Monday, 20 April 2009

Many Delegates Walk Out of UN Racism Confab

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Ahmadinejad at UN racism conferenceThe UN's Durban Review Conference on racism got off to a rocky start in Geneva on April 20, as about 40 delegates from 30 countries walked out during a speech delivered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Even before the Ahmadinejad talk, the conference was sparsely attended owing to a boycott by eight Western nations (including the United States) that anticipated that the event would become a forum for anti-Israeli rhetoric.

In our article for The New American online last November 20, "Israel to Boycott UN Conference on Racism," we quoted Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who had announced last November 19 that Israel would not attend the UN's "anti-racism" conference in Geneva. Livni also urged other nations to follow suit, stating: "We call upon the international community not to participate in this conference, which seeks to legitimize hatred and extremism under the banner of the fight against racism."

On April 19, Australia and the Netherlands joined the United States, Canada, and Israel in boycotting the five-day conference. AFP news quoted representatives from both nations: "Regrettably, we cannot be confident that the review conference will not again be used as a platform to air offensive views, including anti-Semitic views," Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith said in a statement. Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen stated similar views: "The conference is too important for it to be abused for political ends and attacks on the West," said Verhagen. "The Netherlands will not be a party to that."

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yossi Levy called the UN meeting a "tragic farce," and pointed out the obvious hypocrisy of the event's organizers: "Officially it is aimed at denouncing racism, but it has invited a Holocaust denier [Ahmadinejad] who has called for the destruction of Israel."

Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and Poland also joined the boycott, and Ahmadinejad was the only head of state in attendance. As the Iranian leader went to the microphone, two protesters, wearing colored wigs and shouting "Racist!" attempted to disrupt the speech but were quickly ejected by security officers. A Jewish student group from France later took credit for causing the disturbance, explaining that its members were trying to expose "the masquerade that this conference represents."

Ahmadinejad said the formation of the state of Israel left "an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering" in order "to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine."

The Iranian blamed Europe and the United States for creating the state of Israel after the Second World War, and by so-doing, he asserted, they "helped bring to power the most cruel, repressive and racist regime in Palestine."

As Ahmadinejad spoke, reported the New York Times, all 23 of the 27 European Union members attending the conference rose and filed out of the room amidst cheers from the audience galleries.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned Ahmadinejad's speech as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's meeting with the Iranian leader before the speech. "It is unfortunate that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deemed it appropriate to meet with the greatest Holocaust denier of our time, the head of a UN member state who calls for the destruction of another UN member state. This matter is especially severe, as it took place on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day," the Israeli statement said.

Alejandro Wolff, the U.S. deputy ambassador to the United Nations, condemned "the Ahmadinejad spectacle" and Ahmadinejad's "vile and hateful speech." "It's inaccurate. It shows disregard for the organization to which he is speaking, the United Nations, and does a grave injustice to the Iranian nation and the Iranian people," Wolff told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said Britain would return to the talks but "unreservedly condemns his offensive and unacceptable remarks."

"He ascribed all the problems relating to racism in the modern world to Israel and the Jewish state, and that was enough for me to walk out," the AP quoted British Ambassador Peter Gooderham.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy described Ahmadinejad's remarks as "an intolerable call to racist hate." Sarkozy called for a firm reaction by the European Union.

The outrage expressed by the world leaders quoted here is, of course, entirely justified, as is the evacuation of the room where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was spewing his vile rubbish. The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva called the walkout a public relations disaster for the United Nations.

However, if any of those protesting Ahmadinejad's speech were very much surprised that such an international pariah should be allowed to address a UN conference, they shouldn't have been. For most of its history, the UN has provided a forum for the world's tyrants and tin pot dictators to broadcast their invective and propaganda. Among these have been Soviet dictator (and former Stalin henchman) Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, SWAPO terrorist leader Sam Nujoma, and PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

And the world body's propensity for totalitarians has not been limited to giving them a platform for their disordered propaganda, either. Since its inception, the UN has time and time again favored the forces of brutality over those that genuinely sought peace. In 1961, when Moise Tshombe, the respected leader of the peaceful province of Katanga, tried to secede from the central government of the Congo controlled by the brutal thug, Patrice Lumumba, the United Nations sent in troops not to quell Lumumba's brutality but to suppress Tshombe's secession. The atrocities the UN forces committed against peace-loving Katangans were recounted by 46 civilian doctors who were there and published in a booklet entitled 46 Angry Men.

In 1971, the UN General Assembly voted to oust Nationalist China (Taiwan) and welcome in its place the bloodiest regime the world has ever known, the dictatorship led by Mao Zedong, whose regime had murdered in excess of 60 million of its own subjects since gaining power with U.S. help in 1949.

UN forces in Rwanda actually abetted the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which a half-million Tutsis were annihilated in approximately 100 days. "Many of the mass murderers were employees of the international relief agencies," testified Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship in Holocaust in Rwanda. In one incident recounted by Hammond, Belgian UN troops stationed in a heavily fortified compound in Kigali "deceived the [Tutsi] refugees by assembling them for a meal in the dining hall and then [they] evacuated the base while the refugees were eating. Literally two minutes after the Belgians had driven out of their base, the Presidential Guard poured into the buildings annihilating the defenseless Tutsi refugees."

Many other examples could be cited. While UN supporters assert that such failures are a result of the UN not having sufficient resources and authority to accomplish its mission, the history of the world body's founding strongly indicates that it was intended from the beginning to aid the oppressors of the world to further their oppression. The "peace" part of the organization's mission comes only after resistance to oppression ceases.

Author Chesly Manly stated in his book The UN Record (1955): "Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin were the founders of the U.N. but its architect, the man who designed it, fashioned it, manned it, launched it, and set its ideological course on the voyage to One Socialist World was [communist agent and convicted perjurer] Alger Hiss."

The many failures of the UN over the years are due not to the organization having insufficient resources to carry out its mission; it has always pursued the mission intended by it architects, all of whom believed in creating a world socialist state ruled by a central authority. Fanatical rulers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provide a very real service to those intending to extend the UN's authority. Much like Saddam Hussein, they serve as personifications of disorder, to be countered by the "world order" provided by the UN.

The nations that walked out of the Geneva conference were right to do so. It would be in their interests (and the rest of the world's) for them to stay away from all UN events for good by withdrawing entirely from the world body.

Photo: AP Images

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