Art as metaphor. Whither the UN?

salome-john-baptist-head I wonder if outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay who gave her final speech this week to the UN Security Council would have made more impact if she had held James’ head in front of them. I’ll return to Ms Pillay below. I find I grieve for James and his family is several ways. As a fellow Catholic, as a photo-journalist unlucky twice, and as a metaphor for the ongoing senseless barbarity that never ceases.

Remember Gary “I want you to cut bin Laden’s head off, put it on dry ice, and send it back to me so I can show the president”, Schroen? The desire to prove a point, to be a winner runs deep even to the extent of such barbaric comments by so called civilized states. Leaders condemned the killing of James Foley this week. “Live blogging” by MainStreamMedia provides a detailed time stream of criticism and responses.

Moslem outrage around the world is also palpable. The Grand Mufti in Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday the militant groups Islamic State and Al Qaeda were “enemy number one of Islam” and not in any way part of the faith.

The outgoing Indonesian President stated “This is a new wake-up call to international leaders all over the world, including Islamic leaders,”… “All leaders must review how to combat extremism. Changing paradigms on both sides are needed — how the West perceives Islam and how Islam perceives the West.” As leader of the most populous Moslem majority country in the world his interview in the Australian reveals that Indonesia certainly continues to be no friend of terrorism.

New Yorker finds a Moslem calling Isis the new barbarians

Israel has backed off an identificantion of Hamas as ISIS, by the Prime Minister. (Original tweet still visible here.)

An excellent round up of developments here at the Guardian. The Sydney Morning Heralds’ analysis is that ISIS/ISIL is endeavouring to lure the USA back into Syria and Iraq.

In the outrage over one barbaric death, it is frustrating that Ms Pellay’s final comments as outgoing UN Human Rights chief are probably ignored.

She is a modern day John the Baptist calling out the Security Council. If she was captured and beheaded would the outrage change anything? Has the UN Security Council lost all momentum? I don’t think the beheading of John the Baptist changed much back in the day.

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  • I wonder, will the second American Steven Joel Sotloff, have the same fate?
    ISIS/ISIL/IS, in whatever manifestation, are the product of our hubris and impunity in the M.E.
    So, we’re out of Iraq? No boots on the ground? Wanna bet?
    Iraq is the gift from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld; the gift that keeps on giving

    • I would add that the U.N. is now the lap dog of the U.S., which means it’s totally irrelevant in fulfilling its original purpose.
      The world without justice is a truly ugly concept…

      • I have always considered art as a metaphor; after all, it’s not exactly literal reality…
        But this is an interesting exploration of today’s facts on the ground.
        Maybe not literal, but supranational at the very least…

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