"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)



Monday, June 13, 2016

The UN has failed to protect Syrians from war and hunger. Now it’s telling them to stop smoking (Robert Fisk- The Independent)

Bizarre, weird, unprecedented. It's rarely you can call the UN all three. But I did get the April Fool's Day feeling when I read about the World Health Organisation's latest warning to Syrians: they must stop smoking. Not just cigarettes but even the nargileh, the shisha pipe, upon which generations of Arabs have puffed away in war and peace. 
But now – and it is June, not 1 April – the poor and desperate Syrian people have been told by the UN health agency that they really must take better care of their lungs.
Has the UN no sense of shame? I don't blame Elizabeth Hoff, WHO's representative for Syria, for this preposterous report. There was a time, and will be again in a future peace, for such serious warnings to be issued.
But somewhere within the UN's clanking pistons and steam valves, her desire to save the Syrian masses from lung cancer – forget the barrel bombers, Russian missiles, car bombs, torturers and throat-cutters to which they fall victim in their tens of thousands – got spewed out of the machinery on the East River at the most inappropriate moment in history, and the world was presented with the UN at its cancerous best.