O'S UNREQUITED UN LOVE AFFAIR
By BENNY AVNI
THE United Nations "can be an extraordinarily constructive, important partner in bringing about peace and stability and security to people around the world": So said President Obama last Tuesday, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at his side. The day after Obama praise on the UN, Ban returned the favor by complaining to Congress members that the United States is a "deadbeat" that doesn't pay its UN bills.
Pony up, taxpayers - Obama wants you to love the UN. But don't expect the UN to return the favor and love America, its most generous benefactor.
America pays 22 percent of the UN's running budget (nearly $5 billion last year), more by far than any other country. Ban said our unpaid debt will soon reach $1.6 billion, even though the most generous State Department estimates say we owe $399 million. Either way, most of the dues dispute is mere bookkeeping: Since 1981, we've given to the UN according to our fiscal calendar, at the end of each year.
How many organizations that depend on the generosity of others have the gall to lecture their biggest donor because he gives on his own timetable? Yet this is the mindset of the UN's staff. That Ban -who's been much less virulently anti-American than most of his predecessors - fell into this trap is telling.
After all we give him, "the head of the UN comes to Congress and scolds us for not doing enough?" asked an irate Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "The UN's ineffectiveness is not from a lack of cash, but the result of a corrupt system which wastes money and apologizes for dictatorships."
Actually, it kisses dictators - on both cheeks. Visiting Tehran last Monday, the General Assembly president warmly hugged and kissed his old pal President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and praised Iran's "peaceful" nuclear program.
Yes, the man voted in as General Assembly president by the vast majority of UN members is Miguel d'Escto Brockmann, a Sandinista radical from Nicaragua, an ex-priest banned by the Vatican from carrying mass but embraced as leader by a vast majority of UN member nations.
In Tehran, d'Escoto also scolded America for killing "over 1 million civilians" in Iraq - a lie that serves the propaganda purposes of his Iranian hosts as well as America-haters around the world, from one of the United Nations' top officials.
Nor is there the slightest chance that Obama's love for the UN will prompt the General Assembly to avoid promoting such odious characters. The US has launched no campaign to block Libya, which is considered a shoe-in for next year's presidency.
Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council this week is set to pass a resolution banning "defamation of religion" - a measure clearly meant to outlaw any criticism of Islam. The resolution is in clear conflict with our First Amendment. But rather than using this outrage as an example of what's wrong with the council, Washington is now considering join ing it - even though the council's membership is dominated by human-rights abusers, including Iran, Cuba and China.
How about using our new "partner" to spread civilized behavior around the world? The leading candidate to head the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization is Egypt's culture minister, Farouk Hosny - who vowed in parliament last year, "I would burn Israeli books myself if found in Egyptian libraries." America is yet to back an opposing candidate.
In Gaza, the UN refugee agency known as UNRWA has often served as a Hamas propaganda arm. Last week, it started to hand over cash to needy "refugee families." But who decides which Gaza "families" get the money? Hint: in a place where the gun makes decisions, the word "family" is mostly used in the Mafia sense - so the cash ends up in Hamas' hands. Through its almost 60 years of existence, UNRWA has enabled Gaza's descent into such a culture.
In all, it's remarkable that fully 26 percent of Americans say the UN is doing a "good job." Still, in that same Gallup/USA Today poll, 65 percent say it's doing a "poor job."
Yet our ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said during her Senate hearing that she will lobby Congress to "pay down our newly mounting arrears" to the United Nations. Why? To help the UN trash America's name and values around the world? Obama's stance on the UN should be simple: Clean up your act or we'll stop paying you. But instead of tough love, he heaps on unconditional affection. Can heartbreak be far behind?
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Monday, March 16, 2009
The UN Keeps Spitting in our Faces
If President-Elect Obama has his way there will be a new world order, where the UN and World Courts have have a big say in what happens in the US. Both Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton have a strong alliance with Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott, a big believer in world government and a trusted contact of the Russian Intelligence service while he was in the Clinton Administration.As a Senator the President supported the pro-UN Global Poverty Act and co-sponsorship of the Jubilee Act a measure that would use $920 billion of tax payer dollars. Think of it as another bailout this time to other countries. And then there is the international Criminal Court may lead to war crimes trials for America's Hero soldiers... the UN Law of the Sea...the peacekeeping institute...the UN Human Rights Council etc, the President has made it clear that he has a love affair with the United Nations. The Problem is the the United Nations keeps answering him by spitting in his face: