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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Durban II in a Nutshell

April 28th, 2009 - 2:34 pm

From Geneva last week, working with Roger Simon to cover the UN’s racist conference on racism, starring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and officially known as the Durban Review Conference, I filed a column for Forbes.com on the UN’s Durban II Debacle .

In that column I mentioned the two watchdog NGOs that have provided great insight into the tyrannical and bigoted underpinnings of this conference. Here are the video clips in which they tried last week to make their statements from the floor of the UN conference chamber — interrupted, in both cases, by an envoy of Iran:

Here’s the video of Hillel Neuer, of Geneva-based UN Watch. (And from the transcript below the video frame, here’s a sample of Iran’s attempt to shut him up. Note the objection on procedural grounds to Neuer telling the truth:

IRAN: Thank you Mr. Chairman. We should kindly advise the speaker to confine his observation to the theme of item number 9 and reframe from making references to names of countries—member state countries. Otherwise, according to your ruling, he should be stopped from continuation of his speech.�

And here’s Anne Bayefsky, of New York-based www.EyeontheUN.org

These clips are not only Durban II in a nutshell. This is how the entire UN functions. And, if you’re an American taxpayer, the biggest share of it is on your dime.

Notes from Le Palais

April 22nd, 2009 - 5:44 pm

Together with Roger Simon and PJTV cameraman Andrew Bridgewater, I spent an hour or two Wednesday chasing around the UN’s Palais des Nations in Geneva — before they went off to film the city, and I circled back for another look at what brought us here:  The UN’s Durban Review Conference on “racism.” As Roger observes, the conference itself had the feel on Wednesday of something that had just rolled over and died. After Ahmadinejad’s flame-throwing act on Monday, the conference organizers tried to smother any further chance of headlines by getting the final statement of this shindig approved three days ahead of schedule. That takes a lot of the edge off the remaining debate.

The real shockers now lie wrapped in UN-speak and buried deep inside the prematurely approved final document — which runs to 16 pages, containing 143 separate articles. This text now awaits the mind-numbing chore of deciphering exactly what kind of grotesque opportunities the conference organizers — such as Libya, Cuba, Russia and Iran — have kept open for themselves by way of items such as article 51 of the “outcome document,” which:

“Stresses the need for a comprehensive and universal approach to preventing, combating and eradicating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all its forms and manifestations in the world.”

That’s just a small sample of the linguistic gunge extruded from almost two years of UN planning that went into this conference. What does it mean? Who in this grand universal plan will decide what constitutes  ”racism” ? Do the opinions of Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il weigh equally in the UN scale with the views of democratic electorates in America and New Zealand?

Anne Bayefsky, of www.EyeontheUN.org ,who is already well-versed in the Durban-conference branch of UN dialect, has done us the service of parsing some of this Durban II product. She explains in the New York Daily News that there’s a nasty dose here of the usual UN anti-Semitism.

I also see that there’s the usual dose of UN demands for money — which, true to form, turn up mostly near the end of the Durban II final statement. To abet the UN projects that may now be launched out of this declaration, the Durban conferees want yet more money for the morally corrupt Human Rights Commission — this to come from the UN regular budget (article 138), plus voluntary funds from member states (article 139), plus member state contributions to a special trust fund (article 141)… you get the idea. If you’re an American taxpayer, you can also expect that one way or another– whether they tell you or not – you’ll end up stuck with the bill.

Waiting for Ahmadinejad… to Check Out

April 20th, 2009 - 4:12 pm

I just arrived, jet-lagged, in Geneva, to lend a hand to Roger Simon in covering the UN’s Durban Review Conference here this week. Not only was Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad staying at our hotel, but the hotel, rife with automatic-weapons-toting Swiss security, was in a state of some disarray. The management been ordered by the Swiss government to set aside some 40 rooms for Ahmadinejad’s entourage — and Ahmadinejad had then decided to extend his stay. While the hotel staff went to great lengths to minimize the problems for stranded new arrivals, guests (myself among them) with confirmed bookings were left to wait to check in until Mahmoud in his own sweet time was ready to check out. 

With the added time, Ahmadinejad presided at a dinner Monday evening for some 500 people, mostly members of the Iranian community in Geneva, plus his entourage from Tehran. 

So … here we have the president of a terrorist-sponsoring UN-sanctioned regime flying in to Switzerland to deliver from a UN pulpit a holocaust-denying slam against Israel so offensive that some of the Europeans actually walked out. To accommodate Ahmadinejad, the UN gives him a prime speaking slot on the first day of the conference; and to round out his projects while in town, the Swiss government commanded the hotel of his choice to provide dozens of rooms, from which his entourage could handle not only his latest Orwellian appearance at the UN, but also the big banquet that followed — so Tehran’s mullocracy could spruce up its contacts with Iranians in one of the financial centers of Europe.

And the occasion for all this is supposed to be a conference on racism? Roger and I were chatting about it earlier this evening –  with Libya at the helm, and Iran on the planning committee, one of many better names that comes to mind for this conclave would be the UN’s Conference on Spreading Totalitarianism.

With the insolence of the Somali pirates — but a lot more weapons, including missiles and nuclear bomb fuel — proliferation-prone North Korea continues to threaten the civilized world.  And President Obama is on track to continue the failed — albeit bipartisan — approach that has dominated the past 15 years of U.S. policy: paying yet more nuclear extortion to North Korea, while the United Nations pleads with Kim Jong Il to return to the bargaining table.

It’s debatable by now which is more delusional:

– North Korea’s announcement that it’s April 5th illicit missile test was actually the launch of an “experimental communications satellite,” which apparently does not exist. But that’s no bar to North Korea’s state news agency claiming that this phantom projectile, the Kwangmyongsong-2, is now orbiting the earth every 104 minutes and 12 seconds, broadcasting “the melodies of immortal revolutionary paeans” such as “Song of General Kim Il Sung,” and “Song of General Kim Jong Il.” 

– Or President Obama’s attempt to deliver a “strong international response” to North Korea’s missile test by way of turning to the UN Security Council, which couldn’t even bring itself to produce a resolution, and took more than a week to finally issue a “statement” demanding that North Korea “not conduct any further launch.”

North Korea’s regime responded with histrionics to the UN’s flick on the wrist, rejecting all further talks and announcing plans to restart the production of nuclear weapons (as if they had ever stopped?). Chalk that up as Pyongyang’s standard negotiating dodge, before Kim’s envoys return to the table to collect the latest round of nuclear payoffs, some of which are right now rolling toward them in a U.S. supplemental spending bill.

The only real solution to all this would have to begin with the downfall of Kim Jong Il. One way to hasten that day would be for Obama to break the insane pattern of diplomatic tribute with which both Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 15 years have actually helped Kim survive. Where to begin? Well, if Obama feels he must ”engage” North Korea, stop sending diplomats to chat with Kim’s envoys. Bring in the Navy Seals, and tell them not to bother saying anything at all. More, in my column this week for Forbes.com , “We Need Action, Not Words, On North Korea.” 

“Smart” Diplomacy?

April 3rd, 2009 - 10:43 am

In President Obama’s global campaign of “smart” diplomacy, with its stress on reaching out, engaging and resetting, the main evidence of anything genuinely “smart” – in the most shallow, modern sense – is the love of electronic and digital gadgetry:

–  A “Reset” button for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (admittedly, not a button actually wired to anything, but the metaphor, at least, is of the digital age).

– DVDs for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (OK, not compatible with British players, but hey, it’s the idea that counts).

– An ipod for the Queen of England.

If this is to be the trend, America can do much better. America is now planning to join the UN’s discredited Human Rights Commission, which spends most of its time, under its fancy $23 million ceiling, condemning Israel and giving a pass to the world’s worst human rights abusers. Maybe America’s delegates should bring along as a gift a sprinkler system to install in that ceiling, programmed to switch on whenever the Council introduces yet another resolution condemning Israel, or hands a pass to the likes of Belarus and Sudan. More on why this would be appropriate, in my column this on Forbes.com , on “Why Not to Join the U.N. Human Rights Council.”