Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Literally "Happy chance," but it means "Nice to meet you" in Arabic. (I chose the name when I was living in Egypt.)

If you're looking for substance, there's a handy link called "Analysis" right down below, which I invite you to check out. The rest is shorter thoughts, humor, caps lock, and the occasional personal post. Ask me anything you like.

FYI, I co-blog a lot of pop culture, fangirly things with my dear CT over at 22drunkb. If you enjoy hilarity and flailing, head that way. ________

Tagged UN:

typhonatemybaby replied to your post

i mean, not to be snarky or anything but lets get real: of course they would. its practically aesthetic perfection to drag your feet in that kind of locale

i guess i would have expected more the desire to look busy and on the go? at least on the lower levels of the hierarchy (i.e. most people)? but yeah…yeah. 

Jun 25
Jun 25

thinksquad:

The Story of Resistance to FIFA’s War on Brazilian People
http://revolution-news.com/the-story-of-resistance-to-fifas-war-on-brazilian-people-video-blog/

the amount of time the UN Secretary-General has spent praising the World Cup/attending events is so fucking annoying and I’ve had my face rubbed in it for days now

constantly talking about how sport brings people together globally in harmony and shit

does Brazil look harmonious to you right now asshole

Jun 18

this was how i spent the bulk of my afternoon. not saying we changed the world or anything, but the novelty of sometimes spending my workday just chillin at the UN has not worn off.

Jun 05
this was how i spent the bulk of my afternoon. not saying we changed the world or anything, but the novelty of sometimes spending my workday just chillin at the UN has not worn off.

man, Ja’afari (the Syrian ambassador to the UN) sure is a great showman

he just told a reporter he was reading his mind

but i’m not kidding, he does such a good job of insinuating nefariousness by anyone and everyone, directly and indirectly. the one time he went overboard was when he spent ten straight minutes insulting Navi Pillay (high commissioner for human rights), that one was over the top.

but really. today he derailed a question so hard over the reporter referring to the opposition as the opposition instead of terrorists that reporters actually started laughing at him. and he just leaned right into it. “why are you laughing? you asked me a serious question, you are expecting a serious answer, right?” and then minutes later we get an anecdote about how two french girls, fourteen and sixteen, were found in turkey trying to get a boat to syria to join the jihad. it’s surreal.

Apr 23
Apr 23

Man, these Kafranbel (i.e., the town of Kafr Nabil) guys aren’t fucking around. (source, source, source, source)

Sep 21

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!

U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!

August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 

The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More

Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!

 

Sep 02
lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!
U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!
August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 
The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More
Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!
 

Posted on Wednesday June 25th 2014 at 11:42am. Its tags are listed below.

typhonatemybaby replied to your post

i mean, not to be snarky or anything but lets get real: of course they would. its practically aesthetic perfection to drag your feet in that kind of locale

i guess i would have expected more the desire to look busy and on the go? at least on the lower levels of the hierarchy (i.e. most people)? but yeah…yeah. 

Over Arab objections, Israel to vice-chair UN panel on Palestinian refugees   

WHAT.

Israel is going to vice-chair the DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE. And when Arab states tried to block it, Israel accused them of hypocrisy. But wait, wait, check out their explanation of the hypocrisy thing:

During the proceedings, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor thanked countries that supported Israel’s bid and accused the Arab Group of hypocrisy, calling their challenge “an assault on the rules and norms of the United Nations.”

“The committee appointments of Arab States at the United Nations borders on absurd,” he said. “The Arab Group did not see anything wrong with the membership of Iran, a state that arms [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and Hezbollah, in the Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

“We find corrupt countries leading the budget committee at the UN, and countries with rotten justice systems leading discussions on the legal issues committee,” he said.

Literally they were just like, “your objection is hypocritical because EVERY APPOINTMENT IN THIS DAMN PLACE IS A FARCE,” which…is probably the most convincing argument they could have made, I guess. But still! They didn’t even really deny that this is oxymoronic! They were just like “that’s par for the course, buddy.”

Saudi Arabia argued that Israel’s appointment was the “moral equivalent of placing the apartheid regime of South Africa in charge of a committee to end racism.”

Amazing. Israel managed to put me and Saudi Arabia in agreement. World Peace.

thinksquad:

The Story of Resistance to FIFA’s War on Brazilian People
http://revolution-news.com/the-story-of-resistance-to-fifas-war-on-brazilian-people-video-blog/

the amount of time the UN Secretary-General has spent praising the World Cup/attending events is so fucking annoying and I’ve had my face rubbed in it for days now

constantly talking about how sport brings people together globally in harmony and shit

does Brazil look harmonious to you right now asshole

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Thursday June 5th 2014 at 07:25pm. Its tags are listed below.

this was how i spent the bulk of my afternoon. not saying we changed the world or anything, but the novelty of sometimes spending my workday just chillin at the UN has not worn off.
this was how i spent the bulk of my afternoon. not saying we changed the world or anything, but the novelty of sometimes spending my workday just chillin at the UN has not worn off.

this was how i spent the bulk of my afternoon. not saying we changed the world or anything, but the novelty of sometimes spending my workday just chillin at the UN has not worn off.

Posted on Wednesday April 23rd 2014 at 04:57pm. Its tags are listed below.

man, Ja’afari (the Syrian ambassador to the UN) sure is a great showman

he just told a reporter he was reading his mind

but i’m not kidding, he does such a good job of insinuating nefariousness by anyone and everyone, directly and indirectly. the one time he went overboard was when he spent ten straight minutes insulting Navi Pillay (high commissioner for human rights), that one was over the top.

but really. today he derailed a question so hard over the reporter referring to the opposition as the opposition instead of terrorists that reporters actually started laughing at him. and he just leaned right into it. “why are you laughing? you asked me a serious question, you are expecting a serious answer, right?” and then minutes later we get an anecdote about how two french girls, fourteen and sixteen, were found in turkey trying to get a boat to syria to join the jihad. it’s surreal.

Saudi Arabia rejects seat on Security Council

WELL.

I got nothing. I have thought about a number of angles and none of them explains this. Anybody who knows more about Saudi have an idea?

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Saturday September 21st 2013 at 05:01pm. Its tags are listed below.

Man, these Kafranbel (i.e., the town of Kafr Nabil) guys aren’t fucking around. (source, source, source, source)

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!
U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!
August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 
The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More
Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!
 

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!

U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!

August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 

The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More

Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!

 

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Monday August 26th 2013 at 11:33pm. Its tags are listed below.

Snipers attack UN convoy in Syria

priceofliberty:

fursasaida:

The regime may have finally gone too far for Russia’s protection.

Unidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s capital, the UN has said.

One car was shot at “multiple times”, forcing the convoy to turn back.

Syrian state media blamed opposition “terrorists” for the attack, though the claim could not be verified.

The UN team later resumed its mission, entering the western district of Muadhamiya to gather evidence, before returning to central Damascus. […]

The convoy was “deliberately targeted” and it seemed someone was trying to intimidate the team, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the BBC.

The Guardian also reports:

A spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the shooting occurred in the buffer zone area between rebel and government-controlled territory. […]

The attack on the inspectors came shortly after Ban said there could be “no impunity” for the use of chemical weapons, saying the international community owed it to the families of the victims to take action in Syria.

The regime gave the inspectors permission to go to the site and investigate, though it’s worth noting that it took a few days—with a gap so long, it’s hard to be as conclusive about what exactly happened up to the standards of this kind of investigation. (Not saying this means it won’t be possible to figure out the basics, or who was behind it, but a lot of the chemical evidence will very likely have faded.)

They gave permission, but then set up these snipers, because this way they van try to blame the unspecified “rebels” they already blamed for the attack itself. Many of us thought it was possible that in addition to/aside from a possible tactical explanation, the regime chose to make this attack when the investigators were in the city as a way of showing Syrians that the international community will not act, that they can get away with this. The same Guardian article  makes it look like that may not be as true as we’d thought; the snipers may be a result of the regime realizing that it might have miscalculated, and so trying to scare the investigators off.

If the whole sequence—the attack with inspectors nearby, giving the inspectors permission, and then firing on them—was all part of the initial plan, then to be honest I don’t get it. But the Syrian regime has a long history of distorting reality, not just within itself but through much of Syria (see Ambiguities of Domination), so its doing things that don’t make tons of sense to the rest of us wouldn’t be exactly new. 

More from the Guardian on the international response:

Speaking in Seoul, Ban said the UN inspection could not be delayed. “Every hour counts,” he said. “We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly this was a major and terrible incident,” he said. “We owe it to the families of the victims to act.”

Britain and the US are inching towards a military attack against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, said all other options have failed over the past year. […]

Ban faces mounting challenges maintaining the credibility and authority of the UN over the Syria conflict, as Russia appears determined to withhold support for any punitive measures against the Assad regime, while the UK and US have both signalled that they are prepared to act without a UN mandate in the face of a Russian and Chinese veto.

However, Ban was outspoken over the necessity to act if his inspectors find evidence of chemical weapons use. “If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity,” Ban said. […]

The foreign secretary admitted that Britain effectively faced a stark choice – between inaction or a military strike – as UN weapons inspectors embarked on a visit to the area east of Damascus that was struck by a chemical weapons attack last week.

General Sir Nick Houghton, the chief of the defence staff, is to discuss military options with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, and other allied military chiefs at a summit in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Russia and China are likely to veto any UN security council resolution authorising military action. But Hague said a military strike could still be legal under international law without the approval of the UN.

He told Today: “It is possible to take action based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress. It is possible to do that under many different scenarios. But anything we propose to do – the strong response we have talked about, whatever form that takes – will be subject to legal advice, must be in accordance international law.” […]

He said: “Of course we want the maximum pressure from world opinion, from diplomatic work, on the Syrian regime not to do these things again. It has to be pointed out that such pressure does not appear to have worked.”

Hague dismissed Assad’s claims that his regime was not responsible for the chemicals weapons attack. He said: “The Assad regime did this. The use of chemical weapons in the 21st century, on a large scale like this, cannot go unaddressed, cannot be ignored. Our position is the same as France and the US.”

Obama has been more cautious in his language (“But Mr Obama warned in his interview: ‘Sometimes what we’ve seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.’”); in that same link you can see Russia continuing to support the idea that it was rebels, the opposition National Coalition swearing to support, protect, and facilitate any further investigation (the regime and Russia have said they’d support it but that the investigators wouldn’t be safe from rebels) and indeed at least saying they’re trying to get tissue samples to the investigation team, and France saying that the international community should use force if the attack can be verified. Turkey’s foreign minister has also said Turkey would be willing to support intervention without a UN agreement.

The regime may finally have gone over a line. The whole situation could change radically if these countries follow through. Will intervention actually stop the conflict or even determine the outcome? I don’t think so. But if it keeps it to conventional weapons, I honestly (though a bit tentatively) think that might be enough of a reason.

"unidentified snipers" eh? The West has used such fear-mongering tactics before, in order to take down Romania, Iraq in the first Gulf War, Venezuela, even in Russia. From November, 2011:

In Susanne Brandstätter’s documentary ‘Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution’ aired on Arte television station some years ago,  Western intelligence officials revealed how  death squads were used to destabilize Romania and turn its people against the head of state Nicolai Ceaucescu. 

“how do you organize a revolution? I believe the first step is to locate oppositional forces in a given country. It is sufficient to have a highly developed intelligence service in order to determine which people are credible enough to have influence at their hands to destabilize the people to the disadvantage of the ruling regime”[2]

This open and rare admission of Western sponsorship of terrorism was justified on the grounds of the “greater good” brought to Romania by free-market capitalism. It was necessary, according to the strategists of Romania’s “revolution”, for some people to die.

The western intelligence officials interviewed in the documentary also revealed how the Western press played a central role in disinformation. For example, the victims of Western-backed snipers were photographed by presented to the world as evidence of a crazed dictator who was “killing his own people”

During Boris Yeltsin’s counter-revolution in Russia in 1993, when the Russian parliament was bombed resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, Yeltsin’s counter-revolutionaries made extensive use of snipers.  According to many eye witness reports, snipers were seen shooting civilians from the building opposite the US embassy in Moscow.  The snipers were attributed to the Soviet government by the international media.[4]

In 2002, the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, in a military coup. On the 11th of April 2002, an opposition March towards the presidential palace was organized by the US backed Venezuelan opposition. Snipers hidden in buildings near the palace opened fire on protestors killing 18. The Venezuelan and international media claimed that Chavez was “ killing his own people” thereby justifying the military coup presented as a humanitarian intervention.  It was subsequently proved that the coup had been organized by the CIA but the identity of the snipers was never established.

I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think it applies here. The snipers are not what’s motivating the belligerent language; it’s the attack, and in some cases the five-day delay between when it happened and when the UN team was given permission to investigate. I may have given that impression with the way I wrote the post, in which case it’s my error, but not one of the diplomats quoted refers to anything regarding snipers or the safety of the UN team, ever. They may have done so off the record, or in parts that weren’t quoted, but if the shooting was meant to be a trigger or excuse for invasion, they’d be sure to mention it. It’s more that the articles were prompted by the incident, but went on to talk about the broader changes, internationally, around Syria, and so the two end up being put together.

I put them together—and I could have been clearer about this—because the regime has to know what’s starting to coalesce around the events of the 21st, and so I can imagine that if they didn’t anticipate this, they want to do whatever they can to maintain some kind of deniability around the chemical attack. That means they can’t deny the team access, but they want to avoid or delay their inspection as much as possible. This is one way to do it, and it’s the kind of thing people come up with when they don’t have a lot of time, are in the middle of a war, and are used to being able to do whatever the fuck they want without much consideration to how it looks. They are not used to having to sell a story. That this is pathetically transparent is more plausibly an argument for the regime having done it than an argument for Western countries being responsible.

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Monday August 26th 2013 at 04:43pm. Its tags are listed below.

Snipers attack UN convoy in Syria

The regime may have finally gone too far for Russia’s protection.

Unidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s capital, the UN has said.

One car was shot at “multiple times”, forcing the convoy to turn back.

Syrian state media blamed opposition “terrorists” for the attack, though the claim could not be verified.

The UN team later resumed its mission, entering the western district of Muadhamiya to gather evidence, before returning to central Damascus. […]

The convoy was “deliberately targeted” and it seemed someone was trying to intimidate the team, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the BBC.

The Guardian also reports:

A spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the shooting occurred in the buffer zone area between rebel and government-controlled territory. […]

The attack on the inspectors came shortly after Ban said there could be “no impunity” for the use of chemical weapons, saying the international community owed it to the families of the victims to take action in Syria.

The regime gave the inspectors permission to go to the site and investigate, though it’s worth noting that it took a few days—with a gap so long, it’s hard to be as conclusive about what exactly happened up to the standards of this kind of investigation. (Not saying this means it won’t be possible to figure out the basics, or who was behind it, but a lot of the chemical evidence will very likely have faded.)

They gave permission, but then set up these snipers, because this way they van try to blame the unspecified “rebels” they already blamed for the attack itself. Many of us thought it was possible that in addition to/aside from a possible tactical explanation, the regime chose to make this attack when the investigators were in the city as a way of showing Syrians that the international community will not act, that they can get away with this. The same Guardian article  makes it look like that may not be as true as we’d thought; the snipers may be a result of the regime realizing that it might have miscalculated, and so trying to scare the investigators off.

If the whole sequence—the attack with inspectors nearby, giving the inspectors permission, and then firing on them—was all part of the initial plan, then to be honest I don’t get it. But the Syrian regime has a long history of distorting reality, not just within itself but through much of Syria (see Ambiguities of Domination), so its doing things that don’t make tons of sense to the rest of us wouldn’t be exactly new. 

More from the Guardian on the international response:

Speaking in Seoul, Ban said the UN inspection could not be delayed. “Every hour counts,” he said. “We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly this was a major and terrible incident,” he said. “We owe it to the families of the victims to act.”

Britain and the US are inching towards a military attack against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, said all other options have failed over the past year. […]

Ban faces mounting challenges maintaining the credibility and authority of the UN over the Syria conflict, as Russia appears determined to withhold support for any punitive measures against the Assad regime, while the UK and US have both signalled that they are prepared to act without a UN mandate in the face of a Russian and Chinese veto.

However, Ban was outspoken over the necessity to act if his inspectors find evidence of chemical weapons use. “If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity,” Ban said. […]

The foreign secretary admitted that Britain effectively faced a stark choice – between inaction or a military strike – as UN weapons inspectors embarked on a visit to the area east of Damascus that was struck by a chemical weapons attack last week.

General Sir Nick Houghton, the chief of the defence staff, is to discuss military options with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, and other allied military chiefs at a summit in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Russia and China are likely to veto any UN security council resolution authorising military action. But Hague said a military strike could still be legal under international law without the approval of the UN.

He told Today: “It is possible to take action based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress. It is possible to do that under many different scenarios. But anything we propose to do – the strong response we have talked about, whatever form that takes – will be subject to legal advice, must be in accordance international law.” […]

He said: “Of course we want the maximum pressure from world opinion, from diplomatic work, on the Syrian regime not to do these things again. It has to be pointed out that such pressure does not appear to have worked.”

Hague dismissed Assad’s claims that his regime was not responsible for the chemicals weapons attack. He said: “The Assad regime did this. The use of chemical weapons in the 21st century, on a large scale like this, cannot go unaddressed, cannot be ignored. Our position is the same as France and the US.”

Obama has been more cautious in his language (“But Mr Obama warned in his interview: ‘Sometimes what we’ve seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.’”); in that same link you can see Russia continuing to support the idea that it was rebels, the opposition National Coalition swearing to support, protect, and facilitate any further investigation (the regime and Russia have said they’d support it but that the investigators wouldn’t be safe from rebels) and indeed at least saying they’re trying to get tissue samples to the investigation team, and France saying that the international community should use force if the attack can be verified. Turkey’s foreign minister has also said Turkey would be willing to support intervention without a UN agreement.

The regime may finally have gone over a line. The whole situation could change radically if these countries follow through. Will intervention actually stop the conflict or even determine the outcome? I don’t think so. But if it keeps it to conventional weapons, I honestly (though a bit tentatively) think that might be enough of a reason.