The Stuff of Nightmares: Obama Administration (Samantha Power) and Durban II

I had an argument last night with a friend about the US sending a delegation to the preliminary discussions for Durban II. I argued that it’s better for Obama to go, see what’s there, and walk away, than not to show up at all. He argued that this is a disastrous first step to participating. Gerald Steinberg, who knows more about this than most anyone on the planet comments on how this is a high-stakes gamble. Anne Bayevsky’s report, alas, suggests that we’re going to lose this one big time.

A Foreign Policy of Obsequiousness

Yesterday in Geneva, President Obama unveiled the new look of America’s foreign policy — obsequiousness. It was Day One for his emissaries to the U.N. planning committee of the Durban II conference. This is the racist “anti-racism” bash to be held in Geneva in April. The U.S. and Israel walked out of the first go-round in Durban, South Africa in September 2001. Ever since, the U.S. government has refused to lend any credibility to the Declaration adopted after they left. That is, until yesterday.

U.S. representatives were addressing a human-rights negotiating committee with an executive consisting of a Libyan chair, an Iranian vice-chair, and a Cuban rapporteur. Russian Yuri Boychenko was presiding over Monday’s “human rights” get-together. Before them was a draft document which participants plan to adopt in finished form at the conference itself. The draft now contains mountains of offensive references to limits on free speech, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish provisions, and incendiary allegations of the victimization of Muslims at the hands of counter-terrorism racists.

Here is how the American delegates responded to a proposal they understood was incompatible with U.S. interests (“Brackets” denote withholding approval at any given moment in time.): “I hate to be the cause of unhappiness in the room . . . I have to suggest this phrase remains in brackets and I offer my sincere apologies.”

Having watched U.N. meetings for the past 25 years, I can’t remember a U.S. representative in a public session so openly obsequious, particularly in the presence of such specious human rights authorities. And yet the U.S. delegates appear happy to be there and convey the marching orders of their new commander-in-chief.

Unfortunately, while Obama’s calling the tunes, items like freedom of expression are being rearranged. On the table was a provision which “Calls on States to ensure that lawmakers discharge their responsibilities in conformity with . . . article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination . . . ” What did the American delegation have to say about that? Among other things they proposed: “add after article 4, ‘and 5(d)(viii) of the Racial Discrimination Convention.’”

Flashback to 1994. The United States Senate imposed a reservation on U.S. ratification of the Racial Discrimination Convention concerning article 4 because it restricts free speech. Article 4 aims to limit incitement to racial hatred, but is open to an interpretation in direct conflict with the First Amendment.

Obama’s delegation, however, did not object to the proposal to ensure lawmakers adhere to article 4. Instead, they suggested adding a reference to another part of the Racial Discrimination Convention that guarantees an equal right to freedom of expression regardless of race. This idea does not in any way meet the Senate’s command to ensure that the Constitution trumps the treaty in matters of free speech.

There is no escape from Durban II — at least with our vital principles intact.

On Monday, President Obama’s decision to wander into the Durban II sinkhole also raised concerns in the Jewish community. In deciding to attend the planning session, Obama had ignored the direct plea from Israel’s Foreign Minister to stay away, along with Israel and Canada. Instead, on Monday the President sent reassuring messages via phone calls from senior White House and State Department officials.

According to reports, these officials claimed “that Washington’s decision to participate in the conference was being coordinated with the Israeli government.” That would be true — if “coordination” meant announcing hours in advance that the United States intended to do the opposite of what had been requested.

Jewish leaders were also told that the U.S. presence was “an effort to change the direction of the conference.” Apparently, someone in the administration forgot to read the map. The conference objectives have already been unanimously agreed to by all participants, including the European Union. Objective number one is to “foster the implementation of the Durban Declaration” — the same one that claims Israelis are racists, in fact, the only racists U.N. member states could recall. Those directions aren’t going to be changed. On the contrary, the opening words of the Durban II document — also already accepted by consensus — read “reaffirming the Durban Declaration.” Change you can’t believe in, again.

Overall, on Day One, U.N. members were delighted by the new administration’s timidity. And they know exactly how to ensure those promises of change continue. In an entire day of a four-day meeting, they reviewed only 11 of the 140 paragraphs. The next set of meetings will be in April right before the conference itself. By the time somebody begins to suspect it might not change, it will all be over, in more ways than one.

— Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and at Touro College, New York.

There are few developments I can think of that are more catastrophic than this. Omri Ceren has a particularly astute post on this, with a challenge to Marty Peretz, whose support for Obama — and Samantha Power — included his certainty that this would not happen.

As for the involvement of Samantha Power, see here.

UPDATE: The story just keeps getting worse: US Durban II Double Cross

33 Responses to The Stuff of Nightmares: Obama Administration (Samantha Power) and Durban II

  1. [...] Top Stories | Career College Central wrote an interesting post today on The Stuff of Nightmares: Obama Administration (Samantha Power) and…Here’s a quick excerptA Foreign Policy of Obsequiousness. Yesterday in Geneva, President Obama unveiled the new look of America’s foreign policy — obsequiousness. [...]

  2. oao says:

    suggests that we’re going to lose this one big time.

    knowing what is known now about alibama, can you still have any doubts about this?

    I guarantee it.

  3. I would really like to know what is going through Hillary Clinton’s mind these days. I wonder if she realizes by now what she’s done by accepting Obama’s appt. to Sec of State (She must!) and how she will deal the coming need to either renounce Obama or Israel’s right to defend itself.

  4. E.G. says:

    she will deal the coming need to either renounce Obama or Israel’s right to defend itself.

    Why? The whole point is to have a good, visible job. A real politician will never embarrass herself by placing herself in a position that will require making such choices.
    At least not clearly, and certainly not directly bearing responsibility for the acts.

  5. EG: We all make those choices in life. I think you are too cynical re: politicians’ motives. I suspect that most politicians are quite human and have decent motives. I know it’s all the rage to consider them some subhuman craven species but isn’t that what’s everyone’s doing to Jews these days?

    We have yet to see where HC will draw the line when that becomes necessary and I’ll not condemn her or praise until she does. We know that Colin Powell failed that test.

  6. oao says:

    pelikan,

    what makes you think that hillary’s mind on this is different than alibama’s????

    it was clear from their campaigns that they did not differ on substance, they were just 2 nobodys who wanted to be president and nothing more.

    e.g. is, of course, right. if he were not cynical he would be stupid.

    I suspect that most politicians are quite human and have decent motives. I know it’s all the rage to consider them some subhuman craven species but isn’t that what’s everyone’s doing to Jews these days?

    to each his own, but I would say that this is utterly naive (have you read enough about the clintons?) it may piss hillary off that she’s only SoS, but that does not mean that she has problems dancing with the jihadists and racists.

    We have yet to see where HC will draw the line when that becomes necessary and I’ll not condemn her or praise until she does.

    it’ll be a long wait. may I suggest that you read a bit about the clintons in the meantime. try dick morris and hitchens.

  7. oao says:

    btw, hasn’t her husband danced with them to the tune of zillions? he’s the best ex-president money can buy.

  8. oao – If I read the Protocols will I finally see the Jews as they really are too?

    Both Hitchens and Morris have built complete careers on Clinton hate. Naivete is when one reads and believes what someone’s political enemies say (Morris, Hitchens, et al) because it aligns with one’s own preconceptions.

  9. E.G. says:

    First, my apologies to Cynic. I really didn’t intend to be cynical, and still don’t think I’ve been. But if it’s interpreted that way…

    Pelican’s Point — You suspect that most politicians are quite human and have decent motives.
    Well, apparently I’m less suspicious then you. I do believe it. And I don’t consider it’s not decent to wish to be the top decision maker. Neither for a politician, nor for a journalist or an executive or an employee or an academic etc..

    One important factor in making decisions is to match the foreseen/foreseeable outcomes to the problem. Sometimes one needs to restructure either the present (problem) or the future (outcomes) so as to have a better match. Nothing subhuman in that.
    That’s why I find your reductio ad hitlerum irrelevant. Unless, of course, you want to discuss the “Jewish problem” and its “final solution”.

    P.S. Isn’t the incumbent of a job such as Mr. O.’s and Mrs. C.’s supposed to act in USA’s best interest?

  10. EG said: One important factor in making decisions is to match the foreseen/foreseeable outcomes to the problem. Sometimes one needs to restructure either the present (problem) or the future (outcomes) so as to have a better match. Nothing subhuman in that.
    That’s why I find your reductio ad hitlerum irrelevant. Unless, of course, you want to discuss the “Jewish problem” and its “final solution”.

    I’m sure there’s a coherent idea in there someplace but I can’t seem to find it. If you think it’s truly relevant, I’ll try to answer but could you try again to explain your point?

  11. E.G. says:

    Pelican’s Point, are you familiar with the concepts of problem solving and problem shaping?

  12. EG: Please stop posturing and just make your point. I’m trying to take you seriously.

  13. oao says:

    If I read the Protocols will I finally see the Jews as they really are too?

    and you told e.g. what to do to be taken seriously?

    Both Hitchens and Morris have built complete careers on Clinton hate. Naivete is when one reads and believes what someone’s political enemies say (Morris, Hitchens, et al) because it aligns with one’s own preconceptions.

    why shouldn’t they hate the clintons based on what they saw or found out they did?

    it should be possible for you to read various sources intelligently and be selective in what you accept and what you don’t. they bring ample evidence of which, if only 25% is true, it’s enough for me. and there are other, less biased sources for evidence of the character of the clintons, some of which validates morris and hitchens. for example, did you see the PBS program which described who they sold the sleep in the WH to, how they shaked down and destroyed a tribe of indians who appealed to them and who clinton pardoned? or the finances of his foundation?

    the clintons are garbage, always were, always will be. hillary was both incompetent and histeric in her campaign. nobody who believes that her good character is prone to say enough is enough to obama cannot be taken seriously by me.

  14. oao says:

    not to mention that she kept emphasizing her experience, of which she has none. the only task she was given she turned into a catatrophe.

    do you remember what she said about her bosnia trip?
    or the story of her “investments”?

    you are not just naive, you are naive by excellence. such naivete enables the corruption of the system that the US has become. this is what elected alibama.

  15. oao says:

    how about this?

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024923.php

    is she that much off alibama, you think?

  16. While EG postures endlessly you seem to be under the spell of some highly emotional beliefs that prevent you from engaging in a reasonable discussion of ideas with anyone who holds an opinion different from yours on certain issues. The difference between us is that you are an ideologue and I am an ideophile.

  17. E.G. says:

    Oh Yes, Pelican’s Point.
    Please give us all a lesson in humility. And another one in self-consciousness. And would you be so kind as to remind us the basic notions of politeness?
    Last but not least, if we make it through your teachings (some of us may fail, given our backward backgrounds), would you be generous enough to consider a course in emotional neuro-cognitive syntagmatic babbling?

  18. oao says:

    While EG postures endlessly you seem to be under the spell of some highly emotional beliefs that prevent you from engaging in a reasonable discussion of ideas with anyone who holds an opinion different from yours on certain issues. The difference between us is that you are an ideologue and I am an ideophile.

    methinks you got it exactly backwards. you are, probably wilfully ignorant of ample evidence, in order to claim an open mind, because your ideology does not allow cognitive dissonance. while I will believe what your naivity assumes only when I have as much evidence for it as i have contrary evidence. which you cannot and do not provide.

  19. oao says:

    e.g.,

    i smell a leftie, not an ideophile. not sure he is even aware of it, but maybe by impugning it to others he reveals that he is at least partially conscious of it.

    i mean, how can anybody still believe in the clintons at this stage? non-ideologues?

  20. E.G. says:

    Sorry oao,

    No conjectures as far as I’m concerned.
    Don’t know and don’t care about that person’s political/ideological inclinations, her being naive or sophisticated etc.

    I don’t appreciate that someone who does not understand something attributes the responsibility of the incomprehension to another. Misstatements can happen, of course. But courtesy, if not intellectual integrity, requires some simple “I don’t understand, could you please explain?” rather than snarling. Not being knowledgeable about one or more subjects is no shame and should not be embarrassing to admit. Same for formulating an unclear comment.

  21. EG, I’m not sure there’s any benefit to belaboring this discussion but what I said was,

    I’m sure there’s a coherent idea in there someplace but I can’t seem to find it. If you think it’s truly relevant, I’ll try to answer but could you try again to explain your point?

    I laid no blame on you for my lack of comprehension. In fact I admitted there must be something of value in your statement and politely asked you to explain it again since it was directed at me.

    I could have (should have) just ignored such a muddled statement. Instead, I asked for some help and left open the possibility that my own skills of comprehension were lacking. I felt no need to assign blame to anyone. From your constant posturing here I can understand why you took my request for clarification as an insult.

    Too bad you guys can’t get past your deep ideological hatreds long enough to discuss the important ideas that Richard provides a venue for in this forum. I have no agenda or fight to pick with anyone here. I do resent banality, however, and will point it out when I encounter it.

  22. oao says,

    methinks you got it exactly backwards. you are, probably wilfully ignorant of ample evidence, in order to claim an open mind, because your ideology does not allow cognitive dissonance. while I will believe what your naivity assumes only when I have as much evidence for it as i have contrary evidence. which you cannot and do not provide.

    And just what ideology have I been promoting here?

  23. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Laissons l’oiseau chanter sur son arbre perché. Nous avons d’autres chats à fouetter.

  24. oao says:

    pelikan,

    as far as i know calling a spade a spade is not lack of courtesy. unfortunately, truth is often unpleasant and if you don’t like it don’t get involved in public exchanges.

    here are the facts: you wondered what is in hillary’s head and implied some expectation that one day she will realize the mistake she has made and resign.

    i called that comment as naive and referred you to ample sources that should belie any claim that she and her husband are anything under than hedonists, self-obsessed and corrupt. you chose to disregard some of the sources as corrupt instead and did not address any of the evidence. instead you called me an ideologue and yourself an ideophile. he who goes by facts — carefully — is not the ideologue; he who systematically ignores/disregard them is. whether it is a left tendency or willful naivity (which I would term also a type of ideology) I can’t say. perhaps you don’t care for the reality and want to keep an ideal one in your head.

    i don’t see any discourtesy in this exchange. so don’t pretend to be the victim. you seem able to dish but not to take.

  25. oao says:

    Too bad you guys can’t get past your deep ideological hatreds long enough to discuss the important ideas that Richard provides a venue for in this forum.

    so much for courtesy.

    I have no agenda or fight to pick with anyone here. I do resent banality, however, and will point it out when I encounter it.

    you don’t seem to be able to accept disagreements and criticisms for what they are without labeling them ideology and discourtesy. you pointing out the minuses in others is OK, but others doing that to you is foul. you seem to be confusing disagreement with fight. too thin skin.

    that you’re not aware of how your comments can be interpreted does not mean that those interpretations are wrong or have ulterior motivations.

  26. oao says:

    Laissons l’oiseau chanter sur son arbre perché. Nous avons d’autres chats à fouetter.

    yeah, i know. but there is little that annoys me more than impugning others one’s own flaws without being aware of it. all that “hollier than thou” attitude so typical of lefties.

  27. oao says:

    The story just keeps getting worse: US Durban II Double Cross

    now tell me it’s not over, folks.

    and pelikan, tell me that hillary will now resign.

    in fact, I recommend everybody reads corsi’s book on obama. there is interesting evidence there about alibama’s involvement in kenyan politics which suggests there is more to his middle name than just an indonesia childhood.

    i’m afraid the gullible americans have elected a president who is starting to destroy america as we know it. and I am not sure it’s inadvertent.

    the combination of islam amd leftism in him is just about the right one for that.

    i think america’s got the president it deserves.

  28. oao says:

    dismantle is a better word than destroy. hope, change and black liberation theology baby.

  29. oao says:

    heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s hillary:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090220/pl_afp/usdiplomacyasiachinarights

    where is jimmy the dhimmi to whine about her?

  30. oao says:

    and heeeeeeeeeeeee’s alibama:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/meet_the_antiisraeli_future_he.html

    now, pelikan, has hillary resigned yet?

  31. Eliyahu says:

    what’s a matta you, mr oao? dontchouz like our holy apostle of hopenchange? Just because he is sending 17,000 GIs to afganistan? So what? He promised to do that during the campaign. Maybe his idiot voters, blinded by Hope & Change rhetoric [sometimes called b...sh.t by the hoi polloi] didn’t notice or didn’t want to notice that whereas he said Out of Iraq, he also said, more quietly maybe, Into afganistan.

    sweet old samantha power [too much power!!] did forecast rightly that he was not going to just take all the troops out of Iraq. She said while in Yurrup that he would get all his doubledomed and eggheaded advisors around him and deliberate and consult about whether it would be opportune to take them out and how many and when. And it would all be done in accord with American interests. And here Hope & Change, as an ice cream flavor, is just as loyal to “American national interests” [as perceived by the likes of Zbig and Chaz freeman and the Ford Foundation] as Geo Bush senior and junior and the rest of the recent prezzes, including the nemesis of the killer duck, jimmuh carter. So Hope&Change icecream is going to have all the troops out of Iraq by sometime next year. I think he said April of 2010. But by that time, a new assessment of American National Interests by the same gang that has been sending US troops abroad to fight wars or to garrison occupations or the Cold War to protect democracy since 1945, may have decided that protecting democracy or stability or human rights or oil or the environment or a source of good dates [not girls, I mean the fruit once exported by Iraq] requires keeping or adding to the sum of US troops in the land of the Euphrates and the Tigris.

    I hope that the crazed rabble of his voters gets disappointed with him sooner rather than later. That might occur because he can’t solve the economic crisis which probably nobody could do very easily. In this vein, what motivated Bernanke to say that things could start getting better by the end of 2009 and that 2010 might see recovery? Was Bernanke given an order to lie? Was he threatened?

  32. oao says:

    dontchouz like our holy apostle of hopenchange?

    i don’t like no apostol of hope and change.

    In this vein, what motivated Bernanke to say that things could start getting better by the end of 2009 and that 2010 might see recovery? Was Bernanke given an order to lie? Was he threatened?

    i doubt it. these people are good politicians and they know what songs to sing when. after all, don’t they want the plebos to do as they say, not as they do?

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