North Korea suspected of helping Burma
Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
LONDON — MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, believes North Korea is helping Burma, the world’s other pariah state, to build a nuclear weapon, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
This not only breaks international laws against providing such assistance but the decision by both countries to work together on developing Burma’s nuclear capability has increased tension around the Pacific Rim.
Defense Analyst Bertil Linter said: “Both countries have absolutely no interest in obeying UN arms embargos.”
Linter added: “North Korea is one of the few countries still trading militarily with Burma now that China has become reluctant to sell certain types of equipment to the junta. It is becoming increasingly clear that Burma is intending to become one of a new generation of rogue states threatening nuclear war.”
This week NSA satellites, which monitor the South Pacific, have been tracking a heavily laden North Korean cargo ship, Kang Name 1, which sailed from the guarded military port at Changyon south of the country’s capital, Pyongyang. It is heading towards Burma.
The ship left North Korean water two weeks ago. Satellite surveillance images had been downloaded to NSA and GCHQ, Britain’s spy in the sky.
Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.
From its base outside Cheltenham, some of GCHQ’s 7,000 specialists have become part of a major intelligence gathering operation against the 16,000-ton ship.
U.S. Naval warships and at least one U.S. Navy submarine are tracking the rusty-hulled freighter.
Long-range surveillance planes have shadowed it down the South China Sea as it heads towards the Bay of Bengal in Burma.
After being sifted and analyzed, the GCHQ specialists send the surveillance data to MI6 for further study.
The material includes documents and video footage showing newly built tunnels being constructed in the Arakan Yoma mountain range in the country. MI6 analysts believe the tunnels could be part of the controversial nuclear program by the Burmese junta.
Thakhin Chan Tun, a former Burmese ambassador in North Korea and now an outspoken critic of the regime, has confirmed the claim.
“To put it bluntly, Burma wants to get the technology to develop a nuclear bomb.” he said last week.
Training session for Georgian troops (U.S. Air Force photo)
Moscow has drawn a new “red line” in its confrontation with the regime of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili by calling for its end, just as Russia is preparing for its annual military exercise – which last year was used to invade Georgia, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The military exercise to counter terrorism, called Kavkaz-2009 or Caucasus-2009, will run from June 29 to July 6 with more than 8,500 troops, up to 200 battle tanks, 450 armored vehicles and some 250 artillery systems deployed to the North Caucasus. The North Caucasus consists of those regions of southern Russia that include North Ossetia, Dagestan and Ingushetia.
The exercise comes on the heels of a just-completed three-week military exercise in Georgia by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, amid strong protests from Moscow.
Announcement of the Kavkaz-2009 exercise comes just as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in recent days that a “red line” would be drawn in dealing with the “current regime in Tbilisi.” Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia.
Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.
Just as in Kavkaz-2008, Russian troops and equipment operating in the North Caucasus for Kavkaz-2009 could move rapidly and set up staging areas in the Georgian breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to facilitate an invasion of Georgia proper.
The Kremlin has labeled Saakashvili’s regime as “terrorist” due to its perception that Tbilisi initiated the attack on one of Georgia’s breakaway provinces, South Ossetia, last year. While analysts suggest it was all a setup by the Russians, Georgia’s actions prompted Russian troops already gathered for Kavkaz-2008 to be diverted operationally to repel what it perceived was Georgian “aggression” on South Ossetia.
“It is our view that this political regime has committed a crime and we will have nothing common with this (regime),” Medvedev said at a news conference. “At the same time, after elections, which will take place in Georgia sooner or later, we surely will be ready to return to discussions of various issues if the Georgian people elect a new leadership capable of maintaining a friendly dialogue with Russia and with close neighbors of the Georgian state – peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”
Following the successful Russian invasion of Georgia last August, Moscow immediately gave diplomatic recognition as independent states to the governments of the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
For the most part, the international community does not recognize them as independent states but as provinces of Georgia. According to observers, Russia’s quick recognition was in response to that given by the U.S. and other European countries in February 2008 to the breakaway Muslim province of Kosovo in Serbia, an action Moscow vehemently opposed.
The “red line” threat against the Georgian regime of Saakashvili also comes at the same time Moscow has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have extended the U.N. observer mission in Georgia.
Moscow’s veto of the 16-year-old U.N. observer mission’s mandate in Georgia also removes the mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation, or OSCE, in Europe by June 30. The OSCE is comprised of some 56 nations, including the U.S. and Russia, involved in conflict prevention and crisis management.
“With both the U.N. and OSCE missions given the chop, there will be no independent observers around the conflict zones of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and there will be no mechanism for ensuring that minor incidents don’t deteriorate into wider fighting,” said Lawrence Sheets, Caucasus project director for the International Crisis Group, or ICG, that monitors world trouble spots.
Fed chief says, ‘We did it. … very sorry, won’t do it again’
By David Kupelian
The worldwide economic downturn called the Great Depression, which persisted from 1929 until about 1939, was the longest and worst depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. While originating in the U.S., it ended up causing drastic declines in output, severe unemployment, and acute deflation in virtually every country on earth. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the Great Depression ranks second only to the Civil War as the gravest crisis in American history.”
What exactly caused this economic tsunami that devastated the U.S. and much of the world?
In “A Monetary History of the United States,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman along with coauthor Anna J. Schwartz lay the mega-catastrophe of the Great Depression squarely at the feet of the Federal Reserve.
Here’s how Friedman summed up his views on the Fed and the Depression in an Oct. 1, 2000, interview with PBS:
PBS: You’ve written that what really caused the Depression was mistakes by the government. Looking back now, what in your view was the actual cause?
Friedman: Well, we have to distinguish between the recession of 1929, the early stages, and the conversion of that recession into a major catastrophe.
The recession was an ordinary business cycle. We had repeated recessions over hundreds of years, but what converted [this one] into a major depression was bad monetary policy.
The Federal Reserve System had been established to prevent what actually happened. It was set up to avoid a situation in which you would have to close down banks, in which you would have a banking crisis. And yet, under the Federal Reserve System, you had the worst banking crisis in the history of the United States. There’s no other example I can think of, of a government measure which produced so clearly the opposite of the results that were intended.
And what happened is that [the Federal Reserve] followed policies which led to a decline in the quantity of money by a third. For every $100 in paper money, in deposits, in cash, in currency, in existence in 1929, by the time you got to 1933 there was only about $65, $66 left. And that extraordinary collapse in the banking system, with about a third of the banks failing from beginning to end, with millions of people having their savings essentially washed out, that decline was utterly unnecessary.
At all times, the Federal Reserve had the power and the knowledge to have stopped that. And there were people at the time who were all the time urging them to do that. So it was, in my opinion, clearly a mistake of policy that led to the Great Depression.
Although economists have pontificated over the decades about this or that cause of the Great Depression, even the current Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke, agrees with Friedman’s assessment that the Fed caused the Great Depression.
At a Nov. 8, 2002, conference to honor Friedman’s 90th birthday, Bernanke, then a Federal Reserve governor, gave a speech at Friedman’s old home base, the University of Chicago. Here’s a bit of what Bernanke, the man who now runs the Fed – and thus, one of the most powerful people in the world – had to say that day:
I can think of no greater honor than being invited to speak on the occasion of Milton Friedman’s ninetieth birthday. Among economic scholars, Friedman has no peer. …
Today I’d like to honor Milton Friedman by talking about one of his greatest contributions to economics, made in close collaboration with his distinguished coauthor, Anna J. Schwartz. This achievement is nothing less than to provide what has become the leading and most persuasive explanation of the worst economic disaster in American history, the onset of the Great Depression – or, as Friedman and Schwartz dubbed it, the Great Contraction of 1929-33.
… As everyone here knows, in their “Monetary History” Friedman and Schwartz made the case that the economic collapse of 1929-33 was the product of the nation’s monetary mechanism gone wrong. Contradicting the received wisdom at the time that they wrote, which held that money was a passive player in the events of the 1930s, Friedman and Schwartz argued that “the contraction is in fact a tragic testimonial to the importance of monetary forces.”
After citing how Friedman and Schwartz documented the Fed’s continual contraction of the money supply during the Depression and its aftermath – and the subsequent abandonment of the gold standard by many nations in order to stop the devastating monetary contraction – Bernanke adds:
… Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, Friedman and Schwartz noted, bank panics were typically handled by banks themselves – for example, through urban consortiums of private banks called clearinghouses. If a run on one or more banks in a city began, the clearinghouse might declare a suspension of payments, meaning that, temporarily, deposits would not be convertible into cash. Larger, stronger banks would then take the lead, first, in determining that the banks under attack were in fact fundamentally solvent, and second, in lending cash to those banks that needed to meet withdrawals. Though not an entirely satisfactory solution – the suspension of payments for several weeks was a significant hardship for the public – the system of suspension of payments usually prevented local banking panics from spreading or persisting. Large, solvent banks had an incentive to participate in curing panics because they knew that an unchecked panic might ultimately threaten their own deposits.
It was in large part to improve the management of banking panics that the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. However, as Friedman and Schwartz discuss in some detail, in the early 1930s the Federal Reserve did not serve that function. The problem within the Fed was largely doctrinal: Fed officials appeared to subscribe to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s infamous ‘liquidationist’ thesis, that weeding out “weak” banks was a harsh but necessary prerequisite to the recovery of the banking system. Moreover, most of the failing banks were small banks (as opposed to what we would now call money-center banks) and not members of the Federal Reserve System. Thus the Fed saw no particular need to try to stem the panics. At the same time, the large banks – which would have intervened before the founding of the Fed – felt that protecting their smaller brethren was no longer their responsibility. Indeed, since the large banks felt confident that the Fed would protect them if necessary, the weeding out of small competitors was a positive good, from their point of view.
In short, according to Friedman and Schwartz, because of institutional changes and misguided doctrines, the banking panics of the Great Contraction were much more severe and widespread than would have normally occurred during a downturn. …
Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.
Best wishes for your next ninety years.
Today, the entire Western financial world holds its breath every time the Fed chairman speaks, so influential are the central bank’s decisions on markets, interest rates and the economy in general. Yet the Fed, supposedly created to smooth out business cycles and prevent disruptive economic downswings like the Great Depression, has actually done the opposite.
Contend administration proposal has 3 pitfalls
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
At least 165 economists have signed a letter to Congress members warning of three pitfalls in the Bush administration’s $700 billion proposal to deal with the Wall Street crisis.
The economists say they are well aware of the current financial situation and agree there’s a need for bold action but ask Congress “not to rush.”
They urge lawmakers to hold appropriate hearings and “to carefully consider the right course of action.”
The three problems with the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the economists say, are its fairness, ambiguity and long-term effects.
President Bush was joined today by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama at an emergency White House meeting on the plan. Key members of Congress said this morning they had struck a deal in principle, but the outcome of the proposal is unclear. Participants in the White House meeting called it extremely contentious.
The proposal allows the government to buy the faulty mortgage-based assets of severely weakened financial institutions to prevent them from collapsing and setting off a chain of events that would affect citizens, including depletion of retirement accounts, rising home foreclosures, bankrupt businesses and lost jobs.
The economists contend the plan is unfair, because it’s a “subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense.”
“Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses,” the economists say in their letter. “Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.”
The plan is ambiguous, they contend, as neither “the mission of the new agency nor its oversight are clear.”
“If taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored afterwards,” the letter states.
If the plan is enacted, the economists argue further, “its effects will be with us for a generation.”
“For all their recent troubles, America’s dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity,” they say. “Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.”
The signatories as of this morning were:
Acemoglu Daron (Massachussets Institute of Technology)
Adler Michael (Columbia University)
Admati Anat R. (Stanford University)
Alvarez Fernando (University of Chicago)
Andersen Torben (Northwestern University)
Barankay Iwan (University of Pennsylvania)
Barry Brian (University of Chicago)
Beim David (Columbia University)
Berk Jonathan (Stanford University)
Bisin Alberto (New York University)
Bittlingmayer George (University of Kansas)
Boldrin Michele (Washington University)
Brooks Taggert J. (University of Wisconsin)
Brynjolfsson Erik (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Buera Francisco J.(UCLA)
Carroll Christopher (Johns Hopkins University)
Cassar Gavin (University of Pennsylvania)
Chaney Thomas (University of Chicago)
Chari Varadarajan V. (University of Minnesota)
Chauvin Keith W. (University of Kansas)
Chintagunta Pradeep K. (University of Chicago)
Christiano Lawrence J. (Northwestern University)
Cochrane John (University of Chicago)
Coleman John (Duke University)
Constantinides George M. (University of Chicago)
Crain Robert (UC Berkeley)
Culp Christopher (University of Chicago)
De Marzo Peter (Stanford University)
Dubé Jean-Pierre H. (University of Chicago)
Edlin Aaron (UC Berkeley)
Eichenbaum Martin (Northwestern University)
Ely Jeffrey (Northwestern University)
Eraslan Hülya K. K.(Johns Hopkins University)
Faulhaber Gerald (University of Pennsylvania)
Feldmann Sven (University of Melbourne)
Fernandez-Villaverde Jesus (University of Pennsylvania)
Fox Jeremy T. (University of Chicago)
Frank Murray Z.(University of Minnesota)
Fuchs William (University of Chicago)
Fudenberg Drew (Harvard University)
Gabaix Xavier (New York University)
Gao Paul (Notre Dame University)
Garicano Luis (University of Chicago)
Gerakos Joseph J. (University of Chicago)
Gibbs Michael (University of Chicago)
Goettler Ron (University of Chicago)
Goldin Claudia (Harvard University)
Gordon Robert J. (Northwestern University)
Guadalupe Maria (Columbia University)
Hagerty Kathleen (Northwestern University)
Hamada Robert S. (University of Chicago)
Hansen Lars (University of Chicago)
Harris Milton (University of Chicago)
Hart Oliver (Harvard University)
Hazlett Thomas W. (George Mason University)
Heaton John (University of Chicago)
Heckman James (University of Chicago – Nobel Laureate)
Henderson David R. (Hoover Institution)
Henisz, Witold (University of Pennsylvania)
Hertzberg Andrew (Columbia University)
Hite Gailen (Columbia University)
Hitsch Günter J. (University of Chicago)
Hodrick Robert J. (Columbia University)
Hopenhayn Hugo (UCLA)
Hurst Erik (University of Chicago)
Imrohoroglu Ayse (University of Southern California)
Israel Ronen (London Business School)
Jaffee Dwight M. (UC Berkeley)
Jagannathan Ravi (Northwestern University)
Jenter Dirk (Stanford University)
Jones Charles M. (Columbia Business School)
Kaboski Joseph P. (Ohio State University)
Kaplan Ethan (Stockholm University)
Karolyi, Andrew (Ohio State University)
Kashyap Anil (University of Chicago)
Keim Donald B (University of Pennsylvania)
Ketkar Suhas L (Vanderbilt University)
Kiesling Lynne (Northwestern University)
Klenow Pete (Stanford University)
Koch Paul (University of Kansas)
Kocherlakota Narayana (University of Minnesota)
Koijen Ralph S.J. (University of Chicago)
Kondo Jiro (Northwestern University)
Korteweg Arthur (Stanford University)
Kortum Samuel (University of Chicago)
Krueger Dirk (University of Pennsylvania)
Ledesma Patricia (Northwestern University)
Lee Lung-fei (Ohio State University)
Leuz Christian (University of Chicago)
Levine David I.(UC Berkeley)
Levine David K.(Washington University)
Linnainmaa Juhani (University of Chicago)
Lucas Robert (University of Chicago – Nobel Laureate)
Luttmer Erzo G.J. (University of Minnesota)
Manski Charles F. (Northwestern University)
Martin Ian (Stanford University)
Mayer Christopher (Columbia University)
Mazzeo Michael (Northwestern University)
McDonald Robert (Northwestern University)
Meadow Scott F. (University of Chicago)
Mehra Rajnish (UC Santa Barbara)
Mian Atif (University of Chicago)
Middlebrook Art (University of Chicago)
Miguel Edward (UC Berkeley)
Miravete Eugenio J. (University of Texas at Austin)
Miron Jeffrey (Harvard University)
Moretti Enrico (UC Berkeley)
Moriguchi Chiaki (Northwestern University)
Moro Andrea (Vanderbilt University)
Morse Adair (University of Chicago)
Mortensen Dale T. (Northwestern University)
Mortimer Julie Holland (Harvard University)
Muralidharan Karthik (UC San Diego)
Nevo Aviv (Northwestern University)
Ohanian Lee (UCLA)
Pagliari Joseph (University of Chicago)
Papanikolaou Dimitris (Northwestern University)
Paul Evans (Ohio State University)
Peltzman Sam (University of Chicago)
Perri Fabrizio (University of Minnesota)
Phelan Christopher (University of Minnesota)
Piazzesi Monika (Stanford University)
Piskorski Tomasz (Columbia University)
Rampini Adriano (Duke University)
Reagan Patricia (Ohio State University)
Reich Michael (UC Berkeley)
Reuben Ernesto (Northwestern University)
Roberts Michael (University of Pennsylvania)
Rogers Michele (Northwestern University)
Rotella Elyce (Indiana University)
Ruud Paul (Vassar College)
Safford Sean (University of Chicago)
Sandbu Martin E. (University of Pennsylvania)
Sapienza Paola (Northwestern University)
Savor Pavel (University of Pennsylvania)
Scharfstein David (Harvard University)
Seim Katja (University of Pennsylvania)
Shang-Jin Wei (Columbia University)
Shimer Robert (University of Chicago)
Shore Stephen H. (Johns Hopkins University)
Siegel Ron (Northwestern University)
Smith David C. (University of Virginia)
Smith Vernon L.(Chapman University- Nobel Laureate)
Sorensen Morten (Columbia University)
Spiegel Matthew (Yale University)
Stevenson Betsey (University of Pennsylvania)
Stokey Nancy (University of Chicago)
Strahan Philip (Boston College)
Strebulaev Ilya (Stanford University)
Sufi Amir (University of Chicago)
Tabarrok Alex (George Mason University)
Taylor Alan M. (UC Davis)
Thompson Tim (Northwestern University)
Tschoegl Adrian E. (University of Pennsylvania)
Uhlig Harald (University of Chicago)
Ulrich, Maxim (Columbia University)
Van Buskirk Andrew (University of Chicago)
Veronesi Pietro (University of Chicago)
Vissing-Jorgensen Annette (Northwestern University)
Wacziarg Romain (UCLA)
Weill Pierre-Olivier (UCLA)
Williamson Samuel H. (Miami University)
Witte Mark (Northwestern University)
Wolfers Justin (University of Pennsylvania)
Woutersen Tiemen (Johns Hopkins University)
Zingales Luigi (University of Chicago)
Tancredo cites anti-American, anti-Jewish grandstanding
WASHINGTON – With the clock ticking on his final days in Congress, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a former presidential candidate, is introducing a flurry of controversial legislation – the latest, a bid to kick the United Nations out of the U.S.
“The U.N. has coddled brutal dictators, anti-Semites, state sponsors of terrorism, and nuclear proliferators – while excluding democratic countries from membership and turning a blind eye to humanitarian tragedies and gross violations of human rights around the globe,” Tancredo said. “The U.N.’s continued presence in the United States is an embarrassment to our nation, and the time has come for this ineffective organization to pack its bags and hit the road.”
This week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is back in New York to address the U.N. His speech has drawn thousands of protesters in New York City.
Tancredo’s bill, dubbed the U.N. Eviction Act, would direct Attorney General Michael Mukasey to initiate condemnation proceedings against all United Nations properties within the United States, and sell the property to the highest bidder on the open market. The proceeds will be given to the Treasury Department to pay down the national debt. The bill would also bar the future purchase of property in the United States or U.S. territories by the U.N. or any of its agencies, and revokes the diplomatic privileges and immunities that U.N. officials and representatives currently enjoy.
“I refuse to sit idly by while Americans are forced to host Islamofascist dictators, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, so they can spew anti-American rhetoric just blocks from Ground Zero,” Tancredo continued.
Tancredo said the U.N. is an organization known for its bureaucracy and has become a showcase for anti-American dictators like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and, of course, Ahmadinejad. He said it has also become little more than a rubber stamp for Chinese and Russian foreign policy initiatives – blocking membership by the democratic nation of Taiwan in the world body, and failing to take any meaningful steps to halt the ongoing genocide in Sudan or the illicit nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.
“If the U.N. is so keen to accommodate the foreign policy demands of rogue nations and dictatorships, perhaps the world body might be more comfortable relocating to one,” concluded Tancredo. “I’m sure Ban Ki-Moon will have no trouble securing a new location in downtown Pyongyang or Tehran.”
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=76026″>Last week, Tancredo made news by introducing legislation to prevent Islamic law from gaining a foothold in the U.S. legal system, as it has in other countries.
HR 6975, the Jihad Prevention Act, would allow American authorities to prevent advocates of Islamic law, or Shariah, from entering the country, revoke the visa of any foreigners that champion it and revoke naturalization for citizens that seek to implement it in the U.S.
By Matt Sanchez
Opponents fear loss of sovereignty, ties to pedophilia advocates
United Nations New York
The U.N. recently accorded two homosexual-rights groups “consultative status,” raising opposition from pro-family advocates who see the move as a weakening of national sovereignty that could result in lowering the age of consent for homosexual sex.
U.N. watchdogs also cite homosexual-rights groups’ historical alignment with organizations advocating pedophilia.
The U.N.’s Economic and Social Council, the organ facilitating international cooperation on standards-making and problem-solving in economic and social issues, has accepted COC Netherlands and the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals and Bisexuals of Spain.
This “means we can join the efforts at the U.N. to address human rights violations against people with an alternative sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Björn van Roozendaal, COC Netherlands international advocacy officer.
But members of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute accuse homosexual groups of attempting to weaken sovereignty and impose “gay rights” through a “well-coordinated” international stealth campaign tainted by associations with pro-pedophilia groups.
The pro-homosexual lobby consistently has attempted to advance through the U.N. since 1993, when an umbrella homosexual advocacy group, the International Lesbian Gay Association, or ILGA, achieved U.N. consultative status.
But after revelations that several ILGA members were pedophile organizations, the late Republican Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina led a campaign to suspend ILGA’s U.N. status.
Four pro-pedophile groups were associated with ILGA.
- The American NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, advocates for intergenerational “consensual sexual relations.”
- The Dutch-based MARTINJN works “for acceptance of pedophilia and adult-child love relationships.”
- U.S.-based Project TRUTH
- The German Verein für Sexuelle Gleichberechtigung, or Association for Sexual Equality.
In 1994, the U.N. took the unusual step of suspending ILGA membership. ILGA then, by a vote of 214-30, voted out all of its pro-pedophile groups, except for VSG. The German group, however, later was suspended for its vocal support of NAMBLA.
Following the revelations and suspension of ILGA’s NGO consultative status, NAMBLA issued statements detailing its working relationship with ILGA and claimed to have helped draft ILGA’s constitution.
In 2003, IGLA petitioned to have its consultative status reinstated but was denied by a vote of 29 to 17.
Cameroon, China, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, the U.S. and Zimbabwe cast votes against ILGA, while France, Germany and Romania voted for the organization.
Following the vote, a U.N. communiqué stated, “The vote in favor of not granting status to that NGO would reaffirm the will and commitment of the international community to protect children.”
In 2006, however, the U.N. granted consultative status to a gay-rights Danish group associated with ILGA-Europe.
Responding to the newly granted status given the Spanish and Dutch group, Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Program at Human Rights Watch, said “This vote ensures that two more voices will be raised to defend basic human rights at the U.N.”
But critics see a reason for concern in what has been called “well-coordinated international campaign.”
As director of government relation for Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute – which advocates for “the preservation of international law by discrediting socially radical policies at the United Nations and other international institutions” – Samantha Singson has worked on pro-life, pro-family international policy for over eight years.
Singson told WND there is a great concern for screening LGBT, or “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual,” groups for any ties to pedophilia.
“These nominations are getting a lot more scrutiny, because of the past affiliations,” she said.
Responding to the concern, Scott Long, director of the LGBT rights program for Human Rights Watch, wrote in a statement to WND, “ILGA has made clear that it supports the right of all children to be free of abuse, including sexual abuse.”
But it’s clear that none of the pedophile groups consider sex with a minor “abuse.” On the NAMBLA website, the association calls itself a “voice testifying to the benevolent aspects of man/boy love.”
Brend Varma, the human rights spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, told WND that Ban Ki-Moon will always advocate that “we believe in human rights for all people; specific policies towards sexual orientation throughout the world is a matter for the member states.”
Yet it’s not clear that “all people” includes all ages. In Canada, Israel, the UK and Australia, homosexual activists consistently have pushed for lowering age of consent laws, to align the homosexual age for consensual sex with that of heterosexuals.
International advocacy coupled with local activism could pressure governments to lower the age.
Piero Tozzi observed that the UK is particularly active in pushing for the inclusion of LGBT non-governmental organizations into the U.N. system.
In an interview with WND, Tozzi said the representatives from Egypt, Poland and Malta have been “very prepared” in defending their opposition to LGBT activism under the guise of “non-discrimination.”
Human Rights Watch’s Long criticized the Egyptian delegation for asking, “Is your organization forcing people to adopt a particular lifestyle that will lead to the eventual extinction of the human race?”
Long called the question “ridiculous.”
Singson said “non-discrimination” and “in the spirit of inclusion” have become “code terms for sneaking in pro-LGBT language into important international human rights documents.”
“There is a tendency for LGBT advocates to change terms like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ to the ambiguous ‘partner,’” she said.
“We’ve even had lively debates about the term ‘family’ vs. ‘families,’ a term that could include same-sex arrangements, she added.
“There’s a crisis in human rights,” said Singson. “Countries agree to universal rights, but they get something entirely different when they agree to recognize these groups.”
By Bob Unruh
Sharia-following Islamic nations demanding anti-’defamation’ law
Dozens of nations dominated by Islam are pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-”defamation” plan that would make Christians criminals under international law, according to a United States organization that has launched a campaign to defend freedom of religion worldwide.
“Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry,” the American Center for Law & Justice said yesterday in announcing its petition drive.
The discrimination is “wrapped in the guise of a U.N. resolution called ‘Combating Defamation of Religions,’” the announcement said. “We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity.”
The “anti-defamation” plan has been submitted to the U.N. repeatedly since about 1999, starting out as a plan to ban “defamation” of Islam and later changed to refer to “religions,” officials said. It is being pushed by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference nations, which has adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, “which states that all rights are subject to sharia law, and makes sharia law the only source of reference for human rights.”
The ACLJ petition, which is to be delivered to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, already had collected more than 23,000 names in just a brief online existence.
The ACLJ’s European division, the European Center for Law & Justice, also has launched its work on the issue. It submitted arguments last month to the U.N. in opposition to the proposal to institute sharia-based standards around the globe.
“The position of the ECLJ in regards to the issue of ‘defamation of religion’ resolutions, as they have been introduced at the U.N. Human Rights Council and General Assembly, is that they are in direct violation of international law concerning the rights to freedom of religion and expression,” the organization’s brief said.
“The ‘defamation of religion’ resolutions establish as the primary focus and concern the protection of ideas and religions generally, rather than protecting the rights of individuals to practice their religion, which is the chief purpose of international religious freedom law.”
“Furthermore, ‘defamation of religion’ replaces the existing objective criterion of limitations on speech where there is an intent to incite hatred or violence against religious believers with a subjective criterion that considers whether the religion or its believers feel offended by the speech,” the group continued.
Interestingly, in nations following Islam, the present practice is to use such laws to protect Islam and to attack religious minorities with penalties up to and including execution, the brief noted.
“What should be most disconcerting to the international community is that laws based on the concept of ‘defamation of religion’ actually help to create a climate of violence,” the argument explained.
For example, just two months ago an Afghanistan court following Islam sentenced to death a 23-year-old apprentice journalist who had downloaded an article from an Iranian website and brought it to his class, the ECLJ said. Other instances include:
- Award-winning author Mark Steyn has been summoned to appear before two Canadian Human Rights Commissions of vague allegations of “subject[ing] Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt” for comments in his book, “America Alone,” the group said.
- In Pakistan, 15 people were accused of blasphemy against Islam during the first four months of 2008, the organization said.
- Another Pakistani man sentenced to life in prison for desecrating the Quran was jailed for six years before being acquitted of the charge.
- In Saudi Arabia a teacher was sentenced to three years in prison plus 300 lashes “for expressing his views in a classroom.”
- In the United Kingdom, police announced plans to arrest a blogger for “anti-Muslim” statements.
- In the United States, a plaintiff sued his Internet service provider for refusing “to prevent participants in an online chat room from posting or submitting harassing comments that blasphemed and defamed plaintiff’s Islamic religion.”
The ECLJ said, “The implementation of domestic laws to combat defamation of religion in many OIC countries reveals a selective and arbitrary enforcement toward religious minorities, who are often Christians. Those violations are frequently punishable by the death penalty.”
The newest “anti-defamation” plan was submitted in March. It specifically cites a declaration “adopted by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers” at a meeting in Islamabad “which condemned the growing trend of Islamophobia and systematic discrimination against adherents of Islam.”
It also cites the dictates from the OIC meeting in Dakar, “in which the Organization expressed concern at the systematically negative stereotyping of Muslims and Islam and other divine religions.”
It goes on to cite a wide range of other practices that “target” Islam, but does not mention any other religions, and urges all nations to provide “adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from the defamation of any religion.”
According to published reports, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights’ 53 members voted to adopt the resolution earlier this year, with opposition from the United States and the European Union.
At the time, Cuba’s delegate, Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, said: “Islam has been the subject of very deep campaign of defamation.”
“They’re attempting to pass a sinister resolution that is nothing more than blatant religious bigotry,” the ACLJ said in its promotion of its petition. “This is very important to understand. This radical proposal would outlaw Christianity … it would make the proclamation of your faith an international crime.”
“In his recent dissent on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo Bay, Justice Scalia said, ‘America is at war with radical Islamists.’ Never has this rung more true than today. Never have Christians been more targeted for their religious beliefs. And never have we faced a more dangerous threat than the one posed by the OIC,” the ACLJ said.
On the Grizzly Groundswell blog, the author described the situation as, “The United Nations: 160 cannibals and 17 civilized people taking a majority vote on what to have for dinner.”
The U.S. State Department also has found the proposal unpalatable.
“This resolution is incomplete inasmuch as it fails to address the situation of all religions,” said the statement from Leonard Leo. “We believe that such inclusive language would have furthered the objective of promoting religious freedom. We also believe that any resolution on this topic must include mention of the need to change educational systems that promote hatred of other religions, as well as the problem of state-sponsored media that negatively targets any one religion.”