New Year’s Resolution

How many people have actually read United Nations Resolution 1441?

Probably not many.

However, because of the way the media have reported the events building up to war, most people think that Hans Blix and his team of weapons inspectors are over in Iraq to seek out weapons of mass destruction, when in fact, they’re not – which is probably why they haven’t found any yet.

Iraq have already been identified by the United Nations in Resolution 687 (in 1991) as remaining “in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions” with respect to the posession of weapons of mass destruction, and with particular reference to their failure to co-operate with the International Atomic Atomic Energy Agency.

The weapons inspectors are in Iraq to ensure the decleration, handover, disarmament and destruction of such weapons and their methods of proliferation, all of which have already been identified in previous ‘resolutions’.

The media are also reporting of a “second draft resolution” that was submitted to the UN on Monday, when in fact, this is now the twelfth such ammendment to Resolution 687, now adopted as Resolution 1441.

The kind of reporting we are seeing and the subsequent public reaction is a direct result of mis-information and media hype. It could also be partly blamed on the government’s failure to adequately explain the complex process we are currently witnessing.

The old saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” has never been better applied.

Read the full text of resolution 1441 for yourself, and better understand why you may, or may not be opposed to a war in Iraq.

Technorati Democrati

Dan Gillmor chatted recently with Dave Sifry about his plans for Technorati, a website which contextualises conversation threads in the blogosphere.

Obviously, the issue of blogging as the new form journalism (which Bill Thompson doesn’t seem to think is happening) arose.

In my post about “Bill’s so-called Blog” on Friday, I wasn’t entirely fair to Technorati, and I suggested that the Blogger/Google partnership would prove be much better at monitoring weblogs in this way, when in fact, Dave has a head start on the big guns which could prove to be the making of his concept.

Noam Alone?

Prominent thinker and linguist, Noam Chomsky, appeared in a live interview on Radio Scotland’s GMS this morning and (among other things) suggested that there were only two Superpowers in the world at the moment:

The USA, and it’s allies

and

the second superpower, World Public Opinion.

To a certain extent, I’d agree with his ideas, but I think there’s another Superpower in the world that perhaps he hasn’t considered, or is deliberately disregarding:

Global Terrorism.

The threat of terrorism has always been apparent in modern life, especially during recent troubled times in cities like London, where people suffered immensely at the hands of the IRA.

However, for the first time in history, terrorism now has is truly omnipresent; certainly, it seems almost inevitable that attacks on the scale of those against the USA on Tuesday, 11 September, 2001 will continue to happen, and when an Super Power like the USA starts spreading its weight across the globe in a terrified attempt to prevent it, you know for certain these people have power in equal – if opposite – measure.

Dolly the Sheep dies

Dolly the Sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal, has been euthenised following the discovery that she was suffering from progresive lung disease.

I’ve trawled around various news websites in an attempt to find some variety in how this story has been reported, but all of the major news agencies seem to be running with identical versions of the Roslin Institute press release.

It’s interesting to note that none of the scientists quoted have expressed any emotion over the death of Dolly, although I’m sure it was an emotional time for all of them.

I think it’s also worth noting that the fanfare trumpeted by the world’s media when the cloning of Dolly was announced back in 1997 was almost silent when the news of her death was released.

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