MartiniPundit

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Archive for the ‘UN’ Category

The Anti-American Barometer

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Victor Davis Hanson insightfully asks, is anti-Americanism a sign we’re on the right track?

In short, who exactly does not like the United States and why? First, almost all the 20 or so illiberal Arab governments that used to count on American realpolitik’s giving them a pass on accounting for their crimes. They fear not the realist Europeans, nor the resource-mad Chinese, nor the old brutal Russians, but the Americans, who alone are prodding them to open their economies and democratize their corrupt political cultures. We must learn to expect, not lament, their hostility, and begin to worry that things would be indeed wrong if such unelected dictators praised the United States.

The United Nations has sadly become a creepy organization. Its General Assembly is full of cutthroat regimes. The Human Rights Commission has had members like Vietnam and Sudan, regimes that at recess must fight over bragging rights to which of the two killed more of their own people. The U.N. has a singular propensity to find flawed men to be secretary-general — a Kurt Waldheim, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, or Kofi Annan. Blue-helmeted peace-keepers, we learn, are as likely to commit as prevent crimes; and the only thing constant about such troops is that they will never go first into harm’s way in Serbia, Kosovo, the Congo, or Dafur to stop genocide. Even worse, the U.N. has proved to be a terrible bully, an unforgivable sin for a self-proclaimed protector of the weak and innocent — loud false charges against Israel for its presence in the West Bank, not a peep about China in Tibet; tough talk about Palestinian rights, far less about offending Arabs over Darfur. So U.N. anti-Americanism is a glowing radiation badge, proof of exposure to toxicity.

The EU is well past being merely silly, as its vast complex of bureaucrats tries to control what 400 million speak, eat, and think. Its biggest concerns are three: figuring out how its nations are to keep paying billions of euros to retirees, unemployed, and assorted other entitlement recipients; how to continue to ankle-bite the United States without antagonizing it to the degree that these utopians might have to pay for their own security; and how not to depopulate itself out of existence. Europeans sold Saddam terrible arms for oil well after the first Gulf War. Democratic Israel or Taiwan means nothing to them; indeed, democracy is increasingly becoming the barometer by which to judge European hostility. Cuba, China, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah — not all that bad; the United States, Taiwan, and Israel, not all that good. Personally, I’d rather live in a country that goes into an anguished national debate over pulling the plug on a lone woman than one that blissfully vacations on the beach oblivious to 15,000 elderly cooked to well done back in Paris.

Read the rest, and wonder if this thesis doesn’t apply to the America-hating Left at home as well …

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Written by martinipundit

April 29, 2005 at 9:45 am

Posted in UN

Republicans Play Softball II

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Mark Steyn agrees that it’s time for the Republicans in Congress to get a clue:

Britain’s Daily Telegraph had an intriguing headline the other day: ”U.S. police force to recruit capuchin monkey for ‘intelligence’ work.” Maybe when the Mesa, Ariz., SWAT team is through with the monkey in question, we could get him made chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’d have his work cut out doing a worse job than Dick Lugar, the Republican senator who spent the last week getting walloped by a freak show alliance comprising (a) an opposition party whose foreign policy the electorate decided it was unable to take seriously and (b) jelly-spined GOP ”moderates” who insist on taking it seriously. And so it was that John Bolton’s nomination to the U.N. was derailed by this guy Voinovich.

As Shakespeare didn’t quite say, who is Voinovich? What is he? Well, he’s a fellow called George, and he’s apparently a senator from Ohio who’s on this Foreign Relations Committee. He was, alas, unable to interrupt his hectic schedule to attend either of the committee’s hearings for John Bolton’s U.N. nomination, but nevertheless decided last week he could not bring himself to support Bolton’s nomination. ”My conscience got me,” he said. Maybe one day his conscience will get him to attend the hearings he’s paid to attend, but, for the moment, his conscience is more troubled by the story brought up by the senior Democratic obstructionist Joe Biden. As Sen. Biden put it, ”The USAID worker in Kyrgyzstan alleges that she was harassed — not sexually harassed — harassed by Mr. Bolton.”

A must read.

Written by martinipundit

April 26, 2005 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Legislafollies, Politics, UN

Mark Steyn on the Bolton Appointment

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It’s good stuff, which you knew …

Even if Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton weren’t two of the more far-sighted thinkers in the Bush administration, appointing them respectively to the World Bank and the U.N. would be worth it just for the pleasure of watching the Europeans, the Democrats and the media go bananas over it.

The assumption seems to be that, with things going Bush’s way in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Bush needs to reach out by stiffing the counselors who called it right and appointing more emollient types who got everything wrong. Each to his own. But as I see it, the question isn’t why Wolfowitz and Bolton should hold these jobs, but why Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, John Kerry and assorted others still hold their jobs.

Just the thing for a Monday.

Written by martinipundit

March 21, 2005 at 10:33 am

Two With One Blow

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Mark Steyn takes on the hypocrites in the media and in the UN at the same time.

You know what to do.

Written by martinipundit

February 15, 2005 at 4:00 pm

Posted in MSM, UN

A UN in Search of Relevance

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What if we had a horrific environmental catastrophe and the UN still wasn’t necessary? David Frum discusses just that event in the Daily Telegraph:

In a notable interview on December 31, Clare Short, the former international development secretary, explained that the UN possessed a unique “moral authority”, and without this authority, the relief effort would be in trouble because, well, after that it gets hazy. It is obviously not because of the UN that countries like Britain, the United States, Germany, Japan, Australia, and India are donating so generously to the countries in need. Nor, even more obviously, is it because of the UN that the afflicted countries are accepting aid. Nor again has the so-called authority of the UN induced Burma to accept any aid that Burma’s rulers find politically threatening. Nor finally is the UN really quite so hugely popular as supporters such as Ms Short would wish it believed. The Pew Charitable Trusts — the same group that conducts those surveys on anti-Americanism worldwide — reports that the UN carries much more weight in Europe than it does in, say, the Muslim world. Only 35 per cent of Pakistanis express a positive attitude to the UN, as do just 25 per cent of Moroccans, and but 21 per cent of Jordanians.

The UN is an idea that still has merit but the institution itself has never reflected the ideal. A plaything for dictators and corrupt bureaucrats, it appeals to a self-deluding portion of the population for whom ideals are more important in theory than practice. In the last couple of years, we’ve witnessed the UN ineffective in dealing with military crises, ineffective in dealing with humanitarian crises, and now ineffective in dealing with natural disasters. How much more will it take before we scrap the thing and start over?

Written by martinipundit

January 9, 2005 at 9:15 am

Posted in UN

Eject the UN

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To many on the left, the UN is a beacon, a sacrosanct institution which embodies their hopes and dreams for a world government founded on the principles they hold most dear: government by the enlightened elites.

For those of us on the right, the UN is a disaster, a dictator’s club for anti-semites and anti-Americans. Its claim to any moral standing eroded decades ago and its activities worthy only of derision. Of late, the UN has become embroiled in the oil-for-food scandal which enabled Saddam to remain in power while still deriving oil revenues, provided economic incentives for countries such as France and Russia to oppose Saddam’s ouster, and lined the pockets of petty bureaucrats the world over including Kofi Annan’s son. Frankly, it’s hard to keep a straight face when someone mentions involving the UN in the crisis de jour. Where, for example, is the UN in the Ukraine election fraud?

Meanwhile, Senator Norm Coleman is calling for Kofi Annan to resign:

It’s time for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resign. Over the past seven months, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which I chair, has conducted an exhaustive, bipartisan investigation into the scandal surrounding the U.N. Oil-for-Food program. That noble program was established by the U.N. to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people, then languishing under Saddam Hussein’s ironfisted rule, as well as the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the U.N. after the first Gulf War.

While sanctions were designed to instigate the removal of Saddam from power, or at least render him impotent, the Oil-for-Food program was designed to support the Iraqi people with food and other humanitarian aid under the watchful eye of the U.N. Our Investigative Subcommittee has gathered overwhelming evidence that Saddam turned this program on its head. Rather than erode his grip on power, the program was manipulated by Saddam to line his own pockets and actually strengthen his position at the expense of the Iraqi people.

At our hearing on Nov. 15, we presented evidence that Saddam accumulated more than $21 billion through abuses of the Oil-for-Food program and U.N. sanctions. We continue to amass evidence that he used the overt support of prominent members of the U.N., such as France and Russia, along with numerous foreign officials, companies and possibly even senior U.N. officials, to exploit the program to his advantage. We have obtained evidence that indicates that Saddam doled out lucrative oil allotments to foreign officials, sympathetic journalists and even one senior U.N. official, in order to undermine international support for sanctions. In addition, we are gathering evidence that Saddam gave hundreds of thousands–maybe even millions–of Oil-for-Food dollars to terrorists and terrorist organizations. All of this occurred under the supposedly vigilant eye of the U.N.

This misses the point. Who cares what Kofi Annan does?

The UN is a corrupt, useless organization which ought to be disbanded. Calling for the resignation of Annan misses the real problem. The United States sends more than a billion dollars a year to an organization which is manifestly our enemy, in which the ambassadors from most countries do not represent the will of their people, and in which graft and corruption are business as usual. Send the whole thing to Brussels. Kofi resign? Let him stay. Eject the UN from New York and withdraw US participation. Its relevance will then be no more than the ICC, or that of France.

Update More over at the Belmont Club:

Coleman hints, but does not wholly pursue the idea that the Oil-for-Food program tacticly served the agenda of some “permanent members” of the Security Council. That in turn suggests that the Gulf War and subsequent events, far from being a purely bilateral struggle between the United States and Saddam’s regime, was really the nexus of a great power struggle involving France, Russia and the US. French policy in the Security Council prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom; their determined efforts to prevent the 4th ID from deploying through Turkey and its hostile attitude toward the Allawie government hints that the real bone of contention with Paris was not over how to topple Saddam but whether or not to keep him there.

Written by martinipundit

December 1, 2004 at 10:01 am

Anniversary of the UN Vote on Resolution 181

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This BlogBurst piece is cross-posted by participating websites, to commemorate a milestone in Israel’s history. The list of the participating sites is appended at the end of this post.

November 29, 2004:

Anniversary of the UN vote on Resolution 181

Today is the anniversary of the UN vote on resolution 181, which approved the partition of the western part Palestine into a predominately Jewish state and a predominately Arab state. (It is vital to recall that the UN partition plan referred to western Palestine, to underscore that in 1921 the eastern part was ripped off the Jewish National Home by the British Government and handed over to the then Emir Abdullah.)

The partition plan was approved by 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.

The 33 countries that cast the — Yes” vote were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. (Among other countries, the list includes the US, the three British Dominions, all the European countries except for Greece and the UK, but including all the Soviet-block countries.)

The 13 countries that chose the Hall of Shame and voted — No” were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen. (Ten of these are Moslem countries; Greece has the special distinction of being the only European country to have joined the Hall of Shame.)

The ten countries that abstained are: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

On November 30, 1947, the day following the vote, the Palestinian Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus making its way to Jerusalem, and proceeded to murder another Jew in the Tel-Aviv – Jaffa area. This was a prelude to a war that claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948. This toll is the per capita equivalent of today’s Canada losing 300,000 lives, or the US losing 3,000,000.

The object of the war, launched by the Arabs in the former Palestine and the armies of Egypt, Tansjordan, Syria and Lebanon (with help from other Arab countries), was to “throw the Jews into the sea”. As the partition map indicates, however, rather than annihilate the Jewish population, the Arabs ended up with less territory than they would have gained by peaceful means.

In addition to the bloodshed in nascent Israel, immediately after the UN vote, Arabs attacks their Jewish neighbours in a number of Arab countries, the murders in Syria’s Aleppo being the best known.

Bruised and bleeding, Israel prevailed nonetheless. May our sister-democracy thrive and flourish.

List of participating sites, in alphabetical order of site name

 

Written by martinipundit

November 29, 2004 at 10:21 am

Posted in Anti-Semitism, Israel, UN

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