One Step Forward (Obama Skipping Durban II)
The good news is that President Obama's administration has decided not to "engage" in the UN's anti-Semitic, anti-free speech, anti-democratic Durban II conference, scheduled for April 20-24 in Geneva.
A U.S. delegation went to Geneva two weeks ago to check out the preparations for this pow-wow. They consulted with more than 30 delegations, plus the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and "other interested parties" -- and this past Friday the State Department put out a press release saying the conference's "draft outcome document" (at the UN, conference outcomes tend to be a done deal before the conference begins) "has gone from bad to worse," and as it now stands is "not salvageable." The U.S. will not engage in any more negotiations over this document, "nor will we participate in a conference based on this text."
Yes, here's a chance to applaud Obama for taking a step in the right direction. In the UN arena, such good news is rare enough that I'm tempted to leave it there. For a moment, let's celebrate! -- Obama has declined to dignify Durban II, the UN's racist conference on "racism," with a U.S. presence. When he sent that delegation last month to clock in on the preparations, I was convinced the U.S. would decide to attend the mothership conference itself. I'm delighted to have been wrong.
But let's also beware the danger here of one step forward, two steps back. Anne Bayefksy of www.eyeontheun.org , who has been warning about the poisonous nature of Durban II for almost two years now, has an article at Forbes.com charging the Obama administration with double-dealing on Durban II. Bayefsky notes that while announcing the decision to skip Durban II, the State Department did not declare an outright boycott, or invite others to follow suit. Instead, State tried to defuse the issue by leaving the door ever so slightly ajar. The U.S. might still attend, on the wildly unlikely condition that the conference organizers clean up their act.