imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Madrid: UN's credibility critically wounded

by Ritt Goldstein Sunday, Mar. 21, 2004 at 11:36 AM
ritt_goldstein@hotmail.com

With the UN's quick condemnation of the Basque group ETA for Madrid's carnage, a sad new triumph of politics over truth was born. And a lot of UN credibility died in its birth.

Madrid: UN's credibility critically wounded

By Ritt Goldstein

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FC16Aa05.html

Within hours of Thursday's fateful Madrid blasts the United Nations Security Council met. During a five minute session the council's 15 members unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Basque separatist group ETA for the deadly attacks. But as it became increasingly clear that ETA was not responsible, questions of attempted manipulation of the public were abundant.

Spain's ruling Popular Party went down in defeat to the Socialists in Sunday's national election. It did so amid accusations that the government had withheld information on the bombings in an effort to influence the forthcoming vote.

A tough line on ETA had long been part of the Popular Party's platform. If indeed such a horrific ETA attack occurred, it would be certain to win Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's chosen successor the prime ministership. But with the Iraq war strongly unpopular among Spaniards, Islamic jihadi involvement in Thursday's nightmare would have grave implications for the Popular Party's votes, and it indeed did.

Despite doubts among experts in many corners, the Spanish government's reaction to Thursday's tragedy was immediate. Spain's interior minister, Angel Acebes, demanded that there was "no doubt" with regard to ETA's responsibility. But while Spanish passions could well be expected to influence judgement, what of the 14 remaining members of the Security Council? And notably, this was the first instance of a terrorist attack where any group was ever explicitly condemned by the council, let alone done so in five minutes.

Explaining how ETA came to be blamed, the council's French president, Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, said: "The Spanish government stated that, and the Spanish delegation has asked the council to put this element in their resolution and members of the council accepted it." The US ambassador to the United Nation, John Negroponte, explained that blame was assigned to ETA at the Spanish government's urging, and because "it is the judgement of the government of Spain that these attacks were carried out by ETA and we have no information to the contrary".

Though repeated questions were raised in many quarters, and the head of Europol, Juergen Storbeck, had voiced reservations regarding ETA's involvement, the Security Council nevertheless chose to condemn ETA. But the fact that council members such as the US and France chose to portray their action based upon the Spanish government's wishes, illustrated a concurrent distancing from the decision. The council's actions were appreciated as questionable from their outset.

On Saturday, as Spanish protesters accused their government of attempting to promote the theory of ETA's responsibility for its political advantage, Acebes repeatedly insisted that ETA was the prime suspect. But on Thursday, the Spanish police had already found a van containing detonators and a tape of Koranic verses, ETA had issued a rare denial of responsibility and concurrently blamed "an operation of the Arab resistance" and an al-Qaeda related group had claimed the act as their own. Something else was uncovered as well.

In Thursday's alleged al-Qaeda letter claiming responsibility, the group Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades taunted Aznar and the coalition forces, saying: "Aznar, where is America? Who will protect you, Britain, Japan, Italy and others from us?" The specter of the "war on terrorism" bringing the terrorism increases that had been warned of by Western intelligence services became suddenly real. And the vulnerability of the Iraq Coalition's democratic governments to be voted from office - many of these governments supporting the war in spite of substantive popular protest - became a reality too.

The Spanish government is the first of those in this category to fall, in spite of the Security Council's action which might have given it the legitimacy to continue. And efforts were made to maintain that legitimacy, to cite ETA as potentially involved - both within Spain and abroad - through Sunday's election.

A Sunday Reuters article reported that: "Some Spaniards were vitriolic in accusing Aznar of 'manipulating' public opinion over the bombings." And on Sunday's national US television, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice all insisted that there was insufficient information to know who was responsible for the Madrid attacks. But this was long after Thursday's Security Council resolution naming ETA, and with an apparent election debacle facing Spain's war supporters that very day.

Notably, the Bush administration has claimed al-Qaeda activity at every opportunity. Their failure to do so here, and in the face of substantive evidence of Islamic jihadi activity, being the one curious exception.

Highlighting another agenda, all three US officials argued that the Madrid attacks should firm world resolve in the "war on terror", with Rice insisting the war was being won. Their television appearances could be described as containing elements of a "pep talk". But as the new Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has just said that he will recall Spain's 1,300 Iraqi peacekeeping troops by June 30, the rationale behind a broad effort to preserve and promote war on terror support becomes more apparent.

In a statement laden with paradox, Rumsfeld likened the coalition efforts to helping "the neighborhood children against the bully". But the secretary appears to have blithely forgotten the accusations by many UN members of Bush administration bullying in the run-up to the Iraq War.

Much to his credit, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan repeatedly avoided media queries as regards responsibility for Madrid, but simultaneously demonstrated the UN's weakness in the face of big-power politics. Notably, it was the fate of the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, to fall during the 1930's as the world's major powers of the time chose to pursue paths of national expediency rather than multilateral interest.

A 1999 report by the US Department of Defense emphasized that the existence of a multilateral world, a multipolar world, was the best way to ensure lasting global stability. But it warned that: "International systems tend to last two to three generations. They are both created and destroyed by large-scale conflict. Like complex biological systems, international systems appear to go through life cycles with birth, flexibility in youth, more rigidity as the system matures, and demise."

Many international diplomats have recently called for the UN's "revision and renewal", and particularly a revised design for the Security Council.

(Copyright 2004 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact content@atimes.com for information on our sales and syndication policies.)

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy