You may recall the UN's 2001 "Conference on Racism" held in Durban, South Africa that devolved into such a horrifically anti-Semitic free for all that mild mannered Colin Powell ordered the entire American delegation to walk out in disgust.
Claudia Rosett writing in Forbes asks if you're ready for a rerun?
As in 2001, the U.N. pretext is to end racism. Or, in U.N. lingo--take a deep breath -- the aim is "the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
Sounds great, right? Except the U.N.'s Orwellian twist, once again, is that this conference is configured not to end racism, but to stir up hatred. In a series of preparatory meetings over the past 16 months, the organizers have already taken aim at Israel as their prime target. Increasingly, the organizers are also priming the conference for a broader attack on other democratic nations, especially the U.S. Some are pushing for a U.N.-backed gag order that would enlist Islamic anti-blasphemy laws to stifle free speech worldwide.
Who are these organizers? The 20-member preparatory committee, operating out of Geneva, is chaired by a Libyan ambassador, Najat Al-Hajjaji. Back in 2003, she chaired the U.N.'s former Human Rights Commission, which discredited itself not only by picking Al-Hajjaji, envoy of Libya's despotic regime, to run the show, but also by slamming Israel 27 times from 2001 to 2006. As the State Department anti-Semitism report notes, this was more than twice the number of UNHRC criticisms leveled during that same period at North Korea, Burma and Sudan combined.
In 2006, as part of a package of U.N. "reforms," that farce of a Human Rights Commission was dissolved. It was replaced by the current sham of a Human Rights Council, which in its first 16 months spent most of its time issuing 15 criticisms of Israel, and then singled out Israel to become a permanent item on its agenda.
Get a load of the lineup of vice chairs on the prep committee for the shindig coming up in April of 2009:
Iran, Russia, Pakistan and Cameroon (which, according to New York-based Freedom House, still tolerates slavery in its northern reaches). Cuba--where wholesale repression includes the additional frill of job discrimination against Afro-Cubans--fills two seats at this Durban II table, which features both a Cuban vice-chair and Cuba as Rapporteur.
Claudia points out that Iran, who was deeply involved in the 2001 fiasco, piously proclaims its opposition to all forms of extremism while forcing women to wear veils and hanging homosexuals (not to mention its brutal oppression of minorities like Arabs, Kurds, and Armenians). The slavers in Cameroon are being welcomed with open arms as is that bastion of tolerance and political freedom Cuba.
I once wrote that the UN is a useless organization because the entire body engages in a children's game of make believe. They are not serious about anything except maintaining their perks and their ability to avoid paying parking tickets in New York.
And Obama wants to rely on this organization - in part - for the security of the United States?