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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

UN logic

From the Washington Post

Two U.N. Mi-24 helicopters, piloted by Ukrainian peacekeepers, attacked two military bases controlled by Gbagbo’s forces. [skip]

In a statement, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations was engaging in a limited military operation taken “in self defense and to protect” civilians. The operation, he said, did not constitute a decision by the United Nations to become “a party to the conflict” in Ivory Coast.

I think the UN forces are doing the right thing. I also was glad when the security council resolved to protect civilians in Libya. But the language is weird.

Out of deep respect for that group of workers, I don't say "I'm so pissed I'm about to go postal." This limits my ability to express my state of mind (I live in a country which isn't as literal minded as the USA about this freedom of speach business). So I am very glad that I can now can legally claim to have violent intentions (always falsely). I will just say "I am so pissed, I'm about to protect civilians" or if I am irritated with someone in particular "If you don't stop that, I'm just about mad enough to protect your civilians."

I drive near Rome and expect to find this new phrase very useful (I'm getting bored by "rats I shouldn't have been stingy -- I should have shelled out for the optional rocket launcher").

What would Orwell say ? Probably not "to protect civilians" anyway.

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