This Is Really Sad

The Daily Signal is reporting today that the United Nations Human Rights Committee drafted a memo saying that abortion and physician-assisted suicide should be universal human rights.

The article reports:

The United Nations Human Rights Committee drafted a memo saying that abortion and physician-assisted suicide should be universal human rights.

The memo, or “general comment” on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, calls for abortion to be decriminalized everywhere. Nations and states should “not introduce new barriers and should remove existing barriers [to abortion] … including barriers caused as a result of the exercise of conscientious objection by individual medical providers,” it said, Crux Now reported Thursday.

To see where this is headed, we need only to look at a New York Times article from October 2016. The headline reads, “Dutch Law Would Allow Assisted Suicide for Healthy Older People.”

The New York Times reports:

In the Netherlands, a country vaunted for its liberalism, a proposal to legalize assisted suicide for older people who are generally healthy but feel they have led a full life has stirred up an ethical storm in some quarters.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for patients who were suffering unbearable pain and had no prospects of a cure.

Now, some critics say the country has gone too far with a proposed law that would allow people who are not suffering from a medical condition to seek assisted suicide if they feel they have “completed life.” Proponents of the law counter that limiting assisted death to patients with terminal illnesses is no longer enough, and that older people have the right to end their lives with dignity, and when they so choose.

Edith Schippers, the health minister, read a letter to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday defending the measure. It is needed, she said, to address the needs of “older people who do not have the possibility to continue life in a meaningful way, who are struggling with the loss of independence and reduced mobility, and who have a sense of loneliness, partly because of the loss of loved ones, and who are burdened by general fatigue, deterioration and loss of personal dignity.”

We are in danger of creating a world where life has no value in itself–it only has value in how useful or convenient it is to the people around it.

To add to the picture of what is happening, The Daily Signal also reported today:

Get ready to watch one of the most heart-wrenching pro-life ad campaigns you’ve ever seen.

It’s called “Endangered Syndrome,” and in it, children with Down syndrome dress up as endangered species—pandas, polar bears, and lions.

Why?

Because like endangered animals, in many parts of the world, children with Down syndrome are becoming critically endangered, if not extinct. The point is simple—if we care so much about endangered animals, shouldn’t we also care about endangered humans, too?

This is the video:

Are you comfortable with where we are headed?

One Has To Wonder About Their Motives

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article with the following headline, “Leaked Documents Prove Soros’s Open Society Is Working with UN in Supporting Current Illegal Migrant Crisis.”

The article includes the following:

Also in 2016 Breitbart.com obtained a leaked document from the Soros Open Society Foundation that reveals their close links to UN migration representative and former Goldman Sachs executive Peter Sutherland.

The George Soros Open Society also claims that through Sutherland they are able to influence international migration policy due to the current migrant crisis.

…George Soros’ Open Society Foundation admits influence and incredibly close links with UN migration representative and former Goldman Sachs executive Peter Sutherland in leaked document.

The paper, which told of how the migrant crisis presented an “opportunity” for the foundation to extend its global influence and attract more money, mentions Sutherland’s pro-migrant work. The foundation notes that through Sutherland they have been able to advocate at an “elite level” behind the scenes.

Open Society are one of the contributors to the Columbia Global Policy Initiative (CGPI) which hosts Mr. Sutherland and claim that through Sutherland they are able to influence international migration policy due to the current migrant crisis. On the United Nations website Sutherland is described as a “strong advocate for promoting practical action to increase the benefits of migration” and has routinely made comments against national borders and national sovereignty in Europe. Sutherland has even called for the European Union to “undermine the homogeneity” of member states.

Sutherland has even gone as far as defending all migrants regardless of whether or not they are legitimate refugees saying, “We’re not just talking, either, about refugees. We’re talking about economic migrants, many of whom could be the future, and some at the present… are survival fighters. They’re not to be dismissed as an irrelevance.”

It is becoming obvious that the United Nations has lost its way.

This is the Preamble to the United Nations Charter:

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

There is nothing in that Preamble about overwhelming countries with migrants in order to abolish national borders. If the United Nations truly worked for justice and human rights in the countries the migrants are fleeing, the migrants would not be fleeing.

We have to stop the migrant caravan at our border and insist that the people in the caravan go through the legal process of immigration. While we are at it, it might be a really good idea to get rid of the United Nations.

 

 

 

American Sovereignty

Yesterday The Washington Times reported that the International Court of Justice has ordered the United States to lift some Iran sanctions. The Court wants to make sure that the people of Iran are not harmed by the sanctions. Does the Court want to set up another ‘oil for food’ program like the one in the 1990’s? It’s amazing how much money dishonest people made from that program while the people of Iraq starved. (article here)

First of all, what are the sanctions on Iran about? Iran is probably the largest source of money for terrorism in the world. Iran supplies weapons and military equipment to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the government of Syria, Palestinian terrorists, etc. It would be nice if Iran had a little less money to spread around. Iran has also partnered with North Korea and Russia in developing nuclear technology. This is not a country that is working toward peace.

There is also the matter of human rights abuses by the Iranian government. Homosexuals are dropped from buildings or worse. Dissidents are jailed and never heard from again. Fashion police roam the streets and beat women for being immodestly dressed. Human rights are not part of the Iranian government.

The sanctions are putting pressure on the regime. As the financial situation of the people worsens, they are rebelling against the totalitarian government. In this rebellion they have the support of America. If the International Court of Justice truly supported human rights and the humanitarian treatment of people, they would support the sanctions as a way to bring freedom to the people of Iran.

The article states:

The ICC’s David Scheffer responded in the Guardian by saying Bolton’s speech “isolates the United States from international criminal justice and severely undermines our leadership in bringing perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice elsewhere in the world.”

Wahh.

In case the United Nations hadn’t noticed, this is the Donald Trump administration — not the Barack Obama wishy-washy White House. On globalism first, America second, this president doesn’t play that. MAGA, anyone?

The ICC, apparently, isn’t getting the message.

“The United Nations‘ highest court has ordered the United States to lift sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to the safety of civil aviation,” NBC wrote.

And on that: “Ordered” seems a rather remarkable word. Better would be “begged.”

After all, what is the ICC to America? America may have helped establish this court back in 2002 — but that’s the extent of the relationship. America has not joined as a state party; the ICC does not dictate policy and procedure to the United States.

It’s almost a delicious anticipation to sit and wonder what Bolton will say to this ICC “order.”

Chances are, given his past and this administration’s bold “America First” dealings on the foreign policy front, it’ll be something like, Bite me, ICC.

That would be well stated, for sure.

I like having a President who not only stands up for American sovereignty, but is willing to support the quest for freedom in other countries.

Who’s Who On The United Nations Human Rights Council

Townhall.com posted a list today of the countries elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The article posted the list with a few comments about some of the members:

  • Saudi Arabia Expertise in human rights: Death sentences for apostasy and adultery; corporal punishment including flogging and amputation; judiciary controlled by regime; beheading more peoeple than ever before; arbitrary arrests of dissenters and minorities; no freedom of speech; jails blogger Raif Badawi.
  • Venezuela Expertise in human rights: Widespread arbitrary detention; imprisonment of opposition leaders; intimidation of journalists; torture; policies causing mass hunger and health catastrophe.
  • China Expertise in human rights: Denial of freedom of speech, religion, and association; extrajudicial killings; repression of civil society; discrimination against Tibetans and other minorities.
  • Cuba Expertise in human rights: Systematic violation of freedom of speech, assembly, press; elections are neither free nor fair; threats and violence against dissidents.
  • Iraq Expertise in human rights: Pro-government militias commit widespread human rights abuses, including assassinations, enforced disappearances, property destruction.
  • Qatar Expertise in human rights: Inhuman conditions for 1.4 million migrant workers; women denied basic rights to equality, denied right to be elected to legislative council; finances ISIS and Hamas.
  • Burundi Expertise in human rights: Police killings of peaceful protesters; government forces commit summary executions, targeted assassinations, enforced disappearances; arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence; genocide warning.
  • Bangladesh Expertise in human rights: Extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, killing of secular bloggers by Islamist groups, restrictions on online speech and the press, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence, abysmal working conditions and labor rights.
  • United Arab Emirates Expertise in human rights:No political parties, no option to change government; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association; arrests without charge, incommunicado detentions, lengthy pretrial detentions; police and prison guard brutality; violence against women; anti-gay discrimination; mistreatment and sexual abuse of foreign domestic servants and other migrant workers.

Somehow I don’t think the United Nations is serving the purpose it was intended to serve.

The thing to keep in mind as you read this list is the fact that one of the main power blocs in the United Nations is the 57-country bloc called the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The members of the bloc share the definition of free speech that is accordance with Sharia Law–speech that in any way reflects negatively on the Prophet Mohamed is not allowed. This is the belief now being held by a number of members of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Let’s quickly ask the U.N. to leave New York City and pay their parking tickets!

This Isn’t News To Anyone Who Has Been Paying Attention

Yesterday CBN News posted a article about recent statements by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The article reports:

As he nears the end of his term, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted Friday the organization has a “disproportionate” amount of resolutions against Israel

He says the anti-Israel sentiment has “foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively.” 

“Over the last decade I have argued that we cannot have a bias against Israel at the U.N.,” Ban told the U.N. Security Council.

“Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel,” he added. 

“In many cases, instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively,” he emphasized. 

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said that Ban “had admitted the clear truth.” 

He also added that the U.N.’s hypocrisy toward Israel had “broken records over the past decade.” 

“During this time the U.N. passed 223 resolutions condemning Israel, while only eight resolutions condemning the Syrian regime as it has massacred its citizens over the past six years. This is absurd,” Danon said. 

He also added that Israel looks forward to a new secretary-general. 

While I admire the optimism of Israel in looking forward to a new secretary-general, I am not at all convinced that the problem is in that office. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was formed in 1969. It has 57 member states. These states comprise a major voting bloc in the United Nations. The members of the OIC have been very active in the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Their goal is to make any negative comments about Islam or Mohammad illegal. The OIC has attempted to push seven ‘defamation of religion’ resolutions through the U.N. at the Human Rights Commission. The Islamic definition of human rights does not include free speech as we know it. It also includes Sharia Law as the test of those rights. Therefore, the killing of non-Muslims would not be seen as a crime equal to the killing of Muslims. Therefore the killing of Christian civilians would not be noteworthy. That is what Israel faces in the U.N. I truly believe that it is time for the U.N. to go away.

Filling In The Blanks

This is the video of part of President Obama’s final speech to the United Nations. The video is posted on YouTube:

On the surface, cooperation among nations is a really good idea to fight terrorism, but let’s look closely at what he said.

We have to put our money where our mouths are. And we can only realize the promise of this institution’s founding to replace the ravages of war with cooperation if powerful nations like my own accept constraints. Sometimes I’m criticized in my own country for professing a belief in international norms and multilateral institutions, but I’m convinced in the long run giving up some freedom of action, not giving up our ability to protect ourselves or pursue our core interests but binding ourselves to international rules, over the long-term, enhances our security.

Note the words “if powerful nations like my own accept constraints.” Let’s take a close look at that idea. Remember President Obama’s statement, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” One of the major political blocs in the United Nations is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The ultimate goal of the OIC is to institute Sharia Law around the world–on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They are subtle in their approach to this and began with the Cairo Declaration, which came into play during the United Nations’ work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please understand that not everyone has the same definition of Human Rights.

This is the quote from the Cairo Declaration regarding free speech:

Article 22

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such a manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.

The OIC routinely orchestrates a “Day of Rage” when they believe Islam has been insulted. A ‘crisis event’ is chosen, appropriate flags or banners are obtained, rioters are assembled, and the riots begin. What President Obama is saying is that in order to bring peace, Americans may have to give up their freedom of speech, expression, etc. That is the imposition of one of the principles of Sharia Law on a non-Muslim country. The Muslim Mayor of London has moved to ban all scantily dressed models in advertising, citing the concept of ‘body shaming,’ a new word introduced for purposes that will be obvious down the road. Again, the Mayor is beginning to impose modesty standards (a step toward Shari’ah Law) on a non-Muslim population.

The YouTube video below tells us all we need to know:

You have a choice in this election–do you want to continue the policies of President Obama or is it time for a change of direction?

Our President Has Forgotten Who We Are

The Weekly Standard posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s remarks in Cuba.

The article reports:

“President Castro, I think, has pointed out that in his view making sure that everybody is getting a decent education or health care, has basic security and old age, that those things are human rights as well. I personally would not disagree with him,” Obama said.

“But it doesn’t detract from some of these other concerns. And the goal of the human rights dialogue is not for the United States to dictate to Cuba how they should govern themselves, but to make sure that we are having a frank and candid conversation around this issue. And hopefully that we can learn from each other.”

Obama made the comment at a joint press conference with the Cuban Communist dictator.

This is the video from YouTube:

Does anyone truly believe that the people in Cuba have freedom of speech,  the right to bear arms, etc.? President Obama needs to rethink his definition of human rights. It is a shame that the reestablishing of a relationship between the United States and Cuba did not include a demand for increased human rights in Cuba in exchange for the economic benefits Cuba will reap from the relationship.

Losing Our First Amendment Rights

On December 17, 2015, Representative Donald S. Beyer, Jr., a Democratic Congressman from Virginia, introduced House Resolution 569 into the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is the text of the Resolution (taken from thomas.gov):

RESOLUTION

Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.

Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;

Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished United States value and violence or hate speech towards any United States community based on faith is in contravention of the Nation’s founding principles;

Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens;

Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of United States society;

Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;

Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and

Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;

(2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;

(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;

(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;

(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and

(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.

We need to be really careful about this resolution. Where is the rule against hate speech against Jews, Christians, Blacks. Indians, etc.? Note that this law makes hate speech a crime. I am not a fan of hate speech, but making it a crime is a dangerous infringement on the First Amendment. Hate speech is speech–not action. If actions follow, they need to be dealt with, but freedom to be an idiot is enshrined in the First Amendment. Just for the record, this law is in compliance with Sharia Law.

Let me explain the history of what is going on here. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted under the oversight of Eleanor Roosevelt. The document was an attempt to internationalize the rights that Americans have under the U.S. Constitution. In 1985, Sa’id Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the UN from Iran said the following:

The very concept of human rights was “a Judeo-Christian invention” and inadmissible in Islam…. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah’s “most despicable sins” was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1990, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) drafted the Cairo Declaration. It was introduced to the United Nations in 1993. This document controls OIC policy on human rights.

The Cairo Declaration states in Article 22 (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely to such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. Remember that according to Sharia Law slander is defined as mentioning anything concerning a person that he would dislike. Truth does not play into the equation. Saying you love Jesus could be considered slander (or hate speech) under Sharia.

The information in the previous four paragraphs is taken from Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure. It is a book all Americans need to read.

Back to the Resolution. This needs to be put to rest very quickly. It is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Please keep in mind that one of the stated goals of both the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS is to bring non-Muslims under Sharia Law. This Resolution is a perfect example of how that would work.

Free Speech Does Not Mean The Same Thing To Everyone

One of my favorite lines from “The Princess Bride” is “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I think the time has come to understand that when you hear government leaders talk about the concept of free speech, not everyone who is using the term means the same thing..

In June I posted an article about how Muslims view free speech. I pointed out that Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been working with the United Nations since 2005 to subtly change the definition of free speech. According to the OIC, all laws, including free speech laws, should be subject to Sharia Law. The law being supported in the United Nations by the OIC includes the statement “but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence.” This moves the focus away from what was actually said to any reaction to what was said. This means that any rent-a-mob can be called up claiming to be incited to violence by any statement. Therefore whatever was said was not covered by the concept of free speech.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about a move in Canada to pass Bill 59, a bill that would grant the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) the authority to investigate so-called “hate speech”, even without a complaint being filed.

The article reports:

The Head of the QHRC, Jacques Frémont has already openly said that he plans to use such powers, “to sue those critical of certain ideas, ‘people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page’” according to Canada’s National Post.

The legality of the QHRC asserting jurisdiction over the entire Canadian Internet-using public is under debate, but the growing consensus in Canada appears to be that this bill is a step backwards.

In 2013, the Canadian parliament moved to end scrutiny of Internet speech by its Human Right Commissions when it abolished the infamous Section 13, of Canada’s Human Rights Act. The elimination of that odious and censorious clause followed a successful campaign given voice by Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant after the two were targeted for writings and publications which reportedly “offending” Muslims.

But like a zombie rising from the grave, the idea of censoring “blasphemous” speech, continues to come back, no matter how dead it may have appeared.

The OIC is behind the move to censor speech in Canada. It is important to remember that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to institute Sharia Law worldwide–to put Muslims and non-Muslims under Sharia Law. When governments begin to made free speech laws that are compliant with Sharia Law (as an anti-blasphemy law would be), they are bringing their citizens under one aspect of Sharia Law. This is truly the nose of the camel under the tent.

Iran Has Been Apppointed To The United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women

Iran has been appointed to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Good grief. A country that stones women if they have been raped, beats them if their skirts are too short, and allows family members to kill them if the violate the family code in any way is now on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that Iran has been named to five United Nations sub-committees. It is definitely time for the United States to leave the United Nations, stop funding it, and kick it out of New York City. The United Nations no longer supports the idea of freedom and democracy–something it was originally purposed to do.

The article reports:

The United States has objected to Iran’s election to these positions. UN Ambassador Samantha Power said in a statement: “The unopposed candidacy of Iran, where authorities regularly detain human rights defenders, subjecting many to torture, abuse, and violations of due process, is a particularly troubling outcome of today’s election.”

Iran’s history makes it a clearly unworthy steward of international human rights, though two of those appointments are far more distressing than the others: the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations and the Commission on the Status of Women. Power’s statement preceded a promise to continue supporting NGOs that work to expose human rights violations abroad, many of which have clashed with the Iranian government when attempting to investigate its abuses. 

The appointment to that committee reaches the Iranian government at a time when they are attempting to quell uprisings triggered by a massive human rights scandal. The head of the Iranian prison system was removed and appointed to a position of less power this week after relatives of political prisoners at the nation’s notorious Evin prison called for justice for their relatives. Political prisoners at Evin allege that an inspection at the institution resulted in more than one hundred guards savagely beating and abusing dozens of prisoners. Iranian legislators have promised to investigate the situation.

It is truly time to remove ourselves from the United Nations.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When Sixties Radicals Refuse To Go Away

Bill Ayers, after avoiding prosecution on domestic terrorism charges, famously stated, “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—it’s a great country.” Well, he really hasn’t changed much. He has just adopted a more peaceful strategy in trying to ruin America.

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Ayers has signed a letter urging the United Nations to investigate the closing of 49 Chicago elementary schools.

The article reports:

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights sent the missive to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland this week.

The letter says that the closing of the schools is causing massive human rights violations.

The article reports:

The letter argues that the 49 school closings violate human rights because they affect black families disproportionately, because they force students to cross gang lines to get to the new schools they will attend, because class sizes will be slightly larger and because the school closings happened despite the objections of some people.

The dispatch asks the U.N. to “urge the United States to investigate and prevent these human rights violations.”

It’s not clear how or if the U.N.’s human rights office will act. The U.N. has no power to direct or regulate any federal, state or municipal government in the United States. The international body is, of course, free to conduct inquiries and issue findings, however.

An American city trying to balance its budget by closing schools and consolidating their educational program is running the risk of being investigated by the United Nations. This is not acceptable. First of all, according to a website called betterworldcampaign.org, America pays 22 percent of the regular UN budget and 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. I really think we need to take a good look at what we are paying for. While we are at it, I think we should strongly encourage the United Nations to find a new home.

Bill Ayers was a domestic terrorist. He wanted to overthrow the American government. Now he has signed a letter asking the U.N. to take action undermining American sovereignty. I really don’t think he has changed much.

Enhanced by Zemanta

From A White House Fact Sheet Released On Thursday

The information below is from a fact sheet released from the White House on Thursday.  Follow the link above to read the entire fact sheet.

FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

The United States strongly supports the great strides many African countries have made to ensure good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights.  We commend the progress they have made to broaden political participation and improve governance, and will remain a steady partner as they continue to work to strengthen electoral processes, ensure transparency and accountability in government, and provide security while respecting and protecting universal rights and fundamental freedoms.

In addition to our ongoing diplomacy and our efforts in multilateral institutions, in 2012 the United States – through the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – provided more than $292 million in support for these efforts, including in the following priority areas:

Supporting Civil Society and Independent Media

Civil society and independent media play a critical role in any vibrant democracy.  Across sub-Saharan Africa, the United States supports efforts to ensure civil society organizations and independent media can organize, advocate, and raise awareness with governments and the private sector to improve political processes, transparency, and government performance.  Examples include:

  • In Kenya, the $53 million Yes Youth Can program empowers nearly one million Kenyan youth to use their voices for advocacy in national and local policy-making, while also creating economic opportunities.  In advance of Kenya’s March 2013 general elections, Yes Youth Can’s “My ID My Life” campaign helped 500,000 youth obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration, and carried out a successful nationwide campaign with Kenyan civic organizations to elicit peace pledges from all presidential aspirants.
  • In Tanzania, the United States has dedicated $14 million to strengthening government accountability institutions and linking them with Tanzanian civil society watchdog groups and civic activists in a constructive partnership to further government transparency.  The program focuses on improving access to information for Tanzanian citizens in four key development sectors:  health, education, natural resource management, and food security.
  • The United States will soon launch a program in West Africa to build the capacity of civil society organizations to responsibly advocate on land tenure issues, including land rights, working closely with governments and the private sector to improve responsible natural resource utilization and the protection and advancement of human rights and economic development.

In plain English, this means that the United States is giving Kenya $53 million to set up national identity cards to be used for voter identification in elections. The purpose of this program is to ensure an honest election and promote peace.

If voter id cards ensure an honest election in Kenya, why aren’t they necessary in America? I particularly like the part about civil society and an independent media playing a vital role in a vibrant democracy. I wonder if the White House reads its own press releases.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

America Has Rejoined The United Nations Human Rights Council

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon reported that the United States has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) and will rejoin the Council. George W.  Bush had refused to be part of the HRC because of its anti-Israel leanings.

According to a Voice of America article Monday, the new members of the HRC were put forth by their regions so that there were only enough candidates to fill the positions–there was not actual choice.

According to the Voice of America, the new members include:

Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya and Sierra Leone will fill the five vacant African seats. Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates will fill the five open Asia-Pacific seats.  Estonia and Montenegro will hold the two Eastern European seats while Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela take the three seats of the group of Latin American and Caribbean states.

Obviously, not all of the chosen countries have stellar human rights records within their own countries.

The article reports:

Rights groups have expressed doubts about whether at least seven of these countries – Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela – have adequate human rights records of their own.

Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director Philippe Bolopion criticized the lack of competition and the questionable records of some of the council’s new members.

This is not a group that America should be a part of.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Letter From A Religious Prisoner

The idea that Islam is a peaceful religion that happily coexists with other religions occasionally seeps into our national dialogue. One example that disproves this idea is the story of Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian house church pastor facing execution in Iran for leaving Islam. One reporter at CBN.com posted a recent letter from Mr. Nadarkhani. This is the letter:

07 May 2012

Greetings from your servant and younger brother in Christ, Youcef Nadarkhani.

To: All those who are concerned and worried about my current situation.

First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And during these days which are hard in order to prove your loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God’s commandments.

I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial due has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God’s will.

I am neither a political person nor do I know about political complicity, but I know that while there are many things in common between different cultures, there are also differences between these cultures around the world which can result in criticism, which most of the times response to this criticisms will be harsh and as a result will lengthen our problems.

From time to time I am informed about the news which is spreading in the media about my current situation, for instance being supported by various churches and famous politicians who have asked for my release, or campaigns and human rights activities which are going on against the charges which are applied to me. I do believe that these kind of activities can be very helpful in order to reach freedom, and respecting human rights in a right way can bring forth positive results.

I want to appreciate all those are trying to reach this goal. But at the other hand, I’d like to announce my disagreement with the insulting activities which cause stress and trouble, which unfortunately are done with the justification (excuse) of defending human rights and freedom, for the results are so clear and obvious for me.

I try to be humble and obedient to those who are in power, obedience to those in authority which God has granted to the officials of my country, and pray for them to rule the country according to the will of God and be successful in doing this. For I know in this way I have obeyed God’s word. I try to obey along with those whom I see in a common situation with me. They never had any complaint, but just let the power of God be manifested in their lives, and though sometimes we read that they have used this right to defend themselves, for they had this right, I am not an exception as well and have used all possibilities and so forth and am waiting for the final result.

So I ask all the beloved ones to pray for me as the holy word has said. At the end I hope my freedom will be prepared as soon as possible, as the authorities of my country will do with free will according to their law and commandments which are answerable to.

May God’s Grace and Mercy be upon you now and forever. Amen.

Youcef Nadarkhani

All of us need to be grateful for our freedom and pray that this man regains his freedom and is reunited with his family.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives Testimony

Please click on the link below to hear testimony on coverage of events in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood consolidates its power.

Raymond Ibrahim (Middle East specialist and Associate fellow, Middle East Forum) testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives. Reps. Frank Wolf and James McDermott presented \”Under Threat: The Worsening Plight of Egypt\’s Coptic Christians.\”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Losing Our Moral Perspective

CNSNews reported today on the latest effort of the Obama administration to gain worldwide acceptance of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) Agenda. This is not a human rights issue–this is a moral issue. Now before you jump to a few wrong conclusions, let me explain. I do not support discrimination against anyone for any reason. I do not support the way that LGBT people are treated in countries with Sharia Law (they are killed). But I think the rights of religious people have to be respected as well as the rights of LGBT people. I also think it is a little ridiculous to be focused on LGBT rights while Syria is gunning down its citizens to protect the current tyrant. It seems as if some of the priorities are a bit upside down.

The article reports:

“Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money,” Perry said in a statement, adding that the policy was “just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country.”

“Obviously the administration is promoting their particular agenda in this country, and now they feel its their obligation to promote those values not just in the military, not just in our society, but now around the world with taxpayer dollars,” CNN quoted Santorum as telling reporters in Iowa.

Again, I don’t support discrimination of LGBT people, but I don’t support special protections for them either. In a truly free society, what someone did in their personal life would not be the basis for any sort of discrimination or any sort of favor.

Like it or not, the two-parent family (husband and wife) is the basis of society. If the family is destroyed or weakened, the basic fabric of society is weakened. LGBT people should not be discriminated against, but they should not be granted special legal status either.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let’s Unfund The United Nations

CNSNews reported today that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has decided to reappoint Syria to a committee dealing with human rights. The United States declared a funding freeze on UNESCO after they recently admitted  “Palestine” to the agency.

The article reports:

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime was recently reappointed to the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, a subsidiary body of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s executive board.

The 29-member committee, which meets twice a year, is tasked to examine often sensitive communications received from individuals or organizations relating to human rights violations within UNESCO’s field of competence – that is, in education, science, culture and communication (including freedom of opinion and expression.)

Other members of the committee in 2010-2011 include Algeria, Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Venezuela. Not exactly a group known for its support of civil liberties.

The article also reported:

The U.S. accounts for 22 percent of UNESCO’s operating budget and also makes voluntary contributions. The enforced funding cut saves U.S. taxpayers more than $80 million a year.

The United Nations does not even agree with itself on the issue of Syria. The article reports:

But Syria’s return to the committee is particularly controversial at a time when Damascus is under fire for a violent response to anti-government protests that has killed more than 3,500 people. (A U.N. General Assembly committee on Tuesday passed a draft resolution by a 122-13 vote condemning Assad for the crackdown.)

It really is time for the United States to withdraw itself and its support from the United Nations. The organization began with good intentions, but now has become a place where tyrants rule.

Enhanced by Zemanta