Sometimes it really makes me happy and proud to work here. Sometimes it really tries my conscience. Today, the UN has done both.
A report on the situation in Sudan was issued yesterday by a UN-appointed panel. It accused the Sudanese government and the allied militias of atrocities, and said that there was enough "evidence" to take some of the accused to the International Criminal Court. But what is happening in Sudan is not, according to the report, genocide. Gee, what is it then? Just thinning out the troops? (I can't take credit for that comment. That was Dave.) That would be what's trying my patience. Of course, the US is having a hissy because a) they desperately want the UN to call the killings in Sudan genocide, which in all fairness they absolutely should, but with the US government, you have to wonder why they are so desperate for justice to be done, and b) they are opposed to the International Criminal Court altogether, because if they joined up, they would have to be accountable for their actions, and the US government would surely die first in a clandestine (of course) suicide pact. So adamant is the US about Sudan that the ambassador to the UN quit his new job over it after only about 6 months because procedures were not to his liking.
Today, my bossman, Kofi, appointed my hero, Bill Clinton, as Special Envoy to oversee aid to and the rebuilding of the countries hit by the tsunami. Apparently, P.O.T.U.S. Bush agrees with the decision and lent his support, in a strange show of support for something that is UN-backed. So it is true that every cloud has a silver lining. Clinton has also been asked, in his new post, to push for a resolution to the conflicts in Indonesia and Sri Lanka (rumor has it that the UN wanted to deny aid to these countries until conflict had been resolved - that's another "trying my patience" part). I for one have a lot of confidence that Billy Bob can make great advances in this regard. After all, he did mediate the most successful talks between Israel and Palestine to date. Of course they didn't work because Arafat got all nationalistic and walked out on the ballgame, but hey, Clinton tried and he came very close.
Speaking of the Israeli-Palestine affair, I hope that now that Arafat is dead, and this may sound like such an un-P.C. comment but when have I ever been P.C., there will be a greater chance for peace. In that regard, Sharon has been impressing me with his initiatives in cooperating with Abbas, but I'm still skeptical. You know, once you murder thousands of people, you kind of get a bad reputation, and it sticks. Not that the other guy isn't guilty of a few crimes here and there, but when you're talking politics and government officials, everything is relative.