Ban Ki-Moon’s move. The UN, under Ban Ki-Moon is clearly raising more hell than I can remember. Just now we know that he will be the most prominent guest at the Sochi Winter Olympics, as most of the world’s leadership has chosen to not attend at all.

Just recently the UN via Ban Ki-Moon went to the same bowl of thunder about the persecution of gay and other non heterosexual people around the world. In at least one country, today, you can be executed if found to be living while gay. The Pope of Rome has at least, once, publicly stated that people need to stop this kind of behavior. Yet, coming from a Pope it has gravitas.

Like Ban Ki-Moon, Pope Francis is raising the volume on issues of life and death, murder and looting, rape and torture, slavery and cash on demand corruption.The two of them are quite unpredictable,, and really quite independent of each other. I am not sure they would approve each of the other. Pope Francis still has a really long way to go to clean up the centuries old problem of sexual perverts that appear to populate the Church. In the recent UN blistering condemnation of this problem, all the Vatican has had to say refers to how “unfair” the report is, which is clearly an inadequate response. Pope Francis has said nothing so far. This is a problem.

Ban Ki-Moon is not getting much attention in the USA media. America has a long-standing contempt for the United Nations, which has always seemed unfortunate to me. 

This appears to be the first real notice of this new development in English, calling out the Honorable Secretary-General. In the mid 1980s I personally met and spent some time with the then Secretary-General. He was such a shallow man, a ghost. I was actually rather astonished that in meeting a “world leader”, I saw only an immature and shallow little man that no one could take seriously on any subject.

The world very rarely has any truly effective voices addressing our shared problems and aspirations. From where I sit, I see very few people with true international power that seem effective or even interesting. These new moves by Ban Ki-Moon are very welcome and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Turtle Heart. Pantelleria Island....

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