It’s obvious, of course, that the UN is no friend to Israel when one reads any report of the proceedings that constantly emanate from UN headquarters. Most of the UN’s effort goes into denouncing Israel. However, a lot of people still naively believe that, on the ground, things are going to be different. That’s why a reader here confidently predicted that the way to end Muslim hatred for the West was to abandon Israel to the Palestinians. He assured us that the UN would make sure no massacres happened. How naive.
Well, Halloween is almost over. The kids, over-stimulated and over-sugared, are having a last snack and then they’re going to bed — no doubt over their vociferous protests.
As is always the case in our neighborhood, it was a very nice Halloween. I know most of the kids who come by to trick or treat, and we always have a block party beforehand, so I can say hi to my friends.
What I noticed this year, though, was how much more ubiquitous those darn UNICEF boxes were. At least half the children held them out to me. I confined myself to a terse, “No, I don’t do UNICEF, but have some candy,” which more than satisfied the children. However, others in the neighborhood were stuffing those boxes, and one boy proudly showed me a completely full box, including a five dollar bill that someone generously handed them.
Do you think that all the people contributing to UNICEF would still give the money if they knew how that money was being spent? Here’s how much of that UNICEF money is distributed:
UNICEF has been a major financier of Palestinian “summer camps” which encourage children to become suicide bombers. One such camp is named for Wafa Idris, a female suicide bomber.
During the late 1990s, UNICEF served as a propaganda organ of the Saddam Hussein regime. Relying solely on Iraqi government statistics, UNICEF and the Saddam government co-authored a report asserting that over a million children in Iraq died because of U.N. sanctions. A map on the first page of the report depicted Kuwait as a province of Iraq.
UNICEF is the primary funder for the “Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation” (PYALARA), which UNICEF calls “a major strategic partner in Palestine.” Materials produced by the group are frequently used in schools operated by UNICEF.
PYALARA publishes a 16-page newspaper for young people, The Youth Times (TYT). It is distributed at Palestinian universities, colleges, community centers, and in the many U.N.-operated schools in Palestinian areas.
The organization claims that its mission is “expanding awareness of one’s roots and identity, environment and culture, as well as of other countries and the world at large.” Yet PYALARA’s products follow the typical line of terrorist propaganda, in which nothing is the fault of the Palestinians, everything is the fault of the Jews, and there is never any effort to consider the merits of Israel’s position on anything. (Hyperlinks omitted.)
Now, some might say these things are this is a small price to pay considering all the good UNICEF does, but it’s questionable whether UNICEF does much good at all:
As for the actual needs of children, UNICEF is sometimes an obstacle to progress. For example, UNICEF has been pressuring Guatemala to stop allowing inter-country adoptions. That is, UNICEF would prefer a child to languish in a Guatemalan orphanage rather than be adopted by a loving family in the United States.
UNICEF’s focus on politics and political correctness has come at the expense of saving the lives of the approximately ten million children under the age of five who die each year from preventable causes.
According to UNICEF, the major cause of child poverty in the world is the free market—even though countries with free markets have vastly lower levels of child poverty than do the kleptocratic, statist economies extolled by UNICEF.
A 2003 report praised the North Korean dictatorship:
the particular strength of the DPRK’s policy framework lies in its comprehensiveness, integration and consistency in addressing the interests of children and women. It has been aligned with the collective production system. The Government has proactively broadened and updated its laws and policies on an ongoing basis, also making an effort to harmonize with international innovations and standards.
Given UNICEF’s affinity for the extreme left, it should be no surprise that UNICEF helps fund the gun- prohibition lobby in Brazil. (Hyperlinks omitted.)
UNICEF’s role as enemy of the children is, of course, augmented by the role its “peace keepers” play as enemies of the most helpless children.
The UN is, to my mind, one of the most truly corrupt organizations in the world, one that America funds heavily, but that is nevertheless devoted to anti-Americanism. (And don’t even get me started on its systemic and violent antisemitism.) But don’t take my word for it: check out Eye on the UN, which carefully tracks the UN’s myriad failings and corruption at every level of operation. And next year, when those sweet kids come by with their little UNICEF boxes, politely say “no” and pass them the candy. You and they will both be happier.
My paying clients continue to give me work in vast amounts, which is severely curtailing my ability to blog — especially in the morning, which used to be peak blogging time for me. If it weren’t that my clients are such great people, the projects (for once) interesting, and the pay good, I’d say the heck with it! As it is, my blogging compulsion still urges me to give you some quick info about things that caught my eye this morning:
Would it surprise you to learn that Hillary has raked in huge amounts of money from Chinese bus boys and waitresses, or that many of these people have vanished, or that those who can be found admit that they are not citizens and cannot contribute to a campaign? It doesn’t surprise me, but it still makes for interesting reading.
In my ever growing “England is dead” category, Alan M. Dershowitz writes an obituary for the once important and honorable Oxford Union Debating Society.
Charles Krauthammer analyzes the potentially malevolent motives behind Pelosi’s failed attack on Turkey through the Armenian genocide resolution.
Carl Bernstein spoke about his new Hillary book, dishing out nuggets regarding the lady: devoutly religious, in love with Bill (so much so that she refused to let him leave her for a woman he loved, which may explain a lot of his compulsive womanizing now as payback), bar exam drop-out, etc.
Perhaps it keeps the Dems too busy to get into further trouble with such things as the dangerous Armenian genocide resolution, and it certainly makes for funny reading, as different classes of victim groups duke it out with each other. I’m talking, of course, about the GLB
T anti-discrimination bill working it’s way through Congress, with deep rifts over transgendered people. As for me, I’m deeply opposed to what I view as extraneous legislation that just creates more hurdles for businesses. Please don’t mistake this for me saying that people should be discriminated against for their sexual orientation. I just don’t think sexual orientation should become the subject of a special bill enacted by Congress and imposed on American business, as an overlay to already existing, more generally stated anti-discrimination legislation.
Who can resist Jonah Goldberg’s funny take on the degradation of American culture courtesy of some of Hollywood’s more famous, and sleazy, blonds?
I’m not a big TV watcher, nor is DQ. However, when we do watch, we watch different shows from each other, and then trade stories. Although I trust him absolutely, I found it hard to believe when he told me that the latest trend in TV is to portray abstinence is evil. I shouldn’t have doubted him. Brent Bozell makes the same point, and even cites to one of the shows DQ mentioned. Hollywood is a very counterproductive force when it comes to trying to instill values in our children.
Anne Bayefsky, the best UN watcher in the world, shows that, if you’re the UN, even after you seem to have hit rock bottom, you can still fall further.
The WSJ takes a look at the propaganda use of the fake Haditha massacre and suggests a rethinking of the whole thing in the public mind (as if that’s going to happen with the MSM as the gatekeeper for what many in the public are allowed to think).
I wanted to start this next paragraph, “and speaking of transgendered,” but realized that was too nasty, no matter how I look at it. It is weirdly appropriate, though, given Peggy Noonan’s astute column about how being a woman is, in fact, a political asset for Hillary. Her problem, though, is to convince voters that she is, in fact, a woman.
Actions tomorrow will speak louder than words today, but something interesting came out of the mouth of a UN representative — namely, the admission that the UN is focusing a disproportionate amount of its attention on condemning Israel. You don’t believe me? It’s true:
The UN Human Rights Council has failed to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a balanced fashion, the council’s chair Doru Costea said in an interview published Saturday.
Costea suggested in the interview with the daily Le Temps that the council was concentrating too much on human rights abuses by Israel, adding that he was dissatisfied.
“On this point, the council has failed,” he said, days after US President George W. Bush attacked the body for perceived anti-Israeli bias.
“The council must remain simple, and concentrate on the human rights dimension, but it must look at the stance of all sides, not only one country.”
Costea said that the majority of the 47 seats held by Asian and African countries on the council “gives a certain power, but that does not mean that this power is always used wisely.”
It’s entirely possible that President Bush had something to do with this, since it was he who said:
This body has been silent on repression by regimes from Havana to Caracas to Pyongyang and Tehran while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel.
Hear! Hear! And maybe, just maybe, someone in the UN heard! heard!
You might have noticed that, aside from a few asides, I haven’t had anything to say about Ahmadinejad’s little kaffee klatch at Columbia. Frankly, anything I’ve even thought has been said better and louder at some of my favorite blogs. For lengthy analysis, you should check in with American Thinker or Power Line; for hourly updates go to Michelle Malkin and Little Green Football. I bet you can add to the list of conservative (or reasonable) websites that are not wildly excited that this megalomaniac has come to town. (For the opposing point of view, of course, there’s always the Kos or HuffPo.) As it is, something will emerge from the depths of my brain in a week or two, after I’ve had a chance to get a little perspective on this whole thing but, for now, you’re going to have to read about Ahmadinejad’s “I’ll take Manhattan” moment somewhere else.
No comment, ’cause this one speaks for itself:
Despite its numerous calls for Israel’s destruction, and repeated denials of the Holocaust, Iran has been selected by the United Nations for a leading position in a committee that will plan the 2009 UN World Conference against Racism.
The planning committee, which will meet for the first time in Geneva on August 27, will be made up of an inner circle of 20 UN member-states, to be headed by Libya.
The decision to include Iran in the committee has been slammed by UN watchdogs. “As a UN spokesperson against racism, Iran will invert totally the message and mission of the United Nations,” Anne Bayefsky, senior editor of the New York-based Eye on the UN, said in a press release.
Bayefsky explained that the structure of the UN’s Human Rights Council has effectively been taken over by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), allowing Iran and Libya access to key roles.
“The states were selected by the UN Human Rights Council and the Council is controlled by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The majority of seats on the Council are held by the African and Asian regional groups and the OIC has a majority of seats on each of these groups. Western states do not have the votes to block this outrage and it is another example of the hijacking that has occurred of the UN’s lead human rights agency,” she said.
According to Bayefsky, “Israel needs to point continually to the dangerous role played by the UN in undermining the welfare of the Jewish state and its people. The veil of legitimacy of the organization as a leader in human rights protection must be lifted.”
Islamists have, for a long time, been singing a Siren song to Europe: “If you stop support for Israel, we’ll leave you alone and make nice with everyone.” (Tra la la!) A lot of people have actually be seduced into believing that, if they abandon Israel to the Muslim countries surrounding her (a people who have made no secret about their desire to slaughter all of Israel’s inhabitants), every grievance in the Muslim world will magically be resolved, oil will flow cheaply, and peace and light will descend on the world. This belief is so deeply entrenched that people are willing to believe it despite the fact that Islamists are increasingly abandoning the pretense that the takeover of Israel is the sum total of their desires, and are demanding worldwide a Caliphate and spilling blood in places that are themselves hostile to Israel.
Sadly, as Americans find themselves in the Islamists’ sights, the Muslim induced fantasy of “just let us kill a few million Jews and then we’ll leave you alone” is finding more traction at home too, at places ranging from the extremist (Kos) to what used to be mainstream (Harvard).
In light of this canard’s strength, I can’t give enough credit to Rudy Giuliani for looking at the core issue, which is “Islamists versus the West,” rather than the smoke screen, which is “Israel, the greedy trouble maker.” In a much touted article in Foreign Affairs, Rudy has this to say:
The first step toward a realistic peace is to be realistic about our enemies. They follow a violent ideology: radical Islamic fascism, which uses the mask of religion to further totalitarian goals and aims to destroy the existing international system. These enemies wear no uniform. They have no traditional military assets. They rule no states but can hide and operate in virtually any of them and are supported by some.
Above all, we must understand that our enemies are emboldened by signs of weakness. Radical Islamic terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, the Khobar Towers facility in Saudi Arabia in 1996, our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the U.S.S. Cole in 2000. In some instances, we responded inadequately. In others, we failed to respond at all. Our retreat from Lebanon in 1983 and from Somalia in 1993 convinced them that our will was weak.
America has a clear interest in helping to establish good governance throughout the world. Democracy is a noble ideal, and promoting it abroad is the right long-term goal of U.S. policy. But democracy cannot be achieved rapidly or sustained unless it is built on sound legal, institutional, and cultural foundations. It can only work if people have a reasonable degree of safety and security. Elections are necessary but not sufficient to establish genuine democracy. Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. History demonstrates that democracy usually follows good governance, not the reverse. U.S. assistance can do much to set nations on the road to democracy, but we must be realistic about how much we can accomplish alone and how long it will take to achieve lasting progress.
The election of Hamas in the Palestinian-controlled territories is a case in point. The problem there is not the lack of statehood but corrupt and unaccountable governance. The Palestinian people need decent governance first, as a prerequisite for statehood. Too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians — negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism. Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel. America’s commitment to Israel’s security is a permanent feature of our foreign policy.
Because I think Israel is the canary in the coal mine, and because I think the Islamists have skillfully used Israel’s existence to flimflam the West about their real agenda, I’ve made the top focus of my post Rudy’s willingness to say that conceding all to the Palestinians, which will merely create another terrorist state, is not the answer. My narrow focus shouldn’t give you the impression that Rudy has comments only about the Palestinian question. Instead, he’s written a very far reaching article that has an almost Rooseveltian quality to it: Teddy, not FDR. That is, he would have us speak softly and carry a big stick. He is also unusually willing to identify real friends and false:
Finally, we need to look realistically at America’s relationship with the United Nations. The organization can be useful for some humanitarian and peacekeeping functions, but we should not expect much more of it. The UN has proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years. Worse, it has failed to combat terrorism and human rights abuses. It has not lived up to the great hopes that inspired its creation. Too often, it has been weak, indecisive, and outright corrupt. The UN’s charter and the speeches of its members’ leaders have meant little because its members’ deeds have frequently fallen short. International law and institutions exist to serve peoples and nations, but many leaders act as if the reverse were true — that is, as if institutions, not the ends to be achieved, were the important thing.
Despite the UN’s flaws, however, the great objectives of humanity would become even more difficult to achieve without mechanisms for international discussion. History has shown that such institutions work best when the United States leads them. Yet we cannot take for granted that they will work forever and must be prepared to look to other tools.
And yes, I know that the last paragraph sounds weasley, but he’s right. At all times in history, world powers have been forced to create mechanisms for communication and, right now, the UN is it. At least Rudy doesn’t think the UN is a good thing, with useful objectives. He recognizes it for the functional tool it could be.
Rudy also attacks the “realist” school for foreign policy, rightly pointing out that it basically announces our weaknesses to the world (and we do have them), and then says “the Hell with it; take advantage of those weaknesses.”
Idealism should define our ultimate goals; realism must help us recognize the road we must travel to achieve them. The world is a dangerous place. We cannot afford to indulge any illusions about the enemies we face. The Terrorists’ War on Us was encouraged by unrealistic and inconsistent actions taken in response to terrorist attacks in the past. A realistic peace can only be achieved through strength.
A realistic peace is not a peace to be achieved by embracing the “realist” school of foreign policy thought. That doctrine defines America’s interests too narrowly and avoids attempts to reform the international system according to our values. To rely solely on this type of realism would be to cede the advantage to our enemies in the complex war of ideas and ideals. It would also place too great a hope in the potential for diplomatic accommodation with hostile states. And it would exaggerate America’s weaknesses and downplay America’s strengths. Our economy is the strongest in the developed world. Our political system is far more stable than those of the world’s rising economic giants. And the United States is the world’s premier magnet for global talent and capital.
As Rudy notes, realism is useful in assessing any given situation, but that does not mean that it should be used to confine our nation in a box, usually a box defined by nations that do not share our interests.
Anyway, I think Rudy (and his advisors, of course) have come up with a very impressive piece of thinking and I urge you to read the whole thing and draw your own conclusions about Rudy’s formally announced approach to foreign policy. While you may not agree with him on all points, we could certainly do a lot worse. And as I keep saying, he has a singular advantage: alone amongst the Republican contenders, I think he has the best chance of beating the feminist identity politics that might otherwise see Hillary return to the White House.
UPDATE: Jonathan Schanzer shows us what the newest Islamic state (that would be Hamasitan) looks like and it’s hideously ugly, anti-Democratic, violent, and repressive.