Not that I think you should have to hear MORE “me” than you already hear/read/see. But since I still hope to please my mom and make her and dad extra proud, I would just like to announce that I was one of the call-in guests on the BBC worldservice program “World Have Your Say” .. which can be a little crazy as anytime the world has its say… someone inevitably talks over someone. *
I’d like to say it was no big deal and I played it cool, but I was pacing around my room half angry, half nervous, hoping I wouldn’t suddenly contract tourette’s sydrome. (sorry if you’ve got it… ) When my turn came I was determined to leave no spaces in my speech for someone to interrupt. It worked well for about 45 seconds, then – oddly enough – my last words got stepped on by one of the panelists complimenting my statement. Go figure.
Then I think an Israeli guy mistakenly accused me of spreading misinformation. Which would be exciting but I wasn’t the guy he meant to accuse. Ah well.
Lastly tonight, and actually something I mentioned on the programme, I’ve been reading up about the history and present situation of the UN peacekeeping operation UNIFIL in southern Lebanon. I had not realized that these 2,000 troops have been there, along the blue line, since the late 70’s. Troops from France, Ireland, Norway, Ghana, India, Nepal, Italy (and more) are part of the mission. The mission, by the way, was to ensure that Israel fully withdrew from the region and enable Lebanon to regain control of the territory. Neither really ever TRUELY occurred. The saddest part, reading all this, is that all the parties involved have repeatedly disrespected the peacekeepers by crossing the line or firing at each other over that line. (over 200 killed) I have to say, I’m not that surprised that Hezbollah disrespects the authority of the UN – they’re not known for embracing international law or peace. But it’s a bit odd that Israel, a signatory of the UN charter, has disrespected, overtaken, and even shot in the direction of this UN mandated peacekeeping force.
In conclusion, and what I didn’t get to finish saying on the BBC, is that this mission must be seriously re-enforced with troops from all continents… especially North America and Europe, to ensure that they are taken seriously, and that neither side dare to cross a well trained, well equipped, and very high profile mission. (see Kosovo, Bosnia, and to a lesser extent – East Timor, for references)
(*Special thanks to Matt for suggesting me for the programme!)