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.

Bibi Netanyahu says what needs to be said at the UN

I’ve long been a Netanyahu fan — going back to the 1970s.  He is a brilliant man, a strong executive, an effective communicator, and, as he showed at the UN, he has a moral compass.  Obama could take lessons:

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.

Obama versus Israel *UPDATED*

It will be interesting to see how Obama’s talks with Netanyahu go.  Netanyahu is light years ahead of Obama in terms of intelligence and experience.  Obama, however, has dense ideological filaments in his brain that may render him incapable of deviating from his biases.  In other words, I doubt that anything Netanyahu says will deter Obama from his Leftist belief that Israel is an evil imperialist force oppressing the poor 200 million Muslim nations surrounding her and destabilizing the entire world. What is possible, though, is that Netanyahu, given his smarts, might be able to use an intellectual flank attack to make Obama aware of the fact that his current stance, such as completely undermining Israel at the UN, thereby blackmailing her to yield to Obama’s demands, might be a mistake.

During the election, people who were paying attention warned that, for all that Obama (without any actual voting record to prove it) claimed to be Israel’s bestest friend evah, his record and his advisors clearly signaled the opposite.  In other words, he lied with his words, but his actions were always there, telling the truth.

Those American Jews who both support Israel and who voted for Obama were credulous fools.  The irony is that, having cast their votes, it’s Israel, not these fools, that will suffer.

UPDATEMax Boot provides today’s post explaining why Obama’s approach comes from la-la land.

How to avoid the stigma of being called an apartheid state

The head of the UN General Assembly just called Israel an “apartheid” state.  In other words, Israel is emblematic of evil in the world.  I’ve finally realized what the problem is:  Israel has a mixed population.

Think about it:  Iraq expelled her Jews and hounded her Christians into obscurity.  Saudi Arabia makes it illegal to be Jewish or Christian — so there are no Jews or Christians, making it a nice, homogenous population.  Iran also simply expelled or murdered different people.  The same holds true for Arab/Muslim state after Arab/Muslim state, all of whom are in good odor at the UN.

The secret, therefore, to avoid this insulting epithet isn’t to try to accommodate your hostile minority populations.  Instead, the secret is to destroy them entirely.  Once they’re good and gone, and once you’ve become a completely homogeneous racial or religious state by virtue of their (enforced) absence, nobody can tar you with the crime of being an “apartheid state.”

Orwell would be proud.

The profligate UN

Just yesterday, I harked back to and updated an old post that commented, in part, on the fact that the UN is saved from ultimate malevolence only by its gross inefficiency and internal corruption.  With perfect timing, this story appeared in today’s news:

The U.N. Human Rights Council, frequently accused of coddling some of the world’s most repressive governments, threw itself a party in Geneva Tuesday that featured the unveiling of a $23 million mural paid for in part with foreign aid funds.

In a ceremony attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo told the press that his 16,000-square-foot ceiling artwork reminded him of “an image of the world dripping toward the sky” — but it reminded critics of money slipping out of relief coffers.

“In Spain there’s a controversy because they took money out of the foreign aid budget — took money from starving children in Africa — and spent it on colorful stalactites,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch.

You can read the rest here, but nothing will come as a surprise:  the UN and its members are corrupt, self-indulgent and heartless.  For which we should all be grateful, because the UN would only be worse if it was putting all its efforts and the vast wealth it skims from other nations to its true goals:  the destruction of America and Israel.

Perpetually selfish anger and victimhood *UPDATED*

Ymarsakar brought to my attention a post I wrote over three years ago.  I’m reprinting a slightly edited version here, not just because I think it describes well the Arab psyche that drives so much of current international politics (and fears) today, but also because I think it does a good job of describing the Leftist psyche, which sees all politics as personal, and which wallows in victimization and anger:

***

Neo-Neocon got hold of an Atlantic Monthly from October 1961 with a Martha Gelhorn article about the Palestinian refugees, who were still a reasonably new phenomenon back then. Neo-Neocon’s whole post, which excerpts large parts of the article is sad reading, and Martha Gelhorn is amazingly prescient.  I wanted to focus on just one part of the article, in which Gelhorn describes the fact that, despite the rather pathetic situation of many of the Arabs (and Gelhorn is clearly sympathetic to their plight), she simply cannot feel sorry for them:

I had appreciated and admired individual refugees but realized I had felt no blanket empathy for the Palestinian refugees, and finally I knew why…It is hard to sorrow for those who only sorrow over themselves. It is difficult to pity the pitiless. To wring the heart past all doubt, those who cry aloud for justice must be innocent. They cannot have wished for a victorious rewarding war, blame everyone else for their defeat, and remain guiltless….

Arabs gorge on hate, they roll in it, they breathe it. Jews top the hate list, but any foreigners are hateful enough. Arabs also hate each other, separately and en masse. Their politicians change the direction of their hate as they would change their shirts. Their press is vulgarly base with hate-filled cartoons; their reporting describes whatever hate is now uppermost and convenient. Their radio is a long scream of hate, a call to hate. They teach their children hate in school. They must love the taste of hate; it is their daily bread. And what good has it done them?

There is no future in spending UN money to breed hate. There is no future in nagging or bullying Israel to commit suicide by the admission of a fatal locust swarm of enemies. There is no future in Nasser’s solution, the Holy War against Israel; and we had better make this very clear, very quickly.

There are a couple of interesting things about Gelhorn’s conclusion. First, I think it goes a long way to put to rest the Left’s drum beat about our being the logical victims of Arab hate because of the things we’ve done to them. America is not hated because she is the evil Imperialist boogey man of the world.  Instead, she is currently the most logical victim of Arab hate because hate is an integral part of Arab culture and we’re simply the biggest target — not to mention (at least to date) Israel’s staunchest friend.

Second, I found this 44 year old language made a nice bookend to a book review that the American Enterprise Institute did about a book written by a U.N. insider (hat tip: Power Line). The book being reviewed is The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat, by Pedro Sanjuan, an American who served on the staff of the secretary-general for more than a decade. The review is aptly entitled A Stagnant Cesspool in Turtle Bay.

You don’t need a lot of imagination or insight to realize that both the review and the book describe an organization that, since its post-WWII heyday (or maybe its post-Cold War heyday), is nothing but a money-wasting boondoggle for professional bureaucrats hostile to the U.S. (Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.) What makes the review interesting for purposes of this post is the fact that the U.N. has gone from being a Western dominated institution to being one in the thrall of multiple Islamic countries who draw their U.N. salaries from the West (mostly America), but are irrevocably (and corruptly) hostile to its interest and to Israel.

In other words, they still are filled with hate, just as they were 44 years ago:

During the Cold War, the most serious problem posed by the organization was infiltration of the Secretariat by Soviet intelligence. Indeed, Mr. Sanjuan writes, “the Soviets actually controlled every important aspect of the U.N. Secretariat.” Some of his anecdotes are wildly funny–though they weren’t so funny at the time.

Since the end of the Cold War, Soviet hegemony at the Secretariat has been replaced by the growing influence of the Islamic bloc. Further, before 1989 the U.N. was basically a playground for representatives of irrelevant Third World states to pretend to be important (and enjoy shopping at Bloomingdale’s), while the U.S. and the Soviet Union confronted one another in more important places. Since the collapse of the latter, however, the Secretariat has refocused on undermining the United States–and the U.N.’s other bugaboo–Israel.

Indeed, the most shocking part of this book is the unwholesome obsession of the U.N. culture with Jews real or imagined, whether in Israel or the United States. Although Israel should have roughly 15 nominees working in the Secretariat, until recently there wasn’t a single one; even now, a disproportionate number are Palestianians with Israeli passports. As for the United States, it is alleged to be wholly under the thumb of Jews. When congressional critics like Senator Nancy Kassebaum or the late Senator John Heinz raise embarrassing questions that have nothing to do with Israel–say, about the U.N.’s finances–they are blithely dismissed as Jews themselves.

Apparently the first question put to Mr. Sanjuan himself when he joined the secretary-general’s staff (by his Soviet deputy) was “So your father was a Jew, yes?”) That such nonsense could take place during the tenure of a recycled Austrian Nazi like Kurt Waldheim can hardly surprise, but what are we to say when they continue under his successor, a low-rent Peruvian with the made-up name of Perez de Cuellar?

The only thing that saves the Jews from the malevolent obsession that the Islamic countries have brought to the U.N. is the organization’s gross inefficiency.  It burns up money, but does nothing (if you ignore school girl rapes and massive financial scandals, of course):

The principal characteristic of the organization, in Mr. Sanjuan’s telling, is its massive waste of resources. The Secretariat alone employs 6,000 people at annual budget of more than $2 billion. What do these people do? Nobody can actually say, and it is considered bad form to ask.  Its functionaries arrive at 10 a.m., take a three-hour lunch, and usually depart for their homes at 4 p.m. to avoid the evening traffic. Even during “working” hours many prefer to while away their time in a luxurious cafe-lounge on the top floor of the building.

It’s not clear, either, what useful tasks are performed by those who bother to remain on the floors below, since there is massive duplication of functions and no attempt whatever at rationalization or coordination. One example of expensive make-work is the U.N. publications department, which churns out thousands of documents that nobody reads in half a dozen languages, at a cost of $750 per page. Perhaps the most serious work being accomplished in the building takes place in the garage, where–during Mr. Sanjuan’s time at least–a very sophisticated drug-smuggling operation was under way.

Don’t rely on my summaries, though. Go to Neo-Neocon’s original post, and check out the American Enterprise Institute book review.

***

The above is (more or less) what I wrote in 2005.  The seething, churning, self-pitying hate, though, should be familiar to all who have watched the “progressives” suffer through the last eight (and, especially, the last eight) years of the Bush administration. Progressives have never really had a plan other than to destroy Bush and everything he respresents absolutely and completely. In this, they differ profoundly from conservatives.

As all of you have noticed, the reaction to this most recent election amongst mainstream (and defeated) conservatives is to engage in rational thought aimed at rejiggering conservatism to help Americans recognize that true conservativism will give the greatest benefits to the greatest number of people.  We’re not shrieking about stolen elections or about the terrible new evil resident in the White House (although I think that Obama, if he fails to recognize the innate evil that lives in Iran or Syria or North Korea or Venezuela, or other like places, is a fool, and possibly a dangerous one). Instead, we’re engaged in self-analysis, a bit of self-pity, and a lot of re-messaging.

Given that those same very self-pitying, perpetually victimized Leftists now hold the reins of American power, I think one of the best things we can hope for is that, like a U.N. populated with Islamic Jew-haters, bureacratic inefficiency will outweigh the hatred.  The desire to change will be there — and the Democrats will undoubtedly effectuate a good many changes — but the sheer weight of their commitment to the governmental, bureaucratic process is going to slow them down.  And if Fred Barnes is right, they’ll manage to do just enough to create openings for thoughtful conservatives who have refined their messages and positioned themselves for a victory predicated, not on victimhood and hatred, but on optimism and a belief in American exceptionalism.

UPDATE:  One of the other things that occurred to me about a commonality between the Left and the Arabs is that they’re not only sore losers (with the most recent evidence amongst the Left being the savage response to the will of the people vis a vis Prop. 8), it’s also that they’re ungracious, vicious winners.  This should be a reminder to Israel (who seems to need this reminder on a perpetual basis) that, when the inevitable upcoming “peace” talks begin with the Obama presidency, she’s still in a no win situation:  win or lose, Arab rage and pity will continue unabated.

How do you give the finger in Hebrew?

I ask, because I hope that’s what Israel does when it receives this request.

Make love, not war

The title of my post was a fatuous, smarmy expression during its heyday in the 1960s. With the UN “peacekeepers,” though, it’s taken on a whole, horrible new meaning:

Sexual abuse of children as young as six by aid workers and United Nations peacekeepers has continued unchecked despite repeated promises to stamp it out, according to a 12-month investigation.

More than half of the children interviewed in three countries, Ivory Coast, South Sudan and Haiti, knew of cases of forced sex with aid staff or peacekeepers.

The assaults were often in return for the very food or protection supposed to be provided to the vulnerable in a crisis.

Similar allegations have dogged UN missions since the organisation sent peacekeepers to Cambodia in the 1990s. However, today’s report, from Save The Children, is the first to point the finger at civilian aid staff, including those working for British charities, as well as soldiers.

[snip]

Elizabeth’s case [gang raped by 10 UN workers when she was 12] is not unique among the 341 children interviewed.

A third claimed that they knew of someone in their community who had been sexually attacked by a peacekeeper or an aid worker.

More than half claimed to know of cases where penniless children, some as young as six, were forced into sexual acts in return for money or food.

If you’re interested in more information about where UN dollars get spent, read the rest here.

UPDATE:  I’m glad you came to visit this blog.  The UN is, to my mind, an unsavory organization, and the more we know about it the better.  This is an old post, however, so if you’d like to see my more recent blog posts, which touch upon conservative political and social issues, please check out my home page.  And if you like what you see, come back again.

Reality check for the economic equivalence argument

In today’s Guardian, there is a glowing review of Ron Paul, particularly with regard to Paul’s stance on American support for Israel:

If that weren’t enough, when the House of Representatives was recently passing another denunciation of Palestinian violence, Paul refused to support it. He abhorred all attacks on civilians, he said – but on Palestinians by Israelis as much as on Israelis by Palestinians.

“It is our continued involvement and intervention – particularly when it appears to be one-sided – that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement,” he said. “We must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.” It says something about US politics today that words as sane and humane as those come from an “extremist”.

No doubt this excellent man’s bid for the Republican nomination was by way of being a romantic gesture. But what about Ron Paul for secretary of state?

Frankly, I’ve considered Paul such a crackpot in so many ways that I never seriously considered the idiocy in this statement, now embraced by Geoffrey Wheatley, a Guardian columnist (or something).

It’s that bit about “our continued involvement and intervention — particularly when it appears to be one-sided…” that got me. I did some digging. According to one site, US aid to Israel in 2006 broke down to about $2.4 billion dollars.  I’ll accept that as true.

But is that really one sided? How about if we look at US aid to Israeli’s opponents, the Palestinians. And, if we’re counting outside help from other parties, how about aid from the rest of the world, including the UN, to the Palestinians. Here’s the aid information for 2006, when there was an ostensible embargo on Palestinian aid after Palestinians elected a government that boasted about its intention to destroy a UN member and commit genocide against its people (that would be Hamas):

Despite the international embargo on aid to the Palestinian Authority since Hamas came to power a year ago, significantly more aid was delivered to the Palestinians in 2006 than in 2005, according to official figures from the United Nations, United States, European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Finance Minister Salam Fayyad estimates that the Palestinian Authority received more than twice the amount of budget support in 2006 than in 2005.

Instead of going to the Palestinian Authority, much of the money was given directly to individuals or through independent agencies like the World Food Program.

The International Monetary Fund and the United Nations say the Palestinians received $1.2 billion in aid and budgetary support in 2006, about $300 per capita, compared with $1 billion in 2005.

While the United States and the European Union have led the boycott, they, too, provided more aid to the Palestinians in 2006 than 2005. Washington increased its aid to $468 million in 2006, from $400 million in 2005.

As for European giving in 2006:

In 2006, Ms. Udwin said, the European Union and its states spent $916 million on the Palestinians, not including United Nations contributions.

Even UN employees note the overwhelming outpouring of world money into Palestinian hands, as well as the deleterious effects of that money:

In 2007, the United Nations began a humanitarian appeal for the Palestinians of more than $450 million, twice the 2006 appeal, the third largest United Nations request, after Sudan and Congo, ahead of 18 other disasters.

“These numbers are quite stunning,” said Alexander Costy, head of coordination for Álvaro de Soto, the United Nations special Middle East envoy, “given the relatively small size of the population of the Palestinian territory.”

He added: “What we do know for sure is that Palestinians, and their economy and society, are becoming increasingly dependent on humanitarian handouts, and this dependency is growing fast. For a state in the making, I think this was a step backwards in 2006 and a cause for alarm.”

What’s amazing is that even the above, from the International Monetary Fund, from the UN, from the Americans, and from the Europeans, is not all that the Palestinians received during an embargo year:

But Salam Fayyad, the finance minister in the new Palestinian unity government, thinks the Palestinians received at least 250 percent more than that in direct support when cash from Iran and Arab nations is counted, as well as the amount smuggled in by Hamas officials after trips abroad.

“I say the minimum for direct budgetary support was $880 million in 2006 compared to about $350 million the year before,” Mr. Fayyad said. He estimates total aid in 2006 was closer to $1.35 billion.

Please keep in mind a few things:  (a) this was money during an alleged embargo on money and (b) most of this money goes directly into the hands of the terrorists, either as graft with which they enrich themselves (remember Arafat’s $10 billion estate) or to fund weapons.  Further the story above just looks at cash handouts.  It doesn’t calculate the massive amounts of military aid sent to Palestinians from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

The above report also doesn’t take into consideration the fact that Palestine’s have created for themselves just one enemy — Israel, which is a reactive enemy only, in that it simply seeks to take out weapons aimed at it, and terrorists handling those weapons.  Israel, on the other hand, faces active hostility from Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinians, and Iran.  (And let’s not forget that Hussein funded terrorism against Israel when he was alive and operating.)

All of which means that it’s nonsensical for Paul and his followers to pretend that America has been giving Israel an unfair advantage by giving her money.  America has, instead, been giving Israel a clearer path to a level playing field.  If Paul and his fellow-travelers truly wants funding in that region to stop, before they pull the plug on Israel, they’d better be damned sure to pull the plug on all funds flowing to the Palestinians as well — and they should stop funding nations that fund the Palestinians, such as Egypt.

I’m sure Israel would love to see the cash flow to Palestinians stop, because the latter might then be forced to turn their energies to creating an economy, instead of just to creating ever increasing numbers of zombies, trained only to kill.  Indeed, I’m willing to be that if the world promised to stop funding Palestinians, Israel might be happy, in exchange, to subsist on its own thriving economy.

The disconnect between Islam and respect

I blogged here about the group that presented a report to the UN to point out what many of us have already realized: Muslims are using declarations of human rights as a way to shut down all religions and speech but theirs.

Patrick, my favorite Paragraph Farmer, took that dry report and drew the obvious and correct conclusions about the radical disconnect between Islam and respect for all of the faithful, regardless of their beliefs:

Another way to think of one of the few achievements to which the United Nations can actually point, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is that all believers deserve respect. It is important to remember, however, that not all beliefs do.

[snip]

I find it exceedingly odd that Islamic countries pressing the United Nations to issue resolutions against “defamation of religions” see no disconnect between that and, for example, making it a criminal offense to possess a Bible or be anything other than Muslim.

UPDATE: If you needed it, here’s an example of the “respect” Islamists accord other religions.  Is the Islamic version of making a desert and calling it peace.

Speaking actual truths to corrupt, and unlistening, power

Okay, maybe the UN will listen to the report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) but, somehow, I doubt it:

Islamic states are bidding to use the United Nations to limit freedom of expression and belief around the world, the global humanist body IHEU told the U.N.’s Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

In a statement submitted to the 48-nation Council, the IHEU said the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) were also aiming to undermine the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Islamic states see human rights exclusively in Islamic terms, and by sheer weight of numbers this view is becoming dominant within the U.N. system. The implications for the universality of human rights are ominous,” it said.

The statement from the IHEU, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, was issued as the U.N.’s special investigator on freedom of opinion and expression argued in a report that religions had no special protection under human rights law.

Ambeyi Ligabo, a Kenyan jurist, said in a report to the Council limitations on freedom of expression in international rights pacts “are not designed to protect belief systems from external or internal criticism.”

But this argument is rejected by Islamic states, who say outright criticism — and especially lampooning — of religion violates the rights of believers to enjoy respect.

The IHEU statement and Ligabo’s report came against the background of mounting success by the OIC, currently holding a summit in Dakar, in achieving passage of U.N. resolutions against “defamation of religions.”

You can read the rest — which, surprisingly, emanates from al Reuters — here.

I’ll say again what I’ve said before: a religion that is frightened of the marketplace of ideas (that would be Islam) is a religion whose loudest adherents know that it has so many conceptual, theological and practical problems that it cannot compete in that marketplace. And if you can’t compete, and if you’re a totalitarian fanatic, you kill the marketplace.

Here’s a surprise

For a year, Gaza has rained over 2,000 rockets onto Israeli soil, aiming specifically for civilian communities.  There was, of course, nary a peep from the UN.  Now that Israel has struck back, targeting specifically militants who happen to hide amongst civilian populations, the UN Rights Council springs into action:

The U.N. Human Rights Council has condemned Israel’s offensive in Gaza and called on Palestinians to stop rocket fire into Israel. The resolution passed Thursday said Israeli incursions into the Palestinian territory inflicted collective punishment on the civilian population.

Israel launched the offensive last week in response to Palestinian militants barraging southern Israel with rockets. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed, Gaza officials say. Four Israeli have also been killed.

The 47-member rights body approved the resolution 33-1 after a debate on the situation in Gaza. Thirteen countries abstained. The resolution was sponsored by Pakistan and Muslim countries. Russia, China and India support it, European countries abstained, and Canada voted against it.  (Emphasis mine.)

It would be a recurring joke if it weren’t for the real world ramifications. My feeling, every time this joke repeats itself, is that Israel should just give the UN a middle fingered salute and get on with things in the real world.

Incidentally, my only disappointment was to see India’s name on that list.  Given India’s struggles with its own Muslim extremists, both inside and outside of its borders, one would think it would be a bit more sympathetic to Israel’s plight.

The UN is no friend to Israel

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.

Those darn UNICEF boxes

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.

Friday quickies

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 GLBT 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.

Did I just see a pig fly by?

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!

What’s left to say about Ahmadinejad?

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.

What’s left to say about Ahmadinejad?

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.

The UN once again proves itself to be the world’s most dangerous & expensive bad joke

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.”

The UN once again proves itself to be the world’s most dangerous & expensive bad joke

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.”