United Nations

A UN postscript

Featured image While the rest of us tuned out of the Iranian production starring Iranian President Hassan Rouhani following Rouhani’s speech before the UN General Assembly last week, Claudia Rosett stayed with it. She notes: With Iran pushing toward nuclear breakout ability at home, while peddling what some have dubbed “charm” abroad, there were plenty of odd moments as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani swept through the United Nations in New York last »

What Netanyahu said

Featured image I don’t trust and don’t want to rely on news accounts of important speeches such as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s and President Obama’s at the UN last week, or Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s at the UN today. I linked to the full text version of both Rouahani’s and Obama’s speeches last week and took a look at them here (Rouahani) and here (Obama). The Office of the Israeli Prime Minister »

The short ride from “Soft Power” to No Power

Featured image It requires little discussion to show that the U.N. approved resolution on chemical weapons in Syria is a joke. As Brett Schaefer and Baker Spring point out, the resolution is toothless because it fails to establish a direct enforcement mechanism for assuring the complete application of Chemical Weapons Convention requirements in Syria. The resolution provides that in the event of non-compliance with its terms, the Security Council will impose undefined »

Our sucker-in-chief’s U.N. outing

Featured image President Obama addressed the United Nations today. It’s a fool’s errand if you think about it, and Obama’s remarks were duly foolish. He began by assuring the world of America’s near-pacifism and lack of seriousness when it comes to fighting terrorism. Obama cited our retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan, new limitations on the use of drones, and his “diligent” work to close Gitmo. The world already understands how ineffectual you »

That old UN magic

Featured image Barack Obama fancies himself some kind of a deliverer and he has indeed delivered us. He has delivered us into a parallel universe. In this parallel universe the prince of peace serves as the president of the United States and argues in favor of a simulacrum of war. He disparages the United Nations as a fount of meaningless twaddle. Circumventing the United Nations can be a matter of high principle »

A thin case for action

Featured image I have been trying to keep up with the best articulation of arguments for and against our taking military action against the Syrian regime. I find myself agreeing with arguments on both sides, including Paul Mirengoff’s here, though not strongly. I’m ambivalent. President Obama got us into this mess with his big mouth. For a handy reminder, check out this New York Times account of how we got here. “We »

The Three Rings of the Climate Circus

Featured image Late next month the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will begin releasing its massive Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 in the trade), starting with the report of Working Group I, on the science of climate change.  The reports of Working Groups II and III will dribble out in 2014.  In previous assessment reports, the entire report with the findings of all three working groups came out at once.  I »

Samantha Power’s unprecedented confirmation conversion

Featured image In 2003, Samantha Power wrote in the New Republic: We need: a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States. . . Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors. When Willie Brandt went down on one knee in the Warsaw ghetto, his gesture was gratifying to World War II »

A problem from hell revisited

Featured image President Obama’s nominee to serve as our ambassador to the United Nations is the vile Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem From Hell. I think the title of her book is a case of projection. At her confirmation hearing today, she was questioned about a statement from her 2003 New Republic article in which she wrote that American foreign policy needed “a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored »

Lindsey Graham is in the tank for Samantha Power, naturally

Featured image I always expect the worst from Lindsey Graham, and he rarely disappoints. Today, Graham strongly backed Samantha Power for the U.N. ambassador post. But that wasn’t the worst. The worst was his statement that Power “will be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel.” As I said, Graham rarely disappoints. I wonder what evidence Graham would cite in favor of his claim that Power, with her record »

Samantha Power, hater of Israel

Featured image Earlier today, I described Samantha Power, President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to the U.N., as “virulently anti-Israel” and “Israel hating.” These are harsh words. Even some good faith supporters of Israel may consider them unfair. But let’s look at Power’s harsh words about Israel. For example, as I noted in this post: Power has expressed outrage at the way Israel has treated the U.N.’s faux peacekeepers in South Lebanon, the »

Soft Power finds a perfect home

Featured image It was always just a matter of time until President Obama, once elected to a second term, handed a major position to his favorite foreign policy analyst, Samantha Power. Now, with Susan Rice moving from the U.N. to the White House as National Security Adviser, Obama is set to nominate Power as ambassador to the U.N. Power’s selection for a highly visible position had to await Obama’s second term because »

Did Boston Have It Coming? The United Nations Says Yes

Featured image Early this morning, Scott linked to this article by Anne Bayefsky. I want to give it some further attention. Anne pointed out, and responded to, a repellent column in Foreign Policy Journal by a man named Richard Falk, titled “A Commentary on the Marathon Murders.” You almost have to read it to believe it, but here are a few excerpts: [T]he neocon presidency of George W. Bush was in 2001, »

Lessons of Boston

Featured image In a New York Post column Ralph Peters draws five “Lessons of Boston,” all of them worthy of discussion. Lesson no. 3: “Our immigration system is one of terrorism’s best allies.” Victor Davis Hanson elaborates at length in the course of his NRO column “Obama’s psychodramas.” Analyze this: The checkered immigrant family of the two Boston bombers is a tragic advertisement of almost everything wrong with our current immigration policy. »

“Torture” — the new “racism”

Featured image If waterboarding, a procedure we inflicted on our own troops, can be considered torture, I suppose that almost anything one doesn’t approve of can be so deemed. And given the proven effectiveness of throwing the term torture around, the temptation to apply it to anything one doesn’t approve of must be difficult for the intellectually dishonest to resist. Thus, sure enough, we find U.N. bureaucrats attempting to define “torture” in »

UN Bureaucrats Would Have More Moral Authority If They Sobered Up

Featured image This is one of the litmus tests for liberalism: if you think the United Nations has more moral authority than the United States, you are a liberal. That thought was prompted by this brief AP story, which I’m guessing will not see the light of day in a lot of newspapers: Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, who represents the U.S. on the U.N.’s budget committee, said in remarks Monday that the »

From the mixed-up files of Obama’s trusted friend

Featured image In his most recent verbal assault against Israel, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has characterized Zionism as a crime against humanity along with anti-Semitism, fascism, and, of course, Islamophobia. Isn’t leaving homophobia off such a list itself a crime against humanity? Prime Minister Netanyahu has issued this concise response: “This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.” Netanyahu is constrained by »