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Tue, 28th March 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Duterte: “I Will Burn Down The United Nations”

The United Nations is making a lot of enemies.

Yesterday, when the Obama administration refused to veto a UN vote over Isreal settlements, one which provoked Israel to lash out at the Obama administration saying “friends don’t act that way”, but more importantly defied Trump who in a previous tweet urged Obama to veto the resolution, the President-elect had one message, or rather tweet, to the UN:

However, Trump is not the only one to hold a prominent grudge against the international organization, which many have accused of being nothing but an ineffective, if material, waste of taxpayer funds: taking Obama’s threat several steps further, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “burn down” the United Nations headquarters in New York, in response to mounting international criticism over his bloody crackdown on suspected drug dealers.

 

“You go and file a complaint in the United Nations, I will burn down the United Nations if you want,” Duterte said, quoted by the New York Times. “I will burn it down if I go to America,” he added during a speech at an army base in the country’s southern city of Zamboanga.

Earlier in the week, Duterte called Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a top UN official, an “idiot” and “son of a bitch” after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggested launching an investigation into Duterte’s own accounts of killings when he was mayor of Davao City, and the “shocking” number of deaths during the ongoing anti-drug war.

“This guy [Zeid] is ever the joker or crazy,” Duterte said during a televised speech, repeatedly calling him stupid. “You UN officials, sitting there on your asses, we pay you your salaries. You idiot, do not tell me what to do… Who gave you the right?” he said quoted by Reuters

Needless to say, the UN does not appear to be very popular among the Philippines ruling elite.

In September, the outspoken Philippines leader refused to meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and even threatened to leave the UN after it criticized his ‘War on Drugs.’ A UN official told Reuters it was “basically unheard of” for a leader to be too busy to meet the secretary-general.

More than 6,000 people have been killed as part of Duterte’s crackdown, a third by police and the rest still officially under investigation. Duterte says the shootings by police were in self-defence.

Duterte’s “controversial” methods of cracking down on illegal drugs stem from his 22 years as mayor of Davao City. Last week, Duterte admitted he personally killed suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City (the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines with more than 1.6 million inhabitants), patrolling the streets on a motorcycle.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [the police] that if I can do it, why can’t you,” Duterte said, as quoted by AFP.

He added that he would “go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”

As for his parting shot at the UN’s employee and the overall organization, Duterte lashed out: “please shut up because your brain is lacking there,” he told Zeid.

“Go back to school. You United Nations, you do not know diplomacy. You do not know how to behave to be an employee of the United Nations” adding “You do not talk to me like that, you son of a bitch.”

And now, Trump seems to agree.

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