And looking around I can't help thinking that if Churchill had to face the obstruction and opposition that Bush now faces, that we probably wouldn't have won the war. Bernard Lewis, 9/11/06 Hudson Institute Watch the video of his compelling speech below. Download BernardLewis91106.wav
Mr. Lewis, one of the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East., served in the British Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps and observed;
"I had no doubt we would triumph. I don't have that confidence now."
I spent the day at the Hudson Institute Symposium "THE UN AND BEYOND: UNITED DEMOCRATIC NATIONS", listening to some of the best minds explore, debate, recount, and deservedly excoriate the history of UN failures. A small but select group attended to hear what Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Anne Bayefsky (bless her soul, the architect behind this symposium), Walid Phares, Michael Krauss, Natan Sharansky, John Bolton, Bill Bennett, Claudia Rosett, Jed Babbin, Bernard Lewis and esteemed players on the world stage speak to the future of America's involvement and considerable financial support of the UN.
Looking around I saw the concerned faces of Monica Crowley, Georgette Mosbacher, Larry Kadish, Cliff Kincaid, Joseph Farah, Norman Podhoretz and his lovely wife, Midge Decter. What a waste of brilliant thought.
Bayefsky opened up the symposium outlined the historical, the historical failures, too numerous to outline here of UN incompetence, corruption and complicity. Michael Krauss outlined point by point the UN failure in Bosnia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, the genocide in Darfur etc and heaped contempt on the UN cowardly, bureaucratic peacekeepers.
Five years after 9/11 the UN is still unable to define terrorism.
Today Bayefsky wrote this editorial here at NY Sun;
Just last Friday the U.N. gave the world its answer to 9/11. The General Assembly adopted its first-ever "Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy." The title is grand. The substance was not: it called for the implemention of a General Assembly resolution from 1991, which draws a distinction between terrorism and the "legitimacy of the struggle of national liberation movements." The document was also telling for what it omitted: a definition of terrorism, a reference to state sponsorship of terrorism and a call to sanction states that harbor and assist terrorists. Worst of all it began, not with defeat of terrorists, but with "measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, which it describes as "prevent[ing] the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures," "eradicate[ing] poverty" and reducing youth unemployment.
What does such a strategy do for winning the war? It throws sand in the eyes of the troops on the front lines and renders the goalposts a mirage. More here
I thought I had a good idea of how debased that organization was. I was wrong. From the outset the UN set out to fail. They have failed the tortured, the oppressed, the poor, in incalculable ways. The graft and corruption is endemic to the institution. Senator Norm Coleman referred to the UN as a "jobs program for many countries." Those that contribute little or nothing have enormous say.
9,000 mandates. The UN has 9,000 mandates and accomplishes little.
The premise of the discussion was the question of whether the UN be could reformed and except the lone voices, the consensus from the best minds was no. The alternative? A different organization. "The United Democratic Nations," an organization of free nations. Shared values. This seems to be one of the malignancies of the UN. How can democracies and dictatorships co-exist in a world body successfully. They can't. And so immediately the organization is/was destined to fail.
My only complaint was the glaring omission from this 12 hour symposium of the continuing islamization of the United Nations as well documented and investigated by the intrepid David Littman here, here and here.
Hirsi Ali, Walid Phares, Michael Krauss. Phares, "Jihad divides the world"
Ayaan Hirsi Ali shares her thoughts on the UN;
"The United Nations has proved to be incompetent and incapable of solving conflicts"
"The United Nations has been worse than ineffective. It has been outright complicit. ...... Often threw inaction, sometimes through neglect and somtimes through willful nuetrality.
Bayefsky explained that the multi billion dollar UN system was once largely closed to NGOs (non governmental organizations) as the private playing fields of member states. But NGOs have now found their way into the most intimate recesses of the UN. Kofi and member states have found it extremely useful to operate through these "partners" or proxies. Bayefsky speaks of these orgs as GONGOS to discredit "government sponsored non-gorvermental agencies."
But there is a much darker side to the UN-NGO nexus than the rise of these obvious interlopers in the NGO circles. it is the large number of NGOs that have been empowered by UN-accreditation to spread anti-semitism, hate, and encourage terrorism from a UN platform. The call for boycotts and sanctions against Israel is a central plank of this campaign.
The most powerful remarks came from the journalist closest to the inside machinations of the UN, Claudia Rosett. Rosett is inside the asylum. The UN does not "distinguish between democracy and dictatorship, good and bad. And the enemy is getting worse."
The UN charter is a big lie and things built on big lies tend to work to extremely damaging effects.
The charter proposes Power without Law. There is no higher authority. It is a law of its own.
" The UN is not fixable"
How does Rosett explain UN reform? First, "silence, then investigation, then reform aka cover up, then silence."
"The UN is "POWER WITHOUT LAW." "It operates outside the law. The law of its own recipe .......brought us Animal farm.
It is corrupt by its very nature........... And it's a universe unto itself."
Natan Sharansky, former Soviet politcal prisoner was asked what was motivating Human Rights Watch in its one-sided condemnations of Israel;
"Human Rights Watch was born as Helsinki Watch," Mr. Sharansky said. "We were arrested for this." He mentioned the founding chairman of Human Rights Watch, Robert Bernstein. "Then it had clear moral standards," Mr. Sharansky said. But lately, after Mr. Bernstein's retirement as chairman, the organization has taken a turn in the wrong direction. "I spoke with the new head," Mr. Sharansky said. "There is a clear lack of moral criteria."
Mr. Sharansky spoke of Human Rights Watch's condemnation of Israel for deliberately targeting Lebanese civilians — "slaughter," Human Rights Watch's executive director, Kenneth Roth, called it in a letter to the editor of the New York Sun. The Israeli politician said that Hezbollah terrorists were using "all Southern Lebanon as one big human shield." In the face of such a Hezbollah atrocity, in this battle, Human Rights Watch "accuses Israel of war crimes."
Mr. Sharansky is correct to call this a "very big problem." It extends beyond Israel to Human Rights Watch's approach to the wider war on terror. Mr. Roth marked the fifth anniversary of September 11 by issuing a statement denouncing not the terror-sponsors in Tehran and Damascus but rather the Bush administration, which according to Mr. Roth is responsible for America's "loss of the moral high ground." Mr. Roth wrote that the "The Bush administration still subscribes to the view that it is engaged in a ‘global' war," a theory Mr. Roth wrote "threatens the basic rights of us all."
Truth is — as Mr. Sharansky recognizes — it is not America or Israel that has lost the moral high ground in the war on Islamic fascists, but Human Rights Watch itself that has lost its moral bearings. A sad fate to befall an organization for whose founding ideals Mr. Sharansky spent so many years in the gulag archipelago. More at the NY Sun
Bernard Lewis made a remarkable speech. Stunning.
Karit Goldwasser (with Dershowitz-oyish), the wife of the kidnapped soldier Ehud Goldwasser. The UN could have, should have is obligated to bring him home safely. So says Resolution 1701. She spoke ....... it is heartbreaking. Olmert sold his people out.
Senator Coleman thought the oil for food scandal would be a mirror in the face of the UN and yet nothing has been accomplished since the conclusion of the permanent subcommittee. Despite the UN having signed on to the UN reform document.
The original human rights was so outrageous, so egregious it seemed like low hanging fruit. Change that, reform that. That should have been easy. But the UN has tried to make this a left right issue. Blaming the United States and in the case of Malloch Brown, even FOX NEWS.
The graphs demonstrate just how fed up the American people are. This should be a major campaign issue. Despite a left wing, UN sympathizing media, the outrageous abuse and corruption have thoroughly disgusted the American people.
In a Frank Luntz poll commissioned by the Hudson Institute, a majority of respondents expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the United Nations and embraced scenarios under which the organization would be "scrapped altogether." Luntz characterized the results as showing that Americans are "one scandal away from washing their hands" of the U.N. and that the issue could tip a future presidential election. More here
And the UN still can't define terrorism. Pathetic.
Despite traitor Chaffee Senator Coleman is confident that Amabassador Bolton will be confirmed before the end of the year.
Congress must use our financial leverage in the UN to reform the UN. Must.
The world has changed a great deal from the time of the United Nations birth in 1945, and so has the United Nations. Sixty years ago democracies, both nascent and well established, comprised the majority of the founding nations of the UN. The members of the General Assembly were strategically aligned primarily along what would become the lines of the Cold War. America was confident that the UN would be an organization which would work in tandem with American national interests in promoting the welfare of humankind and the basic rights of every human spirit.
We could not have been more wrong. Because with 20 years, global politics and the UN has been wildly altered. By the mid 60s, UN membership had more than doubled and the majority of members were not democratic. Thugs calling the shots.
This post is a work in progress. I will be posting all of the audio on these speeches.
UPDATE: Here's the audio. Listen to them all, at your leisure of course. Forgive me, Krauss audio did not make it. And he rcoked.
The question and answer with Rosett, Bone (excellent) Download qarosettbone.wav
Here is the whole of the Bernard Lewis speech. Amir Taheri introduced him...... how great was that? Download BernardLewis91106.wav
The U.N.'s top human rights body for six decades, the Commission on Human Rights, was charged with identifying and responding to human rights abuse. During that time, 30% of all its resolutions condemning a specific state for human rights violations were directed at Israel, while not one resolution was adopted condemning states like China, Syria, or Zimbabwe. In recent years, Libya served as Chair. In the name of enhanced credibility, the Commission was replaced this past spring by a Human Rights Council. Its members include Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia. Since June, the Council has adopted three resolutions and held two special sessions critical of human rights violations in specific states. Now 100% of them are on Israel. In the meantime, thousands die in killing fields and deserts and torture chambers around the world. What does this U.N. game plan do for winning the war? It defines the enemy as the Jew.
So wrote Anne Bayefsky
Question and Answer VLOG with Walid Phares, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, And Michael Krauss
UPDATE: The most remarkable, important statement to come out of that gathering is Bernard Lewis' closing statement on the current worldwide conflict;
The idea that democracy is totally alien and impossible for them [Arab nations] is demonstrably absurd in historical terms.
Now it's not easy. It's a long, it's a slow, it's a difficult process. But it's one we must make.
I will sum up what I have to say in one sentence;
EITHER WE FREE THEM OR THEY WILL DESTROY US.
UPDATE: Daniel Freedman of the New York Sun was equally impressed by Lewis' proclamation;
"Hitler would have won under these conditions," Mr. Lewis said, citing America's inability to clearly define the war on terror and exactly who its enemy is. The professor, whose vision of the future of the Middle East and knowledge of Islam has guided President Bush's foreign policy, also cited as challenges the multilateralism that hamstrings America's ability to fight the war and the strong political opposition to policies designed to defeat the enemy, such as detaining terrorists without trial.
During the darkest days of the fight against Nazism, Mr. Lewis said, he "had no doubt that in the end we would triumph." He does not "have that certitude now," he said.
Mr. Lewis told the center-right think tank's conference on the United Nations that he agrees with a former communist dissident and current Israeli parliamentarian, Natan Sharansky, that the only real solution to defeating radical Islam is to bring freedom to the Middle East. Either "we free them or they destroy us," Mr. Lewis said.
The contention, especially popular in diplomatic circles, that Arabs aren't suited to democracy and that the West's best hope lies with friendly tyrants shows an ignorance of the Arabs' past and contempt for their present and future, and is "demonstrably absurd in historical terms," Mr. Lewis said.
Mr. Lewis said a great deal of material exists — from Arabs, from Persians, and from Turks — that can form the basis for democracies in the region. He quoted from a 1786 letter to the king's court in France from the French ambassador to Istanbul explaining why the Ottoman Empire was slow in making decisions. The ambassador reported that unlike in France, where the king made a decision and that was it, "here the sultan has to consult" and so it "takes time to get things done."
Mr. Lewis said he places no hope in the United Nations being part of the solution. He "first realized the U.N. was hopeless" after the partition of Palestine, he said. Palestine was a "triviality" compared to the partition of India that took place a year earlier, in 1947, he added. Millions of refugees were created and yet India and Pakistan formed a working relationship and sorted out the problems.
The key difference, Mr. Lewis said, was that "in the partition of India, the U.N. was not involved. "The United Nations failed to act after the Arab states invaded Palestine, and then treated Jewish and Arab refugees differently, leaving problems that remain today, he said.