Sunday, March 14, 2010

The UN Gives an Award Named After a Murdered Man to One of His Murderer's Best Friends

By Barry Rubin

If you want a good example of the ridiculous, shameful ironies in the terrible era we're living in here it is. The UN-Habitat organization, part of the United Nations, has initiated a Rafik Hariri Memorial Award. The award is named after the former Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated by Syria in February 2005.

The first winner is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Of course, Erdogan is an Islamist who is an ally of Syria, the murderer of Hariri.

Why did Erdogan get the $200,000 award? According to the announcement, the reason is that he organized the first conference of mayors that led to the creation of a worldwide organization of mayors, thus creating another round of meetings so that the budgets of cities can be spent on plane fare and luxury hotels for mayors to travel around the world. How’s that for making the lives of urban people better?

Apparently, the fact that Erdogan is closely cooperating with the people who killed Hariri, after whom the award was named, did not strike the panel as ironic.

And of course Erdogan has also taken Turkey into alignment with Iran and Hizballah, the other forces which are trying to control Hariri’s country and against whom the late prime minister fought.

Meanwhile, the UN-sponsored investigation of Hariri’s murder has come to a dead halt and probably will never be pushed forward by that international organization.

By the way, the panel giving the award was headed by former UN Under Secretary General, Mervat Tallawy, an Egyptian who, I'm told, was known to express doubts as to whether Usama bin Ladin was really responsible for the September 11 attack on New York.

I think granting an award to the close friend of those who murdered the man it’s named after, a backer of those who he fought against, and who is aiding those seeking to take over his country definitely qualifies for being granted our own award for ironic and disgraceful behavior.

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