The great Pat Condell on the subject of Evil HQ, aka the United Nations:
THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!
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.
Could there be something happening in the world today that is even more threatening to life and liberty than Islam and its jihad?
There could be, there is, and its name is Agenda 21.
It emanates from that powerhouse of evil, the United Nations. It was initiated and is driven by votaries of a dark mysticism. They call themselves shamans. They freely confess – no, they boast – that they are working to establish totalitarian world government; that they aim to reduce the population of the world to half a billion and keep it at that number; that those suffered to live must return to a primitive existence deriving bare sustenance from such resources as their local habitat provides, own nothing, and worship the earth goddess Gaia with prescribed ritual.
That is their vision of a new world order, the ultimate objective. It is to be attained step by step, starting with the enforcing of environmental regulations (among them the phasing out of the motor vehicle); emptying the suburbs and bringing people into the cities to be closely and austerely housed; returning the countryside to wilderness, which involves the destruction of roads …
Is this just absurd alarmism? Surely no plotters, even in the UN, could really bring this off, could they? They haven’t really started doing these things have they? Who are these shadowy figures who can exert irresistible influence on the political powers of this world?
We quote from The Green Agenda, a (Christian) site established to expose the movement for world government and explain how it is being put into effect, chiefly through the implementation of Agenda 21. It has links to the documents themselves.
Agenda 21 spreads it tentacles from Governments, to federal and local authorities, and right down to community groups. Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 specifically calls for each community to formulate its own Local Agenda 21: “Each local authority should enter into a dialogue with its citizens, local organizations, and private enterprises to formulate ‘a Local Agenda 21.’ Through consultation and consensus-building, local authorities would learn from citizens and from local, civic, community, business and industrial organizations and acquire the information needed for formulating the best strategies.” – Agenda 21, Chapter 28, sec 1.3
Interestingly, in April 1991, fourteen months before Earth Summit, Prince Charles held a private two day international conference aboard the royal yacht Britannia, moored off the coast of Brazil. His goal was to bring together key international figures in an attempt to achieve a degree of harmony between the various countries that would gather at the Summit. Al Gore was present, along with senior officials from the United Nations and the World Bank.
At the summit 179 nations officially signed Agenda 21 and many more have followed since. Nearly 12,000 local and federal authorities have legally committed themselves to the Agenda. In practice this means that all their plans and policies must begin with an assessment of how the plan or policy meets the requirements of Agenda 21, and no plans or policies are allowed to contradict any part of the Agenda. Local authorities are audited by UN inspectors and the results of the audits are placed on the UN website. You can see how many local authorities in your country were bound by Agenda 21 in 2001 here. The number has increased significantly since then.
The official opening ceremony was conducted by the Dalai Lama and centered around a Viking long-ship that was constructed to celebrate the summit and sailed to Rio from Norway. The ship was appropriately named Gaia. A huge mural of a beauiful woman holding the earth within her hands adorned the entrance to the summit. Al Gore led the US delegation where he was joined by 110 Heads of State, and representatives of more than 800 NGO’s.
Maurice Strong, Club of Rome member, devout Bahai, founder and first Secretary General of UNEP [UN Environment Program], has been the driving force behind the birth and imposition of Agenda 21.
He chaired the Earth Summit, and outside, while he did, –
His wife Hanne and 300 followers called the Wisdom-Keepers, continuously beat drums, chanted prayers to Gaia, and tended sacred flames in order to “establish and hold the energy field” for the duration of the summit. …
In the course of his opening speech Maurice Strong made these remarks:
“The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states … The global community must be assured of environmental security.”
“We must transform our attitudes, and adopt a renewed respect for the superior laws of Divine Nature.”
“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable. A shift is necessary which will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations.”
“Global management” is required in order to keep the earth clean and pure. Or it is necessary to keep the earth clean and pure in order to impose “global management”. Take your pick, because it is never made clear which is the means and which the end. In any case, they’re after “global management” (which we believe is the end). They will manage your life because they know best. You will do as they say. For “sustainability“. And to serve the Higher Good. Which is the nursing of the planet. The serving of the planet. The worshiping of the planet.
And the preservation of everything that lives on it. Even human beings within strict limits. This is called “biodiversity“.
The Global Biodiversity Assessment of the State of the Earth, prepared by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) –
armed UN leaders with the “ecological basis, and moral authority” they needed to validate their global management system. The GBA concludes … that “the root causes of the loss of biodiversity are embedded in the way societies use resources. This world view is characteristic of large scale societies, heavily dependent on resources brought from considerable distances. It is a world view that is characterized by the denial of sacred attributes in nature.”
For this the inscribers of this idiotic document blame Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – of which we are not defenders; but it’s not as if they themselves are against religious superstition – far from it:
“Eastern cultures with religious traditions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism did not depart as drastically from the perspective of humans as members of a community of beings including other living and non-living elements.”
The UN was delighted with this tosh. Maurice Strong was honored and rewarded:
Following the Earth Summit Maurice Strong was named Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, and was appointed to the position of Chief Policy Advisor by Kofi Annan. He was also a member of the UN’s Commission on Global Governance, and the key architect of the Kyoto Protocol.
Did you know that the UN has a Commission on Global Governance? Do Western governments know it? If so, why is the UN allowed to continue in existence?
Just as the dirty mystic Rasputin was able to influence the rulers of Russia, so Maurice Strong is able to influence the would-be rulers of the world in the UN. A parliament of fools if ever there was one.
Strong and his wife have also established the Manitou Foundation, providing land in Colorado to an eclectic mix of religious groups, including the Crestone Mountain Zen Center, the Spiritual Life Institute (a Catholic Carmelite monastery), the Haidakhandi Universal Ashram, the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center, Mangala Shri Bhuti (Tibetan Buddhists), and Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang (Indian mystics). The Strongs have located their spiritual centre in the Colorado mountains because:”The Strongs learned that since antiquity indigenous peoples had revered this pristine wilderness as a place for conducting their vision quests and receiving shamanic trainings. It is prophesied that the world’s religious traditions would gather here and help move the world toward globally conscious co-existence and co-creation.”
But while these multifarious dupes and charlatans wait for their “vision quests” and “shamanic trainings”, their drumming, their sacred flames, and their invocations to return the human race to primitive savagery, the collective political steps to the same end are being taken conscientiously by national and local government in accordance with Agenda 21.
So what exactly does Agenda 21 contain? It consists of 115 different and very specific programs designed to facilitate, or to force, the transition to Sustainable Development. The objective, clearly enunciated by the leaders of the Earth Summit, is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The agenda is broken up into 8 “programme areas for action”: Agriculture, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, Education, Energy and Housing, Population, Public Health, Resources and recycling, Transportation, Sustainable Economic Development.
A link to the entire document is provided, but as the author says, it would take a few days to read all of this “blueprint for the 21st century”. The first six paragraphs are quoted for those with less time at their disposal. There the assertion is made that it “reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation”.
This is nonsense of course. There is no global consensus. As for a political commitment “at the highest level”, if this means that the likes of Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Angela Merkel, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, have swallowed the ballyhoo without even chewing it, then yes.
It also asserts that “the developmental and environmental objectives of Agenda 21 will require a substantial flow of new and additional financial resources to developing countries, in order to cover the incremental costs for the actions they have to undertake to deal with global environmental problems and to accelerate sustainable development. Financial resources are also required for strengthening the capacity of international institutions for the implementation of Agenda 21.” That means taxing us, and global redistribution of our money.
The author (whose name we have not discovered) stresses that “Agenda 21 is … an attempt to impose a global centrally planned quasi-government administered by the United Nations. Under Agenda 21 all central government and local authority signatories are required to conform strictly to a common prescribed standard and hence this is just communism resurrected in a new guise.”
She also says that “Agenda 21 has [already] gained a stranglehold on global regulatory and planning processes”.
We think this is true, at least to some significant extent.
In our town the City Council is certainly putting Agenda 21 into effect. Small-unit housing is being built near railway stations. It is not family accomodation, but most suitable for single occupants. (Families are to be discouraged from living together. The family as such is bad for the environment and for collective organization.) There will be places to park bicycles but not cars. Private transport is being discouraged. “Smart meters” will inform the Authorities how warm or how cool the occupant keeps his/her austere little space. How much heat, light and water you use will not only be monitored, but controlled.
Hundreds of cities in many if not all the states have embarked, or plan to embark, on the same sort of program. (Unless they’re going bankrupt. It may be that economic crisis, bad as it is, could save us from something worse.)
President Obama is against the existence of the suburbs, where individual families live in privately-owned houses. He wants to concentrate population in the cities. (Some have written about this – eg. see here – but have not put it into its proper context, which is the implementation of Agenda 21.) The government can, has, and will use the eminent domain clause of the fifth amendment to expropriate private property.
It is more than likely happening in your town. Your property is under threat. Your way of life is being decided for you.
Not only do we have Christians, we even have some Democrats on our side in confronting this horrifying movement.
Watch this video made by Democrats Against UN Agenda 21. It is long but informative. The worst news about what state and local government are doing to us comes after the 50 minute mark, but don’t skip too much before that. The shocking information needs the explanation and context.
The UN must be destroyed.
It’s past time for a realistic solution to the Palestinians’ predicament to be found and implemented.
Dr Martin Sherman has a proposal well worth hearing.
He writes at Front Page Magazine:
The Palestinian refugee problem is, to a large degree, an artificial construct. The UN body under whose auspices all the refugees on the face of the globe fall — except for the Palestinians — is the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A separate institution exists for the Palestinians — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNHCR and UNRWA have widely different definitions for the term “refugee” and widely divergent mandates for dealing with them.
According to the High Commission’s definition, the number of refuges decreases over time, while according to the UNRWA definition, the number increases. This “definition disparity” brings about an astonishing situation: If the High Commission criterion was applied to the Palestinians, the number of refugees would shrink dramatically to around 200,000 – i.e., less than 5 percent of the current number of almost 5 million according to the UNRWA definition.
Moreover, while the mandate of the UNHCR permits the body to seek permanent solutions for refugees under its auspices, UNRWA is permitted only to provide ongoing humanitarian aid for the ever-increasing population of Palestinians. Accordingly, while UNHCR operates to dissipate the problems of the refugees under its auspices, UNRWA activities serve only to prolong their refugee status and thus, their predicament. Indeed, rather than reduce the dimensions of the refugee problem, UNRWA has actually functioned to perpetuate the refugee status of the Palestinians from one generation to the next. It has create an enduring and expanding culture of dependency, while cultivating an unrealistic fantasy of returning to a home that no longer exists.
As long as the Palestinian refugee problem continues to be treated in what former Congressman Tom Lantos called “this privileged and prolonged manner” it will never be resolved. Accordingly, the first step toward the resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem must be the abolition of UNRWA …
Of course the Arab leaders would oppose this move. Far from wanting to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in their countries, Arab leaders insist on maintaining and even exacerbating it, in order to display it to the world – as a beggar will display his bleeding sores to elicit alms – and blame it on “the Jews”. The idea is to exploit the conscience of the West, thus proving that they themselves have no conscience whatsoever.
Throughout the Arab world, the Palestinians are subject to blatant discrimination with regard to employment opportunities, property ownership, freedom of movement, and acquisition of citizenship. For example, Saudi Arabia in 2004 announced it was introducing measures to ease the attainment of Saudi citizenship for all foreigners who were residing in the country except Palestinians, half a million of whom live in the kingdom.
Similar policies of discrimination are prevalent in other Arab states. A 2004 Los Angeles Times report painted a grim picture of the life Palestinians are forced to endure among the Arab “brethren.” According to the report, Palestinians in Egypt suffer restrictions on employment, education, and owning property, and when Egypt announced in 2003 that it would grant nationality to children of Egyptian mothers married to foreigners, Palestinians were excluded. In Lebanon, meanwhile, nearly 400,000 Palestinians live in 12 “refugee camps,” where crime is rife and clashes between rival Palestinian factions are common. Palestinians cannot own property or get state health care. According to Tayseer Nasrallah, head of the Palestinian Refugee Rights Committee in the West Bank, Lebanon bans refugees from 72 areas of employment, including medicine and engineering. Syria, with a population of 18 million, is a strong verbal supporter of the Palestinian cause, but refuses citizenship to its 410,000 Palestinian refugees. Even in Jordan, where Palestinians comprise nearly 70% of the population, Palestinians complain that they are discriminated against in terms of employment.
When approached on this issue of discrimination against the Palestinian residents in Arab countries, Hisham Youssef, spokesman for the 22-nation Arab League, openly acknowledged that Palestinians live “in very bad conditions,” but claimed the policy is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity.” He went on to explain with perhaps unintended candor: “If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine.”
As blatant an admission, Hisham Youssef’s, as any we have heard (and we have heard a few) that the Arab bloc uses the Palestinians as political tools.
But according to a survey conducted by the well-known Palestinian pollster, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, most Palestinians were less interested in being nationalist standard-bearers than in living fuller lives. This view resonates strongly with opinion samples gathered by the leading Arab television stations Al-Arabiya and Al Jazeera of Palestinians living in the various Arab states, the vast majority of whom very much want to become citizens in their respective countries of residence.
No surprise there.
This clearly seems to indicate that Palestinian national identity is something more jealously guarded by non-Palestinian Arabs rather than the Palestinians themselves.
It is only the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that allows the Arab countries to continue to keep the Palestinians within their borders in their situation of suspended stateless animation. For while its mandate prevents finding a permanent solution for the Palestinian residents in these countries, it is the ongoing humanitarian aid that it provides for an ever-increasing client population that permits the host governments to sustain their discriminatory policy toward their Palestinian “guests,” to perpetuate their inferior status, and to allow their situation to languish and fester. …
Dr Sherman then comes to the nub of his solution. He suggests that every Palestinian family should be given “a sum of money equivalent to the life earning of an average citizen in countries that could serve as an appropriate alternative place of residence – probably, but dominantly Arab or Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, or countries with significant Arab/Moslem communities in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.” This, he hopes, would be an inducement to such countries to accept them as citizens.
The money should be given to the individuals, not channeled through their so-called leaders, none of whom has done them any good, and all of whom would certainly reject the scheme on the grounds that the cruel tactic of displaying their suffering must be continued.
After decades of disastrous failure, it should be clear that there is little chance of resolving the Palestinian issue if we continue to consider Palestinians as a cohesive entity with which contacts are conducted via some sort of “leadership.” Efforts should therefore be devoted exclusively towards individual Palestinians and towards allowing them, as individuals, free choice as to how to chart their future. …
How much should be offered?
The scale of the offer would be on the order of the average lifetime earnings in some relevant host country for each family head — i.e. the GDP per capita of such a country multiplied by at least say 40-50 years. (As a comparative yardstick, this would be equivalent to an immigrant bread-winner arriving in the US with 2-2.5 million dollars.)
How likely would they be to accept it?
A November 2004 survey [was] commissioned by the Jerusalem Summit and conducted by a reputable Palestinian polling center in conjunction with a well-know Israeli institute to gauge Palestinians’ willingness to emigrate permanently in exchange for material compensation. Significantly, the poll showed that only 15% of those polled would absolutely refuse to accept any such inducements, while over 70% stated that they would be willing to take the bargain.
Would they then find countries willing to take them in?
For the prospective host countries the proposal has considerable potential economic benefits. The Palestinians arriving at their gates will not be impoverished refugees, but relatively prosperous individuals with the equivalent of decades of local per capita GDP in their pockets. Indeed, for every hundred Palestinian families received, the host country could count on around fifteen to twenty million dollars going directly into the private sector. Absorbing 2,500 new Palestinian family units could mean the injection of up to half a billion into local economies often in dire need of such funds.
With that inducement it’s reasonable to suppose that some countries may be willing to take them in, but there’s no certainty.
How much should each family be offered?
If each family head were offered a relocation grant of between $150,000 to $200,000, this would be the equivalent of several decades, and in some cases centuries, of GNP per capita earnings in any one of a wide range of prospective host destinations (see table). Indeed, even in terms of the average overall world per capita GDP (about $7000 U.S.) – such grants would be the equivalent of up to a quarter of a century GNP per capita. (As mentioned previously, in comparative terms, this would be equivalent to a bread winner arriving in the US with 2-2.5 million dollars.)
How much would this amount to?
The aggregate cost of the proposal would be between $45 – 80 billion (depending on whether the relocation grant was $100,000 or $200,000). Extending the relocation to the entire Palestinian population [not just those on the West Bank and Gaza, but also those in the Arab states] would effectively entail doubling the required outlay to $90 –160 billion.
Where would the money come from?
If international donors such as the USA, the EU or OECD countries matched Israel’s input dollar-for-dollar (which would involve contributing only a miniscule portion of these countries’ GNP), the implementation could be sped up considerably, possible within 5 years, without undue burden on the world economy.
Israel to pay the most then? Here we have a disagreement with Dr Sherman, though we like his idea on the whole. Certainly there is reason for Israel to be a donor, but such a disproportionate contribution would make the offer seem like reparation, endorsing the false version of history – which most of the world has swallowed whole – that the Israelis forced the Palestinians into refugeeship and consequently owe them compensation.
He points out that “the overall cost of [a] ‘two-state-solution’ would, in all likelihood, be far greater.” (And will not be accepted by the Arabs anyway. If ever they accept a “state of Palestine”, they will be accepting borders with Israel, which means they will be recognizing the state of Israel, and that they will not do. All the talk, or talk of talks, on the Arab side is purely to seem compliant with the nonsensical prescriptions of the UN, the EU, and Obama.)
If the world powers would consider Dr Sherman’s idea seriously, that would be a step forward. If they tried it and it worked, it would be a great accomplishment.
However, skeptics that we are, we suspect that the UN, the EU, and in particular Obama prefer, like the Arab leaders, to keep pursuing the fantasy of “the two-state solution” because behind it lurks the hope that if a state of Palestine comes into existence at all, eventually it will enlarge to become the only state between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Israel, alone among all the states in the world, has been incipiently de-legitimized, through the persistent work of Islam and the international Left.
Dr. Sherman’s scheme would mean the dispersal of the Palestinians and so their disappearance as a nation. A Palestinian nation would have no more existence than it did before 1948. Many individual Palestinians subjected to apartheid in the lands of their fellow Arabs might not mind too much if the sacrifice of distinctive nationality bought them a better life. But will their choice, their desires, their desperate needs suddenly matter to the champions of their Cause? We doubt it.
It’s another real African story.
The Wichita Eagle of Kansas reports:
Up to half the food aid intended for the millions of hungry people in Somalia is being diverted to corrupt contractors, radical Islamic militants and local U.N. workers, according to a U.N. Security Council report.
The report blames the problem on improper food distribution by the U.N. World Food Program in the African nation, which has been plagued by fighting and humanitarian suffering for nearly two decades, according to a U.N. diplomat. …
Because of the instability in Somalia, transporters must truck bags of food through roadblocks manned by a bewildering array of militias, insurgents and bandits. Kidnappings and executions are common and the insecurity makes it difficult for senior U.N. officials to travel to the country to check on procedures. Investigators could end up relying on the same people they are probing to provide protection.
Strange that we hardly hear a word about this, though surely it’s a much discussed issue in the UN?
There are of course UN sanctions against Somalia:
[A] U.N. diplomat told The Associated Press that “a significant diversion” of food delivered by the U.N. food program is going to cartels that were selling it illegally, according to the report by the panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions against Somalia. …
Although WFP contracts are supposed to be subject to open tender and competitive bidding, “in practice the system offers little or no scope for genuine competition,” the diplomat quoted the report as saying.
The transportation contracts, with a budget of $200 million, constitute the single most important source of revenue in Somalia, the diplomat quoted the report as saying. … “On account of their contracts with WFP, these men have become some of the wealthiest in Somalia” …
Some 3.7 million people in Somalia – nearly half of the population – need aid. Earlier this year, the country’s main extremist Islamic [ie terrorist] group, al-Shabab, said it would prohibit WFP from distributing food in areas under its control because it says the food undercuts farmers selling recently harvested crops. [They have a point there – JB]
Omar Jamal, first secretary for Somalia’s U.N. Mission, told the AP on Wednesday that the problem is “the absence of law and order.”
We wouldn’t argue with that.
“Radicals, al-Shabab have to eat. And ever wonder where their foods come from? Of course, from WFP and UNDP,” said Jamal, also referring to the U.N. Development Program.
Someone really ought to do something about it –
“Empower the Somali government to deal with corrupt contractors, Islamists and war profiteers awash in the country.”
The terrorists who are doing so well out of all this misplaced philanthropy and endemic corruption have a complaint to make:
Al-Shabab [which] controls 95 percent of WFP’s areas of operation … accused the agency of handing out food unfit for human consumption and of secretly supporting “apostates,” or those who have renounced Islam.
Approximately 30 percent of the food goes to the distributors or “implementing partners,” between 5 and 10 percent goes to the armed group in control of the area, and 10 percent to the ground transporter, the diplomat quoted the report as saying.
The rest – about 50 percent of the food aid – is distributed to the needy population.
If they say so.
A couple of footnotes:
The U.S. reduced its funding to Somalia last year after the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control feared aid could be diverted to al-Shabab, which the U.S. State Department says has links to al-Qaida. The issue remains unresolved.
Finance Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman … said the Somali government would investigate the allegations of diverted food aid.
Sure it will. And what a difference it will make.
THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!
Is the world entering a post-American era? Will the 21st century be dominated by some other power, or several others?
In the splendid speech that John Bolton delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2010, he said of Obama, “He is the first post-American president.”
In Obama’s eyes, American superpower status is already over. The decline is happening. There’s no reason to regret it, and it would be pointless and unnecessary to try to halt or reverse it. Obama is content to let America be a nation among the nations, no different in any important respect, and certainly no better. “He sees American decline as a kind of natural phenomenon,” Bolton said.
In Bolton’s own view, however, America is still exceptional and still the one and only superpower. If its status as such is under threat, that threat proceeds from Obama himself, who, almost casually – not caring very much, as John Bolton remarked, about foreign and national security policy – is himself weakening it.
What Obama does care about is domestic policy. To achieve his redistributionist goals he has put America into crushing debt; and being determined, it seems, to turn America into a European-style socialist state, he can only make the debt vaster and heavier. That alone weakens America.
China is America’s chief creditor, but that does not mean China is now a second superpower. A China growing in wealth and confidence, and becoming an increasingly significant world actor, may pose an economic threat to America but is not, or not yet, a rival world power. Militarily it is far from a match. Militarily, America is still far and away the most powerful nation.
But there again, if Obama has his way, it won’t be for much longer. He has, in Bolton’s words, an “incredibly naïve idea” that if the US would get rid of its own nuclear weapons, other countries would give up theirs; those that do not have them but want them – such as Iran and North Korea – would abandon their intense efforts to obtain them; and the world would live at peace forever after. This belief or ambition represents, as John Bolton put it, “a pretty deep-seated strain in the left wing of the Democratic Party.” Obama will soon negotiate an arms control agreement with Russia by which he will undertake substantially to reduce America’s nuclear capability. America will not develop new nuclear weapons, or arms in outer space, or even keep its existing arsenal battle-ready by testing for safety and reliability. It is as if America had no enemies; as if America were not under attack; as if 9/11 had never happened; and as if Iran and North Korea would not drop nuclear bombs on America and its allies if they could do it and get away with it.
Furthermore, with the rest of the dreaming Left both at home and internationally, he aspires to another vision of a new earth: one that is not only sweetly irenic but held forcibly in union by a supreme governing authority. Those proposals for world taxes that we hear of; the intricate business of trading in carbon indulgences in the name of saving the earth from being consumed by fire or ice; international treaty regulations that would result in banning the private ownership of guns – all these are measures to realize the tremendous objective of “world governance”. It would mean the end of American independence, the end of national sovereignty. It would mean that the Revolution was lost, as Bolton said.
In a sense it would be the end of America, because America is an idea of liberty. And it is an idea that the world needs. Its loss would be a colossal disaster, a tragedy for the whole human race.
Can America be saved?
In his book titled The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria asserts that “America is closing down”, but allows that it “won’t be demoted from its superpower position in the foreseeable future” because “it’s not that the United States has been doing badly over the last two decades. It’s that, all of a sudden, everyone else is playing the game.”
America can “remain a vital, vibrant economy, at the forefront of the next revolutions in science, technology and industry, as long as it can embrace and adjust to the challenges confronting it”.
“The challenges” come from other nations, now rising, which he groups together as “the rest”.
China is the first of them because it is becoming an economic giant. The 21st century, he considers, may be the Chinese century.
What if [China ] quietly positions itself as the alternative to a hectoring and arrogant America? How will America cope with such a scenario – a kind of Cold War, but this time with a vibrant market economy, a nation that is not showing a hopeless model of state socialism, or squandering its power in pointless military interventions? This is a new challenge for the United States, one it has not tackled before, and for which it is largely unprepared.
Next in line is India. Poorer but democratic, India is “the ally”. Then come Brazil and Chile (plausibly); South Africa (less plausibly); and (implausibly) Russia. (Russia is a demographic basket case.)
Ironically, Zakaria says, these nations are rising because they learnt from America:
For sixty years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. … We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism.
America, then, has not been a malign power, or not always. In Roosevelt’s day other countries believed that “America’s mammoth power was not to be feared”. It was after it had won the Cold War, when it became the only superpower, that it began to go to the bad. “Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has walked the world like a colossus, unrivaled and unchecked”, and this “has made Washington arrogant, careless, and lazy.” Furthermore, he tell us, “people round the world worry about living in a world in which one country has so much power.”
To relieve that worry, America “must reduce its weaponry and work towards a non-nuclear world.” It is hypocritical for the US to insist that other countries should not have nuclear weapons while it is hoarding a nuclear arsenal of its own. By giving them up it would “gain credibility”, an end he apparently considers so desirable that it would be worth risking the nation’s very survival to achieve it.
The summer of 2002, Zakaria says, was “the high water-mark of unipolarity”. The world felt sympathy for America after 9/11. America went to war in Afghanistan, which was not good but not too bad. But then it invaded Iraq, which was very bad, and the world’s sympathy dried up. America was being too “unilateral”, too “imperial and imperious”.
George W Bush and “the nefarious neoconservative conspiracy” antagonized the world. He and his conspirators “disdained treaties, multilateral organizations, international public opinion, and anything that suggested a conciliatory approach to world politics.”
So the world’s dislike, contempt, and fear of America were justified, or at least understandable, in the light of the foreign policies of the “arrogant” Bush administration. Zakaria even claims that the animosity filled the Republicans – already full of “chest-thumping machismo” – with pride.
Can Washington adjust and adapt to a world in which others have moved up? Can it respond to shift in economic and political power? … Can Washington truly embrace a world with a diversity of voices and viewpoints? Can it thrive in a world it cannot dominate?
The advice he gives to “Washington” for success in adjusting, adapting, responding, embracing, and thriving is to be conciliatory, apologetic. It must listen more; proclaim universal values”, but “phrase its positions carefully”; be like the chair of a board gently guiding a group of independent directors. America must “learn from the rest”. The president must meet more non-government people, have smaller entourages, rely more on diplomacy. Consultation, cooperation, compromise are the key words. He objects to such accomodations being called appeasement. Consult and cooperate, he urges, with Russia, and with “multilateral institutions” such as the UN, NATO, AFRICOM, OAS, and the International Criminal Court. (Even internally, the US legal system “should take note of transnational standards”.)
The federal government has been “too narrow-minded” about terrorism. When bin Laden got America to “come racing out to fight” him (in response to 9/11) this was “over-reaction.” Zakaria’s advice: “take it on the chin” and “bounce back”. The government must stop thinking of terrorism as a national security issue, and think of it as criminal activity carried out by “small groups of misfits”. Although Democrats were on the whole “more sensible” about terrorism, both parties, he says, spoke “in language entirely designed for a domestic audience with no concern for the poisonous effect it has everywhere else.” His solution is better airport control round the world. The more urgent problem in his view is that American Muslims have become victims of over-reaction to terrorist attacks. Instead of being “questioned, harassed, and detained” they should, he urges, “be enlisted in the effort to understand the appeal of Islamic fundamentalism.”
Zakaria does not consider himself anti-American. He does not even see himself as a man of the left. He reiterates that he is a free marketeer. It is because America became “suspicious of free markets”, he says, that partly explains its “closing down”.
He wrote his book before the economic crisis. He saw a globalized economy bringing about an increasingly prosperous world in which the poorest nations were rising strongly enough for him to declare that “the world is swimming in capital”, and “there really isn’t a Third World any more “. But even then the dollar was sliding, and America was showing signs of being “enfeebled”.
At a military-political level America still dominates the world, but the larger structure of unipolarity – economic, financial, cultural – is weakening… every year it becomes weaker and other nations and actors grow in strength.
For all its military might, its chest-thumping phase is over and now it is “cowering in fear”. It must, he says, “recover its confidence.” ‘It must stop being “a nation consumed by anxiety”, with a tendency to “hunker down”, unreasonably “worried about unreal threats” such as terrorism, and rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. (Iran, he explains, has good reason to fear the United States, with its armies on two of its borders. It’s only to be expected that Iran would try to arm itself with nuclear bombs and missile delivery systems. He does not explain why America should not fear this as a real threat.)
He is certain about what America needs to do to propitiate and serve the world it has alienated. It should ‘‘build broad rules by which the world will be bound’’, rather than pursue “narrow interests”.
What the world really wants from America is … that it affirm its own ideals. That role, as the country that will define universal ideals, remains one that only America can play.
We know Obama has read Zakaria’s book, or at least looked into it, because there is a photograph of him holding it, one finger marking his place. Obama is doing much that Zakaria advises in foreign affairs. But that’s less likely to be because the writer has impressed the president with his arguments than because they have both drunk from the same ideological well.
Obama’s foreign policy lets us see if Zakaria’s theory works. So far it has not.
So is America’s decline beyond all remedy?
It’s a relief to turn from Zakaria’s dull and weakly reasoned book with its uncongenial credo to an article titled The Seductions of Decline (February 2, 2010) by brilliantly witty and insightful Mark Steyn. If America believes it is in decline, he says, it will be. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The view that America has been too arrogant a power; that it is not and should not be exceptional; that humility and apology are required of it; that only endlessly patient negotiation in a spirit of compromise will improve foreign relations and dissuade states like North Korea and Iran from acquiring nuclear arms; that Islamic terrorism should be treated as crime and not as the jihad its perpetrators declare it to be; that Russia should be consulted on, say, the deployment of American missile defense; and that the US should reduce its nuclear arsenal and work towards a non-nuclear world – will bring about the decline.
National decline is psychological – and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline.
His answer to the question “is America set for decline?” is yes, because of the policies of Obama and the Democrats, which arise from their acceptance of decline.
Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: Unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the American economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet.
American decline, he says, “will be steeper, faster and more devastating than Britain’s – and something far closer to Rome’s.” It will not be like France’s, or Austria’s.
Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest “allies”, from Germany to Japan. For most of its members, “the free world” has been a free ride.
And after “Washington’s retreat from la gloire” as hegemon of the world, when America “becomes Europe in its domestic disposition and geopolitical decline, then who will be America?”
Of the many competing schools of declinism, perhaps the most gleeful are those who salivate over the rise of China. For years, Sinophiles have been penning orgasmic fantasies of mid-century when China will bestride the world and America will be consigned to the garbage heap of history. It will never happen: As I’ve been saying for years, China has profound structural problems. It will get old before it gets rich.
Not China then. Russia?
The demographic deformation of Tsar Putin’s new empire is even more severe than Beijing’s. Russia is a global power only to the extent of the mischief it can make on its acceleration into a death spiral.
Not Russia. How about the Caliphate that the terrorist war is being fought to establish?
Even if every dimestore jihadist’s dreams came true, almost by definition an Islamic imperium will be in decline from Day One.
So what might the post-American world look like? Mark Steyn’s answer is deeply depressing:
The most likely future is not a world under a new order but a world with no order – in which pipsqueak states go nuclear while the planet’s wealthiest nations, from New Zealand to Norway, are unable to defend their own borders and are forced to adjust to the post-American era as they can. Yet, in such a geopolitical scene, the United States will still remain the most inviting target – first, because it’s big, and secondly, because, as Britain knows, the durbar moves on but imperial resentments linger long after imperial grandeur.
But nothing is inevitable, and Mark Steyn offers a last hope. Though “decline is the way to bet”, the only thing that will ensure it is “if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy.”
When in 2008 a majority of the American electorate voted for Barack Obama to be president of the United States, it seemed that the deal had been made. But now Obama is failing, the Democratic majority is under threat, and the Tea Party movement is reclaiming the Revolution.
This could be another American century after all.
Jillian Becker March 1, 2010
‘Some are born to sweet delight,/Some are born to endless night’, wrote William Blake.
From UN Watch:
Last Monday, Ali Hassan Majeed, the Iraqi general known as “Chemical Ali” for ordering poison-gas attacks on Kurdish civilians, was hanged in Baghdad after a special tribunal handed him his fourth death sentence for crimes against humanity during the regime of his cousin, Saddam Hussein. Responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Kurds, Shiites, and other Iraqi minorities, Ali’s brutality stood out even amid a regime marked by brutality.
Meanwhile, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva last Monday, Halima Warzazi, the woman who personally shielded the Saddam regime from international censure over these gas attacks, received a different treatment altogether: she was seated at the dais, gavel in hand, as Chair of the 47-nation body’s Advisory Committee, solemnly presiding over a week-long session.
In other words, the same individual who initiated the “No Action” motion that killed a 1988 UN resolution which sought to condemn Saddam Hussein for failing to “ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedom,” urge his regime to “immediately halt the use of prohibited chemical weapons,” and dispatch a special human rights investigator to Iraq, now serves as chief advisor to the highest UN body charged with protecting human rights.
The man who preceded Warzazi, and who is still a member of the advisory committee, is the Castro regime’s Alfonso Martinez, who in 1988 voted to support Warzazi’s protection of Saddam.
Last but not least is the man who today serves as Warzazi’s vice-chair, Jean Ziegler. A few months after a Libyan-planted bomb exploded Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, Ziegler announced to the world the creation of the “Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize.”
Ziegler went on to serve as vice-president of “North South 21,” the Libyan-controlled front group in Geneva which manages the award. He presided over its bestowal to a rogues’ gallery of dictators and Holocaust deniers, and eventually became the UN Human Rights Council’s most popular official.
With such advisors and such advice, it is little wonder that the UN council—whose dominant members include China, Cuba, Russia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and the same body that commissioned the Goldstone Report on Gaza—has routinely absolved the world’s most brutal murderers, rapists and perpetrators of terrorism.
The UN must be destroyed!
Here’s more on the great global warming scam. This is about the flimsiness of evidence and the sloppiness of the scientists who are responsible for assessing it.
From the Telegraph:
The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.
The IPCC’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The revelations … raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.
It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC’s report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. …
Professor Richard Tol, one of the report’s authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: “These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.
“Why did they do this? It is … illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been… what they claim is complete nonsense.”
The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government’s worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people.
The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled “Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming”. It states that reductions in mountain ice have been observed from the loss of ice climbs in the Andes, Alps and in Africa between 1900 and 2000.
The report also states that the section is intended to “assess studies that have been published since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of observed changes and their effects”.
But neither the dissertation or the magazine article cited as sources for this information were ever subject to the rigorous scientific review process that research published in scientific journals must undergo.
The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s. …
The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.
Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons…
Marxists, Greens, collectivists, call them what you will, are trying to convince us that national sovereignty is a nasty old thing of the past, and the way to the future happiness of the human race is through ‘transnationalism’ and global government. This opinion may be held by very few people, but they wield a lot of power. One of them is Barack Obama.
Frank Gaffney writes this on ‘international opinion’ and its effects:
International-law professors, jurists, and bureaucrats announce some piety that they think everyone should follow (e.g., the death penalty is an unconscionable human-rights violation). Once enough of them have followed it for long enough (in recent years, ‘long enough’ seems to have become ‘ten minutes’. . . or the time it takes to announce these new international standards), the piety is deemed – at least by transnationalists – to be universally binding. In their view, it thus becomes the obligation of every nation to fall into line, changing their laws to whatever extent is necessary to do so. That is, the sensibilities of the ‘international community’ (i.e., the elites of the global Left) void the democratic self-determinism of the American people.” …
In giving Interpol carte blanche, the transnationalists in the Obama administration – a group that includes, notably, State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and, not least, the President himself – have sliced away at the corpus of American sovereignty. They have done so in order to ensure that America conforms to the same standards as the other nations that host Interpol offices (namely, Third World nations like Cameroon, El Salvador and Zimbabwe),
Unfortunately, the Transies are whacking away at our rights and liberties in a host of other ways, as well. The administration wants to subject the United States to: the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), which would allow (among other travesties) international regulation of U.S. air and water, even in the absence of the sort of climate change treaty sought at Copenhagen; the International Criminal Court, exposing our officials, troops and citizens to capricious, politicized foreign prosecution; radical “international norms” governing what the UN considers to be the “rights” of women and children; and a Shariah-mandated Islamic blasphemy code barring and criminalizing speech that offends Muslims, a blatant threat to the First Amendment.
Even if these myriad “cuts” were not in the offing, there would be powerful reasons for rejecting Team Obama’s efforts to expand Interpol’s powers in the United States. Towards the end of last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran enlisted Interpol in its campaign to intimidate, hunt down and, if possible, silence its opponents outside the country. Ten Kurds who became Swedish citizens after fleeing Iran twenty years ago are now on the international police organization’s wanted list – and at risk of arrest if they leave Sweden. The basis for these charges? Nothing more than Tehran’s unproven and highly political accusations that they have been involved in “terrorism” and “organized crime.”
Whether such abuses might be made more likely in America if this order is not rescinded or countermanded by Congress can only be speculated about at this point. What is unmistakable, though, is the cumulative effect of the thousand cuts being inflicted by the Obama transnationalists: a perilous bleeding out of the liberties and freedoms enshrined in and protected by our Constitution and sovereignty.
And here’s part of a report from PowerLine of John Bolton’s keynote speech at the Hudson Institute’s ‘Reclaim American Liberty’ Conference:
Ambassador Bolton argued that several elements have combined to induce President Obama to enroll in the essentially European project of global governance. Among these elements are Obama’s … sense that America is too powerful, and his desire to eschew old-fashioned patriotism in favor of a “post-American” presidency.
Although Obama is constrained by domestic political considerations from fully articulating his preference for ceding sovereignty in favor of global governance, Bolton finds clear evidence of that preference on several fronts. Obama’s approach to “climate change” is perhaps the clearest example. Climate change is the main issue through which the “global governance” crowd seeks to gain power. Far from resisting this attack on our right of self-governance, Obama has sided with the Europeans. …
Bolton also cited our approach to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With respect to North Korea and Iran, we have deferred to the “global community” and now rely on a policy of begging these countries to negotiate with us. …
Thanks to an anonymous hero who published the ‘Climategate’ emails – and also, grudgingly on our part, to China – the Copenhagen Plot failed. But the ‘Transies’ won’t give up. Stay alert for whatever new ruses they think up to nudge us towards world government.
The alarming fact exposed in this Investors’ Business Daily editorial is that China is actively assisting Iran to make nuclear weapons.
What it also reveals is that Taiwan, supposedly in perpetual fear of being swallowed by China, is actually proving highly useful to it. If the Taiwanese have calculated that being so is a surer way for it to protect its independence than by relying on American guarantees, they may be right. But are they in danger of alienating the US by indirectly helping Iran achieve nuclear war capability? The US could order them to stop. But how likely is the Obama administration to do that? The only country Obama is willing and eager to bully is Israel. Taiwan can see the odds are in its favor and boldly take the risk.
For a while, China was selling the international community the line that there should be no sanctions on Tehran without the “consensus” of the global community. …
But the mask is off now: It turns out China has been helping the other side all along, not just by roadblocking U.N. efforts to stop Iran from destabilizing its region, but doing so at a profit.
In 2008, an unnamed Chinese company, probably with ties to the communist government, commissioned Heli-Ocean Technology of Taiwan to ship 108 pressure transducers to someone in Tehran. The Taiwanese firm went along and shipped the sensitive devices in violation of U.N. sanctions. The instruments convert pressure to analog electrical signals, and can produce the precise measurements necessary to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Iran has been trying to get these devices for years, according to the Associated Press, and so far every effort had been thwarted by international controls. It took China to breach the system and now Iran’s much further along in developing a nuclear weapon.
China’s act blatantly violates U.N. sanctions on Iran as well as bans set by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an international organization charged with controlling the export of nuclear materials. It shows just how duplicitous China is on Iran and highlights the growing need for a harder response from the West.
China has access to the best in Western nuclear equipment through Taiwan and ought to see some punishment for its profiteering. If the [US] administration can issue sanctions on cheap Chinese tires, it certainly can issue new restrictions on the kinds of equipment China has access to. Should Beijing be unable to keep its word on U.N. sanctions, it should be treated as harshly as Iran.
How harshly is that?
And isn’t the US deeply in debt to China?
And – the biggest question – why does China want Iran to be a nuclear power? (Bet you Hillary Clinton couldn’t answer that one.)