A talk that I missed on LSE, made it through UChannel Podcast to my iPod. Former UN envoy and advisor Lakhdar Brahimi answered assorted questions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan describing how difficult the UN position is there and how bad the wars have been to both countries.
Brahimi's tales are a sad lot and point rather repeatedly at the US as the villain that undermines the UN, makes war for the wrong reasons, with the wrong methods and, of course, disseminating the wrong information. Brahimi reminds us naturally of the WMD allegation with regards to Iraq, but less known and therefore more interesting is his evaluation of the Taliban. They come out much less as the crooks the US representation made them to be.
Brahimi himself comes out as the unfortunate diplomat and the one with the eye on the ball, but during the questions from the audience, he is severely attacked by one of the listeners. It is a pity the man loses it, because this allows Brahimi to evade the implied question. It illustrates what Brahimi identifies as the biggest problem of all: the UN is losing its credibility. Once the UN will no longer be perceived as the representative of supranational order, but rather a tool in the box of empires, its missions will become impossible and the UN will become a target of violence, like in the Algiers bombing in August 2003.
More UChannel Podcast:
Europe versus Islam,
Power of Cities,
Gaza (Tony Blair),
Whither the Middle East,
Kafka comes to America.