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Obama Backing out of Durban II?


CBC News claims that Obama Administration officials have declared an intention to Boycott the Durban II Converence unless language deligitimiszing Israel  and criminalizing criticism of Islam is removed.  CBC’s sources remain anonymous, not that I’d believe any member of Obama’s crew of cronies.

This article is distinguished from the mill run by inclusion of a link to the draft document: Draft of UN document. That text is one month old, probably not reflecting recent changes, of which it seems there were few.

CBC makes reference to an article on Politico, which supposedly expresses tolerance for “shorter, much different text”.  Ben Smith’s Blog at Politico has this headline:

U.S. pulling out of racism conference

Here are the weasel words:

They left open the option of re-engaging on a “much shorter, much different text,” a source said.

That loop hole is broad enough to sail anything through.  According to Smith, President Obama was expected to issue a statement. A search of Whitehouse.gov proved fruitless.  Why should we be ‘engaging’ with the representatives of tyrranical regimes which form the majority of the UNHRC? We can not possibly have enough positive effect on the outcome to make it acceptable.

For the time being, we can only hope that The U.S.A. will not participate in the hate fest.  Here are a few examples of the tripe we should  avoid legitimizing.

[Notes that other obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination include [first and foremost the absence of political will, the denial of the existence of contemporary racist tendencies,] weak [national] legislation and policies, lack of effective strategies, [lack of political will,] lack of implementation of international legal framework and commitments, impunity on different grounds [ – including [[negative] abuse of] freedom of expression, [counter-terrorism, and national security] [stereotypical association of religion with terrorism and violence by the media and national security forces]– as well as an increase in extreme right wing xenophobic political platforms. Hence the need [arises] to deal with this menace in all its forms and manifestations with all available tools at our disposal];]

[Notes with] [Expresses] deep concern [at] the widening use by some groups and organizations of the opportunities provided by print, audio-visual and electronic media as well as scientific and technological progress, such as the Internet, to promote racist and xenophobic propaganda aimed at inciting societies throughout the world to racial [and religious] hatred;

[Draws attention to the impact of] [Strongly deplores the [overt and covert] discriminatory] counter-terrorism measures [on] [that have led to] the rise of racism,

racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance [including the practice of racial, ethnic, national and religious profiling;]

NEW PARA: Also condemns all acts of ethnic, racial or religious profiling and segregation in any society, wherever it may occur, and its concomitant negative impact on the human rights of affected segments of population [and urges States to take resolute action against those responsible both in the public and private sectors]; [proposal to move to section 5].

NEW PARA: Reaffirms that counter-terrorism strategies should not undermine the protection of human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world [in particular] motivated by [different forms of religious intolerance] [Islamophobia, anti-Arabism, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia];

ALT: Recognizes with deep concern the global rise in the number of incidents of intolerance and violence against members of religious minorities in various parts of the world;

25. Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and recognizes that only a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law may determine, case by case, in a fair and public hearing, whether the facts presented qualify as incitement to racial or religious hatred [prohibited by law]; ALT: Condemns any advocacy of racial or religious hatred which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and [should be prohibited by law;]

26. [[Notes with concern] [Seriously concerned at the] instances of defamation of religions, which manifests itself in [projecting negative, insulting and derogatory images of religions and religious personalities,] generalized and stereotypical association of religions, in particular Islam, with violence and terrorism, thus impacting negatively on the rights of individuals belonging to these religions, including Muslim minorities, and exposing them to hatred and discrimination. Such situations are further aggravated by the imposition of restrictions on the profession of religions, including [the surveillance of places of worship and restrictions on their construction] [the construction of places of worship and their surveillance];]

Reaffirms a holistic approach to human rights guaranteeing the indivisibility of all human rights, and stresses that [fundamental freedoms of expression and association should continue to contribute and promote the positive and desirable phenomenon of multiculturalism, respect for cultural diversity and tolerance among all religions, peoples and societies.] [the fight against racial and religious hatred should not serve as a pretext to legitimize impermissible limitations to freedom of expression] [as the right to freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society as it ensures individual self-fulfillment and a pluralistic, tolerant society with access to multitudes of ideas and philosophies]; ALT/NEW PARA: Reiterates that freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion and expression and non-discrimination are interdependent and stresses the need to strengthen the process of effectively adjudicating cases associated with incitement to national racial and religious hatred in accordance with the permissible limitations under article 20 of the ICCPR and analogous instruments; NEW PARA: Recognizes the importance of the positive role that can be played by the media in this context in particular through a responsible media that abstains from diffusing hate or defamatory information and that engages to fight against such practices;

[Expresses deep concern at the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinian people as well as [Syrian nationals of the occupied Syrian Golan] [other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories] which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence and prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, and renews the call for the cessation of all such practices;]

31. [Reiterates that the Palestinian people have the inalienable right to self determination and that, in order to consolidate the [Israeli] occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction of movement and arbitrary closure of their territories. Also notes [with concern] that illegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied [Arab] territories [since 1967];]

32. [Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory[y][ies], as well as the practice of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, villages and cities from one another, [totally] contradicts the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations [and constitutes a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a crime against humanity, a contemporary form of apartheid and serious threat to international peace and security] [and violates the basic principles of international human rights law];]

[NEW PARA: Expresses deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories as well as displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially-based law of return. It recognizes the right of return of Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 of 11 December 1948, and calls for the return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;]

33. [Reiterates deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people [as well as inhabitants of the other occupied territories] under foreign occupation, [including the obstruction of the return of refugees and displaced persons, and the construction of the segregation wall,] and urges respect for international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, and calls for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;]

34. [Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection, in particular from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, for [Palestinian] civilian populations under occupation in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law;] [Proposal to include reference to Gaza situation – language to be provided]

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Political Correctness | , | 1 Comment

Defamation of Religion: Moral Clarity


I am pleased to learn that there is at least one competent Australian remaining. The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies published this excellent essay which clarifies the philosophy behind the right of free expression. I reproduced its first two paragraphs as a teaser.

The idiocy of “defamation of religion”

Russell Blackford

Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

Posted: Feb 17, 2009

Anti-liberal actors in the international arena, such as the Muslim states of the Middle East, are pursuing a path of attempting to suppress what they call “defamation of religion”. Their campaign is achieving some success, and I believe we must take it very seriously.

The whole idea of defamation of religion is nonsense. Taken literally, it would mean that I could not utter any falsehood that is damaging to the reputation of a religion (so, it might lead people to leave the religion or doubt its doctrines, or fail to be convinced to convert to it). But a religion has no right to flourish, be believed, retain adherents, gain converts, or anything of the sort. On the contrary, it is in the public interest that the truth and credibility of various religions be tested continually, and it is quite within my rights to try to convert people from their current religion to my religion of choice or to an anti-religious position. Much like political ideologies, religions have to take their own chances. Many things will be said for and against various religions, and some of those things will not be true, even if they are said sincerely.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Flight 39 Mother Seeks Transparency


Blogburst logo, petition For two years, Tom Burnett Sr. has been speaking out against the crescent-shaped memorial to Flight 93. This week Beverly Burnett (mother of Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Jr.) stepped into the public eye to support her husband, and to make her own appeal for a full investigation:

Today, I am adding my voice for a full and transparent review of the National Park Service and Flight 93 design selection process that produced Crescent of Embrace. Does it have Islamic symbols or doesn’t it? Let’s settle this once and for all. Why do you think Tom Sr. opposed this design? It is pretty simple; Tom Sr. saw the Islamic symbols and knew those symbols did not belong at the crash site of Flight 93. Tom Burnett Sr. traveled to Pennsylvania last August to attend the Task Force Meeting to voice his opposition to the memorial design. A Family Board member as well as a commissioner accused Tom Sr. being “just like the Islamic terrorists” that killed our son. Why didn’t someone speak up and defend Tom Sr.’s right to voice his opinion?

Thanks to The Somerset Daily American for publishing Mrs. Burnett’s complete statement, which she also entered into the record of the most recent Memorial Project meeting. Read the whole thing. Two other mentions of the memorial controversy in the local PA press this week In a letter to the editor, a local woman echoed Mrs. Burnett’s sentiment in favor of preserving the site as it is, instead of demolishing the highly regarded Temporary Memorial and radically transforming the landscape, as the Memorial Project intends. At present the Temporary Memorial looks down over the “field of honor.” Because this temporary memorial is located roughly in the center of the planned half-mile wide crescent, it will be eliminated. Visitors who stand at the location of the Temporary Memorial will no longer look out over the original landscape, but will instead see the crash-site framed between the pincer tips of the giant Islamic-shaped crescent. They call the crescent a broken circle now, but the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11 (originally called the Crescent of Embrace) remains completely unchanged. Nice words from a local columnist, but no fact-checking In the area’s second local paper, The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, columnist Ralph Couey offers a very nice tribute to the heroes of Flight 93 in which he mentions Mr. Burnett’s opposition to the planned memorial. Unfortunately, Mr. Couey goes on to describes Mr. Burnett’s opposition as “hopeless intransigence,” and expresses his optimism that it can be gotten past. Given that newspapers are supposed to get to the truth, one would hope that those who gain the privilege of this public platform would bother to check the facts. If Mr. Burnett is correct in his warnings about Islamic symbolism, then finding a way to get past these objections is like finding a way to sneak a hijacker past gate security. It is a bad thing, not a good thing. The petition that Mr. Burnett sponsored along with our blogburst group lists four damning facts about the approved design that can all be verified in a matter of minutes. Can Mr. Couey check just one: that a person standing between the tips of the giant crescent and facing into the center of the crescent will be facing within 2° of Mecca? QiblaOverlaidOnCrescent,400px The Muslim prayer direction in this animation (qibla) is from the Mecca-direction calculator at Islam.com. (If you have trouble getting their calculator to work–your Java has to be configured correctly–there is another Mecca direction calculator at QiblaLocator.com.) This Mecca-orientation makes the giant crescent a mihrab, the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. Does Mr. Couey really want to see the world’s largest mosque planted on the Flight 93 crash site? It is fine to speak highly of the heroes of Flight 93, but it would be a lot more meaningful if he would honor the Burnett’s urgent appeal for fact-checking by stepping over to a globe and checking this one simple factual claim. Mr. Couey is not the only one who wants the crescent controversy to go away without caring to know the truth. Sorry, but that is insufficient. Planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent on the crash-site will dishonor the heroes of Flight 93, and it fails to follow their example. They didn’t just have good intentions. They got the job done, and we have to get the job done too. We can’t be asleep at the wheel while an al Qaeda sympathizing architect hijacks our memorial. What? Is it just too outlandish to think that the enemy might try to hijack one of our memorials? The same way that it is just too outlandish to think that the enemy might dare to hijack our commercial airliners? Do these people even know what they are memorializing? But they CAN wake up. All they have to do is actually check the facts. Then they will know. So please Mr. Couey, take the time to check a few facts, then write a second column, reporting your findings. Somebody out there in Somerset needs to start telling the truth. It might as well be you. To join our blogbursts, just send your blog’s url. 1389 Blog – Antijihadist Tech A Defending Crusader A Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever A Liberal’s Worst Nightmare ACT Golden Gate Al Salibiyyah All American Blogger Almost Midnight in the West American Commentaries And Rightly So Anne Arundel Maryland Politics Alamo City Pundit ARRA News Service Atlas Shrugs Auntie Coosa Campfire Journal Bare Naked Islam Battle Dress U Because I’m Right Best Destiny Big Dog’s Weblog Big Sibling Blackboot Jacks blogito, ergo, sum Bob McCarty Writes Boston Maggie Cao2’s Weblog Cao’s Blog Chaotic Synaptic Activity Chester Street Chicago Ray Christmas Ghost Classic Liberal Clay Ritter Clay’s Rants and Musings Cocked and Loaded Colonel Robert Neville Always Dresses for Dinner Common Sense Junction Concrete Bob Covertress Creeping Sharia DC Protest Warrior Democrat = Socialist Dr. Bulldog and Ronin Error Theory EW1’s Intercept Log Faultline USA Flanders Fields Flopping Aces Founding Fathers of the Vast Right Wing Four Pointer Francase Place Freedom’s Enemies Freedom Warrior Fried Green Onions From My Position On the Way! Ft. Hard Knox Freedom Ain’t Free Garbanzo Toons General Rachel’s weblog GM’s Corner Green Country Values Gunservatively Haid Dasalami Hard to Swallow Holger Awakens Hollywood Conservative Hoosier Army Mom iOwnThewWorld.com Ironic Surrealism v3.0 Ivy League Conservatives Jack Lewis Jihad Press Jim-Rose – the Libertarian Popinjay Judge Right Just Barking Mad kae’s bloodnut blog Kender’s Musings Lemur King’s Folly LGF 2.0: Little Green Blogmocracy Maggie’s Notebook MELAMPUS’S MENAGERIE!!!! Miss Beth’s Victory Dance Monkey in the Middle Muslims Against Sharia My Own Thoughts Neoconstant Nice Deb No Apology No Compromises When It Comes To Being Right! Noli insipientium iniurias pati Not A Sheep Redesigned Flight 93 memorial still an Islamo-fascist shrine Ogre’s Politics and Views Old Soldier Papa Mike’s blog Part-Time Pundit Political Islam Principally Political Protest The Church Protest The Left Publius’ Forum Race, Politics, and Religion in the USA Rayra.net Republican Attack Machine Right on the Right Right Truth Ron’s Musings Rosemary’s Thoughts Sarah Palin in Español Seattle Express Sharia Finance Watch Sheepdog Barking Shot in the Dark Sad Old Goth Smooth Stone Space 4 Commerce by Brian Dunbar Stix Blog Stop the ACLU Teen Pundit the Avid Editor The Conservative Guy The Gadfly The Great Lie of Islam The Grid The Hinge of Fate Liberalguy The Loyal Eagles The Midnight Sun The Mountain The Paradigm Shift The Political Octagon The Renaissance Biologist The Sanity Sentinel The Sisyphus Files The Strata-Sphere The Truth of Islam The View From the Turret The Wide Awakes Talk Wisdom Thunder Run Tizona’s Weblog Tough Girl 101 Traction Control United Conservatives War of 2 Worlds We Have Some Planes Yes, but can I dance to it?

edit: 03/05/09

Columnist Ralph Couey emails a clarification Alec Rawls sends this update to last week’s post on the Flight 93 memorial, where columnist Ralph Couey was said to have described Tom Burnett Sr.’s objections to the crescent design as “hopeless intransigence.” UPDATE: Columnist Ralph Couey emails a clarificationMr. Couey insists that his reference to “hopeless intransigence” was not directed at Mr. Burnett’s opposition to the crescent design but “dealt solely with the parties involved in the land purchase.” I’ll take his word for that. The way he sandwiched his mention of Mr. Burnett’s protest in between his comments about the land deal certainly made it look like he was drawing a parallel, which is how I interpreted him, but there have been plenty of times when my own writings have been open to readings that I did not intend. These things happen. Here is the relevant part of Mr. Couey’s column:

I have to admit that for awhile, I was worried. There was the uproar concerning the design, and the dispute over the land purchase seemed to be hopelessly mired in mutual intransigence. In addition, I was concerned over the tendency of some Americans toward selective amnesia. Would this thing drag on until public apathy buried the whole idea of a memorial? As it turned out, my fears were largely groundless. The design issues have been settled, although there are voices, including Tom Burnett Sr. (father of Flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett Jr.), being raised in opposition. And with the latest news about the land, it appears that even hopeless intransigence eventually can be bridged.

Given what still remains to be bridged (Mr. Burnett’s protest), and the forward looking sentence structure “eventually can be bridged,” I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to see a parallel being drawn between the end of the landowners opposition and a hoped for end to Mr. Burnett’s opposition. Indeed, this implied hope is hard to escape. Still, there is no reason to doubt that the resulting association of “hopeless intransigence” with Mr. Burnett was accidental, whereas I simply asserted that it had been made. I should have been clearer, and so should Mr. Couey. In any case, how Mr. Couey’s refers to Tom Burnett’s opposition is a minor point. What the blogburst post focuses on is Mr. Couey’s apparent desire to see an end to that opposition, without any concern for whether our claims about the design are accurate or not. THAT is where Mr. Couey is untenable. If our claims are accurate (and it is easy to verify that they ARE accurate), then the crescent design is actually a memorial to the terrorists and it NEEDS to be opposed. Thus our blogburst post goes to some length (in a pretty nice way I think), to urge Mr. Couey to please check a few facts before taking a stand. He says in his email that he prefers to defer to the families that are backing the crescent design. That is a nice sentiment, but it makes no sense. Why would he defer to ANYONE about very important matters of fact that he can check for himself in a few minutes? The only reason for Couey to eschew the facts is if he doesn’t WANT to know the truth, which is how the Memorial Project got into this mess in the first place. The reason to point out the non-functionality of this truth-avoiding behavior is not make Mr. Couey look bad. It is to let him know about the opportunity he has to make himself look very good. Couey can be a hero. He is in a great position to help stop a hijacking, if he will just look up from his presumptions for long enough to check a few facts. Who can turn down opportunity like that?

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Political Correctness | | 1 Comment

Durban II Alert: Take Action!


Durban Alert, February 26, 2009

In the latest Durban II alert,  Anne Bayefsky  reveals what is happening and why. Here is the conclusion of her report.  Click the link above to read the full report..

The Obama Administration has everything it needs to decide the matter. While the Bush administration did not participate directly in Durban II planning, it carefully monitored the dozens of preparatory meetings since they began in August 2007. And now the State Department has added last week’s four days of “engagement.”

The administration, therefore, knows that Durban II will provide: a global megaphone for anti-semites in the name of combating racism and xenophobia, a forum for religious extremists to play-act as guardians of the freedom of religion, a stage for state sponsors of terrorism to fuel the sentiment that counter-terrorism activities are racist plots – and a vehicle for dictators to champion limitations on free speech in the name of human dignity.

With only a few days of scheduled planning meetings left before the conference, it is decision time for President Obama. Whose side will he be on?

Certainly not on the side of truth, justice & liberty; Barack Hussein Obama is a Chicago politician.  He ran on a platform of appeasing the enemy and that is exactly what he will do if left to his own devices.

If our first amendment right of free expression means anything to you, if  our alliance with Israel means anything to you then let President Obama and your Senators know about it! Tell them you object to participation in the Durban II hate fest. Tell them exactly why and tell them you won’t vote for them again if they don’t pull us out of it.  http://www.congress.org has a form which lets you send the three emails at once.

If you don’t know exactly why Durban II is unacceptable and intolerable, then read: Durban II: Revised; Reject it!, it contains the essential details.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | United Nations | | 1 Comment

   

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