UN Climate Reports: They Lie

UN Climate Reports: They Lie

Article with charts

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_climate_reports_they_lie.html

By Marc Sheppard
For years, claims that UN climate reports represent the consensus of the majority of international scientists have been mindlessly accepted and regurgitated by left-leaning policy makers and the media at large.  But in the past week or so, it’s become more apparent than ever that those who’ve accused the international organization of politicizing science and manipulating data have been right all along.

This latest disclosure again concerns what has become the favorite propaganda propagation tool of climate activists — the infamous “Hockey Stick Graph.” The familiar reconstruction, which deceitfully depicts last millennium’s global temperatures as flat prior to a dramatic upturn last century, has been displayed and touted ad nauseum as irrefutable proof of unprecedented and, therefore, anthropogenic, global warming (AGW). 
Despite its previous debunking, the embattled AGW poster-child continues to languish in UN climate reports, which are unduly revered and quoted as gospel by all manner of proselytizers.  In fact, just last week it had the bad timing to show up in a desperate UN compendium, released just days before Climate Audit published facts that promise to be the Hockey Stick’s (HS) long overdue epitaph.  And those facts not only assuage any doubt of the chart’s fraudulence, but also of the deliberate and devious complicity of its creators, defenders and leading UN sponsors.
But before delving into the sordid details, perhaps a little background is in order.
The Real Inconvenient Truth

Prior to the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR), the accepted depiction of the prior millennium’s warmth was that published in the panel’s 1990 maiden assessment. Specifically — global temperatures had fluctuated drastically over the period. This schematic, taken from IPCC 1990 Figure 7c, clearly demonstrates the IPCC “consensus” of the time:


And data derived from sources including tree-rings, lake sediments, ice cores and historic documents bear that position out.  Indeed, it’s abundantly evident that since the last glacial period ended, over 14,000 years ago, the Earth’s climate has undergone multi-century swings from warming to cooling that occur often and with remarkable rapidity.  And not one but three such radical shifts occurred within the past millennium.
The years 900-1300 AD have been labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous epoch — the Dark Ages — to levels several degrees warmer than today.  A sudden period of cooling then followed and lasted until the year 1850.  This Little Ice Age (LIA) brought on extremely cold temperatures, corresponding with three periods of protracted solar inactivity, the lowest temperatures coinciding with the quietest of the three (The Maunder Minimum 1645-1710).

And then began the modern warming period, which, by the way, many scientists believe ended with the millennium itself.
Given these natural shifts over the past 1000 years, it’s certainly not surprising that after a period of cooling, which followed a period of warming, we’d again enter a period of warming. 
And that, of course, presented quite the quandary to opportunists hell-bent on blaming warming on industrial revolution-triggered atmospheric CO2 increases. Something had to be done to convince the world that modern warming was unprecedented and could therefore only be explained by something unnatural, specifically — the “Greenhouse Effect.”
And something was. 
The End of a Warming Era

During testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Hearing on Climate Change and the Media in 2006, University of Oklahoma geophysicist Dr. David Deming recalled “an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change” who told him that “we have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”  In June of this year, piece, Deming identified the year of that email as 1995 and the source only as a lead author of that month’s Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report. 
Many believe that man to be Jonathan Overpeck – which Prof. Deming didn’t deny in an email response — who would later also serve as an IPCC lead author.  So it comes as no surprise that this reconstruction, which did indeed “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period,” was featured prominently in the subsequent 2001 TAR, particularly in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), the highly-politicized synopsis which commands the bulk of media and political attention.

This, the original and by far most ubiquitous version of the HS graph, was derived from a 1998 paper by Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes (MBH98).  It was promptly met with challenges to both its proxy data and statistical analysis methodology.  Of these, various papers by two Canadians — statistician Stephen McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick — stood out in dispelling the AGW-supporting hockey-stick shape arrived at by MBH, claiming it the result of severe data defects and flawed calculations, particularly an invalid principal component analysis.
In a coordinated effort to defend the refuted thesis, alarmed alarmists tendered a handful of supporting studies.  Mann himself cheered those either attacking McIntyre and McKitrick or supporting his own reconstruction and dubbed them the “Hockey Team.”  And the position of team forward and co-captain was bestowed upon Keith Briffa of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), whose temperature graphs, derived from Yamal, Russia tree ring data were heavily cited by the IPCC as supporting evidence of MBH’s assertion of unprecedented 20th century warming. 
While studies reaffirming both the MWP and LIA continued to be published, congressional hearings and expert panels found MBH to be largely unsupported by studies relying on legitimate proxy data other than Briffa’s.   Still, most alarmists continued (and continue) to defend the HS on principle. 
Which in no way dilutes this plain truth:  By the time most Americans received their first lesson in climate hysteria in the Albert Gore lecture hall that was the 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, the MBH chart the nutty professor stood before and offered as proof of impending doom was already held in disrepute by most serious persons of science.
Lest there be any doubt, why else would the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) — notwithstanding the appointments of both Briffa and Overpeck as lead authors – give the graph short mention and exclude it entirely from the SPM?
It appeared the Hockey Team was being sent back to the minors. 

That is — for the moment.
Desperate Times Call For Disparate Actions

Given the current economic and political climate, it’s not surprising that the globe’s climate ranks dead last when Americans are asked to name the “most important issue facing the country right now.”   Needless to say, that’s an uncomfortable position for the Greenhouse Gas Team, what with a Senate Climate Bill promising even more government control than its House counterpart at the plate and the December Copenhagen Climate Summit on deck.
Accordingly, on September 24th, in a transparently desperate effort to stoke the coals, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its Climate Change Science Compendium 2009.  The eco-plea opens with these words from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“The science has become more irrevocable than ever: Climate change is happening. The evidence is all around us. And unless we act, we will see catastrophic consequences including rising sea-levels, droughts and famine, and the loss of up to a third of the world’s plant and animal species.”

Amazing.  But the frantic hype of this call-to-pointless-action quickly segues to blatant lies just three sentences later when Ban states “that climate change is accelerating at a much faster pace than was previously thought by scientists.”  It would appear the Sec-Gen believes that the cooling temperatures the new millennium issued in have somehow escaped everyone’s notice. 
Imagine the uphill battle he’ll face should predictions of the U.S. Northeast suffering its coldest winter in a decade due to a weak El Nino come true. 
So it wasn’t all that shocking to spot this undeniably dramatic graph on only the fifth of this end-is-near report’s 75 pages. 
The striking chart is marked as Figure 1.3: Correlation between temperature and CO2.  As its title suggests, it attempts to plot atmospheric CO2 concentrations and mean global temperature during the past millennium.  Notice anything vaguely familiar about the temperature plot in red?

Why, it’s our old friend, Mr. Hockey Stick – apparently having sat for a bit of a makeover.

Interestingly enough, this reconstruction wasn’t lifted from prior IPCC assessments, or, for that matter, any UN entity at all.  No, the source was actually a graphic posted to Wikimedia in 2005 by Hanno Sandvik, a Norwegian research biologist.  Sandvik cited two data sources for his temperature plot – a 2004 paper by Jones and Mann (abracadabra – no more MWP) for 1000-1880, and, for the remainder, “instrumental records published on the web” by Jones, Parker, Osborn and – wait for it …… Briffa.
So the chart the UN climate experts used to sell the CO2 -°C connection to an increasingly skeptical public was pulled from Wiki, crafted by an unknown biologist, conveniently ends about the same year warming ended, and based on a debunked temperature reconstruction. 
It would therefore appear they consider Sanvik quite the unsung authority. Yet I wonder whether these geniuses are aware of this 2006 graphic, also from Sandvik, and plotting northern hemisphere temperatures over the past 2000 years.  This one cites 2005 data published by Moberg, Sonechkin, Holmgren, Datsenko, Karlén, and Lauritzen as its source and paints a somewhat different picture.  Hello MWP and LIA, where’ve you been?

 


 
Any guesses whether or not UNEP would have used Sandvik’s chart had his temperature dataset been from Moberg et al. rather than Mann et al.? 
I contacted Hanno Sandvik a week ago last Saturday and asked him essentially that same question.  He responded that he was unaware of the UNEP Compendium and therefore had “no idea which graphics they may have chosen.”  He also pointed out that while Mann’s was global data, Mobergs was northern hemisphere only — a point well taken,  however MHB98 was also derived from NH data yet remarkably resembles the Mann “global” data Sandvik used.
Also — Take a look at the period between 1000 and 1800 in both reconstructions. Is it even the least bit feasible that averaging southern hemisphere data into the latter would produce the former?
Or that UNEP strived to present the facts honestly?
Not Man Made — Mann Made

One of McIntyre’s chief complaints when auditing MHB98 was Mann’s refusal to provide his data, methods and source code.  The Hockey Team’s most dreaded opposing goaltender has been reporting the same deceptiveness from Briffa, who for years refused to release his Yamal measurement data.    This, despite the fact that HS-defending papers relying solely on Yamal continued to be published in major science journals.
But last year, Briffa used the data in a paper he published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Journal. As the journal adheres to its strict data archiving rules, McIntyre convinced one of its editors to help get Briffa’s data released.  And late last month, the data was indeed published at CRU.
Last week, McIntyre analyzed the CRU archive Yamal data and proved that Briffa et al. had cherry-picked and manipulated data, intentionally omitting records not friendly to their position.  In fact, when Briffa’s hand-selected figures were replaced by a broader dataset for the same Polar Ural region (much of which he had deliberately dropped), the Hockey-Stick suddenly disappeared, revealing no significant trend in the 20th century whatsoever! 
In Steve’s new graph, below, the Red represents the original 12 cherry picked Yamal trees, while the Black incorporates the broader Yamal dataset.

Any questions whether or not global warming is Mann made?
Inhofe was right

The public’s belief in manmade climate change doesn’t hang on its grasp of geophysics or thermodynamics.  Technical explanations of positive feedbacks and radiative forcings, read by few and understand by fewer still, aren’t likely to foster acceptance of a new energy tax that will dramatically raise the price of literally every facet of human life.  Let’s get real — even experts on the subject can’t seem to agree on what caused modern warming.
But alarmists know all too well that as long as citizens are convinced that warming is both enduring and unprecedented, such inconveniences as the missing hot spot,  laughably  mistaken climate models, 800 year CO2 /Temperature latency and perhaps even current cooling can be cleverly obfuscated with Goebbels-like double-talk and outright lies. 

And without the Hockey Stick’s counterfeit portrait of runaway 20th century warming, climate crisis peddlers’ credibility levels are reduced to those of used car salesmen.  Not where you want to be when hoping to sell the instinctively absurd premise that the actions of mankind can influence temperatures in either direction.
So they cheat. And they lie. And they have from the very beginning.
In 1989, climate scientist Stephen Schneider told Discover magazine:

“To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.”

Twelve years later, Schneider was a lead author of the IPCC’s TAR, the same UN report that formally introduced the delusory Hockey Stick Graph.
In his masterpiece work, Heaven and Earth, Ian Plimer assessed the cadre whose own assessments form the foundation of virtually every climate-related scheme, law, tax, regulation and treaty throughout the globe thusly:

“The IPCC is clearly an ascientific political organization in which environmental activists and government representatives are setting the agenda for a variety of reasons including boosting trade, encouraging protectionism, adding costs to competitors and pushing their own sovereign barrow.”  

Add lying perpetrators of fraud, and I’d say that about sums it up.
Speaking on the Senate floor in July of 2003, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla) rightly called the threat of catastrophic global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
Let’s make damned sure it doesn’t become the most expensive.
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Obama’s Dangerous UN Agenda

Obama’s Dangerous UN Agenda
By: Ben Johnson
Friday, September 25, 2009

 


Obama insulted his own country, promoted environmentalism, embraced unilateral disarmament, and declared counterterrorism a “law enforcement” matter.

Much commentary about Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations Wednesday has focused on his description of pre-Obama America as a deadbeat, lawless, foot-dragging country that tortures innocent Muslims, or did until his glorious ascension to the right hand of power. The predictable emphasis on the speech’s most offensive aspects overlooks more dangerous points yet: the president placed unilateral nuclear disarmament, the environmentalist agenda, and increased pressure on U.S. allies at the forefront of a globalist agenda, while relegating terrorism to a footnote – one that regards it as a “law enforcement” matter. (Yes, he used those words.)

 

The “I”s Have It

 

Obama has been accused of having a messianic view of his presidency. In 41 major presidential speeches before the UN address, Obama made reference to himself nearly 1,200 times, more than twice as often as every member of Congress combined. His UN address was similarly Obama-centric.

 

To highlight the glimmering hope his presidency embodies, he demonized America, B.B.O. (Before Barack Obama). He noted the international “belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally,” a belief he has made clear in other venues he shares; he said “America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy”;  and he declared the dark “days when America dragged its feet on [climate change] are over” – a less caustic version of his remark Tuesday at the Climate Change Summit that, under a certain unnamed predecessor, America suffered “too many years of inaction and denial.”

 

He then presented himself as the savior of international relations, touting “the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world.” He hastened to add these “expectations are not about me” but rather are “rooted in hope – the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change.”

 

Obama then equated “the character and cause of my nation,” with “the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months.” During this time, he boasted, he “prohibited… the use of torture by the United States of America,” ordered “the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed,” determined “combat extremism within the rule of law,” joined the UN Human Rights Council, and “paid our bill” to the United Nations.

 

This leaves the impression the United States was a cheapskate nation that had turned its back on global human rights, and implicitly admits torturing and otherwise conducting a lawless anti-terrorism program. In reality, Gitmo is not closed, as Obama has acknowledged it contains a number of prisoners who can neither be released nor transferred, and he has no plan to deal with them. It is true that the Republican Congress voted to withhold a portion of UN dues twice B.B.O. (in 2001 and 2005) – over President Bush’s strenuous objections. Congress recognized the U.S. pays nearly a quarter of the UN’s budget, while 128 of its 192 member nations pay one percent, and it demanded reforms. This demand was in part motivated by the fact that Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia sit on the UN Human Rights Council. Upon taking office, Obama paid nearly a billion dollars to the UN and rejoined the UNHRC – once again, without securing, or even asking for, anything in return. In general, his administration’s view is best elucidated by Susan Rice, who said “others will likely shoulder a greater share of the global burden if the United States leads by example, acknowledges mistakes…and treats others with respect.” Like generations of leftists, the Obama administration believes the U.S. is guilty of straining international relations for years, and our collective guilt explains the world’s “reflexive anti-Americanism,” which can now be put to an end because of…him. He does not believe, as did John Bolton, that the UN has been too accommodating to terrorism.

 

And his “counterterrorism” proposal reflects it.

 

Fighting Terrorism: A “Law Enforcement” Matter

 

The anti-terrorism portion of his speech took exactly one, excessively fuzzy paragraph. Its most specific proposal declared, “America will forge lasting partnerships to target terrorists, share intelligence, and coordinate law enforcement and protect our people.” Obama let the cat out of the bag; he shares John Kerry’s view that counterterrorism is “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation.” This may account for his recent, public signs of faltering in Afghanistan. Although he campaigned on a promise to bomb Pakistan – if necessary, without Islamabad’s approval – in order to kill Osama bin Laden, he now speaks of returning to the law enforcement approach of the Clinton years that brought on the bombing of two U.S. embassies, the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, and finally 9/11.

 

Against the backdrop of his public vacillation on Afghanistan, he insisted he “will never waver in our efforts to stand up for the right of people everywhere to determine their own destiny.” Later that evening, he was followed at the podium by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who jailed, beat, and “tried” Iranian protesters, even killing the nine-year-old son of a political enemy, with little more than a belated whimper from Obama. And although Poland and the Czech Republic had determined they wanted missile defense, he abandoned a long-negotiated U.S. agreement granting their request.

 

Similarly, when he turned to Iran and North Korea – all too briefly – he insisted the UN “demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise.” China has obstinately blocked him, and Russia is actively aiding Tehran’s nuclear program. Moreover, Obama became the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party precisely for counseling international law be disregarded when it came to enforcing more than a dozen resolutions about Saddam Hussein. But he showed a great deal more relish for other UN resolutions.

 

Mideastern Pre-“Occupation”

 

By far the biggest applause lines of his speech were his emphasis “that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements” and a vow to end “the occupation that began in 1967.” (Conversely, he received no applause when he described U.S. actions to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, polio, H1N1, and global economic squalor.) He insisted, “the time has come to re-launch negotiations without preconditions that address the permanent status issues:  security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem.”

 

Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu has made it known returning to the pre-1967 borders is a non-starter.  So did Ariel Sharon. Even Ehud Olmert would not allow an unmitigated return to the old territory, because the 1967 borders are regarded as indefensible. Similarly, granting the “right of return” to all Palestinian refugees in UNRWA camps – most of whom never set foot in Israel – would end Israel’s history as a Jewish state and will never be accepted in Tel Aviv. Aside from Honduras, Israel is the lone nation the Obama administration has pressured; all others receive an “open hand” of friendship.

 

Obama believes Israel, like the United States, must “lead by example,” giving its enemies a little more each time, in the hopes of securing their approval. In the Left’s world, one’s enemies exist only because they feel frightened or endangered. This outlook is reflected in Obama’s anti-nuclear posture.

 

“You Can’t Hug with Nuclear Arms”

 

On Thursday, Obama chaired a meeting of UN Security Council, dedicated to nuclear disarmament, which produced a new (and meaningless) resolution to move toward a world without nuclear weapons. He reaffirmed Wednesday, “we must stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and seek the goal of a world without them.” To this end, he announced the ongoing U.S.-Russian missile reduction negotiations that began this week, hoped to end to the production of fissile nuclear material, and pledged to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), dispatching Hillary Clinton as a representative to its members’ conference.

 

Such a view is hardly new. In April, Obama told an audience in Prague, “the United States will take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons.” (One sentence later, he said, “Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies – including the Czech Republic.”)

 

Although Obama may seek a “world” free of nuclear weapons – the Pollyanna hope of the Left and the self-interested hope of the Soviets since the 1960s – he can control policy only in the United States. As I noted last week, his motivation behind scrapping the long-range missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic was likely to encourage Russia to make deep cuts in its nuclear arsenal. The Guardian has since reported, “The abandonment of the US missile defence [sic.] already appears to have spurred arms control talks.” Russian “leader” Dmitry Medvedev said it was probable Russia and the United States would reduce their deployed warheads to 1,500 each by year’s end. To further “spur” negotiations, Obama rejected the Pentagon’s initial Nuclear Posture Review – its overview of how many warheads could be destroyed – on the grounds the Defense Department had not sufficiently decimated U.S. defenses. An administration official told the media, “Obama is now driving this process. He is saying these are the president’s weapons, and he wants to look again at the doctrine and their role.” He and his advisers, most notably Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher, share the view that the United States must demonstrate sincerity by exposing itself to increased danger.

 

The CTBT would further erode our national defense. Baker Spring of the Heritage Foundation wrote, “Once the CTBT is in force, the United States will be unable to maintain a safe, reliable, and effective nuclear arsenal.” The “ban” on fissile nuclear material also produces problems. Obama has repeatedly affirmed the right of every rogue nation, including Iran, to possess “civilian” nuclear reactors; unfortunately, this is precisely the cover North Korea used to create multiple warheads. Henry Sokolski notes another conundrum: “The French are now arguing that the only way to get such a ban going is to bribe China (which has not signed) by selling it a nuclear fuel plant capable of making 1,000 crude bombs’ worth of plutonium a year.”

 

Declaring a U.S. respite on nuclear production, ending nuclear testing with the attendant deterioration of existing warheads, and making a dramatic “goodwill” reduction of our weapons will entice other states to try to catch up to our diminishing levels. If they can come close to matching our lowered arsenal, they will become nuclear superpowers by default. The eradication of our stockpiles, which Obama and company seek, would leave America and the West vulnerable to nuclear blackmail by any state that can produce even one nuclear device – the more so if missile defense systems are abandoned.

 

This is the long-range security strategy at the heart of his foreign policy. But another policy guides him yet more strongly.

 

The Environment: “The Top of our Diplomatic Agenda”

 

Fighting terrorism is now passé. Global warming is seen as a much graver threat to the world’s survival. In recognition of this fact, Obama told the Climate Change Summit Tuesday, “we have put climate at the top of our diplomatic agenda when it comes to our relationships with countries as varied as China and Brazil; India and Mexico; from the continent of Africa to the continent of Europe.”

 

That he has. Upon taking office, Obama created the post Special Envoy for Climate Change within the State Department, appointing Todd Stern, a key negotiator of the Kyoto Protocol and mostly recently a senior follow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress. Kyoto would have crippled the U.S. economy, costing an estimated $100-400 billion in productivity over ten years and increasing the cost of electricity by as much as 80 percent.

Obama’s shift in focus has been felt by every delegation visiting China. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi once had an outstanding record on Chinese human rights. When she visited Beijing this summer, she made token statements on human rights but said her “focus was on climate change,” insisting, “protecting the environment is a human rights issue.” Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ed Markey noted Madam Speaker’s strong role in emphasizing the administration’s overriding concern.

 

Obama alluded to it himself in the most dire part of his speech – predictably, not about terrorism or the likelihood of Iran or North Korea obtaining a nuclear weapon. Obama gave a mini-apocalyptic sermon:

 

If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders.  Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources.  Development will be devastated by drought and famine.  Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear.  Future generations will look back and wonder why we refused to act; why we failed to pass on – why we failed to pass on an environment that was worthy of our inheritance.

 

The trouble, he believed, is that the UN “struggles to enforce its will,” another common statement of globalists. In Prague, he announced, “All nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime.

 

Holdren’s Influence?

 

Both his apocalypticism and his globalism echo Science Czar John Holdren. Holdren confirmed during his Senate confirmation hearings in February that “carbon dioxide-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020,”  and dire predictions about violent competition for resources are a longtime Holdren refrain. Other outlets that picked up my report on Ecoscience ignored another wrinkle in the story: Holdren has long called for planetary disarmament. As recently as January 2008, Holdren told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) the world needs “a universal prohibition on nuclear weapons, coupled with means to ensure confidence in compliance.” In Ecoscience Holdren called for “a comprehensive Planetary Regime” to control all natural resources and determine appropriate population levels to bring this about. The United Nations was his intended agent.

 

Barack Obama’s UN speech advanced a doctrinaire left-wing foreign policy that will hamstring American defense, further sideline the economy, and leave the nation relying on “law enforcement” to chase down terrorists after the fact. His anti-American statements were offensive, but his substantive proposals could do far more damage.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving (2004).

New UN resolution aims at nuclear-free world-And Iv’e got swampland in the Sahara for sale

New UN resolution aims at nuclear-free world
Sep 24 01:33 PM US/Eastern
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – With President Barack Obama presiding over a historic session, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution Thursday committing all nations to work for a nuclear weapons-free world.Russia, China and developing nations supported the measure, giving it global clout and strong political backing.

The resolution calls for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and “reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.” It calls for better security for nuclear weapons materials and underscores the Security Council’s intention to take action if such material or nuclear weapons get into the hands of terrorists.

The resolution consolidated many elements previously endorsed individually in the Security Council or other international forums. But bringing them together in a single document, voted on by global leaders, should add political momentum to efforts to achieve these goals, particularly at important conferences next year on nuclear security and on strengthening the Nonproliferation Treaty.

It was only the fifth time the Security Council met at summit level since the U.N. was founded in 1945 and 14 of the 15 chairs around the council’s horseshoe-shaped table were filled by presidents and prime ministers. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s name was on the U.N.-circulated list as attending but he was a no-show. Libya’s U.N. ambassador spoke for his country.

The U.S. holds the rotating council presidency this month and Obama was the first American president to preside over a Security Council summit, gaveling the meeting into session and announcing that “the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously.”

“The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama said immediately after the vote. “And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal.”

Just one nuclear weapon set off in a major city—”be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris”—could kill hundreds of thousands of people and cause major destruction, Obama said.

The council endorsed a global effort to “lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years” and the president announced that the United States will host an April summit to advance compliance and assist all nations in achieving the goal.

The resolution does not mention any country by name but it reaffirms previous Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea for their nuclear activities. It does not call for any new sanctions.

The resolution “expresses particular concern at the current major challenges to the nonproliferation regime that the Security Council has acted upon.”

“This is not about singling out an individual nation,” Obama said. “International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced.”

But Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy all identified North Korea, which has tested nuclear weapons, and Iran, suspected of harboring weapon plans, as obstacles to a safer world.

Sarkozy sharply criticized both countries for ignoring Security Council resolutions calling on them to cease such activities.

“We may all be threatened one day by a neighbor, by a neighbor endowing itself” with nuclear weapons, he said.

“What I believe is that if we have the courage to affirm and impose sanctions on those who violate resolutions of the Security Council we will be lending credibility to our commitment to a world with fewer nuclear weapons and ultimately with no nuclear weapons,” Sarkozy said.

The British leader called on the council to consider “far tougher sanctions” against Iran.

Iran’s U.N. Mission issued a statement calling allegations about its nuclear program “totally untrue and without any foundation,” insisting it is pursuing nuclear power as an alternative source of energy “to supply its booming population and rapid development.”

Iran called French claims “preposterous” and accused Britain of “deliberately and cynically” ignoring its legal commitments to take practical steps to eliminate nuclear weapons but did not mention the United States by name.

Diplomats from Iran are scheduled to hold talks on Oct. 1 with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

The Iranian statement reiterates the country’s “readiness to engage in serious and constructive negotiations with interested parties, based on respect, justice, rights of nations and collective commitments, aimed at reaching a framework for cooperative relationships.” But it said that to achieve success in future negotiations the six countries should abandon “futile and illegal demands of the past years” that include suspending Iran’s enrichment program.

Obama said the resolution reflects the nuclear agenda he outlined in his April speech in Prague when he declared his commitment to “a world without nuclear weapons.”

The president called in that speech for the slashing of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, adoption of the treaty banning all nuclear tests, an international fuel bank to better safeguard nuclear material, and negotiations on a new treaty that “verifiably” ends the production of fissile materials for atomic weapons.

He also strongly backed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, which requires signatory nations not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five nuclear powers to move toward nuclear disarmament. States without nuclear weapons are guaranteed access to peaceful nuclear technology for electricity generation.

All those measures are included in the draft resolution.

The resolution suggests that the Security Council consider taking firmer actions in the case of a country withdrawing from the NPT—as North Korea did—and stresses that countries that pull out are responsible for all violations before withdrawal.

Iran in its statement reaffirmed its commitment to the NPT, saying it takes its responsibilities under the treaty “seriously.”

In its opening paragraph, the resolution reaffirms the council’s commitment “to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Obama warned Thursday against violations of the NPT saying, “We must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced.”

But global differences remain.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that “our main shared goal is to untie the problem knots” among nations seeking nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

“This is complicated since the level of mistrust among nations remains too high, but it must be done,” he said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao focused on a late addition to Thursday’s resolution: a call for all nuclear-weapon states to commit to “no first use” of those weapons, and to not using them against non-nuclear states. China has long proclaimed such a policy, which the U.S. has never embraced.

“All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states,” Hu said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saluted the national leaders for joining in the unprecedented Security Council summit on nuclear arms.

“This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future,” he said.

Among the invited guests were U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, media mogul Ted Turner, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and Queen Noor of Jordan—all campaigners against nuclear weapons.

Nunn, a Georgia Democrat who heads the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based group designed to fight the global spread of nuclear materials, said the most important thing about the resolution “is the high-level visibility that will be taking place … with world leaders gathering to remind both themselves and the world that we are at a nuclear tipping point.”

As Obama left the Security Council chamber, he told the Associated Press: “It was an excellent day.”

___

Associated Press Writers John Heilprin and Charles Hanley contributed to this report from the United Nations.

UN-Inspired

UN-Inspired
By: Jacob Laksin
Thursday, September 24, 2009

 


Obama reaffirms stale hopes for a failed institution.

“I am not naïve,” President Obama insisted yesterday, as he delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly. And, indeed, some components of his remarks – including his call for sterner action to halt Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs – were reasonable enough. But nothing more corroded the seriousness of the president’s appeal for a new era of global security and cooperation than the fact that it was addressed to a body that, whatever the high-minded principles of its founding, has long been an obstacle to both.

 

It is an insight into the animating convictions of the modern UN that one of the more applauded parts of the president’s speech was a backhanded condemnation of his predecessor. Obama announced that his administration had rejected the supposed unilateralism of the Bush era in favor of a new “engagement.” In a disparaging reference to the Bush administration’s decision to withhold some payments to the UN, Obama boasted, “We have paid our bills.”

 

The boast was hardly warranted. Contrary to Obama’s implication – and much to the dismay of the UN’s critics – the United States has been the largest financial contributor to the UN since its 1945 founding. It is true that the Bush administration canceled aid for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP), but it did so to protest the UNFP’s support for population control programs, most notably China’s program of forced abortions. Precisely why restoring U.S. funding for such controversial initiatives should be considered a sign of progress, Obama never made clear.

 

Obama’s rebuff of unilateralism was similarly misplaced. After all, the Bush administration’s most “unilateral” decision – the 2003 invasion of Iraq – was in fact anything but, coming as it did after the United Nations failed to enforce 17 resolutions that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had violated. Bush’s real sin, in this sense, was to make it all too plain just how ineffectual the world’s premier human rights body really was.

 

In fairness, Obama seemed to grasp this critique of the UN. He made a point of stressing that rogue states like Iran and North Korea “must be held accountable,” urging the world to “stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise.” Yet Obama missed an opportunity to emphasize that his promise of accountability was more than empty rhetoric. Instead, he fell back on the familiar chestnut that he is “committed to diplomacy.” An impassive Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sitting in the fifth row, was visibly unimpressed.

 

And no wonder. Since 2006, the U.N. Security Council has three times imposed sanctions on Iran for its failure to freeze uranium enrichment. How has that worked out? According to the UN’s own International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran now has the knowhow to “design and produce a workable” nuclear weapon made up of enriched uranium. It’s still possible, as some experts counsel, that a new round of stiffer sanctions could stall Iran’s drive toward nuclear capability, but the recent record underscores one point: Diplomacy isn’t getting it done.

That’s particularly the case when the diplomacy is carried out by an organization whose commitment to international peace leaves so much to be desired. One need look no further than the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Less despicable than its predecessor, the singularly sinister UN Human Rights Commission, which counted such human rights beacons as Libya and Sudan in its ranks (Libya, notoriously, even chaired the commission in 2003), the UNHRC can be considered an improvement only by the UN’s dismal standards. Saudi Arabia and Cuba are still members, and the agency has retained its tradition of singling out Israel for false and inflammatory censure bordering on anti-Semitism. All the more bizarre, then, that Obama used his UN speech to announce that the United States, as part of his re-engagement strategy, was joining the UNHRC.

Such illogical pronouncements had the effect of muddling Obama’s more sober-minded observations. Although the president was unbecomingly partisan and needlessly apologetic about America’s role in the world – a pronounced tendency in his speeches at home and abroad – he did not spare the UN from criticism. He denounced the “almost reflexive anti-Americanism which, too often, has served as an excuse for collective inaction,” an apt enough description of the UN’s perennial failures. Elsewhere, he chided that “it is easy to walk up to this podium and point fingers and stoke divisions,” pointing out that, “Anybody can do that.”

 

On the last point, unfortunately, the president was all too correct. Thus, Obama was followed at the podium by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Libya’s Moammar Qadaffi. Ahmadinejad, having recently reaffirmed his denial of the Holocaust, proceeded to launch a routine diatribe against Israel. Qadaffi, for his part, took the occasion to offer a characteristically lunatic rant whose highlights included a demand that George Bush and Tony Blair be put on trial for the Iraq war and an assurance that swine flu was a biological weapon created in a military lab. All that was left was to conjecture about JFK’s true killer, and Qaddafi obliged. When he ripped up a copy of the UN charter at the podium, it was almost gratuitous: The mere fact that someone like Qadaffi could be invited to address the UN was a measure of how far it had fallen from its ideal.

 

Obama successfully avoided an embarrassing photo op with Qadaffi, but his enthusiastic support for an organization that welcomes the likes of the Libyan dictator nonetheless spoke volumes. Never mind that the UN has repeatedly failed to prevent human rights abuses. Never mind that it has empowered regimes that kill, torture, and oppress their populations with impunity. Despite this history, Obama still seems to believe that the UN remains a force for good in the world. There’s a word to describe people who hold such astoundingly credulous beliefs. And the president is not going to like it.


Jacob Laksin is managing editor of Front Page Magazine. His email is jlaksin -at- gmail.com

U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

Friday , March 27, 2009

By George Russell

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A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations “information note” on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an “effective framework” for dealing with global warming.

The 16-page note, obtained by FOX News, will be distributed to participants at a mammoth negotiating session that starts on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal.

In the stultifying language that is normal for important U.N. conclaves, the negotiators are known as the “Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol.” Yet the consequences of their negotiations, if enacted, would be nothing short of world-changing.

Getting that deal done has become the United Nations’ highest priority, and the Bonn meeting is seen as a critical step along the path to what the U.N. calls an “ambitious and effective international response to climate change,” which is intended to culminate at the later gathering in Copenhagen.

Just how ambitious the U.N.’s goals are can be seen, but only dimly, in the note obtained by FOX News, which offers in sparse detail both positive and negative consequences of the tools that industrial nations will most likely use to enforce the greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The paper makes no effort to calculate the magnitude of the costs and disruption involved, but despite the discreet presentation, makes clear that they will reverberate across the entire global economic system.

Click here for the information note.

Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; “carbon taxes” on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered “environmentally sound.”

Other tools are referred to only vaguely, including “energy policy reform,” which the report indicates could affect “large-scale transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports.” When it comes to the results of such reform, the note says only that it could have “positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels.”

In the same bland manner, the note informs negotiators without going into details that cap-and-trade schemes “may induce some industrial relocation” to “less regulated host countries.” Cap-and-trade functions by creating decreasing numbers of pollution-emission permits to be traded by industrial users, and thus pay more for each unit of carbon-based pollution, a market-driven system that aims to drive manufacturers toward less polluting technologies.

The note adds only that industrial relocation “would involve negative consequences for the implementing country, which loses employment and investment.” But at the same time it “would involve indeterminate consequences for the countries that would host the relocated industries.”

There are also entirely new kinds of tariffs and trade protectionist barriers such as those termed in the note as “border carbon adjustment”— which, the note says, can impose “a levy on imported goods equal to that which would have been imposed had they been produced domestically” under more strict environmental regimes.

Another form of “adjustment” would require exporters to “buy [carbon] offsets at the border equal to that which the producer would have been forced to purchase had the good been produced domestically.”

The impact of both schemes, the note says, “would be functionally equivalent to an increased tariff: decreased market share for covered foreign producers.” (There is no definition in the report of who, exactly, is “foreign.”) The note adds that “If they were implemented fairly, such schemes would leave trade and investment patterns unchanged.” Nothing is said about the consequences if such fairness was not achieved.

Indeed, only rarely does the “information note” attempt to inform readers in dollar terms of the impact of “spillover effects” from the potential policy changes it discusses. In a brief mention of consumer subsidies for fossil fuels, the note remarks that such subsidies in advanced economies exceed $60 billion a year, while they exceed $90 billion a year in developing economies.”

But calculations of the impact of tariffs, offsets, or other subsidies is rare. In a reference to the impact of declining oil exports, the report says that Saudi Arabia has determined the loss to its economy at between $100 billion and $200 billion by 2030, but said nothing about other oil exporters.

One reason for the lack of detail, the note indicates, is that impact would vary widely depending on the nature and scope of the policies adopted (and, although the note does not mention it, on the severity of the greenhouse reduction targets).

But even when it does hazard a guess at specific impacts, the report seems curiously hazy. A “climate change levy on aviation” for example, is described as having undetermined “negative impacts on exporters of goods that rely on air transport, such as cut flowers and premium perishable produce,” as well as “tourism services.” But no mention is made in the note of the impact on the aerospace industry, an industry that had revenues in 2008 of $208 billion in the U.S. alone, or the losses the levy would impose on airlines for ordinary passenger transportation. (Global commercial airline revenues in 2008 were about $530 billion, and were already forecast to drop to an estimated $467 billion this year.)

In other cases, as when discussing the “increased costs of traditional exports” under a new environmental regime, the report confines itself to terse description. Changes in standards and labeling for exported goods, for example, “may demand costly changes to the production process.” If subsidies and tariffs affect exports, the note says, the “economic and social consequences of dampening their viability may, for some countries and sectors, be significant.”

Much depends, of course, on the extent to which harsher or more lenient greenhouse gas reduction targets demand more or less drastic policies for their achievement.

And, precisely because the Bonn meeting is a stage for negotiating those targets, the note is silent. Instead it suggests that more bureaucratic work is needed “to deepen the understanding of the full nature and scale of such impacts.”

But outside the Bonn process, other experts have been much more blunt about the draconian nature of the measures they deem necessary to make “effective” greenhouse gas reductions.

In an influential but highly controversial paper called “Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change,” British economist Nicholas Lord Stern, formerly a high British Treasury official, has declared that industrial economies would need to cut their per capita carbon dioxide emissions by “at least 80% by 2050,” while the biggest economies, like the U.S.’s, would have to make cuts of 90 percent.

Stern also calls for “immediate and binding” reduction targets for developed nations of 20 percent to 40 percent by 2020.

To meet Stern’s 2050 goals, he says, among other things, “most of the world’s electricity production will need to have been decarbonized.”

Click here for Stern’s paper.

By way of comparison, according to the U.S. Department Of Energy, roughly 72 percent of U.S. electrical power generation in 2007 was derived from burning fossil fuels, with just 6 percent coming from hydro-power and less than 3 percent from non-nuclear renewable and “other” sources. And even then, those “other” non-fossil sources included wood and biomass — which, when burned, are major emitters of carbon.

Click here to see the Department of Energy report.

George Russell is executive editor of FOX News.

Absurdity of the day: President Peres To The UN – Ahmadinejad Is A Disgrace To Islam,

This has to be the absurdity of the day. Who is Peres, an Israeli Jew,  to decide what is or is not a disgrace to Islam???  Why are there no Moslems who are calling Ahmadinejad a disgrace to Islam??? Surely, Moslems have more credibility in the question that Peres! As for Ahmadinejad being a disgrace to the United Nations, where is the Secretary General of the UN?



http://www.infolive.tv/en/infolive.tv-29869-israelnews-president-peres-un-ahmadinejad-disgrace-islam-danger-entire-world

A Danger To The Entire World

 

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, President Shimon Peres lashed out at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling him a disgrace to Islam and a disgrace to the United Nations, and its basic principles and values.

Peres speech came a day after the General Assembly clapped Ahmadinejad after his speech before the assembly in which he rebuked America and declared that “the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool it has created itself.” The only countries to vacate their seats while Ahmadinejad spoke were the representatives of the United States and Israel.

Addressing the Assembly Peres declared that Iran is at the center of all violence and fanaticism . “”It built a danger to the entire world. Its quest for religious hegemony and regional dominance divides the Middle East and holds back chances for peace while underming human rights.”

“Iranian support for Hizbullah divided Lebanon. Its support for Hamas split the Palestinians and postpones the establishment of the Palestinian State. Their despicable denial of the holocaust is a mockery of indisputable evidence, a cynical offense to survivors of the horror. Contradictory to the resolutions adopted by this assembly. “

“Iran continues to develop enriched uranium and long range missiles. They introduce a religion of fear, opposing the call of the lord in respect of life. The Iranian people are not our enemies. Their fanatic leadership is their problem and the world’s concern. Teheran combines long range missiles and short range minds. It is pregnant with tragedies. “
“They introduce a religion of fear, opposing the call of the lord in respect of life. The Iranian people are not our enemies. Their fanatic leadership is their problem and the world’s concern. Their leader is a danger to his people, the region and the world. He is a disgrace to the ancient Iranian people. He is a disgrace to the values of Islam. He is a disgrace to this very house, the United Nations, its basic principles and values.His appearance here is already shame. “

“The General assembly and the Security Council bear responsibility to prevent agonies before they take place. Israel has shown that democracies can defend themselves. We do not intend to change. Terrorism did not solve a single problem. It never has, and never will. They will make the world ungovernable. If small groups of violent killers are allowed to threaten innocent masses, the world will be without order or security. A hopeless battle ground. The free world must unite to combat it. ” 09/25/08

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo Tells United Nations To Get Out

United Nations Rooting for Obama

United Nations Rooting for Obama

Ed Lasky

Barack Obama has long been known to look upon the United Nations as a problem-solver. He would outsource a great deal of American policy to the United Nations. In late 2007, he called for America to “rededicate itself to the organization and its mission.”

One half of the UN Resolutions passed by the General Assembly attack Israel. The Palestinians are the only “refugee group” that has a designated UN body devoted to them; unique among all refugee populations is the definition applied to the Palestinians, which includes all descendants of original refugees. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency has allowed Iran to continue its march towards a nuclear weapons arsenal. UNIFIL has been a disaster. Hezbollah is stronger than ever as UNIFIL ignores its buildup. The United Nations Work and Relief Agency has become, in some way, a nursery for terrorists.

Professor Anna Bayefsky believes the United Nations promotes anti-Semitism. The UN declared Zionism is Racism and hosted Yasser Arafat on its podium. The UN Security Council has allowed threats of vetoes from Russia and China to derail plans to impose tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

The United Nations has repeatedly stymied American foreign policy goals, sends officials to monitor our racism, and has sought endless billions of dollars of our taxpayer money to feed its monster bureaucracy and pay for its American-bashing conferences. The UN has been feckless  in the face of Zimbabwe oppresions, terrorism, and the genocide in Darfur.

A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for the United Nations.

The New York Sun’s United Nations correspondent Benny Avni makes it clear that the United Nations is rooting for the election of Barack Obama.

Should we?

Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United Nations

Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United

Nations

By Jeffrey Imm

 

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America’s 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC’s Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk’s protected freedom of speech.

Denying the role of Jihadists in the 9/11 attacks is apparently perfectly acceptable freedom of speech for the UNHRC, but criticizing Sharia law is another story.

On June 16, 2008, UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea announced that criticism of Sharia law will not be tolerated by the UNHRC, based on the complaints and pressure by Islamist delegates to the UNHRC. In effect, the Islamist nations represented at the UNHRC have effected a Jihad against freedom of speech at the United Nations when it comes to criticizing Sharia or Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) theocratic ideologies that threaten the freedom and lives of innocents around the world. This again demonstrates the key imperative of control for Islamists – in this case in terms of controlling ideas, thoughts, and words of an international organization intended to promote human rights. Outgoing UNHRC Commissioner Louise Arbour subsequently raised concerns about debates on Sharia becoming “taboo” within the United Nations group, stating that it “should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression.”

The UNHRC ban on debate regarding Sharia came as a result of a three minute joint statement by the Association for World Education with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to the Human Rights Council on women’s rights and the impact of Sharia law. These NGOs sought to address international issues of violence against women, specifically, the stoning of women, “honor killings” of women, and female genital mutilation, as a result of Sharia law.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Arab Republic of Egypt vehemently criticized this attempted NGO message, interrupting it via “16 points of order”, for an hour and twenty-five minutes per the IEHU. Jihad Watch provides a full transcript of the debate. The Egyptian UNHRC delegate claimed that silencing these NGOs was necessary to ensure “that Islam will not be crucified in this Council,” but the fact is that Islamist forces seek to silence any debate on Sharia at all – anywhere, any time.

Ongoing Efforts to Silence Debate on Sharia

This is not the first time that efforts have been made by such pro-Islamist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member nations to influence the United Nations. In my article “Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations,” I addressed the efforts of OIC member nations to reword a UNHRC resolution on religious freedom so that it would not respect the right of individuals to change their religion, as this would be in conflict with Sharia law. The OIC continues global efforts to influence the United Nations and worldwide organization to silence any debate on Sharia by painting such debate as “Islamophobia.”

In the war of ideas, the debate over Sharia’s influence on Jihad (or “Islamist terrorism” per the 9/11 Commission Report), continues to remain under the radar for many analysts. Yet in the ongoing battles by the Taliban in Pakistan, a primary stated objective of the Taliban is enforcing Sharia law throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a sentiment that nearly 75 percent of Pakistanis agree with. (I address this issue in my article “Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State.”)

Two days after this silencing of debate on Sharia at the UNHRC, a man was sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan by a Sharia court. This is the same Pakistan, whose government seeks to export the death penalty for “blasphemy” against Islam on a global basis, that now has successfully achieved the silencing of debate on Sharia in the United Nations. Moreover, when the Danish Embassy was attacked by terrorists in Pakistan recently, the Pakistan ambassador suggested that this was deserved due to the “blasphemous” cartoons published in Danish newspapers — the Pakistan ambassador to Norway further stated to the press that “blasphemous” cartoons are “an act of terrorism.”

The challenge of Sharia’s impact on Jihad is so completely beyond the thought processes of counterterrorism analysts that Sharia is not even mentioned in the latest “terror lexicon” publications by the DHS and NCTC warning government officials not to use terms like “jihad,” “Islamist,” “caliphate,” “mujahedeen.” Yet Sharia is a fundamental component of what western political scientists call “Islamism” or “political Islam.” The 9/11 Commission Report specifically states that “Islamist terrorism” is based on “Islamism.”

Nevertheless, as the U.S. and the United Kingdom governments seek to end dialogue on jihad, Islamism, etc., the United Nations now seeks to end debate on Sharia. The war of ideas seems to be ending before it is even begun.

News media publications cannot be relied upon to address this vacuum in ideological debate either. Most refuse to address Islamic supremacist ideologies, including the impact of Sharia law on human rights and freedoms. The Wall Street Journal even employs specialists on Sharia law to help promote Sharia-based financial instruments.
Silence on Supremacist Ideologies Not Consistent With History or Democracy

The gross illogical nature of such an approach is seen by looking at another form of supremacist political ideology that the United States government, the United Nations, and other nations have aggressively debated and have enforced change in their governments and their people to remove.

If the issue was a racial supremacist ideology, would such objections exist?

Can one imagine the United Nations refusing to debate “white supremacism” due to fears of insulting “whites,” or refusing to debate “apartheid”?

Can one imagine the U.S. government refusing to use terms such as “white supremacism” in dealing with fighting the Ku Klux Klan, or in refusing to consider the influences of white supremacist ideology when guaranteeing civil rights for all of its citizens, and in creating laws to effectively ban white supremacist influences in schools, businesses, and public places?

Most of all, in fighting white supremacist terror groups as the Ku Klux Klan, would the FBI have consulted “non-violent” white supremacists for ideological guidance? Would the FBI and the federal government have stated that it could not be involved in the “war of ideas” against white supremacism?

With the context of history, such questions are obviously absurd. That is precisely the point regarding the unwillingness to address the challenges of Islamic supremacist ideologies.

History shows that, in fact, none of this happened, and that the United Nations, the U.S government, and federal U.S. law enforcement all took action against such supremacist ideologies and publicly, aggressively, debated these in a war of ideas that would change the world and the nation. For the United States, the history of such federal action against such supremacist ideologies goes back nearly 140 years.

Therefore, such deliberate silence and denial regarding Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies is completely inconsistent with the history of such organizations and with America’s democratic values. I will be addressing this in more detail in a future article to be entitled “Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies.”

UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea silenced debate on Sharia due to his fears of pursuing a “slippery slope” in such discussions.

Yet it is precisely such a “slippery slope” of denial on Islamic supremacist ideologies that the world is facing in the debate over Jihad, or in the words of Osama Bin Laden “the greater state of Islam from the ocean to the ocean, Allah permitting.”

On a national and global level, the combination of denial and refusal to address the impact of Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies in providing an ideological basis for global Jihadist activity is truly a “slippery slope” for the safety of the entire world.
Sources and Related Documents:

June 19, 2008 – FOX News: Critics Demand Resignation of U.N. Official Who Wants Probe of 9/11 ‘Inside Job’ Theories

June 19, 2008 – Pakistan Daily Times: Muslim countries win concession regarding religious debates

June 19, 2008 – JihadWatch: UN Human Rights Council: Any mention of the word “sharia” is now taboo

June 18, 2008 – AFP: UN Rts Head Concerned At Council “Taboos” After Sharia Row

June 18, 2008 – Reuters: UN’s Arbour opposes “taboos” in human rights body

June 17, 2008 – International Humanist and Ethical Union: Human Rights Council President: “We are on a slippery slope”

June 18, 2008 – AP: Muslim man in Pakistan sentenced to death for blasphemy

February 29, 2008 – OIC Statement on Islamophobia

February 1, 2008 – Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

February 29, 2008 – Jihad, Islamism, and U.S. Envoy to OIC – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

November 14, 2007 – Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

June 10, 2008 – Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm


UN Watch Blog

UN Watch Home Page

The United Nations: Islam’s Gestapo

The United Nations: Islam’s Gestapo

By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/11/2008

Nepotism, corruption, anti-Semitism and now censorship.

 

While the United Nations has disgraced itself over the years with sporadic eruptions of the first three negatives, it added another one last March 28 when its Human Rights Council passed a disturbing resolution that directs the body’s expert on free speech to report on “individuals and news media for negative comments on Islam.” In effect, the UN will now become the Islamic world’s censorship watchdog, snooping out undefined acts of Islamophobia around the globe.

 

No other religion is covered by the Muslim-backed resolution that will most likely see the curtailing of free speech in some countries. But perhaps more ominously, although the UNHRC has no power of enforcement, lists of alleged malefactors will be drawn up, giving the Council’s recent action a definite, totalitarian ring.

 

Motioned by Egypt and Pakistan, not the sturdiest pillars of human rights themselves, and supported by Islamic and African countries, the resolution passed by a 32-0 vote. Muslim countries were upset by the Danish cartoons, published in 2005, depicting the prophet Muhammad and have been demanding limitations on free speech since then. The recent release of the Geert Wilders film, Fitna, reinforced their insistence on such restrictions, which FrontPage Magazine columnist Robert Spencer says are all part of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference’s strategy to protect Islam from alleged defamation.

 

Journalist Caroline Glick wrote in her column in the Jewish World Review that the United Nations had violated its own Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression, when it passed the March 28 resolution. Glick also pointed out that it was surprising when the UNHRC’s European members abstained from the vote, since they are such staunch supporters of the UN.

 

By abstaining, the European nations, those supposed bastions of human rights and free speech (especially when it comes to blaspheming Christianity), simply showed what moral cowards they truly are, putting their dhimmi status on display once more in failing to stand up to Islamic bullying.

 

Several countries that still have a backbone did speak out against this atrocious violation of human rights and freedom of expression. The United States, which does not have a seat on the 47-nation UNHRC but has observer status, did not stay silent. Warren Tichenor, America’s ambassador in Geneva, told the body: “The resolution seeks to impose restrictions on individuals rather than to emphasize the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect human rights.”

 

A Canadian delegate supported Tichenor’s view with his statement: “The job of a special rapporteur is not to police the action of individuals.”

 

But that is exactly what is going to happen. Up until now, the duty of the UNHRC’s free speech watchdog was to report on efforts by despotic governments and dictatorships (like many of those on the UN’s Human Rights Council) to restrict freedom of expression. With the March 28 resolution, the tip of the spear has now been turned around against individuals, like Wilders and the Danish cartoonists, who practise their basic right to freely express themselves.

 

Western observers also believe the resolution will give repressive regimes, both Islamic and non-Islamic, a further excuse to crack down on dissent in their own countries. But even worse, it will give such states an opportunity to meddle in the affairs of democratic countries, using a phoney victim status as cover for their aggression.

 

In defence of the resolution, Muslim representatives like Pakistan’s ambassador, Masood Khan, said the measure was only trying to make “freedom of expression responsible,” while protecting Islam from its worst practices that only defame the Muslim faith and incite religious hatred and racism.

 

But if Islamic countries passed this resolution to protect religion from hatred and intolerance, then they and their motion have a severe credibility problem. Muslim discrimination against other religions in Islamic countries has been well documented. For example, in Pakistan and Egypt, the two countries that proposed the anti-free speech motion, Christians are a persecuted minority.

 

In Pakistan, according to a story in the German newspaper, Die Welt, a form of “religious apartheid” is practised against Christians, who are regarded as “fair game” for those who wish to maltreat them. While Muslim women need four male witnesses to convict a man who rapes them, a Muslim man who rapes a Christian woman is never convicted. As well, the persecution has become so intolerable Christians have committed suicide in Pakistani courtrooms in front of judges out of protest.

 

Caroline Glick writes that, in Egypt, the persecution of the Christian Coptic Church has been institutionalized and liberal critics of the Egyptian government have been silenced. In both countries, Muslim persecution even extends to fellow Muslims who wish to leave Islam, since this could result in their deaths.

 

Calling for religious tolerance and responsible freedom of expression in international forums is obviously much easier than practicing it at home. The scene in the film Fitna where a three-year-old girl says she learned from the Koran that Jews are monkeys and pigs is all one really needs to know about the true attitude toward these two virtues the UNHRC’s Islamic countries are espousing.

 

But this incredible hypocrisy does not stop at the United Nations and at the borders of Islamic countries. Last month, just prior to Easter weekend, the president of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, insulted Christians and Jews worldwide when he went to Uganda and called the Bible a forgery.

 

In a country that is 85 per cent Christian, the Libyan leader told Ugandan Muslims in a stadium where they had gathered to celebrate the prophet Muhammad’s birthday that since the Bible did not mention Muhammad, it was not the real Bible, because both Moses and Jesus had foretold the coming of Islam’s prophet.

 

“The Bible we have now is not the one that was revealed to Issa (Jesus) and the Old Testament is not the one that was revealed to Musa (Moses). It means that it has been forged,” Gaddafi said, adding the real Bible has yet to be discovered.

 

Unsurprisingly, there was no angry outcry from fellow Muslim leaders over Gadaffi’s hurtful remarks. No members of the OIC, which strongly condemned the Geert Wilders film and to which Libya belongs, censured Gaddafi and called him to account. Neither did any of those abstaining European countries or even the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who called Fitna “offensively anti-Islamic.”

 

Just imagine, though, if Australia’s or Canada’s prime minister had called the Koran a forgery. Islamic moral outrage and European condemnation would know no boundaries. Cyprian Kizito, the Catholic archbishop of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, rightly pointed out: “Had the Christians said something similar about the Koran, there would have been war.”

 

But while the religious feelings of Uganda’s Christians were deeply hurt by their Muslim guest, who had arrived in their country to open a new mosque, their peaceful, non-violent response was instructive.

 

“I hope by doing this, we shall be giving a lesson to our Muslim brothers to always stay calm,” said a Ugandan bishop.

 

But it is a safe bet that the Ugandan example is a lesson the OIC and the Muslim-dominated UNHRC will never learn, let alone take to heart.


Stephen Brown is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com. A scholar and former news reporter, his field of expertise is Muslim forced marriages and honor killings. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.