Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fun and games in Geneva

Astonishing isn’t it? The UN organizes a second Anti-Racist Conference, invites Iranian President Ahmadinejad to give the keynote speech (if that is the right expression) and he stands up and screams out his hatred for Israel, the Jews and the West for supporting it. Who would have expected it?

Well, not the Norwegian Foreign Minister, for one, as Powerline quotes from the Washington Post article.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said Ahmadinejad's words "run counter to the very spirit of dignity of the conference."
Dignity is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of the first Durban conference (see here and here) or the whole idea of making President Ahmadinejad the keynote speaker. What did Jonas Gahr Store expect?

Not that the comments made by the British and French delegates were that much more intelligent:
Peter Goodman, the British ambassador, called Ahmadinejad's remarks "outrageous" and "anti-Semitic," the reports said. His French counterpart, Jean-Baptiste Mattei, said the Iranian leader was trying to "take this conference hostage" with comments that were harsher than expected.
I suppose, having been given orders not to support their Canadian, American, Australian, Israeli, New Zealand, Dutch, Italian and Polish allies in their boycott of the conference, they had to say something. But, once again, we have to ask: what did they expect?

By now everyone who might be interested in events beyond these shores know what happened and many probably saw the concerted walk-out by those European delegates who had not boycotted the event in the first place. But, just in case, here is the video of the event:

According to Ann Bayefsky who was there, after Mahmoud the Great finished they all, except for the Czech Republic’s representatives went back into the hall. In other words, the people who represent EU member states, the organization that is always free with accusations of racism, anti-Semitism and whose officials have been known to accuse opponents of the Constitutional Lisbon Treaty of wanting another Holocaust, still cannot see what is wrong with the whole conference.

Let me try and explain. The idea is jaw-jaw is better than war-war is true up to a point as Churchill himself would have been the first to agree. In actual fact, the alternative to a highly offensive and expensive UN conference, dominated by states who would not recognize the concepts of freedom and human rights if they got up and bit them on the ankle is not war with them. It is merely not having one of those highly offensive etc conferences.

During the phone-in programme on the BBC Russian Service there were the inevitable comments about the need for a dialogue, the need to meet and discuss, the need to get together to fight racism. As these came from Russians who live in a country where racism is rife even officially, never mind at street level one could have disregarded all the comments except for the fact that those who called genuinely believed that they were contributing important ideas. There is still a serious dislocation between Russians knowing and understanding the reality of their own country. Seventy years of Communism have left an indelible mark.

The response to all those well-meaning statements is clear. There is no dialogue with people who do not want to talk. The Iranian President demonstrated quite clearly in his response to President Obama’s friendly communication that he is not interested in anything but enmity. One can’t blame him. There is an election coming up in Iran and the domestic situation is parlous with unemployment still running at 25 per cent and various riots up and down the country, always brutally put down. He needs to blame somebody and Israel together with the Great Satan will have to do.

Secondly, racism is to be fought in separate countries. No international conference, no carefully worded statement, no photo line-up has ever achieved anything. As I pointed out, you might get something useful from an international agreement after a war but you need to have the war first.

An international conference that is dominated by countries like Libya, Iran and Russia is unlikely to come up with any ideas that have to do with the betterment of any human being’s existence. In fact, they might all, very profitably start thinking about the severe problems within their own countries.

In other words, another tranzi-fest, funded by that patient milch-cow, the Western taxpayer, will solve no problems and is likely to add a few to all our lives. Which bit of that do our diplomatic representatives find hard to understand?

For those who are interested, Roger L. Simon has filed a few reports from Geneva.

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