Today being the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, there will be many a paean of praise for him ringing through the land.
Though we deplore his assassination – most probably by the Communist arrested for the crime – we have found little to admire about JFK.
Which is why we were quite pleased to find this unenthusiastic review of his presidency and unflattering estimation of his character by Derek Hunter, who writes (in part) at Townhall:
President Kennedy remains popular with journalists and historians, but was not a popular president with the American people at the time. His re-election in 1964 was not certain. It was, in fact, a long shot at the time of his murder.
His presidency was, for the most part, a non-event. The Bay of Pigs was a fiasco, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought us to the brink of nuclear war, cost us missiles in Turkey and doomed Cuba to the underside of the Fidel Castro’s boot to this day.
On civil rights, something for which President Kennedy receives much credit and praise, he did little more than pay lip service to the concept. My friend and a host of the C4 Show … Clarence Mitchell IV, whose grandfather was Clarence Mitchell Jr., the chief lobbyist for the NAACP during the Kennedy years, tells me, “My grandfather always said President Kennedy, at the insistence of his brother Bobby, was not a champion of civil rights, that he was actually an obstacle. He kept things slow because he wanted the support of southern Democrats. It wasn’t about right and wrong with them, it was about what would get them the most votes.”
President Kennedy is given credit for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but he had little to do with it aside from having spoken on the subject a few times. In fact, C4 tells me that in August of 1963 there was a “big meeting” of civil rights leaders at the White House with the Kennedy brothers because there was talk that they might not endorse JFK’s reelection. They were promised what politicians always promise voting blocs they’re stringing along – action after the election. Tragedy intervened, so we’ll never know what he might have done, but we do know what he did do and that wasn’t much at all.
In fact, it seems nearly every positive development of that era is somehow credited to JFK – even those he had little to nothing to do with. It’s just been credited to him, or imposed on him, as part of the myth-making surrounding “Camelot.”
President Kennedy was a great orator and a master at public relations. He also had a press corps that adored him, thus insulating him from reality in the annals of history. (Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?)
The “Camelot” legend was myth, constructed to obscure the reality of a despicable man elected through fraud and an unholy alliance with the mafia in Chicago.
The real John F. Kennedy was a womanizing misogynist, a spoiled brat who ran for the U.S. Senate for lack of anything else to do and to feed his controlling [pro-Nazi] father’s ego. Just eight years and very few accomplishments later, he sought the presidency for much the same reason.
He was a reckless man, sleeping with interns, girlfriends of mafia bosses, Russian spies and seemingly anyone else willing. He took his job seriously enough, but in perhaps the most blatant act of corruption since Teapot Dome, appointed his own brother Attorney General of the United States. Kennedys are loyal to Kennedys first; there is no second. The idea that Robert Kennedy could be trusted to, if called for, investigate possible corrupt actions of President Kennedy is laughable.
After his tragic assassination, the Kennedy myth-making started and hasn’t stopped. It started with the coaching of 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. to salute his father’s coffin for the cameras as the procession passed, and it continues to this day. Even his gravesite is a testament to that myth.
President Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and rightfully so. He did serve our country with honor in World War II. But real estate at Arlington is at a premium, with our heroes buried in close proximity to each other to accommodate all who deserve it. Yet the JFK gravesite sits alone in a large otherwise-vacant plot. I don’t begrudge him the eternal flame – though that seems a bit much. But his wife is buried next to him in spite of remarrying, and his brother, Robert, is buried there too, even though he did not serve in the military.
This “devout Catholic” family exemplifies hypocrisy on every level – from their bootlegging beginnings to their philandering lifestyle, there is very little about their legend that stands up to even the most cursory of scrutiny. Despite this fact, hours of television time, gallons of ink and gigabytes of web-space will be dedicated to how extraordinary JFK was, how they all were.
It’s simply not true.
We have little argument with all that. (But if they were not actually devout Catholics – and who can know? – it would be one thing in their favor in our eyes.)
For the rest, we would only comment that JFK and his brother Bobby were extraordinary of course as men of power. They are historical figures. But neither of them had an extraordinary mind, and neither left any great gifts to the world.
Steve Chapman writes (also at Townhall) that Kennedy …
… led people to imagine that their government had the boundless capacity to improve the world, and on the day he died, they could still believe that.
His administration and that of his vice president and successor Lyndon B. Johnson are significant in the same way: They represent the pinnacle of ambitious, visionary government. What each president lacked was a sober sense of the limits of what it could do, at home or abroad. …
Kennedy came into office having roused unrealistic expectations. …
His inaugural address did nothing to dampen the mood. It cast the United States not just as the defender of its own security and freedom, but as guarantor for the entire planet. Kennedy declared that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty (emphasis added).”
In case that promise did not seem sufficiently grandiose, he added, “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”
Kennedy gave the highest priority to the foreign arena. But Johnson’s domestic program grew out of initiatives begun by JFK. And LBJ was no more inclined to restrain his rhetoric.
He extolled his social welfare plan as though he were describing paradise: “The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. … It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community … beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”
Neither president paused to consider whether and how the clumsy tools of government could actually fulfill these dreams. Kennedy took the first steps into a war in Vietnam – which proved that supporting friends did not assure the success of liberty and that there were some burdens Americans would not bear.
When Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, he proclaimed that it represented nothing less than “a commitment to eradicate poverty. … Like many Great Society programs, it did not live up to its billing. …
JFK and LBJ set out to prove how much the U.S. government could accomplish at home and abroad, a mission that endeared them to those who believe in the promiscuous use of power.
They ended up proving how much it could not accomplish, and how little extravagance can buy.
They may have proved it, but new generations of believers in the promiscuous use of power have arisen and take no heed of the lesson. Obama is proving it all over again, disastrously. But will the believers in the state as an ever-flowing fountain of money, and the president as an all-wise all-good father, ever learn it?
“Stalin was a banner of creativity, of humanism and an edifying picture of peace and heroism!” declared Salvador Allende during a eulogy in 1953 to the Soviet mass-murderer.
Allende became the Communist president of Chile in November 1970. Fortunately, he was thrown out of power on September 9, 1973.
Now the triumph of capitalist Chile needs to be celebrated, and its economic ways emulated throughout the world.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily, by Monica Showalter:
By the looks of the bright, shiny Chilean capital, where it’s possible to shop at Starbucks, H&M or Banana Republic, dine at globally ranked restaurants … or marvel at the world-class architectural engineering of the continent’s tallest skyscrapers that escaped Chile’s 2010 8.8-scale earthquake unscathed, it’s hard to believe that 40 years earlier Chile was a tottering democracy in ruins, well on its way to becoming a Soviet-Cuban satellite.
The country changed course by a legislatively ordered military coup in 1973, which to this day remains globally reviled as if it were a destruction of democracy that came out of a vacuum. …
But the hard fact is, the military action led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet on Sept. 11, 1973, effectively turned back the global ambitions of an emboldened Moscow-Havana communist axis, which sought to take over South America as an enfeebled U.S reeled from the Vietnam War.
That strategy was to create a sort of “red sandwich” on the South American continent, with Cuba in the northeast and Chile in the southwest, and both sides training terrorists and revolutionaries to move inward and northward until they could reach the final prize: Mexico.
Pinochet turned it back … He [eventually] stepped down as promised …
Yet, instead of being seen as a hero who saved his country from a totalitarian fate, both the global and Chilean establishment, taking their propaganda cues from an embittered Cuba, continue to paint Pinochet as a villain and his action to save his country as a tragedy.
In reality, Pinochet was, as historian Paul Johnson noted, “the most misunderstood man of the 20th century”.
See, Chile’s story might not have ended in skyscrapers, OECD membership, a per capita income of more than $18,000, the region’s highest transparency, lowest infant mortality, least corruption and negative net debt had Pinochet just sat there and held the fort. And even that would have been a huge improvement over communism.
But besides blowing out a communist beachhead, Pinochet instituted the world’s first genuine free-market reforms. They effectively transformed his country from a messy Latin American semi-democracy into a first-world country with a booming economy.
Years before Reagan and Thatcher began their earth-shaking revolutions, which finished off communism as a cause and put even leftist politicians on the defensive around the world, Pinochet turned his nation’s fiscal matters over to a group of young economists trained by Milton Friedman.
Known as “Los Chicago Boys”, they had the decree powers of a military regime but the ideas of free markets. Using both, they effectively privatized state-owned industries, broke up crony capitalist cartels, enacted airtight property rights, cut red tape, opened Chile’s markets to the world — bringing its wines, seafood, fruits, timber, copper and, now, high-tech to the West in quantities never before seen — reformed social security, and, after a few miscues, restored the integrity of the country’s currency, credit rating and fiscal discipline.
What’s more, their reforms stuck, even as the country continued to re-elect socialist governments, because the institutions were so strong and the culture of ownership was so great. …
The left’s effort to revile Pinochet out of all proportion to the crimes of the era — while excusing the far more severe crimes of Cuba’s Castro and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas — ultimately amounts to an angry left’s effort to discredit Pinochet’s most lasting legacy: the free market revolution.
And this is from Townhall, by Humberto Fontova (also quoted at the top of this post):
On September 11, 1973 the Chilean military led by General Augusto Pinochet slapped Fidel Castro so smartly that his Stalinist regime (and its dutiful U.S. Media minions) are still sniveling and sniffling and wiping away tears of shock, pain and humiliation.
We feel your happiness, Humberto!
True to form, The New York Times leads the sniveling. They just published an article decrying the Chilean “tragedy” (i.e. Chile saving itself from Castroism with a military coup and is today the richest and freest nation in Latin America.) The article’s author Ariel Dorfman is a former advisor to Chile’s Marxist president and Castro acolyte Salvador Allende. …
“Without the help of the New York Times, the Revolution in Cuba would never have been,” … beamed Fidel Castro during a visit to the New York Times offices in April 1959 to decorate their star Latin America reporter with a newly-minted Cuban medal.
“We’re following the example of the Cuban Revolution and counting on the support of her militant internationalism represented by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara!” boasted Chilean president Salvador Allende’s minister Carlos Altamirano in January 1971. “Armed conflict in continental terms remains as relevant today as ever!” he declared.
And he wasn’t bluffing. By the time of Pinochet’s coup, an estimated 31,000 Cuban and Soviet bloc operatives and terrorists infested Chile …
By 1973, 60% of Chile’s arable land had been stolen by Allende’s Marxist regime, often with the aid of Cuba-trained death squads. “In the final analysis only armed conflict will decide who is the victor!” added Allende’s governmental ally, Oscar Guillermo Garreton. “The class struggle always entails armed conflict. Understand me, the global strategy is always accomplished through arms!”…
Then, in September 1973, the military, led by General Pinochet, made a strike with arms against Allende. It was a successful coup d’etat. Allende committed suicide. Pinochet came to power.
Although he had acted with arms, and although he took tyrannical actions against his enemies, the Left did not think he was “a banner of creativity, of humanism and an edifying picture of peace and heroism.” Perhaps because those tyrannical actions of his were not remotely on the same scale as Stalin’s.
Allende and Castro’s media minions claim 3000 people were “disappeared” during this anti-Communist coup and its aftermath, collateral damage and all. Well, even if we accept the Castroite figure, compared to the death-toll from our interventions/ bombing- campaigns in the Mid-East (that have yet to create a single free, peaceful and prosperous nation) Pinochet’s coup should be enshrined and studied at West Point, Georgetown and John Hopkins as the paradigm for effective “regime–change” and “nation-building.” Granted, Pinochet had much better raw-material to work with.
But the Castroite –MSM figure is mostly bogus, as many of those “disappeared” kept appearing, usually behind the iron curtain.
More importantly, Pinochet and his plotters were scrupulous in keeping U.S. State Dept. and CIA “nation-builders” and other such egghead busybodies out of their plotting loop. (This probably explains Pinochet’s success.) Then two years after the coup they invited Milton Freidman and his “Chicago Boys” over for some economic tutelage. And as mentioned: today Chile is the freest and richest nation in Latin America.
At a ceremony in Havana last week UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) honored Che Guevara by enshrining his writings in its hallowed “Memory of the World Register.” The ceremony included several members of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s family.
Humberto Fontova comments on this disgraceful event at Canada Free Press. His article vividly displays the utterly shameless hypocrisy of the UN and its agencies with this egregious example:
“UNESCO’s work is part of our support for freedom of expression as an inalienable human right set down in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” declares the UN’s mission statement.
But not far from where this UNESCO/Guevara ceremony took place Cubans were being starved and beaten in pestiferous torture chambers for the crime of quoting the UN Declaration of Human Rights in public.
UNESCO is known as the intellectual agency of the United Nation’s while “Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity,” reads the UN charter.
But not far from where this UNESCO/Guevara ceremony took place, the regime being honored by UNESCO [had] burned hundreds of books and documents … The bonfire was accompanied by the beating and jailing of the owners and purveyors of these works. The Castroite bonfire was fueled by [inter alia] the UN Declaration of Human Rights. …
“As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image, UNESCO works to foster free, independent and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online. This foundation is why UNESCO today promotes policies for press freedom and the safety of journalists,” reads the UNESCO charter.
But the regime honored by UNESCO last week also holds the honor, according to the Paris-based “Reporters Without Borders, of jailing and torturing the most journalists per-capita on earth. Stunningly, the total number of journalists jailed by the nation honored by UNESCO (pop. 11 million) is only slightly behind that of China (pop. 1.4 billion!)
“Our purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom,” declares the UNESCO charter.
“We reject any peaceful approach! “declared the man they honored last week in Havana. “Violence is inevitable! To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”
And he, Che Guevara, evil hero of the evil Left, also wrote this passage, which – Humberto Fontova points out – “comes from the very works enshrined and honored by UNESCO last week”:
“My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any surrendered enemy that falls in my hands! We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm!”
The “acrid odor of gunpowder and blood” rarely reached Che Guevara’s nostril from actual combat. It came from the close-range murder of bound, gagged or blindfolded men (and boys).
Rigoberto Hernandez was 17 when Che’s soldiers dragged him from his cell in La Cabana, jerked his head back to gag him, and started dragging him to the stake. Little “Rigo” pleaded his innocence to the very bloody end. But his pleas were garbled and difficult to understand. His struggles while being gagged and bound to the stake were also awkward. The boy had been a janitor in a Havana high school and was mentally retarded.
His single mother had pleaded his case with hysterical sobs. She had begged, beseeched and finally proven to his “prosecutors” that it was a case of mistaken identity. Her only son, a boy in such a condition, couldn’t possibly have been “a CIA agent planting bombs.”
But proof made no difference. Comrade Che, with his bottomless malice and his lust for inflicting extreme anguish, recognized no proofs, no justice.
“FUEGO!” and the firing squad volley shattered Rigo’s little bent body …
Of course Che Guevara, being an iniquitous criminal – like others of his kidney, such as Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – was invited to speak at the UN. There on December 9, 1964, he said:
“Certainly we execute! And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary!”
Those executions (murders, actually; execution implies a judicial process) had reached about 16,000 by the time of Che Guevara’s boast, the equivalent, given the relative populations, of almost a million executions in the U.S.
And the demons who run the UN and UNESCO, like millions of adolescents in the West who show his icon on their walls and T-shirts, honor and adore him.
The UN must be destroyed.
The death of Venezuela’s despot Hugo Chavez was announced yesterday, but rumor has it that he died a week ago on the morning of Wednesday February 27, 2013.
This is from Front Page, by Matthew Vadum. He makes a comparison between Chavez and Obama, to the advantage of neither:
Barack Obama’s less media-savvy comrade Hugo Chavez is finally dead.
Venezuela’s Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, announced that the communist tyrant died yesterday after seeking medical treatment from the quacks and bunglers laughingly referred to as the Cuban health care system. Hidden away from the public for months, Chavez, whose election in 1999 sparked a leftist revival throughout Latin America, may have actually died some time ago.
Chavez will be remembered not only for his fanaticism and brutality but also for his effective use of the same Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing techniques now relied on by President Barack Obama.
Both men hate capitalism. Chavez called capitalism “savagery,” while the smoother Obama tries to be more upbeat, speaking of the need to spread wealth.
Both men are champions of gun control, social engineering, and unlimited governmental power.
Both hate America (to varying degrees) and both utilize mobs to harass and intimidate their enemies.
Obama has used union goons, ACORN members, and his personal tax-exempt Alinskyite army, Organizing for Action (formerly Organizing for America), against his adversaries.
Chavez, who habitually used the rhetoric of class warfare, funded a network of violent, government-armed “Bolivarian Circles,” similar to Cuba’s Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. In order to identify citizens worthy of governmental persecution, the neighborhood-based militias reported on Venezuelans deemed to lack the requisite enthusiasm for Marxism. Like Hitler’s Sturmabteilung (SA), these groups broke up opposition meetings by force.
Chavez intimidated the private media by openly threatening and harassing independent media outlets. He also introduced a requirement that journalists be licensed. Obama doesn’t need to keep the media in line because they already worship him.
While Obama has been busy installing senior government officials such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who lack the ability to understand the Islamofascist threat, Chavez allowed America’s terrorist enemies to set up shop in his country.
A big supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez permitted Iran-funded Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas to open offices in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
Vadum might have added the shared antisemitism of the two men. Obama works against the survival of the Jewish state. Chavez openly encouraged persecution of Venezuelan Jews.
This is from the National Review, by John Fund:
One of the “hero” myths being created around Chávez is that he was elected democratically four times. …
But Chávez was a democrat the way that Mafia enforcers were policemen in neighborhoods they controlled. If you didn’t cooperate and pay tribute to them, you would regret it. He ruled through fear, intimidation, and subversion of the country’s institutions.
Merely allowing people to line up at polling stations every six years did not make Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela democratic. Nor will the snap election that must be called within 30 days to choose Chávez’s successor necessarily be free or fair. If Nicholas Maduro, the man Chávez hand-picked to take over after his death, wants to demonstrate Venezuela is running a legitimate election, let him first invite back the international election observers of whom Hugo Chávez was so frightened.
And this is from the Miami Herald:
Hugo Chávez’s folksy charm and forceful personality made him an extraordinary politician. His enviable ability to win a mass following allowed him to build a powerful political machine that kept him in office from February of 1999 until his death on Tuesday. But as a national leader, he was an abject failure who plunged Venezuela into a political and economic abyss.
Dead at 58, Hugo Chávez leaves behind a country in far worse condition than it was when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party’s making and an economy in chaos. …
Mr. Chávez had a radical vision for “21st Century Socialism” … His skillful rhetoric, which filled supporters with utopian dreams, was used to justify the methodical destruction of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and the free market. …
[He] aggressively set out to rig elections and stifle adversaries in the legislative branch and the courts. Unable to brook criticism, he turned his fire on the independent news media, eventually silencing most voices of opposition by bully tactics and economic intimidation.
His Bolivarian regime rewarded supporters and punished opponents, giving rise to enormous corruption and the creation of a new class of greedy oligarchs with political connections. …
Whatever happens now in Venezuela, his demise will have some good effects in the wider world:
On the international front, Mr. Chávez eagerly accepted Fidel Castro as his mentor, providing Cuba with cut-rate oil and making common cause with Iran and other rogue regimes. His departure leaves the anti-American front leaderless on a hemispheric level and could eventually threaten the subsidy that Cuba relies on to keep its economy barely functioning.
Ed Driscoll at PJ Media has collected opinions on the dead dictator. He includes a Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Death of Hugo Chavez, from which we quote:
“Rosalynn and I … came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.”
He may have been “committed” to improving the lives of those who felt neglected and “marginalized” (a Leftist buzzword that, by the way), but he did not improve the lives of most Venezuelans. Quite the contrary. His economic policy so devalued the currency that the poor were made poorer. But that seems not to be recognized by his numerous and passionate fans, including the poor of Venezuela.
Driscoll goes on to quote other opinions on the Left -
Such as the Nation, which really beclowns itself:
“Chávez was a strongman. He packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances. But I’ll be perverse and argue that the biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”
“I’m what they call a useful idiot when it comes to Hugo Chávez,” the writer actually adds. And how.
But hey, that’s the far left Nation. The neutral, objective, totally without bias Washington Post wouldn’t fall for such radical chic nonsense, would they?
Yes, of course they would: “Wash Post’s Eugene Robinson Appears on MSNBC to Praise ‘Quick,’ ‘Popular,’ Funny Hugo Chavez.”
And to think I was being ironic a couple of years ago when I titled a post “Studying the Washington Post Kremlinologist-Style.” …
Sean Penn has a sad:
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” says Penn in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter…
Meanwhile, “NBCNews.com Mourns Chavez: Who Will Become Region’s ‘Voice of Socialism and Anti-Americanism?’”
Which prompts Driscoll to ask -
Isn’t that NBC’s job, or don’t they get that network on the cable feed down there?
The way to keep the poor poor, is to keep them dependent on government.
The compassioneers of the Left need to keep the poor poor, or they’d lose not only their pretext for empowering the state to control our lives, and all those voters whom they make dependent on big government, but more dreadfully for them the cause in the name of which they claim moral superiority.
The name of their ideology of forced dependence is Socialism. It’s imposition on a nation is the tried and tested way to create poverty and keep the poor poor.
Capitalism, or what Adam Smith called “the natural order of liberty”, is the tried and tested way to create prosperity and bring people out of poverty.
Whenever socialist states and other tyrannies relent to free markets, their per capita income rises. This has been happening steadily over the last thirty years or so, despite the fervid efforts of Environmentalists and world government fanatics to establish a global socialist economy. The Third World has measurably benefitted.
This is from Townhall by Steve Chapman:
[According to] a new World Bank report, “the data indicate a decline in both the poverty rate and the number of poor in all six regions of the developing world.”
In 1981, 70 percent of those in the developing world subsisted on the equivalent of less than $2 a day, and 42 percent had to manage with less than $1 a day. Today, 43 percent are below $2 a day and 14 percent below $1.
“Poverty reduction of this magnitude is unparalleled in history: Never before have so many people been lifted out of poverty over such a brief period of time,” write Brookings Institution researchers Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz.
Just as important as the extent of the improvement is the location: everywhere. In the past there has been improvement in a few countries or a continent. Not this time.
China has continued the rapid upward climb it began three decades ago. India, long a laggard, has shaken off its torpor. Latin America has made sharp inroads against poverty. “For the first time since 1981,” says the World Bank, “we have seen less than half the population of sub-Saharan Africa living below $1.25 a day.”
The start of most global trends is hard to pinpoint. This one, however, had its big bang in the early 1970s, in Chile. After a socialist government brought on economic chaos, the military seized power in a bloody coup and soon embarked on a program of drastic reform – privatizing state enterprises, fighting inflation, opening up foreign trade and investment and unshackling markets.
It was the formula offered by economists associated with the University of Chicago, notably Milton Friedman, and it turned Chile into a rare Latin American success. In time, it also facilitated a return to democracy.
Chile was proof that freeing markets and curbing state control could generate broad-based prosperity, which socialist policies could only promise.
If that experiment weren’t sufficient, it got another try on a much bigger scale when China’s Deng Xiaoping abandoned the disastrous policies of Mao Zedong and veered onto the capitalist road. The result was an economic miracle yielding growth rates that averaged 10 percent per year.
The formula was too effective to be ignored. Over the past two decades, poorer nations have dismantled command-and-control methods and given markets greater latitude. Economic growth, not redistribution, has been the surest cure for poverty, and economic freedom has been the key that unlocked the riddle of economic growth.
Over the past 30 years, notes the libertarian Cato Institute in the latest edition of its “Economic Freedom of the World,” the average country’s economic freedom score has risen from 5.53 (on a 10 scale) to 6.64 — a significant improvement that has paid off in higher growth and earnings. The evidence indicates a reliable pattern: the freer the economy the faster the growth. …
The latest cover story in The Economist magazine is: “Cuba hurtles toward capitalism.” Cuba! Even communists eventually have to make peace with reality.
But as they do, the country that has grown to be the richest ever because of its freedom – the USA - is being turned into a socialist welfare state by a leader raised and trained as a communist.
President Obama calls capitalism, the magic formula for prosperity, ”You’re-on-your-own economics”, and insists that it doesn’t work.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily:
“You’re-on-your-own economics” doesn’t work, President Obama asserted Friday, just as the World Bank reported a halving of world poverty due mainly to — you guessed it — you’re-on-your-own economics. …
Perhaps he didn’t try free-market economics himself in the past decade, but all six global regions observed by the World Bank did try it — and the stunning result is that global poverty has been slashed in half … It started with the advent of free markets in Chile in 1975, gained speed with the Reagan and Thatcher revolutions, took off with the Asian Tiger states and has been crescendo-ing around the globe ever since. …
Anyone who travels to countries like Peru, Poland, Indonesia, Colombia, Thailand, Hungary, South Africa, Chile, Tanzania and India knows very well that things aren’t what they used to be. Vast middle classes have formed, education is booming, business is up and many of their cities no longer resemble the Third World.
More to the point, people have growing access to jobs, education and a future. Mexico’s rate of illegal immigration has plunged since 2009 as average incomes there approach $7,000 — the threshold that makes staying in Mexico more attractive than living abroad illegally.
Technology has helped; they all have Facebook, cellphones and ATMs to make living more efficient.
The World Bank cites generally stronger political institutions — the kind that enforce one set of laws for all, respect property rights and don’t reward crony capitalists or stacked courts — something Obama might learn from. …
The big Goliath of this revolution is the embrace of free markets. Against the president’s claims that free markets don’t work, note that all six regions of the world are making big progress by embracing markets. …
President Obama’s ambition to keep the poor poor is not limited to turning America into an economically depressed, heavily indebted socialist state; he takes whatever active steps he can to establish a globally centralized control-and-command economy.
He has appointment a new head of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, who will no doubt try to prevent such a report as Steve Chapman sums up ever coming out again: a man in whose dogma such truths need to be suppressed.
This is by Jacob Laksin at Front Page:
Imagine if President Obama appointed radical Noam Chomsky, who has denounced capitalism as a “murderously destructive catastrophe,” to head up a committee on economic growth. That’s less of a stretch than it may seem, considering Obama’s nominee to head the World Bank, current Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim.
Kim’s expertise is in health policy, so little is known about his views on economic development, the World Bank’s primary purpose. What is on the public record, however, is deeply troubling. A case in point is a collection of studies that Kim co-edited in 2000, Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor. The grim title accurately reflects the book’s radical central premise, namely that capitalism and economic growth is bad for the poor across the world. The introduction, which Kim co-authored with several other academics, states the point bluntly: “The studies in this book present evidence that the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men.”
A barefaced lie, as the statistics in the World Bank’s report demonstrate.
In this vein, the authors go on to dismiss “neoliberalism” – the preferred left-wing academic pejorative for free trade and free markets – as a failure, particularly for the world’s poor. “Even where neoliberal policy measures have succeeded in stimulating economic growth, growth’s benefits have not gone to those living in ‘dire poverty,’ one-fourth of the world’s population,” the authors assert.
If economic growth hurts the poor, especially in the Third World, what helps their cause? The book answers that question with a chapter touting what it considers a true success: communist Cuba’s health-care system. As the chapter’s author tells it, Cuba’s health care is supposedly on par with that of the United States, an achievement made “possible because of a governmental commitment not only to health in the narrow sense but to social equality and social justice.” Relying on bogus statistics from the Cuban government and distorting the extreme inequities of Cuban health care, where few of Cuba’s poor can either afford or obtain either medicine or doctors’ treatment, the study is revealing mostly of the ideological extremism of its author. Indeed, it might well have been written by Chomsky, which in fact it was: the author is Aviva Chomsky, Noam Chomsky’s eldest daughter. Noam Chomsky himself is quoted in the book’s conclusion, which cites his dismissal of economic growth as “efforts to make people feel helpless.” The book’s authors, including Jim Yong Kim, seem to agree.
They could hardly be more wrong.
(For confirmation of how they could hardly be more wrong, see our post Any old pills?, October 29, 2010.)
In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that economic growth raises income levels, which in turn reduces poverty and improves the lot of the global poor. Much of that evidence has been documented by the World Bank, the very institution that Kim has been tapped to lead. Earlier this month, for instance, the World Bank released a report documenting a decline in the poverty rate of the poor in all the regions of the developing world. The finding is especially striking because it comes amidst a global downturn. Economic growth accounts for much of this astounding progress.
He too quotes statistics:
And that progress is truly impressive. In 1990, 52 percent of the population in the developing world lived below the poverty rate of $1.25 a day. That number was halved by 2008, when 22 percent lived below the poverty rate. Progress has been most dramatic in East Asia, particularly China, which has seen the greatest surge in economic growth. In the 1980s, according to the World Bank report, East Asia had the world’s highest poverty rate, with 77 percent of the population living below the poverty rate as recently as 1981. By 2008, that number had plunged to 14 percent. The report points out that in China alone, 662 million people are no longer living poverty. Not only is no one “dying” due to economic growth, but literally millions of lives have been bettered thanks to economic gains.
China may be the most spectacular example of economic growth’s unmatched capacity to improve the lives of the poor, but it is not an exception. Africa, so long associated with extreme poverty, is also making strides on poverty reduction thanks to economic growth. … As a result of sustained economic growth over the past 15 years …
Africa’s success is especially noteworthy because it has not been limited to countries with natural resources, such as South Africa’s diamonds or Nigerian oil. On the contrary, the authors note that poverty has fallen “for both landlocked and coastal countries, for mineral-rich and mineral-poor countries, for countries with favorable and unfavorable agriculture, for countries with different colonizers, and for countries with varying degrees of exposure to the African slave trade. The benefits of growth were so widely distributed that African inequality actually fell substantially.”
Poverty reduction through economic growth is thus one of the great success stories of recent decades. And that work is not done. … Achieving sustained reduction in poverty will remain the great cause of the 21st century.
Yet it’s hard to see how the World Bank will help that cause if led by an open critic of economic growth like Jim Yong Kim. … It’s hard to see how its reputation will be redeemed by a World Bank president who seems to believe that the greatest danger to the global poor comes from the only proven strategy to improve the quality of their lives.
According to Wikipedia: “Since 1950, when a group of children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, donated $17 they received on Halloween to help post-World War II victims, the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box has become a tradition in North America during the haunting season. These small orange boxes are handed to children at schools and at various locations prior to 31 October. To date, the box has collected approximately $91 million (CAD) in Canada and over $132 million in the USA.”
What does this money do? It supports the starving, hanging and suicide of children.
Claudia Rosett writes at PJ Media:
UNICEF — the UN’s children’s fund — often gets a pass as an outfit which must by nature be benevolent and politically benign. It is, after all, dedicated (at least in theory) to children.
Think again. UNICEF … is a big UN fund, bathing in government money (more than $255 million last year in U.S. tax dollars alone), and as such it is prone to the same hypocrisies … and politicized travesties that bedevil the rest of the UN.
For a summing up, it ought to be enough to note that among the 36 member states on UNICEF’s executive board is China — where the one-child policy has led to staggering numbers of sex-selective abortions, and in some cases, the killing of baby girls. Because the UN values geographic diversity, rather than moral integrity, in parceling out seats on its governing boards, UNICEF’s executive board also includes Somalia, Sudan, Belarus, Russia, and Cuba.
She refers to an article here that lists some of the regimes and enterprises that UNICEF supports with US tax payers’ money:
The list includes UNICEF’s fondness for Libya’s late Moammar Qaddafi; UNICEF’s funding of Palestinian summer camps where kids are encouraged to become suicide bombers; and anti-Semitic propaganda such as an advertisement produced by a UNICEF-funded Palestinian youth group, featuring the UNICEF logo under a picture of an axe smashing a Star of David, with the command, in Arabic, “Boycott.”
To this, I can add some further items, such as UNICEF’s announcement on its own web site that, partners being “an essential aspect of UNICEF’s work,” its main partner in North Korea is the North Korean government. That would be the same North Korean government whose totalitarian and utterly self-serving policies have resulted in the stunting and starving to death of millions of North Koreans — a great many of those victims being children.
Then there are such items as UNICEF’s solicitation of funds in 2009 via an Iranian bank, Bank Melli, which is blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury for its role in Iran’s proliferation rackets. UNICEF in that case was raising money for aid to Gaza, which is controlled by the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hamas. One might suppose there are better ways to help children than to funnel money to a terrorist-controlled enclave via a proliferation-prone Iranian bank. Apparently, UNICEF didn’t see it that way.
Over and over, UNICEF “partners” with thug regimes, rationalizing that this is necessary in order to deliver aid to deprived children. But UNICEF is prone to becoming so enthusiastic in its partnering that it ends up promoting precisely the dictators and thugs who cause so much suffering among children in the first place.
Earlier this month, UNICEF handed out a regional award for children’s broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa. The winner? Iran.
Yes, the same Iran that leads the world in juvenile executions. Iran was celebrated by UNICEF under the press release headline: “Iran wins the Regional UNICEF Award for International Children’s Day of Broadcasting.” What a sweet propaganda gift for Tehran’s theocratic ruling thugs. …
While partnering with Kim Jong Il, praising Iran and bankrolling Palestinian groups putting out anti-Semitic propaganda and encouraging genocidal jihad against Israel, UNICEF is already raking in plenty of U.S. tax dollars from the U.S. government.
UNICEF collects donations on Halloween. The urgent message is:
Don’t give a dime to UNICEF.
PS. The UN must be destroyed.
We enjoyed a lot of what Glenn Beck did in his regular hour on Fox. We found his weeping mawkish, and we switched off when he went on about “God”, which was mostly, and much too fully, on Fridays. He became too much the preacher. But he’s a natural entertainer, and he was right, and informative, and even fascinating a lot of the time.
He has been replaced by “The Five”. The five are made up, usually, by a (varying) couple of beautiful intelligent women and a couple of well-informed and/or amusing guys – and a lugubrious lefty named Bob Beckel whose inclusion puts us off watching.
At this point we request our outside-America readers not to stop reading. We’re coming on to a point of international interest.
We’ll let Humberto Fontova take over. In an article titled A History Lesson for the Racist Bob Beckel, he writes:
“I still have my Che Guevara poster. Che Guevara was a freedom fighter.” – Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th.
If Bob Beckel’s “freedom-fighter” had been allowed his fondest bit of “freedom-fighting” Bob Beckel’s incinerated remains would fit in a gin bottle today. “America is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination!…If the missiles [on Cuba] had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City.”
For the record: Ernesto “Che” Guevara was second in command, chief executioner, and chief KGB liaison for a regime that jailed more political prisoners per capita than did Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered (out of a population of 70 million) in its first six. Many, perhaps most, of those murdered and jailed by the regime Che Guevara co-founded were Batista opponents.
The Stalinist regime Che Guevara imposed on Cuba also stole the savings and property of 6.4 million citizens, made refugees of 20 percent of the population from a nation formerly deluged with immigrants and whose citizens had achieved a higher standard of living than those residing in half of Europe. Many opponents of the regime Che Guevara co-founded qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Che Guevara’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag. Most of these had been Batista opponents.
“Don’t put him in a list of fascists. The fascists (Batista) were the ones he was trying to get rid of.” – Bob Beckel on Fox News’ “The Five” Sept. 5th. …
For the record: … The Castro regime – with firing squads, forced-labor camps, torture and drownings at sea – has caused an estimated 102,000 Cuban deaths. … Nazi repression caused 172,260 French civilian deaths during the occupation. France was nation of 42 million in 1940. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1960. My calculator reveals that Beckel’s freedom-fighter caused an enormously higher percentage of deaths among the people he “freed” than the Nazis caused among the French they enslaved and tortured with the SS and Gestapo.
Beckel tells the “Fox Five” that the CIA killed many more people than Che and implies that in the 50’s the agency was Che’s enemy.
Yes. Bob Beckel, still stuck in his adolescent leftism which involves being forever against the establishment of his own country (“courageously”, such safe and privileged members of America’s progressive elite believe) clings to the opinion that the Castro Brothers were GOOD and the US government was BAD.
And actually, annoyingly, he’s only completely wrong in one of those judgments. The Castro Brothers and Che Guevara were as far from good as any savage tyrants could be, so he’s wrong there. But some parts of the US government were bad, not for reasons Beckel might like to intone, but, to the contrary, because they sided with the Castro Brothers – as Humberto Fontova goes on to explain:
In fact during the late 1950’s the Castro brothers and Che Guevara had no better friends – and Fulgencio Batista few worse enemies – than the CIA.
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” [said] Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith,” [said] CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.
And those brilliant minds, paid to gather accurate information, insisted that Castro and his cohorts had nothing to do with Communism:
“Don’t worry. We’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra Mountains. The Castro brothers and Ernesto“Che” Guevara have no affiliations with any Communists whatsoever,” [said] crackerjack Havana CIA station chief Jim Noel 1958.
Next, Bob brought out this old canard of the Left:
“Listen … when the CIA was complicit in the assassination of Allende [the Commie despot who was ruining Chile - JB], that was killing a head of state.”
Ground control to Major Bob: … The leftist [claim] that [Allende] was assassinated by the CIA was spun and spread only by the hardest of hard-left wackos. Not even Allende’s own family believed it. An investigation including an autopsy by Chilean authorities just last month confirmed that Salvador Allende committed suicide. Surely you read the New York Times, Bob?
Bob could brush that aside. His main business was to go on praising Castro’s revolution and regime for as long as breath was in him or until the alloted hour on Fox came to a close. He said:
“The idea of picking Che Guevara and calling him a mass-murderer is crazy.”
Yet Guevara himself confessed to being just that – with great pride, as Fontova reminds us:
“Certainly we execute!” boasted Che Guevara while addressing the hallowed halls of the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1964. “And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! According to the “Black Book of Communism,” those firing-squad executions (murders, actually; execution implies a judicial process) had reached 14,000 by the end of the ’60s, the equivalent, given the relative populations, of almost a million executions in the U.S. “I don’t need proof to execute a man,” snapped Che to a judicial toady in 1959. “I only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him.”
The Left cannot hear that. Will not read it. To the Left, the savage Che Guevara is forever a hero. Why? Well, because, among other lies -
“(Che) did help Fidel Castro get rid one of the biggest thugs and murdering bastards there ever was, and that was Batista in Cuba.”
Now watch Fontova stride into the ring with his red muleta, and ready himself to administer, with one fatal thrust of his puntillo, the estocade - the coup de grace.
(And while he advances we must whisper that we are not admirers of Fulgencio Batista nor of labor unions, but that is not important at this moment of suspense.)
Here he comes – watch, listen:
Batista was a mulatto grandson of slaves born on the dirt floor of a palm roofed shack in the Cuban countryside. As President (via honest elections 1940-44, bloodless coup 1952-58) he always enjoyed the support of Cuba’s labor unions. And under Batista, according to a study by the International Labor Organization, the Cuban workforce was more highly unionized than the U.S. work force, with Cuba’s Industrial laborers earning the 8th highest wages in the world. …
Fontova the Toreador is leaning over the horns, his dagger is in place – now for the downward thrust:
So here’s Bob Beckel bashing a black politician of lowly origin who enjoyed overwhelming unionized labor support – while hailing the lily-white rich-boys, Fidel and Che, who outlawed labor unions and sent such as Richard Trumka and Jimmy Hoffa to the firing squad or prison. … Using liberals’ own standards Beckel sure sounds like an elitist – and a racist to boot.
Later the Toreador, in relaxed mood, tells us this:
No doubt Beckel picked up the leftist proverb about Batista as “one of the biggest murdering bastards there ever was” from a meme hatched in 1957 by a Fidelista Cuban magazine publisher named Miguel Angel Quevedo. The meme asserts that Batista’s police and army “murdered 20,000 Cubans” and is still parroted by the MSM/Academia axis.
For the record: Ten years after he hatched and spread the lie, Quevedo (from exile, he scooted out just ahead of a Fidelista firing squad) confessed to the lie and greatly regretted how the lie helped the propaganda campaign to put Fidel and Che in power. The regret for the calamity he helped bring upon Cuba was such that, right after signing the letter, Miguel Angel Quevedo put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.
Here’s Humberto Fontova and Nick Gillespie, the editor of Reason, with Glen Beck on Fox in the good old days before Beckel and the others replaced him, talking about Che Guevara.
And here’s an extract from Glenn Beck’s article, Exposing the Real Che Guevara:
“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said a former Cuban political prisoner, to this writer, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of this prison/execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, he consoled himself by viewing the slaughter. Che’s second-story office in Havana’s La Cabana prison had a section of wall torn out so he could watch his darling firing-squads at work.
We have spoken of the Three Harpies of the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice (see our post, A siren song from hell, April 1, 2011). They wanted America to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war “to protect civilians”, and they got their way, so the US is involved in a costly and ineffective engagement, along with ramshackle NATO; and Libyan civilians continue to be displaced, injured, and killed, often by the “protective” operations of the US and NATO – or the US in NATO, say, since the administration pretends that it has withdrawn from the fray.
Today we liken the three women to three witches, cooking up a lethal brew of global socialism, pro-Islamism, and anti-Americanism, in a steaming pot of self-righteous sentimentality.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a disciple of the Communist Revolutionary Saul Alinsky, is the most powerful of them by reason of her position in the administration. But she’s probably not the equal of the other two in gathering venomous ideas.
Samantha Power runs Obama’s “Office of Human Rights” and has written a book about genocide. It’s a long grope for a definition of the word. She believes, as the left generally does, that America should only go to war as an act of altruism, never to protect its own interests such as securing oil supplies or punishing attackers, and whenever possible as an instrument of the UN.
As for Susan Rice, the current US ambassador to that evil institution, here’s an account of her by Rick Moran from Front Page:
President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has long been an advocate for weakening American sovereignty in order to benefit the UN and its anti-American agenda. It is a policy known as “engagement,” where the United States subsumes its own vital interests, abandons its traditional role of leadership in the world community, and … pushes the process of “subcontracting American national security” to the UN.
Time Magazine refers to this policy — without a hint of irony — as “leading from the back.” … Her vision of what the US’s role in the world should be … includes an open hostility to the state of Israel, a dangerous reliance on the UN to keep Iran from going nuclear, as well as the world body’s inexplicable granting Tehran membership on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. …
While one expects a UN ambassador to be an advocate for internationalism, Rice slipped the bounds of reason and waxed poetic in her testimony about the importance of the United Nations to our national security. … Rice claimed that … “the U.N. promotes universal values Americans hold dear.” …
That statement is nonsense. It is beyond rhetorical excess and enters the sublime milieu of self-delusion. Unless she believes that America “holds dear” values like racism, anti-Semitism, corruption, sexism, child rape, and a host of other execrable hallmarks of United Nations actions and policies, then she is either naive or willfully blind to the true nature of the UN. …
In one of the most extraordinary statements ever made by an American official about Israel, Rice bitterly complained last February about having to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel and its settlement policy. She deliberately undercut the impact of the veto by saying, “For more than four decades, [Israeli settlement activity] has undermined security … corroded hopes for peace and security … it violates international commitments and threatens prospects for peace.” During her testimony last week, Rice reiterated that sentiment, adding “Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate.”
What angered Rice was that the Security Council vote was 14-1, with countries like Great Britain, France, and Russia co-sponsoring the Palestinian-inspired condemnation. To Rice’s and the administration’s way of thinking, going against international “consensus” — even if inimical to US interests — was a blow to their strategy of “engagement.”
Rice’s statements before the committee on the UN’s massively hypocritical selections for the Human Rights Council can only be termed bizarre. The HRC features such stellar advocates for human rights as Angola, China, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia — a rogue’s gallery of thuggish states. After acknowledging that it is difficult to find nations that have good human rights records to serve on the council, Rice seemed proud of the fact that US opposition had kept Iran off the HRC. She chalked that “success” up to the fact that the United States had agreed to join the HRC rather than refuse to participate in such a farce.
What Rice didn’t mention was that in order to get Iran to withdraw its application for membership on the HRC, Washington agreed not to raise a stink when the fundamentalist Islamic Republic that mandates stoning women for adultery wanted to join the Commission on the Status of Women. With no objection from the US, Iran was duly elected to the commission.
Instead of Iran joining the HRC, Libya got the slot. How this can be termed a “success” takes pretzel-like logic — something Rice appears to excel at. …
Rice’s thinking on terrorism has also heavily influenced administration policy. In 1996, she advised President Clinton not to accept Sudan’s offer to turn over Osama Bin Laden because Sudan’s human rights record was so wretched, she thought we shouldn’t have anything to do with them.
Refusing to contaminate her idealistic beliefs with the ample evidence that has been produced to the contrary, Susan holds fast to her conviction that the “cause of terrorism” is “poverty”.
Her steadfast belief that poverty, not radical Islamist ideology, is responsible for terrorism has upended 20 years of American anti-terrorism policy. Rice is the inspiration behind the Obama administration’s de-emphasizing military action against terrorists, while looking for ways to address the “root causes” of the violence. …
It is Rice’s solution to what she considers the “real” causes of terrorism that is of great concern. She supports the transfer of nearly $100 billion every year to UN’s Millennium Development Project for redistribution to poorer nations and their kleptocrat leaders. How this will address the problem of “poverty” in poor countries never seems to get explained. The history of aid to these nations is that the elites end up with most of it while precious little trickles down to the masses. Rice ignores this history — and the reality that America doesn’t have $100 billion for such a cockamamie scheme. …
What isn’t generally known is her advocacy for unilateral American action in cases where the UN fails to act. Along with Samantha Power, the president’s national security advisor, Rice is responsible for pushing through the Security Council a strong resolution authorizing military force against Gaddafi. But when it comes to Darfur and other potential hot spots where the UN refuses to act, Rice has advocated that America go it alone to prevent a humanitarian disaster. … She has … suggested that the US should contribute a percentage of its military to a UN force, under UN command, to intervene where humanitarian crises threaten disaster.
This goes far beyond what most would advocate for when it comes to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. But it is one more indication that Susan Rice casually sets aside the interests of her own country in order to cater to the whims and capricious agenda of a world body that has proven itself an enemy of the United States.
Because the left hates individual freedom, it hates America. It wants the UN to become the world’s governing body and redistribute wealth from the developed countries to the rest. And it’s making progress towards achieving its terrible aims. The thugocracies that have a permanent seat on its Security Council – Russia and China – are no longer restrained by Western powers. France and Britain are ghosts of the powers they used to be. And as Susan Rice represents an American leadership that does not like America, it looks as if Turtle Bay could actually become the capital of the whole-earth hell that the international left dreams of …
… unless the United States again, and soon, has strong wise men governing it, and they have the will to abolish the United Nations.
The UN must be destroyed!
To which countries does the US, even when enduring economic hardship, give aid?
These are some of the recipients:
Russia, still inimical enough to the US to make disarmament treaties seem necessary.
China, to which the US is vastly in debt.
Zimbabwe, under the bloody rule of a mass-murderer.
Somalia, a savage anarchy.
Cuba, a communist prison.
Venezuela, in league with America’s most threatening enemy, Iran.
North Korea, a communist and would-be nuclear-armed hell.
Libya, where Colonel Gaddafi is still dictator.
The amounts are not important. To give any amount to any of them is indefensible. But the figures can be found here, along with more infuriating information about who gets foreign aid.
Good and blunt is an article titled Treatment of Libya Illustrates the Fatuousness of the Human Rights Council, by Brett Schaefer at the Heritage Foundation.
Here’s part of it:
On March 18, the United Nations Human Rights Council is scheduled to consider its final report of Libya’s human rights record that was conducted under the body’s Universal Periodic Review. The first part of the human rights review of the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, conducted on November 9, 2010, was an all too typical dog and pony show. Libya’s submission to the Council asserted that the regime observed and protected a host of basic human rights including freedoms of expression, religion, and association. During the review, governments lined up to commend Libya on its observance of human rights. …
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Libya “scheduled for adoption by the Council … made 66 recommendations for Libya to adopt to improve its human rights practices”. The UPR for the United States made 228 recommendations for the US to “improve its human rights practices.” (See our post, Beyond Outrageous, September 1, 2010.)
So, in the eyes of the Human Rights Council, it seems that the U.S. has much further to go in terms of its observance of human rights than Libya.
Farce has long been a feature of the UPR. … Past UPR sessions have featured countries like China, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea offering false reports to the council, laughably affirming their commitment to fundamental human rights and freedoms. These patently dishonest reports were accepted at face value and approved by the majority of member states in the council. Indeed, these countries received relatively little criticism during their reviews. Meanwhile, the U.S. was grilled relentlessly.
The utter fatuousness of the UPR and the completely unserious and biased nature of the Council’s treatment of human rights were revealed fully by the past few weeks’ events in Libya. Libya’s UPR report up for approval this month duly characterized – without a hint of embarrassment — Qadafhi’s government as (in the summary of Syria’s remarks) a “democratic regime based on promoting the people’s authority” and notable for its commitment to (North Korea) “achievements in the protection of human rights” and for (Algeria) “cooperating with the international community.”
Then suddenly, a few days ago -
The Council approved a resolution that “strongly condemns the recent gross and systematic human rights violations committed in Libya, including indiscriminate armed attacks against civilians, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of peaceful demonstrators, some of which may also amount to crimes against humanity” and recommended that Libya be suspended from the Council by the UN General Assembly.
Which has now been done. But -
Where are the Council’s condemnations of human rights violations and abuses committed by Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia or other countries that have been elected to seats on the Council? It should not take slaughter of civilians to get the Council to accurately and objectively condemn the human rights practices of its members.
But it does take at least as much as that.
The brutal truth is that the Council has proven to be a weak body easily manipulated by repressive regimes to provide a patina of international legitimacy on their abuses. The Bush administration was right to shun the Council …
The Obama administration re-joined it.
The council discusses Israel as a matter of routine at every session. It is the only country in the world assigned a permanent investigator. Over the last five years, the Council has issued 35 condemnations of Israel out of a total of 51; the rest of the world put together only offended it 16 times.
If the UNHRC were to be taken as a guide, who wouldn’t rather live in North Korea where your human rights are protected than in Israel where you will be more abominably oppressed than anywhere else on earth?
The Human Rights Council is a contumelious farce, as corrupt and pernicious as the UN itself.
The UN delenda est. The entire UN must be destroyed.