These Are Not The Actions Of A Trustworthy Government

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that Iran has increased its undercover activities in Latin America.

The article reports:

Iran is becoming increasingly open about its presence in Latin America and providing its officials with passports from Venezuela and other countries, giving them free rein to travel throughout South America.

Iran has forged close ties with countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, among others.

Luis Heber, a member of the Uruguayan senate, said that Iranian agents—who some suspect are members of the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—have been spotted in his country holding Venezuelan passports.

Officials have determined that there is “a clear penetration of Iran in our country,” Heber said during remarks Sunday before U.S. lawmakers and other Latin American officials.

“We’ve also seen Venezuelan passports in the hands of Iranians,” he revealed. “The penetration of Venezuela by Iran is clear. There is overwhelming information on this.”

Heber said Uruguayan officials have spotted at least 10 Iranians carrying Venezuelan passports.

They “can enter anywhere in Latin America because the passports are legal,” he explained.

Iran’s goal, in part, is to establish deep ties in these countries in order to influence their policies toward America, Israel, and other Western allies, officials said.

“The threat level has increased, it’s more open,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), vice-chair of the House’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

“The Iranian threat comes not from espionage as much, but from influencing the ideology of their host country,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “That’s what they’re aiming for and penetrating [these countries] so they have a presence in Latin America right at the foothold of the U.S.”

And we are negotiating a nuclear treaty with these people?

Under The Radar In UNESCO Funding

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about John Bolton’s book Surrender Is Not An Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. In the book, John Bolton tells the story of the PLO’s efforts to be recognized by the United Nations without negotiating with Israel.

The article reports:

In early 1989, Bolton writes, the PLO had launched a major effort to join several specialized UN agencies in the UN system. — “yet another example of the PLO’s perennial strategy to improve its position vis-a-vis Israel by doing anything other than negotiating directly with the Israelis.” The PLO membership campaign followed from the PLO’s 1988 decision to change its name card at the UN from “Palestine Liberation Organization” to “Palestine” — “apparently under the theory that if you sound more like a country than an organization, people will treat you more like a country.”

The next logical step, Bolton reports, was to have “Palestine” become a member of the various UN agencies, thus further attesting to its status as a “state” in international circles in that membership in the organizations is limited to states. How could the United States effectively opposed the PLO’s charade given the PLO’s wide support at the UN?

The first targets of the PLO were the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The United States countered that move by telling the WHO that the United States would withhold funding if Palestine was admitted. We had already withdrawn from UNESCO, but stated that we would not rejoin if Palestine was admitted. In 1990, Congress passed a law requiring the termination of United States funding of any international organization that recognizes Palestinian statehood in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel.

Based on that law, we withdrew funding of UNESCO last year when Palestine was admitted. Unfortunately, President Obama has overturned that withdrawal.  The article reports:

But that’s not the end of the story. JTA reports: “The Obama administration formally announced its intention to ask Congress to waive a ban on funding UNESCO over its recognition of Palestinian statehood.”

And that’s not all! The Obama administration courageously buried announcement of its intention in a footnote to the budget that the White House submitted to Congress this month.

Will Congress restore funding? That’s not entirely clear, but not if Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has anything to do with it. “Any effort to walk back this funding cutoff will pave the way for the Palestinian leadership’s unilateral statehood scheme to drive on, and sends a disastrous message that the U.S. will fund UN bodies no matter what irresponsible decisions they make,” she said in a statement. The Bolton spirit lives on, if not in the Obama administration.

The President needs to follow the law as it was passed in 1990.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Will Never Happen But It Is A Wonderful Idea

"...they shall beat their swords into plo...

Image via Wikipedia

On Friday CNSNews posted an article about a bill that just passed the House Foreign Relations Committee in the House of Representatives with a vote of 23-15. The bill is the U.N. Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act (H.R. 2829).  It would force the U.N. to change its funding mechanism from the current system of “assessed” contributions to voluntary ones. In simple terms the bill would allow the United States and other members of the United Nations to fund only those activities and agencies it regards as being efficiently managed, and in the national interest. Obviously, had this law been in effect in the 1990’s, we might have avoided the food for oil scandal. Frankly, what the bill would actually do, other than save taxpayers millions of dollars, would be to defund the United Nations. Considering that the United Nations lost its way a long time ago, I really think that is a great idea. Unfortunately, I am probably not the majority opinion.

The article reports:

In a letter to Ros-Lehtinen [Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)] on Wednesday, Clinton (Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State) expressed strong opposition to the measure, saying if it reached the president, she would recommend a veto.

Citing U.N. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan as examples, she argued that international engagement through the U.N. comes at a fraction of the cost of acting alone.

“This bill also represents a dangerous retreat from the longstanding, bipartisan focus of the United States on constructive engagement within the United Nations to galvanize collective action to tackle urgent security problems,” she wrote.

“If we act to diminish our global stature, the United States would surrender a key platform from which to shape international priorities, such as obtaining tough sanctions on Iran.”

During the hearing, Ros-Lehtinen referred to Clinton’s letter, and in particular the suggestion that the legislation could harm U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because other countries would not share the burden by paying for U.N. missions in those countries.

“Does the administration have such little faith in our allies and in our diplomacy – which they pride themselves on –  to think that they would not share the burden of fighting Islamist extremists unless the U.N. forced them to?” she asked.

Has it occurred to anyone that the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is the most powerful bloc in the United Nations and is not going to do anything to significantly limit the actions of radical Islam?

Enhanced by Zemanta