President Obama lavished praise on the United Nations and its controversial military interventions during his September 21 address to the UN General Assembly, promoting big-government policies and even more international “cooperation” on everything from protests in Syria and the global economic crisis to healthcare, climate, and poverty.
Throughout the speech to world rulers assembled in New York, Obama barely mentioned traditional American notions of liberty and individual rights. Instead, he spent most of his time boasting about military operations and advocating expanded government power at the national and international level.
Obama demanded, for example, that all governments submit to the socialist principle that “freedom from want is a basic human right.” He also expressed support for “gay rights” and the UN’s universal declaration of human “rights” — more accurately described as a list of revocable privileges granted by the state.
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama boasted about the alleged successes of U.S. and international military interventions from Libya and Iraq to the Ivory Coast and Afghanistan — even calling on the UN to wage more wars to promote peace if necessary. But according to critics, the results and justifications for the operations Obama cited leave much to be desired.
After noting that American troops would be leaving Iraq by the end of the year and that an “increasingly capable” regime in Afghanistan was beginning to take charge, Obama claimed that “the tide of war is receding.” He promptly followed that statement by discussing other nations where U.S. and UN troops are either currently waging war or recently did so.
Obama then offered a list of more countries that should — in his mind, at least — be next in the crosshairs. Iran and Syria featured prominently among the future targets.
“There is no excuse for inaction,” he declared. “Throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change.” Obama also mentioned — albeit much more mildly — U.S. allies such as Bahrain and Yemen, where the U.S. government has been waging a secret war for years.
If the Palestinians really wanted peace, they would have to stop shooting rockets from Gaza into Israeli towns. The rocket attacks have been going on for years. But the Palestinians have decided to acquire statehood, not by an agreement with Israel that would require them to end their war against the Jewish state, but by a vote of recognition in the United Nations General Assembly. They have been told that the United States would veto such a bid in the Security Council. But a positive vote in the General Assembly would upgrade the Palestinians’ observer status in the UN and permit them to participate in that body’s activities virtually as if they were a member state.
If the Palestinians really want peace they would have to stop killing Jews in Samaria and Judea, otherwise known as the West Bank. They would have to agree that Jews could live in their ancient homeland under a democratic Palestinian authority just as over a million Palestinians live in Israel and enjoy Israeli citizenship.
But the Israelis have no reason to believe that the Palestinians will stop waging war against them.
The United Nations Security Council is considering a resolution to establish a UN mission in Libya, unfreeze assets of two major oil companies and repeal a ban on flights by Libyan aircraft. Great Britain was circulating a draft of the resolution among the 15 member nations of the Security Council Tuesday night and is hoping for a vote on it by the end of this week, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
Meanwhile the Financial Times of London quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that the United States will play a "modest" role in aiding recovery in Libya, where rebel forces recently ousted Muammar Qaddafi, ending his 42-year reign.
"We're not going to be engaged in nation building in the traditional sense of what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are not going to be millions or billions of US taxpayer dollars going out there," a senior administration official in Washington told the international business daily. Instead, Libya's reconstruction would be guided by a UN framework and assisted by unspecified number of countries and by multilateral organizations like the World Bank and International Monetary fund.
Outrage is mounting around the world against United Nations “peace-keeping” soldiers as sex-crime allegations, ranging from charges of rape and exploitation in Haiti to wide-spread sexual abuse of children in the Ivory Coast, have exploded into the headlines this week.
One of the most alarming incidents in recent times — several Uruguayan troops serving under the UN in Haiti held down and gang raped a teenage boy — was documented on video and spread over the Internet. The crime sparked even more anti-UN protests in the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.
Past demonstrations, related to UN troops spreading cholera, abusing citizens, or other matters, have resulted in Haitians being killed by international forces. But this time the concerns are being taken seriously.
The resulting global uproar over what Haitian President Michel Martelly described as the “collective rape carried out against a young Haitian” caused an international scandal that is still growing.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon believes that there is a global environmental crisis that requires looting the Western economies to the tune of trillions of dollars in coming years. But such financial plundering apparently will not be standing in the way of a quite substantial pay increase for United Nations employees.
At a time when the West is reeling from a global recession, and individuals, corporations, and even profligate governments are realizing that a measure of financial reality is no longer optional, the recent UN diktat that $76 trillion would be needed over the next two generations to be redistributed as Third World environmental welfare sounded like a bad joke. Now, the decision to enact a significant pay raise for UN bureaucrats is further proof of Ban’s poor sense of comedic timing.
As the GOP 2012 presidential campaign evolves, foreign policy issues will become more and more relevant, particularly as pro-Israel candidates debate Palestine’s venture for membership into the United Nations. Although domestic issues will continue to play a central role in the debate — largely due to the economy’s prolonged comatose state — Palestinian leaders’ request for U.N. membership serves a new recipe for the GOP campaign plate.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will introduce Palestine’s application to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the general assembly convenes on September 20. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that the Palestinian request was "expected and regrettable," and that "Netanyahu still believes that only through direct and honest negotiations — not through unilateral decisions — will it be possible to advance the peace process."
The United Nations is preparing to finalize its Arms Trade Treaty in 2012, better known in the United States as the Small Arms Treaty, after a series of talks in the Third Preparatory Committee took place last week. The final talks on the treaty have been scheduled for four weeks next summer, and new rules indicate that a majority vote is not necessary in order for the treaty to be passed. The Heritage Foundation contends that though the stated purpose of the treaty is to “address the absence of commonly agreed international standards for the transfer of conventional arms, which, it is argued, contribute to war, crime, and terrorism,” the treaty poses a threat to American liberties and interests.
Throughout the talks on the treaty, members of the UN Security Council — which includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — voiced concerns over the establishment of a supranational authority. Security Council members and the European Union have now managed to eliminate the presence of that supranational authority originally designated by the treaty, replacing it with a more general statement of obligations related to arms trade which are to be fulfilled nationally, not globally.