Written by Daniel Greenfield
So now we have a No Fly Zone resolution on Libya. And the man who ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 as being the candidate who wouldn't have gone into Iraq, is now running in 2012 as the candidate who will go into Libya. Hypocrisy is a beautiful beast and politics is a petting zoo.
Khaddafi may be nuts, but he's clearly taken a page out of Saddam's handbook. Announcing a truce as soon as the No Fly Zone gets announced. Now the US and Europe are stuck demanding verification of the truce. Obama took a deep breath, butched up and is demanding that Khaddafi pull back from rebel strongholds or face UN led air strikes. Though by the UN he mentions the parts of it that actually support the attack, as opposed to the non-Western members of the UN Security Council and even Germany, who don't.
If this feels familiar, just picture Colin Powell at endless UN sessions making the case for removing Saddam. The farce has dragged on long enough for Khaddafi to win, but not long enough for him to win completely. With sanctions and a No Fly Zone, Libya becomes another Iraq, in which we keep demanding that Khaddafi go, while he explains that he just wants peace. Sound familiar? Iraq. Again.
Obama's defenders will claim that this time he has UN backing. Except that he doesn't. Russia, China and Germany just chose not to fight this, because they're uncertain of how this will all shake out. And it's not really him. Sarkozy and Cameron wanted this, and their reasons for it have more to do with oil contracts and colonialism than a sincere concern for human rights. Sarkozy is also pitching his Mediterranean Alliance, a Franco-phonic alternative to the Caliphate. And Cameron has trashed the RAF but now wants to shake some military muscle. The US is overcommitted everywhere, and in the middle of two wars, a nuclear disaster in Japan, and a potential war with Iran, we're off to enforce an indefinite No Fly Zone on Libya.
Whatever happens, Obama will still be happy taking credit for it. Clinton liked to run light bombing campaigns to distract people from his philandering and thieving. And Obama's people hope that putting on his most serious face and dusting off Bush era rhetoric (either Sr or Jr) will sell the country on him as a strong leader. He's wrong, but hey it's only lives on the line.
Say what you will about Bush, he never bombed a country to win an election. But now Obama is wagging the dog. And wagging it hard.
While back at the UN ranch, the farce goes into overdrive. The U.N. Human Rights Council, of which Libya was a member in good standing until a few weeks ago when Khaddafi became unpopular, is denouncing the US for not closing Gitmo and holding military trials for terrorists.
The attacks are coming from Iran, which rapes prisoners as a matter of policy, and Cuba, which just sentenced an American aid worker helping the remaining Jewish community there to 15 years in prison.
The Bush Administration got one thing right by refusing to participate in various versions of the UN Human Rights Council. But Obama knew better. As he always does. And now here we are.
If anyone doubts that the UN Human Rights Council is a farce of a joke of a mockery, here is its draft report on Libya... from January.
The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.
Algeria noted the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya [people’s republic] to promote human right
Bahrain noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had adopted various policies aimed at improving human rights
Iraq commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being a party to most international and regional human rights instruments, which took precedence over its national legislation.
Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks,
Tunisia noted progress made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Egypt commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for progress in building a comprehensive national human rights framework of institutions
The Islamic Republic of Iran noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had implemented a number of international human rights instruments
In what is an even bigger farce, some of these same countries now support the removal of Khaddafi. A mere two months later.
Anyone who ever even breathes a suggestion that the UN and its human rights nonsense should be taken seriously, needs to be thwacked on the nose over and over again with a rolled up copy of this same report until they come to their senses.
The UN is a bunch of quarreling dictatorships, which can only team up against us. Sometimes they team up against one of their own. There is no concern for human rights here. None whatsoever. Nada. Zero. Zip.
They have no honesty, no ethics and no standards.
As a sad, sad punchline... the UN Human Rights Council has appointed a special commission of inquiry into Libya. Which will now find the exact opposite of their report from two months ago.
Hillel Neuer of UN Watch demands accountability.
Let’s put aside that in the past three years, U.N. headquarters in New York opened every golden door to the terrorist from Tripoli. Never mind that the Gadhafi regime was granted membership on the elite U.N. Security Council, that its envoy was made president of the U.N. General Assembly or that the dictator’s daughter, Aisha, was named a U.N. “goodwill ambassador.” Indeed, one wonders why Gadhafi bothered trying to pitch his Bedouin tent in the middle of Manhattan when U.N. headquarters itself was already in his hands.
The farce only gets 'farcier'
When Najat Al-Hajjaji, a representative of the Libyan regime, was chosen to chair that conference’s two-year planning committee, Pillay stood by her side and became the world’s leading cheerleader for Durban II, the follow-up in Geneva to the 2001 anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa, that devolved into an anti-Israel festival. Not a word about the brutal regime that stood behind the conference chair.
It gets worse. Al-Hajjaji is, in fact, still operating within Pillay’s office. It turns out she is one of the Human Rights Council’s investigators on human rights violations by mercenaries.
This is no joke: At a time when Gadhafi is using mercenaries to kill his own people, one of his longtime representatives is sitting on the world’s highest human rights body as a supposed defender of human rights — and, of all things, as a defender of victims of mercenaries.
All true, but whom would the UN Human Rights Council be accountable to? The world? NGO's? Public opinion? Twitter?
Governments are held accountable by their people. Most of the UN's governments are not accountable to their people. Even when they are, they lack the same standards of human rights and freedom. Which makes the accountability nil.
You can't hold a UN body accountable, because most of the world doesn't practice those standards.
The farce is the farce, and the farce goes on. It's time to kick the UN to the curb. Free up some condo space in Turtle Bay and stop pretending that a club made of messenger boys for mass murdering thugs can protect anyone's human rights by signing on to a piece of paper or casting a vote.
Continuing the roundup of the damned,
A Muslim woman said Wednesday that she wants a Southwest Airlines crew disciplined for removing her from a flight for wearing a headscarf.
Irum Abbasi, 31, told reporters at a news conference outside San Diego's airport that she was forced off a San Jose-bound flight in San Diego on Sunday because a flight attendant found her to be suspicious.
Abbasi said she was told that a flight attendant overheard her say on her cell phone words to the effect of: "It's a go."
So it seems she wasn't removed just for her headscarf, but for a combination of factors. Which is why most people are singled out.
But they refused to let her back on the plane, telling her the crew was uncomfortable with her on the flight, according to Abbasi. She was booked on the next flight.
"I was in tears," Abbasi said. "I was just crying. I have lived in the United States for 10 years. I am a U.S. citizen."
Plenty of people are kicked off flights, prevented from flying at all, but they don't get personal apologies-- because they're just Americans.
Children have been groped by TSA officers, without getting personal apologies. But if you wear a headscarf, then you can always be a media friendly victim.
Many have unfavorably compared US airline security to Israel... but even that is now being endangered.
In response to a petition condemning the racial profiling of Arab citizens in airport security inspections, the High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the state to explain why there are no uniform inspection criteria for all Israeli citizens.
The petition, which was submitted in May 2007 by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) against the Israel Airports Authority, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Transportation Ministry, says that Arab Israelis receive more thorough security inspections than Jewish ones before they board a flight at Israeli airports and when flying to Israel on Israeli airlines.
ACRI stated that the longer and more thorough security checks that the Arab passengers undergo create and encourage stigmas and negative attitudes towards Arabs and humiliate the Arabs whenever they fly.
Israel is burdened with an out of control leftist supreme court that went rogue long ago, and now acts as the ultimate authority on everything. Which means this is bad news. Really bad news.
The High Court has undermined security before and exposed Israelis to more terrorist attacks, but an attack on airline security by the supreme court would severely undermine Israel's connection to the rest of the world. If the left succeeds at doing this, airline terror will return to Israel.
The radicals on the court and in the ACRI have done plenty of damage in the past, but this may be their worst assault yet. Their funding comes from the left wing New Israel Fund, and from the EU, the governments of Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. And of course the Soros wannabes at the Ford Foundation.
Organizations like the ACRI are why Israel has pushed for NGO funding transparency.
Speaking of things that murderously outrage the Religion of Peace, Bosch Fastwin's long awaited Infidel #1 comic is out, featuring Pigman. If you want a reason to pick it up. Here's one.
If this doesn't sell you on it, I don't know what will.
When you go to see most movies or buy many books, you're funding the views and attitudes of the left political elite. This gives us a chance to fund something different. Something better.
Continuing the roundup, 6 Foot 2 in High Heel Shoes describes her apocalyptic evening with Mark Steyn
Israel Matzav has the deranged gift that keeps on giving, in the form of a Playboy interview with Helen Thomas. Yes this is an actual thing. And yes it features that rarest of treasures, a member of the media elite who went a step too far, and even though she had the same attitudes as her colleagues, found herself marginalized and is now even more bigger and bigoted. It almost makes Dan Rather, a member of the same species, look sane.
Final word on that goes to Iohawk
Finally as a side note,
Regarding Srdja Trifkovic, I don't like to get into these things, but his comments on Jews are not remotely defensible. They're derogatory, false and bigoted. He has the right to believe whatever he does, and people have the right to hear him or not. We do need a larger alliance that is more than the sum of its parts and that includes people we don't like and people who don't like us. What irritates me are weak attempts to whitewash and misrepresent his comments as normative and not bigoted.
It's possible to analyze Trifkovic's claims in detail, but he makes two fundamental errors commonly made by bigots and idiots
1. He assumes that liberal Jewish politics derives from Judaism, when in fact Jews are generally liberal to the extent that they are secular. This is also fairly common among Christians, where liberal politics overlaps with secularism.
Trifkovic's talk of Talmudic Judaism is derogatory and the preoccupation of bigots. Most of all it is irrelevant. I am conversant with the Torah and the Mishna and the Talmud. Most liberals are not. That is because I am traditional and they are not. Traditionalists are likely to be conservatives. Liberals, in the modern day sense, are generally anti-traditionalists or counter-traditionalists. Jewish liberals have as negative a view of Jewish traditions as Srdja Trifkovic does.
While there are large percentages of Jewish liberals, there are nearly as large percentages to be found among some Christians denominations such as the Episcopalians. There are common denominators behind that in the form of liberal theology, but that is a discussion outside the scope of this reply.
2. Classing all negative figures with some Jewish ancestry together into one assemblage, regardless of whether they saw themselves as Jewish, practiced Judaism or even had anything at all in common.
Using this same brand of argument, we could class together Clinton, Stalin (who was a seminary student) and H.G. Wells. After they all were either born Christians or self-identified that way at some point. It would be just as dishonest as what Trifkovic did.
This categorization is willfully dishonest, implicitly linking that grouping together with Judaism, even when discussing men like Marx who were raised as Christians and had no use for either Jews or Judaism, is your basic intellectually dishonest bigotry.
What is more important is that Marx or Freud did not emerge out of some Hebraic vacuum. They were part of European intellectual milieu and while they may have been forerunners, their ideas emerged from existing European intellectual trends and merged into existing European trends. This is undeniable to anyone familiar with the European history of the last few centuries. To believe otherwise is to endorse some Jewish conspiracy.
Anyone who insists that such men's ideas emerged solely out of a Judaic, rather than European worldview, must then say the same for the pioneering medical work of Jewish doctors as well. How then does one divide Einstein from Salk from Freud. Neo-Nazis will insist that they were all frauds who poisoned Western civilization. But then where does one draw the line. Was Lazlo Biro, the inventor of the fountain pen, also engaged in a Hebraic conspiracy to undermine Western civilization? What about George Lerner, who invented Mr. Potato Head? Even absurdity must have its limits.
Proud Jews will class these men together. Anti-semites will class together Marx, Madoff and the Leopold brothers. But by necessity such categorizations are incomplete. They are only part of the picture. Just as a list of only the geniuses or only the monsters from the Irish, the Belgians or the Chinese would be distorted and incomplete.
Trifkovic claims that Jewish ideas have eroded the West, but then he must have some idea of the West, which does not include Christianity-- a rather Jewish idea. Jews have been a part of the West, in one form or another, since Roman times. Millions of Christians carry Jewish names, use Hebrew words and follow Jewish traditions without even knowing it.
It has been ever a fanciful idea by many Europeans that the emancipation of the Jews destroyed Europe. But then if a fraction of the population could destroy Europe through ideas alone, then there wasn't much there to begin with. Was there.
The truth is that both Christians and Jews have been part of a single trend in the West. For that matter the trend appears to even go beyond the West, to a nation like Japan, which is experiencing much of the same malaise, low birth rates, pacifism, cultural degeneracy and the recession of the national morale.
That suggests that what we are looking at cannot be boiled down so simply and so easily. This is anathema to the racialists who think that the problem can be solved by finding the foreign element, plucking it out and restoring whatever version of the Holy Roman Empire strikes their intellectual fancy. Jews have been prominent enough in European history that the finger can easily be pointed at them. Russia for one is full of intellectuals who can explain why everything that has ever gone wrong in the country is the fault of the Jews (also sometimes the Poles). Trifkovic's argument has that same flavor that slips into BNP Nick Griffin's type of rhetoric about cooperation with the Jews. I don't fault it for what it is. What I resent are attempts to either justify it or transform it into what it is not.
I make no calls for alienating or purging Mr. Trifkovic. I don't suggest that the counterjihad movement needs to purify itself. What we need is a big tent, not a tiny inner circle. A big tent that will include people from all religions and all backgrounds. Everyone from Atheists to Zoroastrians. That is what it will take to win. I see positive developments in Bill Maher's cynicism toward Islam and in the growing recognition of the European far right that maybe their biggest problem is not Moses, but Mohammed-- they all mark a growing recognition of the threat overshadowing all of us. A global threat for all of us who are not Muslims and do not wish to be ruled by Islamic law.
However neither do I see any point in soft-pedaling the obvious. It is better to put aside divisions as not relevant in the present moment, than to splash white paint over them. To be honest about those differences. We do not all believe the same thing. Nor we do need to. The one ticket for admission to the big tent is the recognition that we face a common threat. We can build dikes and rafts against the flood, without all agreeing on government, religion and hugs for everyone.
Mr. Trifkovic believes what he does, and his beliefs have limited relevance and interest for me. As mine do for him, no doubt. We recognize a common threat, for reasons of history and geography. There is no need to pretend that Mr. Trifkovic believes other than he does. When such controversies come up, it is best to emphasize the scale of the movement and that it is not defined by any one man or woman's views. And that we do not need to agree on the best form of government or who is to blame for the analyst's couch in order to stop a flood.
I really was going to avoid the Sandmonkey stuff from now on but...
I'm guessing that he meant UN Watch as the pro-Israel NGO. Same line is repeated here in an interview. You can take it as a joke or not.
Finally back at the UN Ranch-- Z Street, AFSI and a variety of pro-Israel groups will be holding a Megilla reading at the Iranian mission to the UN for that brand new Haman, Ahmadinejad, at noon. See Z Street for more details.
Happy Purim to those who celebrate, happy early spring weekend to those who don't.