Saturday, February 21, 2009
For Shame, President Obama!
In 2001, just a week before the September 11th attacks, then Secretary of State Colin Powell withdrew the US delegation from the U.N. World Conference on Racism & Etc. (the whole title is entirely too politically correct for this blog) held in Durban, South Africa.
The Bush adminstration withdrew the delegation because the conference became a demonstration of Holocaust denial and virulent antisemitism, largely controlled by avowed enemies of the West.
A personal note: it was the twin shocks of the progressive reactions to Durban and then the 9-11 attacks that convinced me once and for all of the moral bankruptcy of the left, and made me understand that the left may use naive Jews, but that ultimately they will stab us in the back. Alas, I am a slow learner.
On Saturday morning, February 14, the Obama Administration announced that it was sending a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland, to help plan Durban II, the Durban Review Conference, which is intended (in the UN's own words) "to reaffirm the Durban Declaration." You know, the one that denies the Holocaust and reaffirms the old UN canard that Israel is a racist state.
This conference is chaired by Libya, Cuba, Iran and Pakistan. These are countries that not only demonize the US, but also hideously oppress their own people. As you can see below, they would also like to see your freedom of speech and expression removed.
For shame, President Obama! First, to announce this on Valentine's Day, early in the morning like that, means that the adminstration knows this is a shameful action. Secondly, for the US to participate in the planning of the reaffirmation of the Durban Declaration is to associate ourselves with the enemies of our Western values. The purposes of the conference is described thus by The Wall Street Journal:
As for what this Review Conference is supposed to achieve, some clues are provided in the latest draft of the so-called Outcome Document. Israel's "racial policies" are a major theme, as is "the plight of Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories," meaning Israel itself. Under debate, however, is whether to include a line that the Holocaust "resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people." Presumably Iran objects.
The draft also calls "on states to develop, and where appropriate to incorporate, permissible limitations on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression into national legislation." Yes, you read that right. The transparent purpose is to criminalize all criticism of Islam, a.k.a. "Islamophobia." There is also a not-so-sly effort to extract reparations for the long-banned trans-Atlantic slave trade: States that "have not yet condemned, apologized and paid reparations" for the trade are urged "to do so at the earliest." (Does an anti-Semitic conference deserve US participation of any kind? The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2009).
According to the WSJ, as well as the Jerusalem Post, the Obama Adminstration is well aware of the purpose of the conference, and is not committed to participating in April, but is sending a delegation to the planning meetings in order to "try to change the direction in which the review conference is heading." This is disigenuous at best. How does participating in the planning of a Conference whose express purpose is to reaffirm the goals of the previous conference going to mitigate anything. The amoral underpinnings of the Obama adminstration's pragmatism is showing clearly in this action. To paraphrase my grandmother, may she rest in peace, show me who an adminstration hangs out with, and I'll show you its character.
This action on the part of the Obama adminstration is not only a slap in the face to Israel, it is a profoundly anti-Western act of appeasement to the worst sort of characters. It also betrays a profound misunderstanding of what sort of people one may compromise with and with what sort one may not. What compromise can be reached between an enemy's desire to destroy you and your own desire to live?
For a scathing review of this policy decision from one of the members of the Oslo negotiating team, see Obama's Durban Gambit at CAROLINEGLICK.com