Has there ever been a president of the United States – or of a middle school debating club – who knew as little, and cared as little to know anything, as President Barack Hussein Obama?
He employed an immature would-be novelist to make up stories about the world and international affairs, then acted on the fiction.
The result is that the Middle East is in flames, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions have been displaced, Europe is being overrun by Muslim “refugees”, and the savagely belligerent regime that rules the Islamic state of Iran is freely developing nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them – and getting more than a billion dollars from the United States to help them do it.
We quote from an article at PJ Media by the excellent Claudia Rosett (who has revealed much about Evil’s HQ, the United Nations):
It’s a good bet that by now the entire foreign policy cosmos … has read the York Times Magazineprofile of Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru”. The reporter, David Samuels, had extraordinary access to the White House, multiple well-placed sources and in his 9,500 word piece he provides plenty of attribution, including quotes from Rhodes himself. We get a detailed look, behind the White House facade, at Rhodes, “master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign policy narratives,” complete with his contempt for Congress, the press and the public; his manipulation of the media; and a case study of his “narrative” of liesconcocted to grease a path for Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement – the unpopular, murky, amorphous and deeply dangerous Iran nuclear deal.
Freighted with the far-reaching effects of a major treaty, the Iran deal was never submitted by Obama to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. Framed as an agreement with Iran, it was never signed by Iran. Sold by the administration as a transparent deal, it is turning out to be a slush heap of secrets. The real blob in this drama is the rolling sludge of presidential over-reach, White House fictions and raw abuse of public trust that has brought us everything from the indigestible “Affordable Care Act” to the Benghazi “video” narrative, to the Iran deal. …
Leading members of Congress are calling on President Obama to fire Rhodes “over accusations the White House intentionally misled lawmakers and the American public about the contents of last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran”.
In a letter to Obama, Senators Mark Kirk, John Cornyn and John Barrasso cite Rhodes’s statement to the New York Times that the White House peddled a phony narrative to sell the Iran deal because he considered it “impossible” for elected lawmakers to have “a sober, reasoned public debate, after which the members of Congress reflect and take a vote’. They note, if Rhodes “had conducted himself this way in a typical place of business outside Washington, where American taxpayers work, he surely would have been already fired or asked to resign”.
So, why does Ben Rhodes still have his job?
The broad answer involves the moral vertigo of modern Washington, the Instagram attention span of too many members of a Twitter-driven press corps, and the self-abasements of a culture in which the old American spirit of individual responsibility and free enterprise has been devolving — with many a prompt from President You-Didn’t-Build-That — into a selfie-snapping contest for “safe spaces” and “free stuff”.
In that context, dude, what difference does it make if Boy Wonder Ben Rhodes, speechwriter and “strategic communicator”, mind-melded with the president, carries on manufacturing and marketing the “narrative” that passes these days for foreign policy? Once you dispense with the baggage of reality, and its knock-on effects for those multitudes of lesser mortals who have never flown on Air Force One, what’s left is former White House staffer Tommy Vietor (“Dude, this was like two years ago”), buddy of Ben Rhodes, techno-chatting to one of Washington’s best reporters, Eli Lake (who knows plenty), that he’s sure most folks outside of Washington think the Rhodes profile was just a “fascinating profile of a brilliant guy with a really cool job”.
All these things matter. But there’s a far more direct answer to the question of why Rhodes still has his job.
Under the old rules of American politics, a top White House staffer getting caught betraying the public trust (and then gloating over it) would have been a firing offense. Not anymore. For this president, with his pen, phone and proclivity for executive diktat, the priority is not the rights of the American people, or their elected lawmakers in Congress, or fidelity to the truth. What matters is loyalty to Obama and his agenda – however radical that becomes, and whatever it might require in terms of lies, manipulation and disregard for democratic process.
The real story here is not Rhodes. It’s his boss. Rhodes is no rogue element on Obama’s staff. We’ve heard no protest from the White House over Rhodes’s statement in the Samuels profile that “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends”.
What’s come out of the White House instead is an article by Rhodes on “How We Advocated for the Iran Deal”; now coupled with a rejection by the White House of an invitation from Congress for Rhodes to come testify on that very topic, at a hearing held earlier today. A prime distinction between these two poles is that Rhodes, when writing an article, controls the narrative from his keyboard (dispensing with assorted inconvenient truths on grounds that “I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to respond to those topics in the weeks and months to come”). In front of the likes of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, there’s the awkward chance that Rhodes might lose control of his narrative.
The White House argued that the invitation for Rhodes to testify “raises significant constitutional concerns rooted in the separation of powers”. That would be more persuasive had the president shown any such concern for the Constitution while ramming through the Iran deal. That was not solely a matter of peddling the Rhodes-Obama narrative. Obama also raced to get United Nations Security Council approval for the deal before Congress had a chance to delve into it. Recall Obama’s lead negotiator, Wendy Sherman, ridiculing the idea that the administration should take the position “Well, excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress”. (Yes, Wendy, this being America, that is exactly how it should have worked).
The White House further argues that “the appearance of a senior presidential adviser before Congress threatens the independence and autonomy of the President, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel in the discharge of his constitutional duties”. Fine, if the White House is dealing with Congress and the public in good faith. But when the candid advice and counsel consists of concocting and packaging lies – excuse me, “narratives” – designed to neuter Congress and mislead the public, where does that take us? …
When an administration is caught deliberately spinning lies, when a White House official paid to uphold the public trust is exposed as deriding and manipulating that same public, the response needed for the healthy working of democracy is apology, contrition and a real remedy. If the official does not have conscience enough to resign, the president should do the honors, by firing him. Or her.
But nothing can undo the harm that the Rhodes-Obama twin-headed monster has done.
Under Obama, it has become standard procedure that such firings do not take place. Obama shrugs off the news, doubles down on the narrative and bulldozes ahead. Once the scandal is consigned to last week’s news cycle, for purposes of this administration it is down the Memory Hole. Obamacare, with its partisan vote, indecipherable text, soaring costs and disastrous web site rollout; an American economy choking under regulations; the disintegration of Libya, the vanishing red line in Syria, the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, the rise of ISIS, North Korea’s nuclear tests, Iran’s ballistic missile tests, China’s military buildup, Russia’s turf grabs – the Obama narrative says it is all under control. Nothing much to see here, move along. Or, to quote Obama’s first secretary of State, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
In the resulting vacuum, absent ethical or responsible leadership at the very top, we’re left to amuse ourselves with the chatter of the echo chamber – home to the infinitely malleable narratives of Rhodes and his boss. Last Wednesday, seeking to mollify the reporters so roundly insulted by Rhodes, White House spokesman Josh Earnest and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough brought a box of donuts to the White House press corps, calling their visit “press appreciation day”. Earnest assured reporters that Rhodes would revise the contemptuous statements about the press, “given a chance”. Does that mean Rhodes will now disavow, in the White House inner chambers, that “candid advice and counsel” so prized by the president? …
We wouldn’t be at all surprised if the White House press corps was bought off with a box of donuts.
Why would Obama fire Rhodes? If nothing else comes clear from this saga, it is that Rhodes has served for years as one of the chief ideological bag men of Obama’s presidency. If, under their ministrations the possibilities of free and open discourse are vanishing in Washington, replaced by bully pulpit narratives bouncing around the echo chamber, wasn’t that the reason Obama gave Rhodes all that power in the first place?
Seeking the “origins of poverty” is like seeking the “origins of nakedness”. Absurd. Nakedness and poverty are the natural state of man. (Quiet, feminists, or leave the room!)
But man found a way to become well-supplied with what he needs and a lot of what he desires in addition – those delicious luxuries. The magic goes under the name of Capitalism. It is the only magic that works. The Invisible Hand stirs the cauldrons of human voracity and ingenuity, and the rest is noisy market traffic.
The community organizers of the world don’t like it. It is chaotic, unpredictable, messy, uncontrollable. And some get more than others in their pursuit of sustenance and pleasure.
The community organizers think that’s immoral, wrong, unfair. So they want to abolish the market. They believe that wealth lies in or on the ground and can be dug up or cut down and distributed equally. They visualize wealth as a “pie” – a fixed amount. They know by gut feeling that poverty is caused by some people grabbing too much of it. Therefore, they hold, the rich are rich because the poor are poor, and the poor are poor because the rich are rich. Their solution to poverty is to slice up “the pie” and hand out the slices.
It would be an orderly procedure, totally under their control. Like handing out the bowls of thin gruel in Oliver Twist’s orphanage. And if you complain, they won’t hand you your slice or bowl – so there!
The UN wants to be the slicer and giver to the world. It had a plan to make the poor, wherever they are in the world (except any they don’t like), not-poor. Or anyway a bit less poor. Central planning on a grand scale would do the trick, the UN intelligentsia imagined.
But they have found – to their chagrin – that central planning does not work.
Claudia Rosett, the go-to writer for reliable news of Evil Central aka the UN, writes:
At the United Nations, America’s new ambassador, Samantha Power, reported for duty on Monday. In remarks just before presenting her credentials, Power listed some of the top items on her UN to-do list, including working together “to alleviate global poverty.”
Let’s hope Power takes a look at a new study of UN development efforts, which the UN has declined to release — though it was done by one of the UN’s own staffers, Howard Steven Friedman, a statistician with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Friedman took a look at the results of the UN’s centerpiece development scheme, the UN Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs.
Launched with great fanfare by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000, the MDGs were supposed to speed the the world toward an array of specific development targets set by the UN for the year 2015, including reducing disease and hunger, and halving [the number of people in] extreme poverty.
The UN, on its MDG web site, boasts that these UN targets “have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.”
But UN-galvanized efforts do not necessarily translate into the promised results. Friedman’s bombshell finding is that the Millennium Development Goals have made virtually no difference in the pace of development.
So, small wonder that the UN chose not to release his study — claiming, among other objections, that Friedman’s report does not count because he did it while on sabbatical. … [!]
Fortunately, Friedman’s study was published independently … You can find it here, both the abstract and the full report. Unlike the UN public relations machine, Friedman took the sensible tack of looking not just at the years since the program began, but at the longer-term overall trajectory of the development indicators involved, from 1992-2008 — starting eight years before the UN kicked off its global MDGs, through the eighth year of the program. He found that “the data show clearly that the activities following the MDG Declaration did not provide an acceleration in most of the development goals.” …
But broadly speaking, Friedman is highlighting data and questions that ought to be the subject of rapt attention and genuine debate at a UN that advertises itself as dedicated to helping the poor — and solicits billions of taxpayer dollars in the name of that cause. The MDGs have become one of the UN’s justifications for its ever-growing appetite for money. Meanwhile. the most highly visible and consistent beneficiaries of the UN Millennium Development Goals are not the poor. The clear beneficiaries are the first-class passengers on the UN gravy train — UN officials themselves, along with the constellations of well-paid consultants and jet-set conference-goers. The MDGs began with a huge New York summit for the signing of the Millennial Declaration, which Annan has since described as one of the highlights of his UN career. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has carried on in similar vein, touting and lauding the MDGs, and urging that member states pour resources into this UN campaign. The UN has held not only the initial 2000 Millennium Summit, but an MDG 2005 summit, a 2008 “High-Level Event,” a 2010 summit, countless conferences around the globe, and with the original MDG deadline of 2015 now getting near, there are plans afoot for a program of post-2015 MDGs.
The deeper problem here is that the MDGs, for all their lofty aims, amount in many ways to simply a UN-repackaged version of central planning. While we can all agree that it is profoundly desirable to end poverty, the real avenue to that goal is not a set of bureaucratically defined targets, but decent government, protecting a framework of law that leaves individuals free to choose for themselves the tradeoffs with which they try to improve their lives. At a UN where the majority of the 193 member states are not free market democracies, that’s a goal much harder to promote than a set of slickly packaged MDGs. But if the aim is to make a difference, that’s what needs galvanizing. Something the U.S. ambassador could usefully contribute would be to call attention to Friedman’s study, and ask the assembled worthies, in public, why on earth the UN would have the arrogance to consider such damning findings irrelevant.
We doubt Samantha Power will take that good advice.
On the harm that philanthropy does, especially government-to-government aid, Jerry Bowyer writes at Townhall:
Peter Greer of Hope International describes the ways in which government to government aid can be even more harmful [than private philanthropy]. The timing is lamentably good as the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has managed to get himself ‘re-elected’ to another term as President and his first policy act is to appropriate property from white owned businesses to give to black citizens. …
Jerry: “What about government aid? Are the problems associated with that similar to, greater than, or less than the problems that you’re talking about when it comes to private philanthropy?”
Peter: “There are certainly a lot of similarities, but … [it] actually might be even worse. … By pouring in billions of dollars of aid, and by having it … go through corrupt governments, [it] might prop them up, might actually make it more difficult for development to occur. … [The] places that have received the largest amount of aid — they’re actually experiencing economic stagnation, and oftentimes decline, and part of that is because aid can sabotage the democratic process. … When I was in Zimbabwe, this was when Robert Mugabe was having one of his “elections” … [and] he was using the international food aid to reward those places that voted for him and to punish those places that had not voted for him. So, the message was pretty clear: If you want any of the maize, if you want any of the food aid, you vote for me. …”
Power (pun intended) is the name of the game.
P.S. The UN must be destroyed.
… instead of doing its job, defined by the UN as keeping southern Lebanon free of Hizbollah, and preventing that huge terrorist organization from re-arming.
The hobby lessons are paid for in large part by US tax payers.
This is from PJ Media, by Claudia Rosett – the most reliable authority on all things UN:
The news is full of reports that Israeli air strikes have targeted Iranian-supplied missiles in Syria, which Israeli officials believe were intended for Hezbollah — Iran’s satellite terrorist organization in Lebanon. Midway through a New York Times story on this development comes a reminder that:
“Hezbollah is now believed to have more missiles and fighters than it had before its 2006 battle with Israel, when Hezbollah missiles forced a third of Israel’s population into shelters and hit as far south as Haifa.”
“More missiles” may be putting it modestly. In 2011, Israeli authorities said that Hezbollah had rearmed to the extent of amassing more than three times the weapons it had prior to the 2006 war. Supplementing their allegations with detailed maps, Israeli officials charged that Hezbollah had created a network across southern Lebanon of almost 1,000 rocket and missile facilities, including 550 bunkers and 100 weapons storage units.
All of which raises the question of what’s going on with the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon). UNIFIL was beefed up, at significant cost, after the 2006 war, with the professed aim of ensuring that Hezbollah would not rearm. As spelled out in 2006 in UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was supposed to secure peace, UNIFIL’s mandate included helping Lebanon’s armed forces ensure that southern Lebanon, bordering on Israel, would be — to quote from the UNIFIL web site — “an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in the area.” …
Obviously … that mandate for ensuring an area free of Hezbollah munitions has not worked out. …
UNIFIL remains in southern Lebanon, on an annual budget now totaling almost $550 million (more than 27% of that funded by U.S. taxpayers), with more than 11,000 peacekeeping troops. …
“So,” Claudia Rosett asks rhetorically, “what is UNIFIL doing?” And she tells us:
Well, they are embodying diversity, with troops from 38 countries. They have put out a 2013 calendar featuring “Women of UNIFIL.” And according to UNIFIL’s web site, they have been providing quite an array of services to the local community:
“UNIFIL contingents provide free medical, dental, veterinary and such other assistance to the local population.” Beyond that. they have been providing training programs for the locals, “in such fields as computers, languages, bread making, knitting, yoga, taekwondo and so on.”
So, while UNIFIL has proved unable to stop Hezbollah from amplifying its previous military facilities into a warren of hundreds of bunkers stuffed with thousand of rockets and missiles, UNIFIL has been toiling away to provide everything from computer instruction to free medical care to yoga, knitting, and taekwondo lessons to the local population that hosts these Hezbollah weapons facilities. Should we really call this peacekeeping? Sounds more like free services for Hezbollah.
The UN must be destroyed.
What is Israel doing about the massive arming of Hezbollah?
The following paragraph is a digest of quotations from this article, and was first posted on our TAC Facebook page:
[Yesterday, May 5, 2013] Israel conducted a second round of strikes in three days on advanced weapons including Iranian F-110 weapons bound for Hizballah in transit at Damascus international airport. Syrian TV reported only an attack on the Jamraya military research center just north of Damascus. This was the same facility which Israeli planes attacked in January. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that the strike on Syria overnight represented a “declaration of war” by Israel. Russian and Iranian media earlier predicted full-scale Middle East hostilities involving Israel erupting in the coming hours, in the wake of Israel’s renewed strikes against Iranian missiles bound for Hizballah and other targets around Damascus. Russian sources reported rumors that President Bashar Assad was on the point of declaring war on Israel. Russia Today claimed that an Israeli rocket strike caused heavy Syrian casualties – according to rumors, at least 300 members of the Syrian Army’s 501st Unit dead and hundreds filling four Damascus hospitals. If this is confirmed, then the unit which operates the chemical weapon facility at the Barzeh district north of Damascus at the foot of Mt. Qassioun was hit. Israel’s security cabinet holds emergency session.
The UN must be destroyed because (to put it very mildly, coolly, and objectively):
- It does no good to anyone
- It does much harm to many
- It is unreformable
- It was a colossal mistake of wishful thinking from its beginning
- It is kept going only because it is a gravy train for its bureaucrats and diplomats at enormous expense to tax-payers, especially Americans
A documentary film made recently by Ami Horowitz and Matt Groff, UN Me, exposes the worst incidences of its uselessness and corruption, violent and cruel actions, and refusals to do what it purportedly came into existence to do.
The following extracts are from an excellent article on the film by Bruce Bawer at Front Page. (It is well worth reading in full.)
UN Me begins by according us a few brief glimpses of the sheer sloth that characterizes the whole shebang. Old UN hands describe the short working days, long lunches, and frequent midday naps that characterize the everyday life of many of its functionaries. Wandering the halls of UN headquarters in New York shortly after 5 PM on a weekday, Horowitz … encounters a virtual ghost town: almost everybody has long since cleared out for the day. This institutional torpor is, he makes clear, emblematic of the whole worldwide enterprise. …
Horowitz reminds us that countries like Libya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and China have sat on the UN Human Rights Commission – and, later, on the Human Rights Council that was meant to be an improvement on that comically corrupt agency.
In 2010, Iran was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
At one point in the film, Horowitz asks Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and director of the UN’s 2009 anti-racism conference in Geneva, why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of all people, was named keynote speaker at that event. That question, she replies in a small voice, is “not for me to answer.” (No, you don’t get far at the UN by providing honest answers to reasonable questions like that one.)
Horowitz informs us that Article 6 of the UN Charter actually “calls for the expulsion of any nation that consistently violates the principles of the charter.” Yet no member country has ever been expelled under Article 6. Shashi Tharoor, UN information chief, cheerfully explains that it’s best to have everybody “under the same tent.” …
The film covers some of the more egregious scandals involving UN peacekeeping … anecdotes about peacekeepers in various countries who, in their interactions with the people they were there to protect, acted like thugs, got rich trafficking drugs, spent their time whoring, and sexually abused minors. Peacekeepers in the Congo committed literally thousands of rapes. At least one ran a pedophilia ring.
We’re shown video of UN bureaucrats solemnly vowing that errant peacekeepers will be caught and punished. But in fact almost no UN peacekeeper has ever been held accountable for anything.
In Côte d’Ivoire, peacekeepers actually fired on peaceful, unarmed protestors.
They were standing together, men women and children, singing happily when UN sharp shooters fired on them. One of the few times the “peacekeepers” have actually used their arms.
But was anyone punished? No; that’s just not the UN way. When Horowitz, in a sit-down interview with Abou Moussa, head of the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire, asks about the episode, Moussa gets up and leaves.
The film moves on to the absurdity that is the International Atomic Energy Agency – which, tasked with preventing nuclear-arms proliferation, has actually helped North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan to acquire nuclear technology, purportedly for peaceful purposes. Since, as the film notes, the IAEA can only perform inspections in countries that invite it to do so, it spends more than 80% of its $380 million annual budget inspecting facilities in – believe it or not – Germany, Japan, and Canada. …
Iran carries on towards making nuclear weapons. The UN and its agencies can do nothing about it, nor would if they could. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is one of the most honored, ecstatically applauded gasbags in the UN General Assembly, he who has homosexuals hanged and women stoned to death. Ahmadinejad is the perfect personification of the spirit of the United Nations Organization.
Then there’s terrorism. After 9/11, the UN passed Resolution 1373, which was supposedly designed to fight terrorism. It would appear to be as toothless a measure as was ever ratified by a deliberative body. Horowitz interviews Javier Ruperez, whose title is – get this – Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council. Asked what the committee actually does to fight terrorism, Ruperez speaks blandly of the production of reports. Member countries, you see, are asked to file reports indicating whether or not they’re aiding terrorists. The directorate, or committee, or whatever it is also sends inspectors for, oh, a week or so to various countries to find out whether anything fishy is going on there. None of this, of course, actually accomplishes anything. Asked whether the UN has official lists of terrorist groups and of countries that support terror, Ruperez says no: “This is not the practice of the UN.” …
Another question: how does the UN define terrorism? This, Ruperez declares, is still a “pending matter.” …
The UN will not define terrorism because the General Assembly is dominated by terrorism-sponsoring states.
Next up: the Oil for Food scandal – which, as Claudia Rosett, the top-notch UN expert and eloquent UN critic, tells Horowitz, was absolutely “designed to produce corruption.” Allegedly, the objective of the program was to provide food, medical supplies, and so forth to the Iraqi people in exchange for oil; in reality, a bunch of UN big shots, up to and including Security Council representatives … lined their pockets with kickbacks. But, again, the UN did nothing – it was, as Rosett says, “the biggest scam in the history of human relief,” but nobody was fired or jailed. As always, the UN proved that nothing could be more alien to its institutional culture than the idea of accountability.
The Rwanda genocide gets its own sad chapter in UN Me. The head of the UN peacekeepers in that country, General Romeo Dallaire, actually wanted to do the right thing. But when he asked Kofi Annan, then in charge of all UN peacekeeping forces, for authority to take relatively modest action to prevent a looming genocide, Annan said no. Why? Because it was more important to protect the UN’s “image of impartiality” than to protect people from genocide. UN forces were even ordered to withdraw from a school where they were the only thing standing between Tutsi refugees – many of them children and old people – and Hutus with machetes. Result: a brutal massacre for which – yet again – no UN personnel were punished.
Live footage of what happened there is one of the most heart-rending scenes in the film.
While this nightmare was unfolding in Rwanda, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, then secretary-general of the UN, was on a European tour, which he refused to cancel in order to deal with Rwanda.
He had urgently to attend a string of universities bestowing honorary degrees on him for being such a benefactor of mankind.
When he did return to New York, he denied that Tutsi were being exterminated. … Horowitz and Groff even got Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on camera smoothly asserting that in the wake of the Rwanda genocide, it’s best not to “allocate the blame to one actor or the other.”
Horowitz also interviews Jody Williams, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was invited by the UN to examine the situation in Darfur and who ended up livid at the UN’s palpable discomfort with her undiplomatic conclusions and its failure to act on her urgent recommendations. …
At film’s end, Horowitz and Graff pose a simple question: what, given all these unpleasant facts, does the UN stand for? The answer, alas, is clear. It stands for itself – period. Like many other pointless bureaucracies, it is about perpetuating its own existence and enhancing its own image – and about seeking to squelch the truth about its fecklessness, incompetence, and absolute lack of a moral compass. It’s also … about providing hack politicians from around the world with yet another career steppingstone, once they’ve risen to the top of the ladder in their own crummy little countries and finished emptying their own citizens’ pockets.
Please watch the film!
Yet again, the UN is conspiring against the world.
Claudia Rosett writes:
The United Nations hasn’t stopped the carnage in Syria, hasn’t stopped Iran’s race for nuclear weapons, and so far hasn’t even managed to produce financial disclosure forms for its top officials that actually disclose anything about their finances. (For instance, here’s the UN “disclosure” form for the head of the UN Environment Program, Achim Steiner.)
Please read the disclosure form. All by itself it provides an insight into everyday practices at the United Nations.
But that’s no bar to the UN proposing to plan the future of the planet. While the headlines focus on upheaval in the Middle East, financial crisis in Europe, an election year politics in the U.S., the UN has been planning its grand summit-level Rio+20 Conference, scheduled for June 20-22 in Brazil. This will mark the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, which helped spade the ground for climate hysteria, the Kyoto treaty, and the quack vilification of the world’s most productive economies. This round, the UN plans to make even more “sustainable” the things the UN-ocracy would like to see sustained — paramount among them, the UN itself.
As is the way of such UN confabs, the Rio+20 Conference already has a “Dedicated Secretariat,” headed by China’s Sha Zukang, the UN Under-Secretary-General who made news in 2010 for his drunken rant during a UN retreat at an Austrian ski resort — in which Sha declared he had never liked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and he didn’t like Americans either. Also in 2010, Sha served as ceremonial presenter of a “World Harmony Award” to the former Chinese military chief who was operational commander during the 1989 crushing of the Tiananmen Square uprising.
Now … Ban Ki-Moon, Sha Zukang and another two dozen or more of the UN’s top Rio+20 planners held a closed-door retreat last October, at a Long Island mansion, where they discussed how Rio+20 could help them reshape the world. The proceedings were meant to be secret (apparently, UN top managers prefer that the world not know the details until their world reshaping is already well underway). …
The minutes include the usual mind-numbing welter of UN buzz words: “sustainable…implementing… institutional framework… integration, implementation and coherence…” etc. …
Thanks in substantial part to U.S. tax dollars that subsidize most of its system, the UN has the ability and resources to stage these mega-conferences, whether the U.S. contributes directly or not.
These conferences produce secretariats that become permanent fixtures, and spin off other conferences, commissions, programs — which in turn become frameworks and funders of global lobbying efforts in which an organized few can trample the interests of a disorganized many.
At what cost to humanity does this “sustain” and continually expand the UN, and its ever-swelling ambitions?
As it is, we have a huddle of UN officials — none of them chosen by any process that a normal democracy would recognize as elections — bankrolled in substantial part by U.S. tax dollars, and protected by UN immunities, meeting in luxurious secrecy on Long Island to plan the reshaping of the world.
The UN must be destroyed.
Now we have the UN pitching plans — again — for taxes on world commerce that would pluck scores of billions directly from the private sector every year, and send this lucre through the skimmers of the UN system, to be reallocated as the UN might prefer.
In a PJ Media article, Claudia Rosett – by far the most illuminating and reliable authority on the UN and its iniquities – writes:
Never mind where you might stand on the question of global warming, global cooling, climate change or plain old weather. If there’s one constant to this entire climate debate, it is that in the name of “climate,” the United Nations wishes to regulate and tax the economy of the planet — stripping resources from the most productive economies to hand them out as assorted UN bureaucrats deem fit.
This is an agenda for global central planning — which, at the extreme, is what the Soviet Union envisioned as the radiant future of mankind, at least until the USSR itself collapsed as a basket case of monstrously misallocated resources, pervaded by the nightmare repression required to enforce such a system. Nonetheless, at the UN this agenda keeps coming up, year after year, at one climate conference after another.
The proclamations of emergency have varied, but always, in the middle of it, there is the UN, proposing to serve as planner and traffic cop for global commerce — a role that entails the UN aiming to redirect resources and collecting a cut to cover the administrative enterprises of its own neo-colonial empire of agencies, organizations, intergovernmental outfits, programs and special envoys. Somehow that already includes a need for climate conferees to travel great distances at other people’s expense …
Right now, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, they’re at it again, conferring for a fortnight. There, they are trying to design a “Green Climate Fund,” hoping to impose some form of global taxes that would bring in some $100 billion per year, to be redistributed to countries the UN decides are most at risk from change in climate. Reports have been emerging that the UN is eyeing a “carbon” tax on shipping, or international financial transactions, or cross-border aviation. Of course, this would raise the cost of commerce for everyone, so there is a further proposal, reports AFP, to use some of the money to compensate developing countries, at the expense of the most productive countries, for the higher costs. Such an arrangement would presumably require yet more intervention from the UN, since someone would have to decide which countries should be compensated, and to what extent — presumably a changing scene, as economic shifts occur — and of course there would be a need for more international bureaucrats to administer such a scheme. It’s also a good bet that more UN bureaucrats would also devote some of their time to coming up with yet more global tax schemes. The possibilities are staggering.
As a recipe for corruption of monumental scope, this is brilliant.It would open money spigots on a scale the UN to date has only dreamt of. …
The UN is a collective, encased in immunity, prone to horrific waste and abuse, and likewise prone to endless promises of reform and transparency which never quite work out — because there is no mechanism to hold the UN to account, or require that its officials comply with their promises. Even the U.S., which contributes 22% of the UN’s core budget, pours billions into the UN system, and periodically tries to clean the place up, has scant luck. In the 193-member General Assembly, the U.S. casts only one vote. The General Assembly budget process is one in which the U.S. provides the biggest share of the money, and a majority of other states out-vote the U.S. in deciding how it will be spent.
The UN must not be allowed to tax us. The UN must not be allowed to become the world’s Kremlin. The UN must be destroyed.
A non-entity called “Palestine” has been admitted as a member of UNESCO.
The US promptly stopped funding the UN agency, as it was bound to do by law. But with what degree of reluctance in the minds of Obama and his foreign affairs appointees?
Claudia Rosett, always the best commentator on the nefarious goings-on of the UN and its agencies, wrote this at Canada Free Press:
If the U.S. has one big lever right now within the many organizations of the United Nations system, it is the threat to cut the money with which U.S. taxpayers pay the biggest share of the U.N.’s bills. Yet despite a U.S. threat to cut funding, the assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted Monday to grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority. What happened?
The answer may be that the U.N. has little reason to take U.S. threats seriously. That might sound odd, since UNESCO’s decision to seat the Palestinians has indeed choked off U.S. funding for the Paris-based organization. At least for now.
Under U.S. law, the U.S. must deny funding to any part of the U.N. system that grants membership to the Palestinians — at least until they achieve viable statehood by way of negotiating in good faith with Israel. On Monday, following the UNESCO vote, a State Department spokeswoman confirmed that a $60 million U.S. payment for UNESCO, planned for this month, will not be made. Overall, U.S. dues account for 22% of UNESCO’s budget, plus the U.S. throws in millions in voluntary contributions on top. A U.S. cutoff should mean that UNESCO will lose about $80 million per year.
But while money talks, so do U.S. diplomats. For the U.S., the UNESCO vote was a debacle, with the assembled states voting 107 to 14 in favor of admitting the Palestinians, and 52 states abstaining. That would have been the moment for the U.S. ambassador to read UNESCO’s assembly the riot act and announce that the U.S. was pulling out, as it did in 1984, under President Ronald Reagan; returning only in 2003, under President George W. Bush.
Instead, the U.S. diplomatic message to UNESCO has been one of apology, regrets and fawning statements of support for a U.N. body that has just slapped the U.S. in the chops. U.S officials have even been hinting that they are looking for some kind of workaround, to get the money flowing again. …
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland described UNESCO’s admission of “Palestine” as “regrettable” and premature.” But she went on to say the U.S. “will maintain its membership and commitment to UNESCO.” Most telling, she added that the administration would “consult with Congress to ensure that U.S. interests and influence are preserved.”
Why might the administration now wish to consult with Congress? Congress appropriates the money that the U.S. gives to the U.N., and Congress has the power, should it choose, to change the laws now cutting off funds for UNESCO, and for any other U.N. organizations the Palestinians might now seek to join.
In Paris, America’s ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, had even sweeter words for UNESCO. … Sounding more like an envoy of UNESCO than of the U.S., Killion … came close to issuing an outright apology: “We sincerely regret that the strenuous and well-intentioned efforts of many delegations to avoid this result fell short.” [And he] concluded by hinting that UNESCO might not suffer quite as much as expected: “We pledge to continue our efforts to find ways to support and strengthen the important work of this vital organization.”
As for the “strenuous efforts” of the U.S. administration to head off UNESCO’s admission of the Palestinians, American moves in the run up to the Oct. 31 vote included topping up UNESCO’s coffers. On Oct. 18, with the vote already looming, and the Palestinians fielding a clear majority at the impending assembly, the U.S. tipped $1.77 million in voluntary, extra-budgetary funding into UNESCO’s till. …
And, as UNESCO’s delegates prepared on Monday to cast their votes, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter addressed the assembly. She did not bother to mention that Palestinian TV, schools and summer camps still indoctrinate Palestinian children in hatred of Israel, nor did she note that the Palestinian Authority’s logo shows a map on which Israel has been obliterated. She was there to tell the delegates that … “This General Conference is an opportunity for us to renew our commitment, because the world needs a strong UNESCO.”
Does it? A truth that seems lost on the current U.S. administration is that UNESCO’s assembly of member states, with its jubilant nose-thumbing vote against American policy and interests, is no anomaly. It is a pretty accurate reflection of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which is substantially mirrored in voting and governing bodies throughout the U.N. system. …
Right now the U.S. is also shelling out more than $400 million for a $1.9 billion renovation of the U.N.’s headquarters in Manhattan, kitting out U.N. delegates and staff with state of the art equipment and comforts. All this translates into a lavish entitlement system, in which U.N. member states, and the U.N. organizations they largely control, are accustomed to using one hand to poke America in the eye, while holding out the other hand for more U.S. tax dollars.
With UNESCO membership a done deal, the Palestinians are shopping for other U.N. organizations to join. A UNESCO seat confers automatic access to a number of other U.N.-affiliated organizations, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva and the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. Palestinian officials have also been floating mentions of applying to the World Health Oragnization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Bank and beyond. …
The UN must be destroyed.
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.
Even skeptics might acknowledge that the world would be better without the United Nations.
Is a start being made on demolishing the UN, or at least a wing of it?
News comes from The Hill:
A key House Republican is quickly pressing forward with her goals to scale back U.S. funding for the United Nations.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Hill that oversight would be a key function of the panel, particularly funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) that is “a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“I’d like to make sure that we once and for all kill all U.S. funding for that beast,” she said last month. “Because I don’t think that it advances U.S. interests, I don’t think that that’s a pro-democracy group, it’s a rogue’s gallery, pariah states, they belong there because they don’t want to be sanctioned.”
Lovers of all things UN – leftists, the State Department, Obama and his shills, global warmists, world-government advocates, anti-Semites – have an argument for supporting the HRC which sounds ever so diplomatic, clever and subtle, as if they were cunningly manipulating the loathsome tyrannies that dominate the organization, when in fact they are trying to deceive its honest and indignant critics.
Supporters of continued U.S. support of and participation on the HRC say that it’s essential that Washington have leverage on the panel, renowned for including countries that have their own records of human-rights violations [to put it very mildly – JB].
But staunchly the admirable Ros-Lehtinen is sticking to her resolution:
On Tuesday, Ros-Lehtinen will host a panel of U.N. critics and advocates … The 10 a.m. briefing before the full committee is titled, “The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action.”
Fans of the UN and the shills for the HRC will appear before it to put their cunning (but transparent) argument:
One of those scheduled to testify, Peter Yeo, represents the United Nations Foundation/Better World Campaign, which at the start of President Obama’s term urged the commander in chief to “mount a campaign” to secure a place on the HRC, which the Bush administration had boycotted.
“Support of our UN commitments is more than an obligation, it is a smart investment in America’s strategic, economic and political interests,” Yeo told The Hill. “Continued American engagement and diplomacy at the UN will only advance our goals for democracy, human rights and world prosperity.”
But there will be others who are fully aware of the evil the UN does, and some who have nobly exposed it.
U.N. critics set to appear include Claudia Rosett, who unveiled the oil-for-food scandal in 2004 and 2005 in The Wall Street Journal; Brett Schaefer, who regularly takes on the U.N. at the conservative Heritage Foundation; and Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which monitors the controversial HRC. …
Neuer [said] of Obama’s initiative to place a U.S. representative on the council with the intention of reforming from within that it was “naive for anyone to have thought it would change significantly.”
Or at all, since changing it is not Obama’s real intention – unless into a seat of world government.
Neuer probably knows this. He certainly knows how iniquitous the UN and the HRC really are. He has pointed out that 35 of the 45 resolutions produced by the HRC over the last five years have been “one-sided measures against Israel.” And he has lamented (The Hill reports) that “the U.S. and allied nations haven’t pulled together to trigger emergency sessions on crises such as the crackdown on democracy demonstrators in Iran or abuses against Tibetans or Uighurs by China.”
Another Republican who wants to “take on the UN” through control of the purse-strings, is Rep. Cliff Stearns:
The first bill in this Congress taking on the U.N., introduced on the first day the House was in session, came from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) [who] introduced a measure to ensure that no federal funds may be used for the “design, renovation, construction, or rental of any headquarters for the United Nations in any location in the United States” unless Obama “transmits to Congress a certification that the United Nations has adopted internationally recognized best practices in contracting and procurement.”
“During the Bush administration, it was learned from internal U.N. auditors that 43 percent of $1.4 billion in procurement contracts investigated involved fraud,” Stearns said in a statement to The Hill.
“In addition, U.N. peacekeeping operations are plagued with numerous cases of abuse and sexual exploitation,” he added. “The U.N. is in desperate need of reform from top to bottom, and my bill is designed to have the world body take the simple step of adopting internationally recognized best practices in contracting and procurement, which includes taking the bid representing the best value.”
But the UN is not reformable. The UN (like its predecessor the League of Nations) was a bad idea to start with. After the Second World War the victors sat down together on the UN Security Council where the West and the Soviets, and later Communist China, glared at each other for the the duration of the Cold War – and still do; while in the General Assembly an overwhelming majority of despotisms vented their envy and spite against the West and especially Israel – and still do; and the bureaucrats who ran it, or at least some of them, corruptly enriched themselves at the expense of helplessly subjugated peoples (as in the oil-for-food scandal when they conspired with Saddam Hussein to line their own pockets and rob the oppressed Iraqis) – and still do.
The US sustains it. The US could destroy it at a stroke. Just not giving it the billions it does ($6.347 billion was the amount of American tax-payers’ money handed over to the UN in 2009) would crash the whole institution.
The Republicans are not apparently planning to be so radical as to bring down the edifice. Or not immediately anyway. We might hope that it is in their minds as an eventual aim. At present they’re ready only to chip away at its corners:
The U.N. is also included in a broad-reaching budget-slashing bill by Ways and Means Committee member Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
The Cut Unsustainable and Top-Heavy Spending Act of 2011, introduced Jan. 7, calls for a 10 percent reduction in voluntary contributions to the United Nations — monies the U.S. is not required to give by law — for fiscal year 2011. …
“America can fulfill its generous financial obligations to the U.N., but will set priorities within the voluntary funding areas,” he said. “A financially and economically sound United States is in the U.N.’s best interest.”
A politically wise United States would see that abolishing the UN would be in the world’s best interest. A movement to achieve its abolition would be a real “Better World Campaign”.
The Republicans need to throw away the chisel and lay the explosive, because the UN must be destroyed.
The UN does an enormous amount of harm. It would have to do an enormous amount of good just to balance its moral books, but does it do or has it ever done any good at all? If so, we’ve missed it.
Whatever the noble intentions behind its creation, its General Assembly is nothing better than a grand coven where evil-wishers chant curses on the United States and Israel. Its Security Council occasionally passes resolutions, of dubious value at best, that theoretically have the force of law but cannot be enforced. Its plethora of commissions and agencies send their devils posting about, going to and fro on the earth and driving up and down on it, doing wrong on tax-free wages.
And who pays pays the most for it? Why, the United States of course.
From the Heritage Foundation:
The U.S. has been the largest financial supporter of the U.N. since the organization’s founding in 1945. The U.S. is currently assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. In dollar terms, the Administration’s budget for FY 2011 requested $516.3 million for the U.N. regular budget and more than $2.182 billion for the peacekeeping budget.
The U.S. also provides assessed financial contributions to other U.N. organizations and voluntary contributions to many more U.N. organizations. …
The OMB [Office of Management and Budget] released its report on FY 2009 U.S. contributions to the U.N. in June 2010. The report revealed that the U.S. provided $6.347 billion to the U.N. system in FY 2009, including over $4 billion from the State Department, over $1.7 billion from USAID, over $245 million from the Department of Agriculture, and tens of millions more from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Energy.
This is an all-time record in U.S. financial contributions to the U.N. system but, considering recent budget trends in the U.N., the record is likely to be broken in FY 2010.
Claudia Rosett writes about the UN’s waste, fraud, and abuse. She combs through such reports as can be winkled out of it and finds these instances among others:
In the realms of UN peacekeeping, with its more than $8 billion annual budget, for which U.S. taxpayers alone fork out roughly $2 billion per year, check out the UN’s nearly $1 billion annual program for peacekeeping air operations. In an August, 2009 report, the UN’s own internal auditors noted that participation by senior management was “inadequate,” current staffing levels were “insufficient,” time of effective bidding on air charter services was “insufficient,” provisions in air charter agreements were “unclear” and some vendor registration was “improper.”
It takes a certain amount of determination to slog through the UN jargon, in which an executive summary of “not adequate” is often code for outright abuse or screaming failure, if you slog on to the details of the report. But in these reports, which cover only a sampling of the UN’s sprawling global system, the problems roll on and on. In corners that rarely receive attention from the media, they range from poorly documented lump-sum handling of noncompetitively-sourced travel arrangements for the UN mission in East Timor (UNMIT), to the UN’s disregard of its own rules in choosing a director for the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), headquartered in Japan. …
When the Oil-for-Food scandal [UN/Iraq, see here] broke big time in 2004, the UN refused to release its internal audits of the program even to governments of member states, including its chief donor, the U.S. After a showdown with congressional investigators, the internal audits were finally tipped out in early 2005, via the UN inquiry led by Paul Volcker. They provided damning insights into UN administrative abuses and derelictions that helped feed the gusher of Oil-for-Food corruption. Those reports might have been useful in heading off the damage of that UN blowout, had they been released to the public as they were produced, instead of being exposed later as an embarrassing piece of the UN’s self-serving coverup. …
The UN delenda est!
The UN must be destroyed!