Pope blesses U.N. flag, calls for binding international rules

Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, warning nations against undermining the authority of the United Nations by acting unilaterally. The Pope also found time to bless the U.N. flag.

Reuters reports,

“Countries that act unilaterally on the world stage undermine the authority of the United Nations and weaken the broad consensus needed to confront global problems, Pope Benedict said on Friday.

The international community must be “capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules,” said the 81-year-old pope, who spoke after meeting privately with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said the notion of multilateral consensus was “in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.”

The Pope’s comments are of little surprise, given the fact that he has previously called for a “new world order” to combat terrorism, environmental problems, as well as economic imbalances during his Christmas 2005 speech. Pope John Paul II also called for a new world order in a 2004 new years speech.

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10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Editor’s Note: A recently announced contract for a Halliburton subsidiary to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.” Scott is author of “Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). He is completing a book on “The Road to 9/11.” Visit his Web site at http://www.peterdalescott.net.

The Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Brown and Root) announced on Jan. 24 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps. Two weeks later, on Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006). This $400 million allocation is more than a four-fold increase over the FY 2006 budget, which provided only $90 million for the same purpose.

Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands “a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.” Its goal is the capability to “remove all removable aliens,” including “illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists.”

There is no question that the Bush administration is under considerable political pressure to increase the detentions of illegal immigrants, especially from across the Mexican border. Confrontations along the border are increasingly violent, often involving the drug traffic.

Read more10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North