Wednesday, 30 September 2009

"Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

For two weeks we've heard and seen all sorts of fatuous bullshit emanating from the United Nations Building in New York, yet if the bullshit itself wasn't enough to turn your stomach -- much of it emanating from dictators and thugs for whom enslaving their own people is the normal order of their day -- overnight we've seen why the whole United Nations project is a threat to peace and a threat to the whole western world: because the United Nations talks peace but rewards violence, just as any body replete with the world’s biggest thugs would have to do.

It talks peace but rewards violence -- and as any parent can tell you, it doesn't matter what you say to a bully, what matters is what you do. Bullies don’t care about fine words, what they understand is fighting back.

So what happened overnight? I'll answer that in a moment, but first let's go back a couple of days - and I do that because the story I’m going to help recount shows the whole failure of the UN in microcosm.

A couple of days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stared the gathered UN delegates in the face, and asked them a challenging question: "Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" (I posted a link to that speech, a great speech, in my Monday morning ramble. And I’ll post it here again just because it’s so damn good.)

"Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" He asked that question, he had to ask that question, because at that same podium just the day before the UN played host to a dictator who’d just stolen an election and killed his own people who protested at the theft, a man who used the lion’s share of his own time at the podium to deny the murder of six million human beings at the hands of the Nazis -- and with a few noble exceptions who walked out (which I’m happy to say included NZ’s delegation), the delegates sat there in that hall and lapped up all the hatred. 

The man was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and he’s now working on a nuclear programme.

A nuclear programme Mahmoud himself has indicated could be used to wipe out many of the surviving descendants of those the Nazis murdered – to wipe them off the map.

A nuclear programme initiated by a regime that that jails bloggers for "insulting" the regime and leaves them to die in prison; stones homosexuals to death; that supports, trains and supplies terrorist organisations in Lebanon and Iraq and beyond.

A nuclear programme that the west has treated with denial (what nuclear programme?)and hand-wringing (something should be done! but peacefully!) and now, according to the latest reports, with “sanctions” -- which Team Obama says will dissuade Tehran from getting a nuke, an announcement that follows hard on the heels of announcing his nuclear-free fantasy world.

Sanctions, you say! Because “sanctions” worked so well to bring down Castro. And Saddam. And to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme. Thugs and dictators who the UN didn’t just do nothing to disarm, but instead gave them a podium from which to preach and resolutions with which to protect them.

"Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

Netanyahu challenged the delegates to see the Iranian leadership for what it is. He challenged them too over Gaza.

For years, Arab and Middle-Eastern countries have berated Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, but refused entry for Palestinian refugees to their own countries. They prefer to hate Israel rather than help their neighbours – hatred which the UN has supported. And for years, the United Nations has stood by in silence while aggressor after aggressor has attacked Israel, and stood up in condemnation only when Israel has fought back to defend its very life.

The United Nations stood by with its eyes closed while Iran armed Hezbollah guerrillas with rockets, which they poured into Israel from the North over the heads of mute UN observers.

It stood in silence for years as Palestinians smuggled Iranian-supplied rockets into Gaza, and said nothing as Palestinian guerrillas (backed by their government) fired the rockets into Israel from bases located in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and from the middle of densely packed housing.

And what happened overnight?

Here’s what happened. The United Nations issued a report declaring that in defending itself against these cowardly attacks from Gaza, Israel "committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity."

"Have they no shame? Have they no decency?" Have they learned nothing?

The United Nations talks peace but it rewards violence; it talks peace, but plays host to murderous thugs; it talks peace but it rewards aggressors, and condemns those who act in self-defence.

No wonder the world is drowning in a sea of blood. Moral equivalence, the ethic on which the UN is based, rewards force used in aggression and condemns force used in self-defence.

Moral equivalence is immoral disarmament.

No wonder the aggressors are smiling.


Sus said...


ZenTiger said...

I second that.

Elijah Lineberry said...

I am pleased someone speaking to the United Nations has some balls and will tell the truth.

All credit to the chap - we need more like him.

KG said...

What an absolute humdinger of a post!
We need a lot more righteous anger such as this and less bloody handwringing.

Libertyscott said...

Meanwhile, New Zealand has the Tumeke blog, granting Iran moral equivalency to Israel. Blithely claiming Iran's nuclear programme is a fundamental right, because Israel has nuclear weapons, ignoring the military coup that Iran has just suffered and the oppression of the local population.

The almost universal silence and unwillingness by most on the left to protest and oppose the Iranian theocratic military dictatorship shows them up for their shallow farcical childish anti-Americanism.

KG said...

"..their shallow farcical childish anti-Americanism."

Anonymous said...


Monsieur Joseph said...

"Have you no shame?
Have you no decency?"

This from a man who represents a regime which has systematically disenfranchised 90% of it's citizens, who happenned to be Palestinian.

A man who has helped develop his regime's own secret nuclear weapons program.

Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad are two sides of a coin.

Sus said...

"Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad are two sides of a coin."

And yet Israel is the only country in that part of the world where my gender is no barrier.

You foolish man.

Pro-Israel said...

I bet that our darling Ruth will pop in here to say that Netanyahu is an asshole. She is anti (ANTI-MUSLIMS).

Frankie Lee said...

I'm no fan of Netanyahu, Monsieur, but comparing him to Ahmadinejad is overdoing it. Netanyahu at least was legitimately elected.

Devils Advocate said...

I opppose a theocracy wherever I find it. Be it an Islam one in Iran or a jewish one in Israel. Moral equivalency or principled stance?

I believe that any aggression should be condemned be that an unjustified invasion by Iran or the US. Moral equivalency or principled stance?

Lets not forget that Israels' claim to this piece of land is that their invisible friend promised it to them. A theocracy is a theocracy and aggression is aggression. We cannot condone either just because it's our friends doing it.It's called principles. And yes: it means measuring Islam and christianity and judaism against the same objective standard.

And please do not confuse my stance as apologising for Iran. I despise Ima-Dinner-jacket, because he oppresses certain parts of his population, but that does not mean I have to love Israel, who does the same. I do not deny the Holocaust which was a travesty, but this does not mean I turn a blind eye to Israels treatment of children, which is a travesty.
Both sides actively partake in a religious war, because of orders received from an invisible friend. Nobody has the moral high ground here.

Sinner said...

Peter - could you please ban "Monsieur Joseph" permanently. Or perhaps better, post his name and address so he can be dealt with more directly?

Frankly Netanyahu should stop bothering about ass-covering and genuflecting to Obama (and Osama).
He's got the Jerhico IIIs for a reason -

Time to use 'em

KG said...

Monsieur Joseph:
Sometimes, a comment deserves no more than that.

Peter Cresswell said...

Some readers need a reminder -- or it a head up: Israel is Moral.

"Israel is the only free country in a region dominated by Arab monarchies, theocracies and dictatorships. It is only the citizens of Israel—Arabs and Jews alike—who enjoy the right to express their views, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private newspapers, to hold free elections. When Arab authorities deny the most basic freedoms to their own people, it is obscene for them to start claiming that Israel is violating the Palestinians' rights. All Arab citizens who are genuinely concerned with human rights should, as their very first action, seek to oust their own despotic rulers and adopt the type of free society that characterizes Israel." - Yaron Brook

Monsieur Joseph said...

@ Sinner
"Peter - could you please ban "Monsieur Joseph" permanently"

I think you meant:
Peter - WILL you please ban "Monsieur Joseph" permanently

The enemy of my enemy is my friend,
was the same argument used to justify South African apartheid system.

Sus said...

"Nobody has the moral high ground here."

DA: I would be the first to agree that nobody is lily-white in that part of the world.

But I think your comment, the essence of which is summarised in that last sentence (as above), is a classic case of confusing theory with practise.

Israel is the only democracy (for all its - democracy's - limitations) in that part of the world. It is surrounded by 22 Arab states, most of which are hostile to varying degrees -- and none of which are democratic.

There is also a world of difference between aggression and self-defence.

(Not Jewish either, BTW, although I have spent time there).

LibertyScott has a very good post on this topic.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to understand the Left's antagonism towards Israel - and Brook's romantic view of Israel is a bit odd as well given the millions of dollars the US throws at it each year.

After all Israel was born out of Socialist Zionism .The Right has never come to terms with kibbutzim for example - a uniquely Zionist vision of democratic utopian socialism. Israel's defence and backbone sprung from kibbutzim.

Sinner said...

I opppose a theocracy wherever I find it. Be it an Islam one in Iran or a jewish one in Israel.
As PC has already said: Israel is not a theocracy - it is a democracy - and rather more free than NZ

As a democracy, Israel's leaders have the duty to defend their population. Frankly, they are already negligent. They have the capacity to wipe out Iran's entire Nuclear programme and their racist holocaust-denying leadership cast at the same time.

They should use that capacity immediately and do the whole world a favour.

Devils Advocate said...

Israel is a jewish state
Point one of:

No attempt at a seperation of cruch and state, and no attempt at equality for non jews. All laws passed before the above "bill of rights" revoking the right of 700 000 palestinians to live in israel
stand as per point 10.

So If you are not chosen by god, you do not have the right to live in the land chosen by god.

Saying it's moral does not make it so. Unless you happen to be god.

Sus said...

Difficult to understand the left's antagonism twd Israel, Ruth?

Not at all. You answered that in your next comment: the support it has received from the US.

The US had traditionally supported Israel, therefore the left does not. Another example of anti-Americanism for the sake it.

And as for kibbutzism: only 3% of the popn were kibbutzniks 25 yrs ago and I don't think that percentage has changed much since. The moshavs are separate again, but the great majority of latter-day Israelis do not choose to adopt that lifestyle.

It has been a very successful system, though, and was indeed its nation's "backbone" in the early days.

Sus said...

Correction: kibbutzim

Mo said...

the socialist state vs the theocracy. I choose neither thanks.

Sinner said...

The US had traditionally supported Israel, therefore the left does not.

More blatant ignorance: Sus - I take it your parents didn't love you enough to send you to a private school? The fruits of state education are obvious.

The facts are that US opposed most Israeli policies until after the Six day war. In particular, the US intervene on the side of Egypt in the Suez crisis, and threaten to wipe out the UK economy - all to support Egypt. Israeli nuclear technology was famously provided by its allies in the Suez war - France and the UK.

Another example of anti-Americanism for the sake it.

Precisely. And anti-democracy and self-hatred.

The best thing Bush could have done - and what will in the future be remembered as his single biggest failing - is that he did not wipe out Iran's nuclear programme, and the leadership classes, with strategic strikes when he had the chance. Half a boatload from a Seawolf with the old W80s would do it.

Now Israel should do the job as soon as possible.

Aunty said...

The Israelis are total religious cunts and the Iranians are total religious cunts.
Can't we just wait till they can both fire a big bomb at each other at the exactly the same time and do the whole world a favour?
Why would we suppport either of these fanatical warmongering cultures? They will never change.

LGM said...

Gosh, lot's of you posting here are lusting for death, destruction, horror and suffering.... just so long as it is other people's death, destruction, horror and suffering.

A question. Why the lust?


Elijah Lineberry said...

LGM people have been 'lusting' for death and destruction of anything 'Jewish' for centuries - Adolf Hitler, for instance; these chaps on here are little different in their objectives.

Sus said...

Thanks for the advice, Sinner. I'll be sure to defer to your knowledge in future.

In the meantime though, the fact is that the state of Israel has a very short history - the Six Day War occurring a mere 19 yrs after its establishment. And Syria had been aligned with the Soviet Bloc since the mid-50s or thereabouts, a fact with which the US was obviously aware.

My typo "*had* traditionally" instead of 'has' is my error, (thus changing the context a bit), but it doesn't change the fact that the US has supported Israel for most of its short existence.

In my own experience, Israelis openly - and cynically - referred to themselves as the 51st state. The American Jewish lobby has also been active for decades in Washington.

That's my experience of living there, though. Perhaps it differs with yours?

Monsieur Joseph said...

@Monsieur Cresswell

You quoted Yaron Brooke,
I take it to support your claim of Israel's moral superiority.

I understand he is president of the Ayn Rand Institute,
but he was also an ex-Sergent in the Israeli Military Intelligence.
You don't think he is a little biased?
Ayn Rand Institute: Yaron Brook Biography

Sinner said...


the french seeded the Israeli nuke program - against the wishes of the US.

Now when they really need to use it - once again against the wishes of the US - they are paralyzed.

Israel and the world will not be safe while the current Iranian government is in place, nor while Iran retains the technology and knowledge to create nuclear weapons. Israel can solve both these problems overnight - as can the us.

It is now a moral imperative that these problems are solved

ernesto said...

@Sus:"It is now a moral imperative that these problems are solved"

Israel would in all likelihood be at peace with Palestine and the rest of the Arab world if they had seized the opportunity presented to the at the Taba permanent status talks. That Israel finds itself still immersed in this intractable battle is a consequence of Israel's decision to walk away from a deal for lasting peace. The situation that Israel has found themselves in post-Taba can truly be said to be of their own making. That the Israelis walked away from Taba is to their eternal shame.

Anonymous said...

you talk rubbish, classic putting the4 blame on the Jews just because they have said enough is enough.

the Islamists won't stop until Israel ism wiped off the face of the earth or until the Jewish Messaih comes whenever that's supposed to be.

Disband the UN too.

Sus said...

Hi Ernesto .. I've already stated that (IMO) no side is blameless.

But I cannot agree with your conclusion re "likelihood" of peace. With respect, I think it's far too simple.

There is a persistent fanatical minority that will not rest until Israel is ruined/destroyed. Anwar Sadat's assassination is, tragically, testament to that.

Until the rest of the Muslim world, whom we're repeatedly told are peaceful, somehow prevent these madmen from supposedly acting on their behalf in the name of their faith, I cannot see any end to it all.

I speak only from my own experiences, of course. I think I might elaborate in next Tuesday's column, PC.

Peter Cresswell said...

Sus, yes please do.

Although be aware that if you write from personal experience you'll only be accused of being "a little biased."

And I might do a wee piece on Israel's brief history, to help give all the ongoing arguments some context that some commenters here don't have.

In the meantime, here's a few question for all the anti-Israelites to ponder:

** In all the wars between Israel and other nations in its brief history, how many of those wars were started by Israel.

** In each of those wars Israel's armed forces were stopped on their way to the enemies' capital cities by the UN. Do you think the same thing would have happened if the roles had been reversed?

** In how many countries of the Middle east do all citizens —Arabs and Jews alike— enjoy the right to express their views, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private newspapers, to hold free elections.

And to Devil's Advocate, who can't see the difference between a Theocracy and a Democracy, it's sufficient only to observe that Israel is as much a theocracy as New Zealand is.

It should be sufficient to point out the difference between attack and self-defence.

It should be enough to point out that post-war Jewish resettlement in the Levant did not happen because "God" promised Jews a safe haven, but because a Nazi Devil was killing their families in Europe.

And no, no-one could mistake you for an Iranian apologist. You're something much worse.

Monsieur Joseph said...

I take it that Pro-palestinians can respond to your ponderous questions as well...

Q1) In all the wars between Israel and other nations in its brief history, how many of those wars were started by Israel.

A1) One. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The "start" of that conflict was the massive influx of Jewish refugees into Palestine after WW2,
who chose to go there, rather than remain in Europe.

Q2) In each of those wars Israel's armed forces were stopped on their way to the enemies' capital cities by the UN. Do you think the same thing would have happened if the roles had been reversed?

A2) That's a hypothetical question for which there is no actual proof for an answer. Yes or No.

The Israeli's were not stopped on their way to the Palestinian capital by the UN in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
I think the UN will prevent harm from happening to the Israelis,
when they give back the Palestinian land which they have taken by force.

Q3)In how many countries of the Middle east do all citizens —Arabs and Jews alike— enjoy the right to express their views, to criticize their government, to form political parties, to publish private newspapers, to hold free elections.

A3) None.

Monsieur Joseph said...

Question for Peter:

Do you think Yaron Brooke is a little biased?

Anonymous said...

Good luck Sus if you choose to write about this.It is like writing about abortion - no matter what you say you are going to upset someone.

I agree that no-one is without sin re the Israel/Palestine issue.

Remember how the Not PC folk all wrote endless heaving paragraphs about the glorious freedom-loving Iranian people after the election there? Now you want to bomb them again...Let me remind you of Glenn Greenwald's words back then:

Much of the same faction now claiming such concern for the welfare of The Iranian People are the same people who have long been advocating a military attack on Iran and the dropping of large numbers of bombs on their country -- actions which would result in the slaughter of many of those very same Iranian People...

Imagine how many of the people protesting this week would be dead if any of these bombing advocates had their way -- just as those who paraded around (and still parade around) under the banner of Liberating the Iraqi People caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of them, at least. Hopefully, one of the principal benefits of the turmoil in Iran is that it humanizes whoever the latest Enemy is. Advocating a so-called "attack on Iran" or "bombing Iran" in fact means slaughtering huge numbers of the very same people who are on the streets of Tehran inspiring so many -- obliterating their homes and workplaces, destroying their communities, shattering the infrastructure of their society and their lives. The same is true every time we start mulling the prospect of attacking and bombing another country as though it's some abstract decision in a video game.~ Glenn Greenwald

Nothing ever changes.

Peter Cresswell said...

" I take it that Pro-palestinians can respond to your ponderous questions as well...

Sure, but I wasn't looking for answers based on fiction, but on non-fiction.

"Do you think Yaron Brook is a little biased?"

The word I'd use is "informed."

Sus said...

"It is like writing about abortion - no matter what you say you are going to upset someone."

Good analogy.

Thanks for the Greenwald excerpt, Ruth. It brings to mind the humanitarian 'dilemma' over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, don't you think?

I watched a doco last year where Allied soldiers fighting at Iwo Jima & Okinawa were recently interviewed. While expressing horror for the dropping of the atomic bombs, they were still, after all this time, firmly of the opinion that nothing else could have stopped the Japanese.

When asked why, they replied that the national brainwashing they saw first-hand was indescribable. They reckoned it was such, that every Japanese citizen - man/woman/child - who could have taken up arms against the Allies, would have. (Arms including garden tools, etc).

As such, they believed that the bombs actually *saved* the lives of millions on both sides. By far the lesser of two evils, if you like. It was a fascinating account from those who were there.

But back to Greenwald. This line struck me in particular:

"Hopefully, one of the principal benefits of the turmoil in Iran is that it humanizes whoever the latest Enemy is."

A problem with that sentiment is that I don't see too much "humanising" of the Israeli people from the Ahmadinejads, yes?

Anonymous said...

Yes the bombing of Hiroshima did save lives Sus. But that is a silly argument. Japan was pursuing an *actual* war outside their borders.

No doubt the perpetrators of 9/11 see that as *their* Hiroshima.

Anyway I am off to the beach house for the weekend now - hopefully it is still standing!

Monsieur Joseph said...

@ Peter
"Do you think Yaron Brooke is a little biased?"
I gave you a question you could answer, but you wouldn't.

Don't worry. It was a trick question.
With a Yes or a No, I would have rest my case.

The problem with Moral Superiority is that it is used to justify wars.
Don't go there unless you must.

Sinner said...

The problem with Moral Superiority is that it is used to justify wars

This is not a problem. Indeed, it is an advantage.

If the US had the courage to feel morally superior to Iraq - or even the courage to allow Israel to enact their obvious superiority - then the "Middle East Problem" would not exist.

There is only one way to cut a Gordian knot, after all!

Lucy said...

Bravo! Bloody marvelous well done.

Monsieur Joseph said...

@ Peter

I look forward to your "wee piece on Israel's brief history"

Here is some background reading which I am sure will interest you.
The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs) by Ze'ev Jabotinsky.