Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cruising the Web

David Greenfield explains some of the many reasons why we should stop funding the UN.
The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.

The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.

....The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO denounced Israel for violating “health rights.” And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.

The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.

Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. That’s not the kind of international cooperation that any of the organization’s founders had in mind.

Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.

UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS. The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.

Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.
It's the perfect liberal institution - it has a nice-sounding mission and that is enough to justify its existence no matter how little it does in reality.
The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria. Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?

The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.

The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money.

If we want to promote human rights worldwide, the first step is real accountability. If you want a loan, don't cry to us about your poverty. Hold free and open elections. Toss away your blasphemy laws and free your political prisoners. That is a lot more likely to bring about human rights than buildings of scuttling UN bureaucrats moving around pieces of paper and dining out in posh restaurants.

Bret Stephens writes of how Obama's betrayal of Israel is a fitting finish to his entire foreign policy.
Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.

Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.

Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.

Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.

Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.

Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.

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Well, at least he recognizes it.

Obama confesses he was 'wildly pretentious' in college

President Obama recalled his college years in an interview with his longtime friend and former adviser, telling David Axelrod that he used to be “wildly pretentious.”
Many would say that the man who talked about his 2008 nomination in almost messianic terms is still wildly pretentious.
This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.


David French writes of the ridiculous controversy
that arose in response to a Christmas tweet from the RNC. This is the line that got a lot of liberals twisted in a knot.
Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.
I followed on Twitter as so many people linking to that tweet with amazed contempt since clearly the message must have been a not-so-oblique reference to Trump as the "new King." I'm Jewish, but even I recognized right away that Jesus is the "King" being referred to. I was surprised that people had so little familiarity with the language of devout Christians that they wouldn't recognize that reference and immediately jump to the conclusion that this was a celebration of Trump the Savior. French comments,
I have two reactions to this strange little controversy. First, are these folks really so ignorant of Christian language and customs that they don’t understand that the “new King” is Christ? I’ve heard that phrase countless times. “King” is capitalized for crying out loud — a clear reference to the divine.

Two weeks ago, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told NPR’s Terry Gross, “I think that the New York–based, and Washington-based too, probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion.” Yup, and this tiny tempest is Exhibit A.

Next, do liberal journalists and pundits really think so little of the RNC that they actually believe they’d call Trump a king? Do they really think they’d compare the president-elect to Jesus? Apparently so, and that’s a big problem. They’re not even granting the RNC the presumption of rationality. Indeed, they presume the opposite – that their political opponents are delusional.

Compared to the vast majority of the controversies of 2016, this little Twitter dustup is small change, but I’m afraid it’s indicative of the kind of leftist discourse we’ll see in the Trump years. Everything will be suspect. There will be no sense of proportion. The outrage meter will always be on – and dialed to the highest sensitivity. If the Left wants everyone but their base to tune them out, I can think of no better way.
Just imagine, comparing a president to Jesus right before inauguration - who could think of such a thing?

Somehow, I don't think there will ever be a blog devoted to depictions of Trump as the Messiah as there is for Obama.


Of course, Trump's boastfulness seems untethered to reality.

If he's going to claim credit for any bit of good news, that means that he will accept blame if there is any downturn? And I wasn't aware that the world had gotten any less gloomy since the election. I don't want any president who thinks he deserves credit for anything good and that somehow the mood of the country should swing on his mere election. It was obnoxious when Obama and his supporters did it and it's equally off-putting when Trump does it. It's going to be a long four years. I expect that, at the end of it, Trump will be cock-a-doodling about how the sun came up every day while he was president.

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Thomas Sowell is retiring
from writing his syndicated column. I will truly miss him. He has always had an original and iconoclastic approach accompanied by a sense of history.