Politics & Policy

Genocide Awaits Us

The U.N. and Iran.

On this anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, the United Nations is making a show of its concern for genocide by holding the “International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.” Nothing could be further from reality. In fact, the U.N. provides sustenance for the Iranian genocidal threat, which is directed at Israel now, and America next.

“They vanished from the Earth…” is how Armenian-French singer Charles Aznavour described the Armenian genocide, in which one and a half million people are reported to have died at the hands of Turkish authorities beginning in 1915. There was no U.N. then, and no U.N. resolution addressing the Armenian genocide ever since. Is it simply over? It is for Hrant Dink, the editor of Turkey’s main Armenian-language newspaper, who questioned Turkey’s continuing silence about the genocide and was shot dead in Istanbul last week.

It is also over for the 200,000 men, women, and children whom the U.N. failed in Bosnia-Herzegovina starting in 1992. It is over for the 800,000 that the U.N. abandoned in Rwanda in 1994. It is too late for the 500,000 already dead in Darfur, where thousands more perish every month while the U.N. continues to ruminate.

“The women fell as well, and the babies they tended, left to die, left to cry, all condemned by their birth” — the powerful words of Aznavour seek to wake us from our slumber. Instead, we watch the travesty of a United Nations driven by an expansionist greed. Claiming more every year from American taxpayers already paying 5.3 billion annually, it simultaneously provides a mouthpiece for Iranian nihilism.

Former CIA director James Woolsey recently reminded us in his testimony before the House Committee for Foreign Affairs that “the Iranian regime does not restrict itself to hideous speech,” itemizing the Americans murdered by Iran and its proxies. He warned that “Iran has now begun a Shiite-Sunni nuclear arms race in this volatile region” and that the time frame for Iranian acquisition of their chosen instrument of genocide could at any time accelerate through North Korean aid.

Newt Gingrich has also repeatedly tried to sound alarm bells, most recently at a conference in Israel last week: “Enemies are explicit in their desire to destroy us. We are sleepwalking through this… We should take our enemies at their word. Ahmadinajed is…explicit regarding his intentions…the American people need to realize that their lives are at stake…”

Where is the U.N. now, while genocide beckons and Aznavour’s words — “they fell like rain…all in vain…for no one heard their prayers” — become more haunting every day? U.N. International Atomic Energy Chief Mohamed ElBaradei, whose job it is to prevent nuclear proliferation, told the Davos crowd on January 25 that the problem is the United States and the possibility of a toughened stance against Iran. Said ElBaradei: even “talk of military action can only backfire…[because] this strengthens the hands of those in Iran who say ‘let’s develop a bomb to protect ourselves.’” This is the U.N. theater of the absurd. Unprovoked, Iran threatens to destroy our way of life, but if we react by promising to protect ourselves, we justify the enemies’ lie that it is acting in self-defense.

Astonishingly, though this performance may be our last, we are poised to buy yet another ticket. Senator Coburn is conducting a lonely battle to deny the latest U.N. grab for another fistful of American dollars, this time to finance the expansion of U.N. headquarters in New York City. The renovation costs will be in the neighborhood of two billion dollars — many times the amount that developer Donald Trump says can be justified.

Most disturbingly, however, we are not only paying for the architect of our intended demise; we are acting as its p.r. firm. President Bush told the nation in his State of the Union Address “The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.” Actually, the U.N. sanctions regime is a pathetic fig leaf — the Russian and Chinese votes having been bought by gutting the original U.S. resolution — and the U.N. has never made it clear that Tehran will not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

More accurately, when it comes to Iran, the U.N. treads lightly and carries an even lighter stick. On Friday, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution which “condemns…any denial of the Holocaust.” It doesn’t mention Iran by name, nor contain the word “Jew” or “anti-semitism” — any one of which would certainly have made its adoption much more difficult, if not impossible. The resolution was cosponsored by 103 U.N. states. That leaves 89 — including every Arab state — refusing to cosponsor. It also leaves the U.N.’s lead human-rights agency, the Human Rights Council, dedicated to the continuing demonization and demise of the Jewish state. And it stands side-by-side with the U.N. Department of Public Information opening an exhibit today entitled “The Holocaust against the Roma and Sinti.” Despite this being only the second anniversary of the U.N. day of commemoration, the U.N. has already used the undoubted suffering of others — deserving of attention — as a backdoor to deny the uniqueness of the Holocaust as the unparalleled annihilation of six million Jews.

As www.EYEontheUN.org has documented, in 2006 the U.N. system condemned Israel for violating human rights more than any other country on earth. At fourth place in the list of countries subject to most U.N. human-rights condemnation in 2006 is the United States. In the past year, the U.N condemned the United States for human-rights violations more frequently than it did Iran. This is the U.N. siren call luring us ever closer towards Iranian nuclear armament.

“In agony and fright, with courage on their faces, they went in to the night, that waits for every man.” Will we too vanish from the earth? For genocide awaits us if we wait for the U.N.

Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and at Touro College Law Center. She is also editor of www.EyeontheUN.org.

Anne Bayefsky — Professor A.F. Bayefsky, B.A., M.A., LL.B., M.Litt. (Oxon.), is a Professor at York University, Toronto, Canada, and a Barrister and Solicitor, Ontario Bar. She is also an Adjunct Professor at ...


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