Out of the mouths of . . . interpreters? UN interpreter accidentally speaks the truth

Hillel Neuer writes in the Times of Israel about an accidental moment of moral clarity at the UN:

Thursday a United Nations interpreter, unaware that her microphone was on, uttered words of truth in reaction to the General Assembly’s adoption of nine politically-motivated resolutions condemning Israel, and zero resolutions on the rest of the world.

Under the mistaken impression that she was speaking only to a colleague, the interpreter uttered the following words into the headphones of every UN delegate, and before a live webcast audience worldwide:

“Isn’t it a little weird? There are nine or ten resolutions against Israel. And I know there’s a problem with the Palestinians. But there’s other bad shit going on and they’re spending so much time on this.”

Laughter erupted among the delegates. “The interpreter apologizes,” said the unfortunate truth-teller, moments later. I sincerely hope she won’t get fired.

Because the one who should really apologize today is the UN. Founded on noble ideals, the world body is turning the dream of liberal internationalists into a nightmare.

For by the end of its annual session next month, the General Assembly will have adopted a total of 22 resolutions condemning Israel—and only four on the rest of the world combined. The hypocrisy, selectivity, and politicization are staggering.

Read the rest here.

The UN’s ugly obsession with Israel

I don’t believe there is anyone in the world who knows more about the UN’s ugly obsession with Israel than Anne Bayefsky.  In this short video, she nicely sums it up.  Almost none of this is new to me, but I appreciate her calm, objective, organized approach to the information.  The only thing that I had sort of known, without ever thinking about it, is how radically different the UN’s make-up is now, as compared to its make-up in 1949.

Just as the Democrat party is no longer my Dad’s Democrat party, so too is the UN no longer my parents’ UN.  If you’ve washed your hands of this loathsome institution, it’s not because you’re betraying it, it’s because it has changed beyond recognition and is betraying you.

The truth about Palestinian refugees

Another powerful Danny Ayalon video.  Watch it, then, please, please, please share it with people.

(Or view it here if it doesn’t load on my webpage.)

Incidentally, will it make you feel better to know that Danny Ayalon, reciting just the facts set forth in the above video, is causing some embarrassment for the UN, which is incapable of addressing the charges?  It certainly made me feel better.

Question:  I just wanted to ask a question about comments that were made by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, before the Human Rights High Commissioner for Refugees’ ministerial event in Geneva last week.  He basically said that the cause of the Palestinian refugee issue was not so much the dispossession of the majority of Palestinians from their homeland by Jewish militias during the 1948 war and refusal of Israel to enable their right to return under resolution 194.  He said rather that it was the establishment of UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] which has perpetuated the refugee status by applying unique criteria to it.  And I just wonder whether either the Secretary-General or UNRWA has made any response to this statement.

Associate Spokesperson:  No.  We don’t go into the lengthy history of how the refugee crisis started.  As you know, the historians may have differing interpretations of what brought on the refugee crisis.  UNRWA, it should be stressed, was established in response to the refugee crisis.  And, as you know, the presence of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency throughout the region is designed to deal with the number, the very large number of Palestinian refugees throughout the region.  If the situation can be resolved and the situation of the Palestinian refugees can be addressed fairly, then UNRWA’s work will have been done, but at this stage, we are not there.  It has a lot of work in a lot of countries with, as you know, tens of thousands of people.

Question:  Excuse me, is there no response to the statement by [Deputy] Foreign Minister Ayalon that UNRWA is perpetuating the status of the refugees?

Associate Spokesperson:  I wouldn’t react to specific comments.  Over the years people have disagreed and have had their own interpretations of…

Question:  This is not just a personal comment, this is on the Israeli Government official website, his statement is made.  And he is a minister in the Israeli Government.

Associate Spokesperson:  Like I said to you just a second ago, the creation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency was in response to the refugee crisis.  It is there to handle the situation, the very large situation of refugees across the region that had erupted.  And its existence over the decades is testament to the fact that, throughout this time, the situation of the Palestinian refugees remains to be resolved.  Yes?

Hat tip:  Sadie

Israel needs to reframe the debate to win the battle

Over the years, I helped win at least two major cases because I re-framed the debate.  In one case, a will contest case, the opposing party claimed that our client, a housekeeper, had committed fraud and elder abuse in order to inveigle a little old lady into leaving the housekeeper a substantial chunk of the old lady’s estate.

In defending against the charges, we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove the negative proposition — namely, that our client hadn’t in the privacy of the lady’s house, bullied and manipulated the old lady into changing her will.  It was only as I was re-reading the case documents for the umpteenth time that I suddenly had an insight:  one of the contestants’ primary pieces of evidence, a letter the old lady wrote that they claimed showed she was under the housekeeper’s thumb, actually showed something quite different.  It showed that the little old lady really, truly hated those family members who were now suing.  More than that, if one took the letter at face value (“I hate you, because you tried to take me away from my beloved house”), instead of assuming that it might have been the product of the housekeeper’s behind the scenes manipulation, many previously disparate bits and pieces of evidence suddenly fell into place.  Suddenly, after a very difficult case during the pre-trial phase, at trial, we won, and we won big.

On another case, a construction law case, the opposing party accused our client of having installed a door so badly that the building lobby routinely flooded.  I spent forever analyzing and arguing about the construction agreement and the building plans in an effort to prove that our client had done precisely what the building owners asked.  It was only when I was reading the security guard’s logs, logs that recorded all these floods and that were a chief piece of evidence against us, that something jumped out at me:  the dates.  What the heck was the guard doing noting major flooding in July?  It never rains in San Francisco in July.  I managed to get hold of weather records for the relevant year, and proved that defective construction could not have been the cause of the flooding because there was no rain.  It turned out that the city’s street cleaning trucks were driving by and shooting high powered jets of water into the building, something that had nothing to do with construction defects.

I mention these cases because each involved taking existing facts and re-framing them so that we were in a strong offensive position, instead of a weak defensive position.  Caroline Glick makes the same suggestion with regard to Israel’s current defensive position at the UN.  Benjamin Netanyahu can make all the incredibly wonderful speeches he likes (and his speech before the UN was great), but that’s not going to change the game.  Glick says that Israel has to bypass the UN garbage entirely:

As for Israel’s allies in the US Congress, they have responded to the PLO’s UN statehood gambit with two important legislative initiatives. First Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill calling for the US to end its financial support for the Palestinian Authority and drastically scale-back its financial support for the UN if the UN upgrades the PLO’s membership status in any way. Ros- Lehtinen’s bill shows Israel that there is powerful support for an Israeli offensive that will make the Palestinians pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.

Ros-Lehtinen’s bill is constructive for two reasons. First, it makes the Palestinians pay for their adversarial behavior. This will make them think twice before again escalating their diplomatic warfare against Israel. Second, it begins an overdue process of delegitimizing the Palestinian cause, which as is now clear is inseparable from the cause of Israel’s destruction.

Were Israel to follow Ros-Lehtinen’s lead and cut off its transfer of tax revenues to the PA, and indeed, stop collecting taxes on the PA’s behalf, it would be advancing Israel’s interests in several ways.

It would remind the Palestinians that they need Israel far more than Israel needs them.

Israel would make them pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.

Israel would end its counterproductive policy of giving the openly hostile PA an automatic seal of approval regardless of its treatment of Israel.

Israel would diminish the financial resources at the PA’s disposal for the advance of its war against Israel.

Finally, Israel would pave the way for the disbandment of the PA and its replacement by another authority in Judea and Samaria.

And this brings us to the second congressional initiative taken in anticipation of the PLO’s UN statehood gambit. Earlier this month, Rep. Joe Walsh and 30 co-sponsors issued a resolution supporting Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria.

While annexation sounds like a radical formula, the fact is that Israel already implemented a similar move twice when it applied Israeli law to Jerusalem and to the Golan Heights. And the heavens didn’t fall in either case. Indeed, the situation on the ground was stabilized.

Moreover, just as Israel remains willing to consider ceding these territories in the framework of a real peace with its neighbors, so the application of Israeli law to Judea and Samaria would not prevent these areas from being ceded to another sovereign in the framework of a peace deal.

And while not eliminating the prospects of a future peace, by applying Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, Israel would reverse one of the most pernicious effects of the 18-year-old phony peace process: the continuous erosion of international recognition of Israel’s sovereign rights to these areas.

The above quotation is just a small part of a much longer article.  You would probably enjoy reading the whole thing.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist comes to the UN

Are you familiar with Achmed the Dead Terrorist?  Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist, came up with a skeleton-shaped dummy named Achmed.  Achmed is a self-identified terrorist, with the catch-phrase “I kill you.”  Here, see for yourself:

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with Achmed, read this bit of wisdom from the Palestinian representative to the UN:

“The UN is the only alternative to violence,” Shaath said during a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.”It will be very costly to us and the Israelis. Our new heroes are Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.”

Could Dunham come up with better comedy than that?  “If you don’t give us what we want, ‘We kill you.’  And, by the way, we get the inspiration for our ‘do as we say or die’ negotiation tactic from those famous pacifists, Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.”

Is there any sanity left in a world that thinks these violent, duplicitous people are ready for their own state?

Snapshots of insanity

North Korea assumes presidency of U.N. arms control conference

http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/29/north-korea-assumes-presidency-of-u-n-arms-control-conference/#ixzz1Ql1gXN44

“Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,” the executive director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer said in a statement protesting the move. “It’s asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.’s credibility.”

Damages the U.N.’s credibility? What credibility is there left to damage?

(h/t Weaselzippers.net)

Britain: Iran Testing missiles with nuclear capability

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=227120
Iran has been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday.
He told parliament the tests were in clear contravention of UN resolution 1929.

Again, the credibility of the U.N.? But then, after the attack on Libya by (largely) the U.S. and Europe, it’s doubtful that any country would ever give up its nuclear weapons programs.

(h/t Weaselzippers.net)

To think that once it was once only lunatic fringe groups like the John Birchers who were claimed to be crazy for advocating that the U.S. get out of the U.N. Can anyone provide cogent reasons for the U.S. to keep subsidizing this vile organization’s budget today?

 

The nuclear cat is out of the bag and, unfortunately, it appears to be leading to its inevitable conclusion. It feels like mid-1930s deja-vu all over again, with the inevitability of world war looming and significant parts of the world either enables it or remain powerless to stop it.

 

 

Yes, there is an Obama doctrine

Ed Morrissey has put together a very useful post summarizing various liberal media attempts to understand the Obama doctrine.  Morrissey concludes at the end that, try as hard as one likes, “There really is no doctrine.”

Morrissey is correct that there is no doctrine if one is looking for a verbally articulated doctrine.  Obama says everything, and Obama says nothing, and Obama says it all as boringly as possible.

The mere fact that the greatest communicator since Abraham Lincoln (that’s sarcasm, by the way) is incapable of articulating a doctrine, though, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one.  Indeed, if one buys for one minute into the whole greatest communicator shtick, it’s pretty clear that, as I said in my earlier post, that Obama intentionally obfuscates in his speeches because he doesn’t want people to know what the doctrine is.

Fortunately, because actions speak louder than words, we can arrive at the Obama Middle Eastern doctrine without any actual verbal help from Obama.  Here goes:

America can no longer selfishly engage in wars that directly affect (i.e., improve) her national interests.  To prevent her from doing so, she must always sublimate her sovereignty to the U.N.  A small number of U.N. players, most notably Europeans who are dependent on Libyan oil, have decided that Qaddafi must go.  Even though the number is smaller than the number that joined with Bush on Iraq, they’re the “in” crowd, so Obama must follow where they lead.  Hewing to the popular kid theory, these “cool” U.N. players matter more than the American Congress, which is made up of rubes and hicks, who lack that European savoir faire, even the useful idiots who hew to Obama’s political ideology.

A subset of this Obama doctrine is that, while America must never mine or drill her own energy resources, it is incumbent upon America to dig into her pockets to enable other countries to get to their energy resources, which America will then buy back at a premium.  This is American charity at its best.  If you want to feed a man for a day, buy him a fish.  If you want to feed him for a lifetime, teach him to fish, buy all his fishing equipment, stock the lake with trout, break all your fishing equipment, make it illegal to fish in your own lakes, and then buy that man’s fish back from him at the highest possible price.

And whatever else you do, make sure you kick Israel around . . . a lot.  That will make the cool kids (e.g., the Euro-trash and the Mullahs) happy.  It never pays to lose sight of your true constituency.

Been there, done that (and a little bit about R2P) *UPDATED*

As I said yesterday, part of my blog silence has been that I was very actively engaged in wrapping up my book for e-publishing.  It’s been an amazing amount of work.  Starting last August, I went back and reviewed all 6,500+ of my old posts.  A lot of them are little nothings (“Hey, look at this cool post by someone else!”), but a fair number were substantive.  I copied all the substantive ones into the world’s biggest Word document, and then started reading them all to winnow out wheat from chaff.  After several months, I ended up with 100,000 words worth of posts, which makes for a long book.  I figured, though, that it would be nice to provide bang for the buck.

After the winnowing, came the editing.  As I repeatedly demonstrate here, I’m not the world’s best proofreader, something made worse by the fact that blog posts don’t tend to be carefully cultivated documents in the first place.  They’re responsive to the moment, so I slam them out.  I used Word’s spell and grammar checkers in the first pass (even though they’re deeply flawed), had Don Quixote read things, and then read everything myself five or six times.  Again, very, very time-consuming.

This past weekend I made the final push, which involved getting everything in e-publish ready format.  I’d done most of that already, since I’m a fairly meticulous word processor, but there was still a lot of coding (and un-coding) required to get the book up and out.  Now I wait, since Smashwords, which I chose as my outlet, is processing the material I uploaded.  When I have links, I’ll let you know.  To be honest, you all have been with me every step of the way for this book, as it consists of posts that you guys have read, commented upon, contributed to, etc.  If you buy the book, it will be an act of charity, since you won’t be getting anything you haven’t already gotten before.

It’s that “anything you haven’t already gotten before” factor that’s also slowed my blogging in the last few days.  Although there are new events unfolding (Libya, UN, economy, healthcare debate, etc.), I keep having a feeling of deja vu all over again.  I’ve written before about the Middle East’s theocratic tyrannies, about the UN’s anti-American and anti-Israeli animus, about Obama’s fecklessness and anti-Americanism, and about the disaster that is government spending.  I can write about the latest news, but my conclusions are unchanging:  Obama is a disaster, big government is dangerous, the Middle East is a cesspool of Islamic antisemitism, ObamaCare won’t work and will drive up costs, the UN is a fundamentally evil institution, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I’ll get my groove back and start blogging substantively, I promise, but for the next day or say, it may take me a little while to shake off the deja vu feeling that’s haunting everything I read.

Until then, I’d like to recommend very highly Trevor Loudon’s post about the insanity of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) doctrine that Obama used to justify sending American troops into war without even a nod to Congress.

The doctrine, by the way, isn’t a new one.  It’s been around several years.  It was originally framed as a response to such atrocities as Rwanda or the Balkans, where genocide occurred within a nation’s own borders.  The world watched these genocides and dithered.  The question, of course, was “shouldn’t we step in to save these poor people?”  The R2P doctrine says, “yes, we should.”  Except the UN is deciding who gets saved and who doesn’t.  This means two things:  The UN becomes a supranation, superseding all other nations; and the UN decides who is a victim and who isn’t.  You’ll notice that the UN didn’t bother with the R2P doctrine when the Sudanese government was systematically slaughtering first Christians and then black Muslims.  It didn’t step in when Iran was murdering its own citizens.  For reasons as yet unclear to me, the UN doesn’t like Qaddafi, so he suddenly gets bombed under R2P.  I’m not saying he’s not a foul little guy, but his depredations don’t affect most of the world.

What’s very clear is that R2P, with Obama’s guiding hand, will inevitably be used to justify a UN attack against Israel.  After all, 90% of the UN’s efforts are to protect the poor, simple, innocent, peaceful Palestinians from evil, aggressive, genocidal Israel murder.  It’s a situation ripe for the R2P doctrine.  Bush and Bolton would have stopped that.  Obama and Powers will say “bring it on.”

Also, it turns out that Tom, a Watcher’s Council member, is also a musician and musical parodist.  Check this one out.

UPDATE:  The inevitable — a call to wage war against Israel based upon R2P principles — has begun.

UN Commission on the Status of Women

Everyone is commenting on the travesty that sees countries such as the Sudan and Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  It makes perfect sense to me.  If the commission had been named “Commission for the Protection of Women,” or “Commission for the Liberation of Women,” things might have been different, but but it’s obvious that the Sudan and Iran are perfectly clear about women’s “status”:  per Allah’s inviolable decree, they are at the bottom of the pecking order and need to remain there.  At long last, these nations sit on the perfect bureaucratic vehicle for pursuing their “feminist” agenda.

The Obama administration at the U.N.

I’m so upset about what happened at the UN today, I can’t speak (or write).  Hot Air explains what happened:  after casting a veto against the Security Council’s vote on Israeli settlements, the U.S.’s Ambassador, Susan Rice, launched into a vitriolic attack that would have come easily from the lips of the Syrian or Iranian representative.

Omri Ceren wonders what Rice was trying to accomplishment.  While Rice and Obama may be confused in a hate-filled way, J.E. Dyer explains that the Islamic totalitarians in the Middle East understand that Rice just fired the starting gun in the race to Jerusalem.

And lastly, Jennifer Rubin points out that, whether because they were blinded by the Obama shell game (diddle around with the vote and then give an ugly speech) or because they’ve got their heads buried in their derrieres, Jewish groups in America haven’t made a peep about Rice’s appalling speech.  (By the way, Rubin notes the silence; I editorialized about the heads going where the sun don’t shine.)

I’m just sick about this.  I warned every Jew I knew what they could expect from Obama, but did they listen?  No!  Next to blacks, they were the largest single group to cast the majority of their votes for him.  Idiots!  Idiots!

But of course, if the semi-oil rich Middle East goes rogue on Obama’s watch, we all suffer, not just the Jews.

Idiots!

Muslim (and Obama administration) antisemitism

If you want a good lesson in the depth, breadth and virulence of Muslim antisemitism, Andrew Bostom provides it.  Then think long and hard about the fact that the current administration is siding with these Muslims at the United Nations.  I’m still struggling to come to terms with the appalling nature of the administration’s decision, and can’t quite decide what to write.  Others, though, have written about it:

Omri Ceren

John Podhoretz

Abe Greenwald

Rick Richman

Rick Moran

Guy Benson

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades

Jennifer Rubin (twice)

Jay Nordlinger

Bryan Preston

Bottom line:  the Obama administration is engaging in a noxious blend of appeasement (and we know how well that works) and the wonderful opportunity to slam Israel for the “disgust” it feels towards that nation.

A smogasbord of interesting stuff

Apropos my apparent fascism, one neocon, an former Communist, and also an Italian Jew, suggests that supporting Israel may be enough to earn that appellation from the Left.  (H/t Soccer Dad)

Speaking of Soccer Dad, at his blog we have another reminder that Ataturk‘s western nation is vanishing, to be replaced by a hardline Islamic nation.

As a companion piece to three depressing posts about Islam’s ascendancy vis a vis Christianity, Bruce Kesler introduces us to an organization that’s trying to challenge discrimination against Christians.

I’ve mentioned that I use my “real” Facebook as a means, very politely and disingenuously, to challenge my liberal friend’s strident, usually unthinking, worldviews.  (All some of them, I admit, are a lost cause, whom I keep as friends only for the amusement value.)  Turns out I’m not the only one.  Here are some techniques if you’d like to use facebook as a gentle means to return some of your lost liberal friends to the real world.

The Anchoress has a great memory.  Back in 2004, when liberals lost, they went out of their way to make loud apologies to other Americans for failing to win the good fight to save the political world from Bush.  This time around, they’re remarkably silent.

It’s not just that Obama is again loudly criticizing Israel (all the while managing to keep his mouth shut about Palestinian behavior).  It’s that he uses a Muslim nation as the forum for his criticism.  I can’t quite articulate it, but there’s something even lower than the usual low about doing that.

Union bosses are content to kill the goose that lays the golden egg (that would be the American economy, by the way).  Union rank and file is, apparently, less thrilled about that short-sighted approach to their lives and livelihoods.

I’m worried that we’re showing hubris by getting all excited about Pelosi’s decision to retain her leadership status.  (Here’s an example from Roger Simon, whose writing is always so delicious.)  Nancy is vile.  Nancy is dishonest.  Nancy is intellectually stupid.  Nancy is all that.  But she’s also got a feral knack for manipulating people (aided, no doubt, by her dishonesty), and I have no doubt that the core players (Soros, the Chicago people) are behind her move because they think it will benefit them.  I don’t know how it will benefit them, but I’m neither manipulative nor dishonest.  We should certainly feel free to laugh, but I’d still keep my hand on my weapons around that woman.

I’ve been trying to explain to my kids all the reasons I despite the UN.  (This is a subject that comes up annually, because I refuse to give “coins to UNICEF.”)  Here’s a good, albeit merely symbolic reason, for loathing that antisemitic tyranny that elevates every tin-pot dictator to meaningful power, all of it aimed against Israel.

Oh, and here’s a good article about what constitutes real “progress.”  (By the way, how many old school Democrats do you think appreciate the way they’re now classified as “Progressives,” which is an entirely different political animal.  For all its whining about its inability to communicate over right wing noise, the Left is miraculously adept at manipulating language.)  (H/t New Editor)

Did Obama just cede U.S. sovereignty over Arizona to the UN?

I had heard that, now that Obama placed the U.S. into the grossly misnamed UN Human Rights Council, the U.S. was suddenly obligated to file a self-report card.  Although much of the report card is concerned with boasting about the Obama administration’s wonderfulness, it turns out that other parts are devoted to the usual Leftist flagellation about America’s myriad imperialist sins — including the newest blemish occurring in Arizona.

Aside from the very real embarrassment of our President castigating a state before a national forum — and a state, moreover, that is trying to enforce federal law — there is a bigger problem with the report:  By confessing this “sin” before the UN, Obama has now given the UN authority to impose a “fix” on the situation, with which the U.S. must “voluntarily” comply unless it wants to be on the receiving end of involuntary sanctions.

A link to spread around as much as possible, please *UPDATED*

This is the public outreach YouTube site for the Israel Defense Forces.  Bookmark it, send it to your friends, check it often.

Here is the latest IDF real time video from the ship boarding, showing the “peace” activists in full fury:

The West is being played — although perhaps that’s the wrong thing to say.  The West is joyously joining in the game.

Seraphic Secret understands what’s really going on, especially at the UN.

UPDATED:  The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has set up a website that explains Israel’s basic security needs.  The outlines won’t surprise you all, but the details, of course, are illuminating.  Everything would be a surprise, though, to the West’s credulous, useful idiots.  (h/t Bruce Kesler.)

A good friend of mine has suggested that Israel, before releasing the useful idiots, take them on a tour of Israel, showing both her freedoms and the horrors inflicted on people through rockets and bombs.

Idle dreams of UN bashing while listening to Ravel *UPDATED*

We were at the symphony last night, for an evening of Ravel.  I’m not particularly a fan of Ravel, so I did my best to zone out as much as possible.  I read in the program the conductor last night had won some sort of UNESCO honor.  I amused myself with thinking how wonderful it would be if I won a UN honor.  I could imagine it.  The press is assembled and the spotlight is on me.  And I get to make the speech I’ve always dreamed of making:

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I am delighted that you are here today, so that I can speak on an issue that is so dear to my heart.  No, it’s not the incredible humanitarian work I’ve done on behalf of vegans and fish that will be the topic of my press conference today.  Instead, I’d like to speak about the UN itself.  Since its founding in 1945, the United Nations has held a special place in the hearts of people all over the world.  To so many people, it represents the promise of a peaceful, cooperative world.  We pass that belief down to our children, generation after generation as, every year, tens of thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands of children, wave their little boxes around, collecting coins for UNICEF.

Well, I’m here to say:  GET OVER THAT ROMANTIC FANTASY.  Today’s UN is nothing like the post-War organization we still think of.  Instead, it is an utterly corrupt bureaucracy that provides a loud voice and a powerful vote for every tin-pot dictatorship in the world.  When the UN isn’t busy trying to destroy the only legitimate democratic nation in the otherwise corrupt, backwards and totalitarian Middle East, it occupies its time trying to hide the scandalous fact that its employees systematically pimp small children in Third World Countries and actively support terrorists in Middle Eastern countries.

Nothing illustrates more clearly the farce that is the United Nations than the composition of the Human Rights Council.  Here’s a handy-dandy list of the current Council members:

African States (13) Asian States (13) Eastern European States (6) Latin American & Caribbean States (8) Western European & Other States (7)
Angola (2010) Bahrain (2011) Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010) Argentina (2011) Belgium (2012)
Burkina Faso (2011) Bangladesh (2012) Hungary (2012) Bolivia (2010) France (2011)
Cameroon (2012) China (2012) Russian Federation (2012) Brazil (2011) Italy (2010)
Djibouti (2012) India (2010) Slovakia (2011) Chile (2011) Netherlands (2010)
Egypt (2010) Indonesia (2010) Slovenia (2010) Cuba (2012) Norway (2012)
Gabon (2011) Japan (2011) Ukraine (2011) Mexico (2012) United Kingdom (2011)
Ghana (2011) Jordan (2012) Nicaragua (2010) United States (2012)
Madagascar (2010) Kyrgyzstan (2012) Uruguay (2012)
Mauritius (2012) Pakistan (2011)
Nigeria (2012) Philippines (2010)
Senegal (2012) Qatar (2010)
South Africa (2010) Republic of Korea (2011)
Zambia (2011) Saudi Arabia (2012

Some are innocuous.  Despite its refusal to apologize to all of the people it tortured and murdered in the 1930s and 1940s, Japan has otherwise (and I say this without sarcasm) been an exemplary world citizen.  I also have no problem with the United States being there.  Most of the European countries, although despicable in their behavior towards Israel, stupid in their economies, soul destroying in their Nanny State policies, and suicidal in their immigration policies, treat their own citizens pretty well (if you can call infantilizing and constantly monitoring adults treating someone well).  There are other countries that I simply know too little about to comment, such as Gabon or Zambia or Slovakia.  I’ve heard that Hungary is a nice place to live.

But really, some of the other choices on this “Human Rights” council:  China, land of a thousand imprisonments for free speech, land of executions of dissidents, land of prisoner labor and forced organ donation, land of sweat shops and epic pollution?  Cuba, land of a thousand imprisonments for free speech, land of no toilet paper, land of medieval medical care if you’re not the type of party apparatchik who gets interviewed by Michael Moore, land of the Northern Hemisphere’s most stagnant economy?  The Russian Federation, home of oligarchs, murdered newsmen, and a dictatorship increasingly reminiscent of the old Soviet style?  Egypt, home of brutal government repression against any hint of political opposition (although I have a hard time getting exercised by a policy that keeps the Muslim Brotherhood squished)?  Saudi Arabia, which criminalizes (by death) all religions but Islam, censors all books but those that support Wahhabiism, and brutally oppresses the female half of its population with whips, acid and home imprisonment?  Belgium, home of the EU?

Small wonder that Iran, knowing a comfortable roosting spot when it sees one, is actively campaigning for a seat on the Human Rights Council.  With its strict Islamic law (beatings, hangings, persecution of gays, etc.), its fixed elections, and its war against its own people, it’s a perfect candidate for the HRC.  Or really, if we’re going to call something by its true name, why don’t we call that anything-but-august body the Dictators’ Rights Council.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I hope I’ve given you something to think about.  I hate to be the one that breaks up a long-standing love affair, but its embarrassing to see middle aged men and women in the grip of a calf love with a thug.  As for this UNESCO award, I’ll give it the treatment it deserves by finding a home for it in the nearest dumpster.

UPDATEThis Michael Yon post isn’t about the UN, it’s about NATO.  I include it here because it’s part of a package showing how frail are those non-American reeds on which we rely in our perpetual search for the liberal holy grail of multilateralism.  BTW, I’m not arguing against multilateralism in principle.  I’m just saying that, in practice, we end up harnessed to and, worse, reliant up, people who have no commitment to our goals and who don’t like us very much.

Orwell in the UN

I can’t find a date on this speech, but I’m pretty sure it’s not recent.  It came to me from a relative in Israel.  It shows a member of the UN Watch castigating the UN’s Human Rights Council for its manifest disregard of all human rights but for those purportedly violated by Israel.  And it then shows the President of the UN shutting down any such speeches in perpetuity.  Remind me why we still fund that disgusting organization?

The UN comes nosing around US housing *UPDATED*

I’m unversed in UN arcana, but I’m pretty sure that nothing in its mandate gives it the right to investigate and report on affordable housing in the U.S. Of course, in keeping with the immediately preceding post I did about the prevalence of false news, maybe this is a hoax too.  Apparently everything we report here needs a caveat now:  “Warning — this story can either be incredibly important or absolutely meaningless.  Take your pick and, meanwhile, be sure to exercise your Second Amendment rights.”

UPDATE:  Teressa, at Noisy Room (it’s her link you see above) says she’s pretty sure the story is kosher and not a fake.  Thinking about my need for that assurance, I realized how utterly different the falsehoods of today are.  In the past, these kinds of falsehoods were aimed at making people believe lies.  Now, they’re aimed at making people disbelieve the truth.  I find this very disturbing, because it is an effort to make truth meaningless.  In such a world, anything goes.

Cross-dressing jihadists, disillusioned Leftists, and judicial madness

Sadie sent me a great trio of stories today, and I want to pass them on to you:

The UN wants to make sure that the Western nation’s efforts to protect themselves against cross-dressing jihadists (you know, those guys who don burqas to hide bombs) don’t offend transgendered individuals (who may or may not be hiding bombs).   Here’s a quiz for you:  On a scale of one to five, with one being not serious at all and five being very serious, answer two questions.  First, how serious do you think the huge number of socialist and or Islamist tinpot dictatorships that hold sway in the UN are about protecting transgendered rights?  Second, how serious do you think the huge number of socialist and or Islamist tinpot dictatorships that hold sway in the UN are about ensuring that Western democracies are able to defend themselves against socialist and Islamist tinpot dictatorships?

In the too little too late category, one more sign that the bloom is wearing off the Leftist rose when it comes to Obama worship.  Leftist stalwart Richard Cohen, reviewing a hagiographic HBO “documentary” about Obama’s election, has this to say:  “What’s striking about this inside look at Obama is how being inside gets you nowhere. It is virtually the same as being outside. What’s also striking about this movie is its lack of arc.”  In other words, Cohen is starting to realize, as we have long known, that with Obama there’s no “there there,” a problem made worse by the habit his most rabid fans have of trying to prop this empty suit up high on a pedestal.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike judges?  In a long career, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve dealt with judges who let utterly insane, unprovable, legally impossible cases go forward because the plaintiffs’ claims messed perfectly with the judges’ activist biases.  We now have another example of judicial activism, in which a judge gave a pass to a case against oil companies alleging that they caused Hurricane Katrina by increasing global warming.  What!?  No lawsuits against cows, India or China?  And how about a more logical suit against the unholy cabal of corrupt government officials and environmentalists who ensured that the levies would break?  Nah.  That last one is impossible as being logical and politically incorrect.

Round-up of random stuff

I have a bunch of open tabs on my monitor, so I’m just going to jumble all of the stuff here, in one post:

On Obama, the UN, and the World:

I noted yesterday that Obama seems to have a huge problem with the more democratic nations in the world, and a corresponding affinity for the totalitarian dictators.  That’s why I think his “naive” speech about the UN having more power isn’t naive at all, but is part of his desire to place more power in the hands of the dictators.  And you know you’re in good company with that kind of viewpoint when Anne Bayefsky, the greatest UN Watcher of them all, says that Obama’s speech was deliberately calculated to appeal to the totalitarian in the UN.  The speech should also be seen as part of a package that has Obama offending Britain again, while bullheadedly siding with a would-be Honduran dictator who has tin-foil delusions about Israeli operatives beaming radiation into his head.

On media matters:

Just to let you know that Rachel Maddow is not only biased, she is completely dishonest.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?

The potential AIDS vaccine

I supposed it’s good news that scientists have come up with an AIDS vaccine.  Except that it only protests 30% of the people who use it.  To me, that means “back to the drawing board.”  However, some in the scientific community seem to believe that it means it’s ready for prime time:  “Even a marginally helpful vaccine could have a big impact. Every day, 7,500 people worldwide are newly infected with HIV; 2 million died of AIDS in 2007, the U.N. agency UNAIDS estimates.” Color me stupid, but wouldn’t you think that giving people this vaccine would increase high risk activity, something that would offset and possibly exceed any benefits from the vaccine?

The New York Times continues to explore the possibility that Obama is not perfect

In a long, boring editorial in the NYT today, the editors did something bizarre. After first making sure we all knew that Afghanistan is George Bush’s fault, they suggested that maybe, just maybe, the Dear Leader might want to get off his tuchis and figure out a way to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming an Al Qaeda/Taliban cesspool out of which the worst kind of destructive Islamic germs emerge.

As the inexperienced Obama self-destructs before us, Palin grows

Obama may be so bad that he’s scaring even his friends, but the opposite news is that Sarah Palin, who wasn’t ready for prime time (not that it mattered because she was only running for Veep, and she has more smarts in her finger than Biden in his whole brain), is polishing herself, learning and growing.

Can’t we just dislike the man because he’s a yutz and a putz?

Did you know that Walter Mondale is still alive? Go figure. Well, he is, and he’s assuring us (thoughtfully, of course) that yes, racism is what makes people hate Obama. Not all people, but some people. Well, that’s probably true. But I’m willing to bet that the critical mass of people who are turning against him — many of whom voted for whom or were just neutral — dislike the man because he’s incompetent on the economy, and all too competent when it comes to destroying America’s strength and standing in the world.

A trend we hope stays in Britain

The newest trend amongst Britain’s elementary school aged children is “shag-bands.“  Shag is the British slang for copulation.  The different colored bracelets represent an ascending scale of sexual acts from kissing and touching to things you don’t want to know about.  The younger elementary children see the bracelets as decorative.  The older ones are putting them to the purpose for which they were intended.

The past you always have with you

An amateur treasure hunter in England turned up one of the largest Anglo-Saxon hoards ever.   It is a reminder of how little we still know about the world around us.  It is a wonderful window to the past.  And it is a reminder that civilizations come and civilizations go.

Is Obama naive about the UN’s role or does he have a genuine affinity for bad actors?

When it comes to Obama’s speech before the UN, Brett Schaefer and Nile Gardiner are both kind enough to attribute to naivete what I’m increasingly sure is a malignant combination of anti-American feeling and antisemitism.

In the same vein, Paul, at PowerLine, a blogger who has tried to be level-headed about Obama, professes himself horrified by Obama’s “Sophomorically Utopian Oration,” and gives details and argument to prove his point that Obama has all the intellectual and political sophistication of a starry-eyed, ill-informed, Left leaning college student.

That’s the theme that seems to be emerging about Obama’s UN debut:  he’s Utopian, sophomoric, naive. Obama wasn’t shocked by the UN’s corruption and power seeking behavior.  Instead, he was scolding the world body for not getting its act together and creating a Garden of Eden, with the Palestinian lion lying peacefully beside the slaughtered Israeli lamb. In other words, rather than recognizing that this international body should exist as a forum to ensure some level of functionality between national entities that have different values and goals, he thinks it ought to be some giant mommy that gently smacks the nation-kids around until harmony is ensured. (As a slight aside, if you can ever see the Episode of the New Twilight Zone, from the 1980s, called “A Small Talent for War,” you must. The link I provided has a spoiler, but it’s still worth checking out given Obama’s speech.)

Maybe Obama wasn’t even naive.  Maybe, as my friend Don Quixote suggested, Obama appropriately wants nations to stand on their own two feet, without America as a prop, and truly believes that, allowing “good nations” more independence will achieve peace on earth and good will among men.  If that’s the case, Obama must be credited with a genuinely good faith belief that the world’s “good nations,” given sufficient moral support (but nothing more) will do the right thing. My reply to DQ was that this view assumes that Obama shares with ordinary Americans a sense of what constitutes a “good nation.”

In my book and, I know, in yours, a good nation is one that provides maximum liberty to its citizens without veering into destructive anarchy. Obama, however, seems to have a different definition.

In Iran, although both Ahmadinejad and Mousavi are equally repugnant, the uprisings weren’t about a specific leader, but were about the corruption of democracy. Obama sided with the totalitarian dictators, against the people.

In Honduras, the Obama administration has aggressively sided with a would-be dictator against the constitutional will of the people.  The only one who’s happy right now is Chavez, the buddy with whom Obama once shared a big grin and a political man hug.

Aside from liking the bad guys, Obama also seems to be unduly deferential to their desires.  As between North and South Korea, Obama promptly yielded to the Norks’ demands for single party talks, without getting anything in return.  And we all know about his recent abandonment of the Czech Republic, Poland and neighboring states, which basically saw him doing obeisance to the totalitarian KGB operative, Vladimir Putin.

Zip over to the Middle East, and Obama bows to totalitarian kings, and makes unreasonable (by any standards) demands on the only functional, free Democracy in the region — after repeatedly denigrating its right to exist by implying that Israel’s only justification for existence is the same Holocaust that the surrounding Muslim nations deny ever occurred.  And so it goes, with the added spice of insults to old friends such as the Brits, the French, and those “Austrian” speaking Austrians, all the while making kissy faces at some of the world’s most horrible, aggressive dictators.

So here’s the question:  If one assumes that Obama really is as naive as others assume about what the UN can and should do, should Obama be forgiven for this naivete because he is seeking a world of equal players, all working harmoniously under one UN roof?  Or alternatively, is there no forgiveness, naivete or not, because Obama is manifestly working to subordinate the United State, one of the last bastions (if not the last bastion) of true liberty in the world, in order that those he seems to characterize as “good nations” — nations with the least freedom and the most territorial aggression — can have a more level playing field and a greater opportunity to achieve their goals?

With regard to that last statement, Obama’s speech, aside from its reference for some halcyon UN future, made quite clear Obama’s desire to take America from being a world leader to a mere player.  Indeed, Peter Wehner sees the UN speech as a perfect example of Obama’s policies and personality insofar as his relationship to America is concerned:

There is more to be said about the Obama speech—including the president’s tiresome pretense that he and he alone will lead the world out of its cul-de-sac, where “we bicker about outdated grievances.” But I cannot escape a depressing thought, one I hope is proved to be wrong over time: that Barack Obama, even though he is the leader of America, is constantly placing himself above it. His criticisms of our country are now part of a troubling routine, so much so that Obama is now winning the applause of people who genuinely hate America (like Fidel Castro, who complimented Obama for his “brave gesture” and “courage” in criticizing the United States at the UN).

Obama not only fails to strongly defend the United States; he is actually adding brush strokes to a portrait of our country that diminishes its achievements and standing. He seems unable or unwilling to speak out—in a heartfelt and passionate way—on its behalf. He is, of course, clever never to say a word of praise for America; no, this sophisticated wordsmith and smooth politician, this cool customer ever in search of The Golden Mean, can speak in both text and subtext. He says just enough to deny the charge that he is not a strong defender of the country he leads. But by now we’re on to the game.

No one believes America’s history is pristine; we are all familiar with the catalogue of our own sins, beginning with slavery. Other presidents have recognized them, and a few have given voice to them. But it was done in the context of a reverence for America—for what it has been and stands for, for what it is and can be. Think of the words of George Washington, who said of America, “I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.” That is a noble sentiment from a man whose love of country knew no bounds. They are also words that I cannot imagine President Obama saying, at least with conviction. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like his country or admire things about it; it means that he has yet to really speak out for it. And it means that he has shown, so far at least, that he is more interested in advancing his interests than in speaking on behalf of the nation that elected him. There are enough critics of America in the world; we don’t need to add America’s president to that list.

John Bolton picks up on precisely the same thread, which is that Obama, the President of the US, is publicly throwing American into the dustbin — not to mention his by now routine willingness to sacrifice Israel whenever the opportunity comes along.

All told, I do not give Obama a pass for a charming 1960s style naivete about the UN’s role as a world peacemaker.  I think that his speech was a calculated effort to pave the way for his favored totalitarian nations to have a free hand  (along with America’s help) when it comes to despoiling the democratic nations around the world.