Written by Cliff Kincaid
April 21, 2008
By Cliff Kincaid
Coverage of the United Nations speech by Pope Benedict XVI was extremely lacking in critical analysis. None of the stories that Accuracy in Media surveyed in the major newspapers alluded to the fact that while the Pope had just finished apologizing for the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in several U.S. appearances, his speech to the U.N. ignored the history of rapes of women and children committed by its so-called military “peacekeepers.” This has been a major U.N. scandal for years.
The Pope met with American victims of mostly homosexual Catholic priests, but said nothing about the victims of the U.N.
A Danish documentary, “And the U.N. Came,” blames U.N. troops for creating the AIDS crisis in Cambodia. The film documents how U.N. soldiers spread the disease by having sex with local citizens, children, and prostitutes. Asked about the conduct of U.N. soldiers, one U.N. official is shown saying, “Boys will be boys.”
Instead of addressing this scandal, Benedict called on the flawed and corrupt body to exercise a military doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect” people in trouble. This is one part of the speech that made news. It means the Vatican has endorsed the concept of the U.N. acquiring more power and influence, including of a military nature. Our media failed to point out that, generally speaking, the U.N. is considered incompetent or worse in military affairs. The 1994 Rwanda genocide, carried out under the noses of U.N. officials and peacekeepers, is considered the most notorious example.
In another curious development, at least for Catholics, Benedict ignored the world body’s devotion to population control through abortion and said that “My presence at this [U.N. General] Assembly is a sign of esteem for the United Nations, and it is intended to express the hope that the Organization will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family.”
While Benedict talked a lot in his U.N. speech about human rights, he ignored the fact that the world body is crusading for an “international right to abortion” worldwide. His predecessor, John Paul II, had referred to a “conspiracy against life” based at the U.N.
The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), which monitors U.N. affairs, has documented the involvement of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) in coercive birth control programs, including forced abortion, in China. The Vatican suspended its own financial support for another U.N. agency, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), after accusing the agency of involvement in abortion activities. Benedict said nothing about these controversies, however.
Benedict even associated Jesus Christ with the work of the U.N., saying that the “search for the right way to order human affairs” is “motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ” and “That is why the Church is happy to be associated with the activity of this distinguished Organization, charged with the responsibility of promoting peace and good will throughout the earth.” In fact, the U.N. has been dubbed “the House that Hiss built” because of the role that Soviet spy and State Department official Alger Hiss played in founding the organization.
In a major journalistic faux pas, Tracy Wilkinson and Maggie Farley of the Los Angeles Times tried to draw a contrast between the Pope and the “secular institution” at which he spoke. In fact, the U.N. includes a “Meditation Room” with strange lights and a large square block of stone where U.N. officials are alleged to come into contact with cosmic or spiritual forces. The “Environmental Sabbath” program, administered by the U.N. Environment Program, advised children to hold hands and meditate around a tree.
On October 27, 2005, at United Nations headquarters in New York, a special event was held in celebration of “The Spirit of the United Nations.” Open to all U.N. staff and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the program featured an opening “blessing song on behalf of indigenous peoples,” an expression of “thanks to Mother Earth,” and a moment of silence.
The main organizers were the Values Caucus of the U.N. and the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns. The latter is a project of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations and its Spiritual Council for Global Challenges.
The Pope explicitly endorsed the Responsibility to Protect, known by the acronym R2P, a doctrine endorsed by the U.N. in 2005 and designed to help the world body assume the powers of a world government. The World Federalist Movement, which has promoted world government, global taxes and a United Nations Army, has cultivated international acceptance of the concept.
In the most explicit part of the speech explaining and accepting the R2P concept, the Pope said that “Every State has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If States are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter and in other international instruments. The action of the international community and its institutions, provided that it respects the principles undergirding the international order, should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty.”
Ironically, the development of the R2P principle has been attributed to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who, as director of peacekeeping at the world body, failed to authorize U.N. troops on the ground in Rwanda to stop genocide there.
Going beyond the military issue, Benedict made a plea for global institutions to run the planet, saying we need “binding international rules” and “structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of peoples.” Sounding like Al Gore, the Pope also called for “international action to preserve the environment and to protect various forms of life on earth…” He said this is how humans can “rediscover the authentic image of creation.”
Strangely, the Pope ignored the problem of Kosovo, where the R2P doctrine, in a different form, was carried out by President Clinton when he authorized U.S. military action through NATO to dismember the former Yugoslavia. The military intervention, which was based on phony claims of genocide being waged by the Christian Serbs, was conducted without the advance approval of either the U.N. Security Council or the U.S. Congress. Serbia agreed to an international settlement that was supposed to guarantee its sovereignty over Kosovo.
But in Kosovo, which has declared independence as a result of a U.N.-supervised process and has been under NATO occupation, a major controversy has emerged over the writing of its new constitution, an early draft of which explicitly outlawed unborn human rights. Article 24 of the Constitution affirms special rights based on “sexual orientation.” It also subjects “human rights and fundamental freedoms” to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and various “international bodies.” Article 22 ratifies U.N. treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and confirms they “have priority” over domestic law. CEDAW has been interpreted to recognize abortion on demand, while the children’s rights treaty authorizes government interference in the raising of children.
Kosovo’s new Constitution declares it a “secular” state, even though the majority of its population is Islamic, Christian churches have been destroyed and Saudi Arabia is financing the building of mosques there. The document was written by outside foreign “experts,” including Tufts University Professor Bruce Hitchner and members of the Public International Law and Policy Group. This organization is supported by leftist billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute, the U.S. taxpayer-financed U.S. Institute of Peace, and other groups.
Despite the Pope’s support for the R2P concept, the Vatican has yet to recognize the independence of Kosovo, where a small Catholic community resides.