Rafik Hariri: The joke is now on me
That’s the Middle East and the UN for you. The United Nations honors a man with an award named after someone murdered by the regime the nominee is currently rubbing elbows with. Like Barry Rubin observes, it never dawned on the UN panel about the irony of it all. Who knows, maybe this is the UN’s coded message to the Assad regime in Damascus, that there won’t be any more investigations into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, all is forgiven and forgotten. KGS
By Barry RubinIf you want a good example of the ridiculous, shameful ironies in the terrible era we’re living in here it is. The UN-Habitat organization, part of the United Nations, has initiated a Rafik Hariri Memorial Award. The award is named after the former Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated by Syria in February 2005.The first winner is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Of course, Erdogan is an Islamist who is an ally of Syria, the murderer of Hariri.Why did Erdogan get the $200,000 award? According to the announcement, the reason is that he organized the first conference of mayors that led to the creation of a worldwide organization of mayors, thus creating another round of meetings so that the budgets of cities can be spent on plane fare and luxury hotels for mayors to travel around the world. How’s that for making the lives of urban people better?Apparently, the fact that Erdogan is closely cooperating with the people who killed Hariri, after whom the award was named, did not strike the panel as ironic.And of course Erdogan has also taken Turkey into alignment with Iran and Hizballah, the other forces which are trying to control Hariri’s country and against whom the late prime minister fought.Meanwhile, the UN-sponsored investigation of Hariri’s murder has come to a dead halt and probably will never be pushed forward by that international organization.