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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Obama will say at the UN

I  assume that President Obama's UN speech on Tuesday will start after Yom Kippur starts here, and certainly after most of our media shut down around 2:00 pm. But for those who are wondering what he is going to say, Anne Bayefsky has a preview.
Here are some possible chestnuts.
There’s the one about the glories of the UN Human Rights Council – which 2012 state department fact sheets say is an “effective and credible multilateral forum for promoting and protecting human rights.”
Given that the UN’s top human rights body counts Cuba, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia among its members, and starting in 2013, Venezuela, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, it isn’t obvious to Americans how this move promotes or protects their values.
Enter Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations and storyteller extraordinaire.  Addressing a crowd in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 2012, she said: “[S]ince 2009, the United States and our partners on the Human Rights Council have expanded international mechanisms to monitor and protect core human rights, including freedom of expression…”
Actually, the Council has ceased adopting a substantive resolution on freedom of opinion and expression altogether. While the Canadians shepherded such a resolution through the UN Human Rights Commission (the Council’s predecessor) for twelve successive years to 2004, team Obama agreed to set aside the detailed free speech resolution after October 2009 and turn its attention to a new annual UN standard-bearer.
The name of today’s American-backed paradigm?  “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.” Needless, to say, Obama officials cut that raw deal with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Many months later in 2011, Obama diplomats begged none other than the Egyptian government to help them resurrect a substantive freedom of opinion and expression resolution.  Egypt refused.
 Read the whole thing.  Bayefsky has Obama talking mostly about the 'human rights council' with a little about Iran. I'd be quite surprised if he doesn't mention the 'Palestinians.' Then again, if he doesn't mention them, it would just be taqiyya, because that's likely his big goal for the second term, if God forbid there is one.

What could go wrong?

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