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Word to the Wise: Beware the Green New Deal!

By Geraldine Perry | Dissident Voice | April 4, 2019

Seemingly overnight, the Green New Deal has arrived. Given the sorry state of our environment, what possible objections could there be? In this case, plenty – and they all trace back to the Green New Deal’s deeply complex and surreptitious ties to UN Agenda 21.

Those who claim that Agenda 21 amounts to little more than a right-wing rant or is somehow anti-Semitic are at best seriously misinformed. Those who buy into the carefully crafted jargon of Sustainable Development, Smart Growth, Redevelopment and the Green New Deal are similarly misinformed and need to know that the environmental movement has in fact been highjacked by the Agenda 21 plan.

First, Some Background

Journalist Thomas L. Friedman is sometimes credited with being the original source for the term “Green New Deal” because in two 2007 articles, in the New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, Friedman connected FDR’s “New Deal” to a new “green” economy, suggesting that this might provide an economic stimulus program that could address economic inequality and climate change at the same time. Almost prophetically, Friedman also argued in earlier writings that an “iron fist inside a velvet glove” would be needed to maintain the coming new world order.

The same year the Friedman articles came out the Green New Deal Group was formed. By July of 2008 this group came out with its Green New Deal Report which was originally published by the New Economics Foundation. A few months later, in October of 2008, Adam Steiner, who was Executive Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNEP), unveiled the Global Green New Deal Initiative, the objective of which was to rescue the failing global economy by creating jobs in “green” industries, “funded” of course by the big banks.

Then, following the example set by the European Greens in 2006, the United States Green Party adopted a Green New Deal platform in 2010. To its everlasting credit, the U.S. Green Party has also placed monetary reform as one of its core planks, ending the banking system’s privilege of creating the nation’s money (as credit or debt) and returning the monetary privilege to the government where it belongs, without which reform no other reforms are possible. Other political parties would do well to adopt this most important objective, since this is the true heart of “populism” historically. However, the vast bulk of the Green Party’s Green New Deal platform bears a marked (and troubling) resemblance to the Green New Deal as set out through the United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development program.

Most recently, a twenty-nine-year-old freshman Congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has overnight managed to not only make national headlines but garner the full attention of Congress, a feat never before accomplished by one so young and so soon in office. It was her promotion of the Green New Deal that seems to have garnered her such sudden fame. But the so-called legislation she has been promoting is in reality a “draft text” that calls for a proposed addendum for House Rules: it changes the rules and creates a new process for the allocation of power, all while echoing almost verbatim United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As a recent article in Technocracy News says, with a complete version of AOC’s “bill” included: “Its scope and mandate for legislative authority amounts to a radical grant of power to Washington over Americans’ lives, homes, businesses, travel, banking, and more.” Dr. Naomi Wolf confirms by going over the document point by point.

The Green New Deal is in fact a part of a global sustainable development program that was officially rolled out at the “Earth Summit” held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Out of that summit came Agenda 21 Earth Summit: The United Nations Program of Action from Rio, a 354-page document that can be purchased at online book retailers or downloaded in pdf format from the UN website.

Agenda 21 has been updated to include Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its offshoot the Global Green New Deal which is a program that was commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program or UNEP for short, mentioned above. A map and outline of “partners” reveals just how deeply embedded in global thinking this program has become. Effectively, Agenda 21 provides the template while Agenda 2030 gives the goals for achieving “sustainable development”.

Inasmuch as Sustainable Goal 13 is about Climate Action, it is worth noting that in 2009 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set up an unelected international climate regime with authority to dictate land use, relocate “human settlements” and directly intervene in the financial, economic, health care, education, tax and environmental affairs of all nations signing the treaty. One must wonder why upwards of $100 billion has been spent on promotion of the current global warming model yet next to no discussion is devoted to natural forcing agents such as solar and cosmic radiation, volcanoes, clouds, water vapor, and grand solar minimums – even though these have been well documented in the scientific literature to have significant impact on climate. Nor have funds been committed to disseminating information about military weather warfare or other long standing geoengineering projects and their effect on climate. Yet at least five geoengineering Solar Radiation advocates co-authored the section covering contrails in the 2007 IPCC report.

As uncovered by prominent activist Rosa Koire, Sustainable Development was originally created and defined by the United Nations in 1987. President George Herbert Walker Bush, along with leaders from 178 other nations, signed the “Action Plan” unveiled at Rio in 1992.

This plan is anchored by the political philosophy of Communitarianism which effectively establishes a new legal system used by regional and local governments affiliated with the emerging global government, circumventing national law via a program of “balancing.” Implemented by a relatively small self-appointed group of decision-makers and influencers who achieve “consensus” among themselves rather than through the public voting process, this philosophy holds that the individual’s rights are a threat to the global community. In practice, the consistent rallying cry “for the greater good” is defined any way that suits those in power.

Within six months of his election in 1992, former President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order #12852 thus creating the President’s Council on Sustainable Development or PCSD. This Council ran for six years, 1993-1999. Its members included Cabinet Secretaries for Transportation, Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, Energy, Interior, and Defense. CEO’s of various businesses, such as Enron, Pacific Gas & Electric, BP Amoco, Dow Chemical and others also were included, as were environmental organizations, including the National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, World Resources Institute, the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund among others.

To further facilitate the transition, Clinton awarded the American Planning Association a multi-million dollar grant to write a land use legislative blueprint for every municipality in the U.S. Completed in 2002, this blueprint is entitled Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook with Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. As Koire tells us, this guidebook is being used in every university, college and government planning office in the nation. And as part of the Common Core program for the younger set, former Vice President Al Gore helped write Rescue Mission Planet Earth: A Children’s Edition of Agenda 21.

In 2012 “H Concurrent Resolution 353” was discussed by the U.S. Congress. A short, 8 minute video clip shows various members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rising in support of H CON Res 353, which “expressed the sense of the Congress that the U.S. should take a strong leadership role in implementing the decisions made at the Rio Earth Summit by developing a national strategy to install Agenda 21 and other Earth Summit agreements through domestic and foreign policy.”

As Koire relates, the clear goal of these initiatives was, and is, to change public policy to bring it into alignment with the Agenda 21 plan.

Implementation and Implications

Agenda 21 is a global plan that is to be implemented locally via “soft law”. Despite the fact that this agenda would have far reaching material impact on each and every one of us, the U.S. citizenry has not been given the opportunity to study or vote on any of the various facets of Agenda 21. Moreover, the vast majority, out of deep concern for the planet, are effectively neutralized by the jargon, buzz words and slogans with purposely obscure definitions, all of which are dreamt up by the best PR firms money can buy. Perhaps even worse, as Rosa Koire, who has experienced negative ramifications in her Santa Rosa community, writes in Behind the Green Mask :

The irony is that UN Agenda 21 mandates ‘more’ citizen involvement but does it by creating so many boards, commissions, regional agencies, non-profits, meetings and programs that it is impossible to stay on top of what is happening. We’re too burned out to fight more than one issue at a time. So we become, necessarily, more fragmented, less of a neighborhood, exhausted and isolated because we can’t keep up. The so-called citizen involvement is dictated by phony neighborhood groups with paid lobbyists and facilitators running them. The boards and commissions are chosen based on ‘team players’ or shills selected to push through an end game by running over the few actual unconnected citizens. These groups are the ‘prescreening groups’ for candidates for public office. THEY are the ones who get donations at election time. It’s doubtful that anyone will get on the ballot who doesn’t play ball.

There were 17 official sustainable development goals (or SDGs) for the new 2030 Agenda that was universally adopted by nations around the world at the United Nations plenary meeting in New York on September 25, 2015. These SDGs do not replace Agenda 21. The 2030 Agenda clearly states, “We reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”

A short article, titled “Agenda 2030 Translator: How to Read the UN’s New Sustainable Development Goals,” unveils some of the actual consequences of the Agenda. To start you off, Goal 1 as stated: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere. Goal 1 as translated: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances. Goal 2 as stated: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Goal 2 as translated: GMO. And so on.

Another article titled simply Agenda 21 shows how big “S” Sustainable Development will affect the farmer:

If you own livestock and they can drink from a creek, then they want you to permanently fence off your own land to prevent any upset of potential fish habitat… Agenda 21 focuses on the goal of eliminating meat consumption and using pastures to grow wheat, corn and soy for human consumption. To get us to comply, we’re told in endless propaganda campaigns that meat is dangerous and the vegan lifestyle is the only healthy alternative… “Grazing livestock” is listed as “unsustainable” in the UN’s Global Biodiversity Assessment Report. In the same document, agriculture and private property are listed as “unsustainable.” All the private property and water rights infringements we have been seeing come directly out of the Sustainable Development programs. They come in a wide variety of names to throw people off, such as Comprehensive Planning, Growth Management, Smart Growth, and so forth.

The local government implementation of Agenda 21 was prepared by ICLEI (which stands for International Council for Local Environment Initiatives) for the Earth Council’s Rio+5 Forum held April 13–19, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; for the 5th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and for the UN General Assembly’s “Earth Summit+5” Special Session. Out of this came The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide put out by ICLEI and the United Nations.

Resilient Cities are part of ICLEI. According to its website the organization was founded in 2010 by ICLEI (now known as Local Governments for Sustainability), the affiliated World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the similarly affiliated City of Bonn, Germany. Resilient Cities is billed as the first forum on cities and adaptation to climate change. In 2012 Resilient Cities was renamed as Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation.

Smart Growth, Smart Cities and 5G

Smart Growth and Smart Cities are also part of the “sustainability” plan as evidenced by their lofty sounding goals which somehow fail to look at “new” energy or even non-industrial hemp as a soil-rebuilding, environment-friendly way to provide a sizable portion of the nation’s energy needs; which fail to understand the crucial importance of restoring carbon-rich humus to the soil via holistic livestock management and other forms of regenerative agriculture; which somehow rely on the big banks and a flotilla of “investors” rather than doing the obvious by reforming the nation’s monetary system; and which, as Koire and others correctly assert, can only lead to totalitarianism in the end.

The explosive, worldwide rollout of 5G networks “makes Smart Cities a reality” despite recognized and significant associated health risks. By September of 2018, thanks to an FCC ruling and carrier lobbying, twenty states, seemingly under cover of night, had already passed legislation to strip their cities of the power to regulate 5G rollouts. The FCC ruling in particular has sparked considerable push back, because not only will the FCC’s move force taxpayers to subsidize industry access to publicly owned infrastructure but, as chief information officer for New York City Samir Saini declared: “the FCC is threatening the public’s right to control public property, and dozens of cities, states, and towns from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska to Anchorage, Alaska are ready to defend that right on behalf of our residents and taxpayers.”

On top of all this we now find that the “tsunami” of data collection enabled by 5G could consume one fifth of global electricity by 2025. As most know, wind and solar (both of which also have significant environmental and land use problems) just won’t cut it, and especially so with 5G.

An Endless Web of Carefully Branded Commissions, Boards, Agencies and Programs

Other groups and organizations tied to Agenda 21 continue to proliferate. These organizations include those that formulate “Climate Action Plans” now being adopted by local communities worldwide. The Center for Climate Solutions is one such organization and the California based Institute for local Government is another. You can google your state, city or county plus “Climate Action Plan and Resilient Plan” to learn more about how this is taking place in your own community. You can bet that none of them include alternative forms of “new” energy (including soil building non-industrial hemp) or regenerative (carbon-sequestering) agriculture which can only be properly practiced by small producers.

An offshoot of the Regional Planning Association is America 2050 whose focus is on planning for the emergence of mega-regions, or high density urban areas, along with infrastructure development, with the aim of “shaping the infrastructure investment plan” and “providing leadership on a broad range of transportation, sustainability, and economic-development issues impacting America’s growth in the 21st century.” FEMA feeds into the development of megaregions through its Hazard Mitigation Program through which it, as well as HUD, provide grants to assist, at taxpayer expense, state and local communities with the purchase of properties located in high fire risk, high flood risk, high erosion risk, high mudslide risk areas.

“Redevelopment” is another important and mis-leading buzzword, as it in truth represents an unknown government which among other things uses eminent domain for private gain, not the “greater good” despite claims to the contrary. As Koire writes in her book Behind the Green Mask :

A little 40 page book titled Redevelopment: The Unknown Government put out by the California Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform lays out the ugly truth with charts, cartoons and hard data … Supported by powerful lobbyist groups fronting bond brokers, lawyers, and debt consultants, the trend of designating more and more redevelopment areas is also supported by government agency staff members and private businesses that profit from redevelopment. Diverting property taxes to these bloodsuckers is big business: by 2006 redevelopment agencies statewide (in California) had amassed $81 billion in bonded indebtedness, a figure that is doubling every 10 years. And don’t think that this is only in California – it’s in nearly every city and county in the United States. Because the agencies can sell bonded debt without voter approval (unlike school boards) and the city’s general fund is responsible for any over-extended debt, these are cash cows for bond brokerage firms.

Other organizations tasked with promoting “sustainable development” and its corollary the “Green New Deal” include the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development or OECD, and the World Resources Institute.

Food Production and Food Choice

The World Resource Institute recently published Creating a Sustainable Food Future which was produced “in partnership with the World Bank, UN Environment (UNEP), UN Development Programme and the French agricultural research agencies CIRAD and INRA.” On its publication announcement page, it asks whether we will be able to produce enough food sustainably to feed the estimated 10 billion people that will exist on the planet by 2015.

As explained in fair detail in my book Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy the answer is a resounding yes! Contrary to Agenda 21 fears, we will be able to sustainably feed, conservatively, 20 to 30 billion people worldwide if we change the way we do agriculture, which MUST include holistically managed livestock. In so doing we will dramatically reduce the amount of land now devoted to industrial agricultural systems and the amount of pollution generated by such systems – all while putting carbon back in the soil where it is needed to sustain life on this planet.

At first glance the above-mentioned World Resource report also seems to agree, as indicated by this 2018 headline in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled “New Report Urges Drastic Changes in Food Production and Consumption”. The article goes on to summarize the report’s version of “sustainability”:

The core recommendations of the 96-page report line up with many of the innovations that are already happening, sometimes at a small scale, at many Bay Area farms, food companies and tech startups. That includes the development of plant-based meat substitutes, companies and local governments that focus on reducing food waste, and farms that are making changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions… The report calls on governments to fund research and development and to provide “flexible regulations” for new technology such as plant-based meat substitutes and innovations in plant breeding like genetic editing… Individuals should make changes to their diets, too, the authors say, especially in wealthy countries like the United States where the majority of animal-based foods are eaten … A lot of the technological advances the report urges are happening in the Bay Area. The region has become a global hub for the creation of plant-based meat substitutions, including those made by Impossible Foods of Redwood City… A new batch of companies is developing lab-grown or “cultured” meat that will be made of chicken, beef or fish tissue from cells but won’t require raising or killing animals.

Green Grabbing, The Best Way to Save Nature Is to Sell It

The 1992 Rio Earth Summit spawned a series of world summits on sustainable development sponsored by the UN. In 2012 the 20th anniversary of the Rio summit was dubbed Rio + 20. Its focus was the Green Economy with the specific purpose of ushering in global economic growth by putting market values on environmental services and environmentally-friendly production and consumption. This plan led to the term “green grabbing” which refers to the appropriation of land and resources – purportedly for environmental ends. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that, as this article in Bloomberg Online suggests, Wall Street Is More Than Willing to Fund the Green New Deal.

Some illustrative excerpts which were taken from a 2012 article titled Green Grabbing Our Future at Rio + 20, appeared in my book Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy. The article was originally posted on the Food First website, and was written by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First. Some excerpts:

The Rio process itself has been steadily privatized under the weight of 20 years of neoliberal globalization. As the global contradictions between economy and environment have intensified, nature itself is becoming a source of profit… What was once a state-oriented, regulatory framework has morphed into a market-based, corporate initiative.

The corporate trend to privatize and commercialize ecosystem services and resources in the name of environmental protection is known as “green grabbing” as these schemes can result in local communities losing resource rights… It is the favored approach of the big conservation organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who have thus guaranteed their place at the Rio+20 negotiating table alongside neoliberal governments and powerful multinational business interests.

The Green Economy concept that determines the content of all submissions [for the Zero draft report] was itself created by a group led by Pavan Sukhdev a former senior banker from Deutsche Bank and head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative. This is a reflection of a long trend in partnering between the CBD, big environmental organizations and corporate representatives i.e. the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the International Chamber of Commerce, CI, WWF, IUCN etc.

The dubious justification for bringing nature to Wall Street—where credits and shares of ecosystem services, biodiversity derivatives, avoided emissions and even wildlife species banking can be chopped up, repackaged and resold along with debt, mortgages, hedge funds and the like—is that the best way to save nature is to sell it. In doing so, we are told, we will grow the economy and this in turn will benefit the poor, thus ending poverty and hunger.”

Summing It Up

In practical terms, Agenda 21 is a global plan implemented locally through ICLEI (and other bodies and organs) using “soft law”. The following excerpts from an article titled “UN’s Agenda 21Targets Your Mayor” provide a useful example of how local implementation occurs:

From June 1 through 5, 2005, the city of San Francisco was the site of an international conference called “World Environment Day.” But the agenda of this conference was much bigger than just another hippy dance in the park. This meeting of the global elite had a specific target and an agenda with teeth. The goal was the full implementation of the UN’s Agenda 21 policy called Sustainable Development, a ruling principle for top-down control of every aspect of our lives – from food, to health care, to community development, and beyond. This time, the target audience is our nation’s mayors. The UN’s new tactic, on full display at this conference, is to ignore federal and state governments and go straight to the roots of American society. Think globally – act locally.

Here’s a quick look at a few of the 21 agenda actions called for. Under the topic of energy, action item number one calls for mayors to implement a policy to increase the use of “renewable” energy by 10% within seven years. Renewable energy includes solar and wind power.

Not stated in the UN documents is the fact that in order to meet the goal, a community would have to reserve thousands of acres of land to set up expensive solar panels or even more land for wind mills. Consider that it takes a current 50-megawatt gas-fired generating plant about 2-5 acres of land to produce its power. Yet to create that same amount of power through the use of solar panels would require at least 1,000 acres. Using wind mills to generate 50 megawatts would require over 4,000 acres of land, while chopping up birds and creating a deafening roar. The cost of such “alternative” energy to the community would be vastly prohibitive. Yet, such unworkable ideas are the environmentally-correct orders of the day that the mayors are being urged to follow.”

Rosa Koire, mentioned earlier, sums up the end game on her website Democrats Against Agenda 21:

The problem that almost no one sees is that UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all information, all energy, and all human beings in the world. Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is about Inventory and Control!

Beware Agenda 21 and its Green New Deal!

Geraldine Perry is the co-author of The Two Faces of Money and author of Climate Change, Land Use and Monetary Policy: The New Trifecta.

April 6, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

US denies visa to ICC chief prosecutor, unhappy with her probing American war crimes in Afghanistan

RT | April 5, 2019

Washington has annulled the entry visa of Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, after the State Department vowed to shield Americans from “unjust prosecutions” of possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

“We can confirm that the US authorities have revoked the prosecutor’s visa for entry into the US,” Bensouda’s office told Reuters in an email. However, the move should not restrict her travels to the UN headquarters in New York City.

Less than a month ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear that the US would not allow Americans to live in “fear of unjust prosecutions” just because thousands of citizens were sent to “defend” their country on the other side of the globe, some 7,000 miles away.

“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a visa or that you will be permitted to enter the United States,” he warned in mid-March.

Over the last two years, the Gambian lawyer has been probing US-led war crimes in Afghanistan but has not yet opened a formal investigation into alleged atrocities conducted over the last 18 years. For now, the preliminary inquiry remains in Pre-Trial Chamber, even though Bensouda found a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

Only the American military system can judge the servicemen, Pompeo said, warning the ICC to drop their inquiry. “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change course,” Pompeo warned.

The ICC is investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by various parties in the protracted conflict, including US forces, as detailed in a 2016 report. The part concerning unidentified members of the US military and intelligence relates to dozens of cases in 2003-2004, and alleged crimes like torture, cruel treatment, and sexual assault.

The ICC says those crimes may have been committed in furtherance of US policy in the freshly occupied country, rather than a set of individual unrelated atrocities. In light of this, Washington’s resistance to the probe may be more than a sign of principled rejection of any international authority over US nationals.

US courts have not been very forthcoming in prosecuting Americans for such crimes. A notable exception is the case of retired US Army Ranger turned CIA civilian contractor David Passaro. Over two nights in 2003, he tortured to death an Afghan man named Abdul Wali, who turned himself in after being accused of taking part in a rocket attack on a US base.

Passaro was sentenced to serve eight years and four months in prison, and later said he was a scapegoat for the US government, which wanted to show the public that it was holding the CIA accountable in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Read more:

International court judge resigns, citing ‘shocking’ interference from ‘above the law’ US

 

April 5, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

UN body demands Israel address discrimination against non-Jewish citizens

MEMO | April 2, 2019

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) “released late last week a list of key issues relating to Bedouin citizens of Israel in the Negev/Naqab region and discrimination against non-Jewish citizens” to which Israel is obliged to respond.

According to Adalah, the Committee asked Israel to provide information on a variety of issues pertaining to institutionalised discrimination, including “steps taken to fully respect rights of the Arab-Bedouin people to their traditional and ancestral lands”.

The Committee is also concerned to find out what “assessments, if any, which Israel carried out on impact of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People on the non-Jewish population and on their enjoyment of the Covenant rights, particularly the right to self-determination, right to non-discrimination and cultural rights.”

The UN Committee is also demanding answers from Israeli authorities regarding “concerns raised regarding the Law that it may exacerbate the existing ethnic segregation and lead to policies and budget allocation that may further disadvantage the non-Jewish population.”

Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany stated: “We are happy to have convinced the Committee to focus on the forced displacement of the Bedouin community as one of the key concerns requiring further clarification from Israel.”

“Although the Prawer Plan for mass displacement of the Bedouin was frozen in 2013, Israel is now using other mechanisms to forcefully displace Bedouin communities. The past two years, for example, have seen a huge increase in Israeli demolitions of Bedouin homes”, she added.

“Israel has also just revealed a plan to forcefully displace 36,000 Bedouin citizens to make way for massive ‘development’ projects to be built on top of their homes and villages. All these practices are expected to receive backing from the Jewish Nation-State Law.”

April 2, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

UN and EU statements reveal their overt support for Israel

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 26, 2019

Predictably, the UN’s first remarks about Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip focused more on a single rocket reaching north of Tel Aviv than the Zionist state’s ongoing colonial violence against Palestinian civilians and its destruction of what remains of the enclave. Likewise, the Palestinian people themselves will be of no concern to the international body unless there is a rising death toll and images of severely wounded people splashed across social media.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we are told, is “gravely concerned” and, again predictably, has asked for maximum restraint from “both sides”. However, his “concern” was framed thus: “Today’s firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel is a serious and unacceptable violation.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, echoed the statement from Guterres in a tweet which deplored the firing of a rocket as “absolutely unacceptable”. So far, Mladenov has not updated his concerns to describe the shelling of Gaza by Israel in the same terms, despite its bombs inflicting infinitely more damage. The EU has followed suit, emphasising its “fundamental commitment to the security of Israel.” The lives and property of Palestinians mean nothing to such people.

Even as a ceasefire was purportedly reached, Israel continued targeting the densely-populated enclave and the Gaza border was declared to be a closed military zone. It is more than likely that international institutions are waiting for further violations before they order pointless inquiries and studies, and issue conclusions and recommendations, all the while forcing Palestinians into diplomatic irrelevance by allowing Israel to exacerbate the humanitarian situation which has conveniently erased the political obligation to end colonisation.

Since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Israel has targeted Gaza repeatedly to the point that it has now normalised air strikes and the international community has accommodated its violence and rights violations by refusing to respond and react accordingly. Both Israel and international institutions, however, need a point of reference to justify such impunity. A rocket, despite its relative insignificance, when compared with Israeli air strikes and shelling, is enough to prompt official statements that start off with concern and end with declaring the priority of Israel’s security over Palestinian lives.

An unnamed diplomatic source referred to by Israel National News has dismissed the possibility of a large-scale operation and described the reinforcements along Gaza’s nominal border as “deterrents”. Air strikes, however, are set to continue.

In line with the current General Election frenzy in Israel, several ministers and candidates, including former Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, have requested further action. Gantz described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who also holds the defence portfolio — as having “lost his grip on security”, while Economy Minister Eli Cohen called for targeted assassinations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. All this in retaliation for a rocket, as Israel would have the rest of the world believe.

As an aggressive occupier, though, Israel cannot define its actions as “retaliation” and “self-defence”. It is an instigator and has committed war crimes ever since its creation on Palestinian land in 1948.

Why, we must ask, are the UN and the EU intent on removing the distinction between possible war crimes and security when it comes to Israel? Both are trying to frame their political intent as a response to the rocket which landed north of Tel Aviv, yet the UN and the EU have clearly planned strategically for the moments when they can declare their allegiance and support for Israel without having to maintain an illusion of concern for human rights. Yet another opportunity for them to reveal their overt support for the colonial-occupation state arrived on Monday.

 

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

UN Votes To Adopt Gaza HRC Report

IMEMC News & Agencies – March 23, 2019

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to adopt a report accusing Israel of War Crimes committed against civilians during Gaza demonstrations.

The report was adopted with 23 votes in favor, 8 against and 15 abstentions. Despite the statements of UK foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the UK abstained from voting against the adoption of the report.

The UN report investigated the killings of 189 demonstrators, including 35 children, in Gaza, between the 30th of March and the 31st of December, 2018. The report concluded that Israel had committed serious violations of international law.

The report was instantly denounced as “biased” and “anti-Semitic” by Israel and its closest allies, according to Days of Palestine.

However, despite the slanderous comments against the UN by Israel, the report may now be taken to the International Criminal Court. The report calls for international arrest warrants to be handed out to the Israeli soldiers responsible, as well as individual sanctions to be applied to those guilty, for the illegal use of lethal force against unarmed demonstrators.

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Once Again, the UN has failed to Name Firms that Profit from Israel’s Illegal Settlements

By Jonathan Cook – The National – March 11, 2019

The United Nations postponed last week for the third time the publication of a blacklist of Israeli and international firms that profit directly from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

The international body had come under enormous pressure to keep the database under wraps after lobbying behind the scenes from Israel, the United States and many of the 200-plus companies that were about to be named.

UN officials have suggested they may go public with the list in a few months.

But with no progress since the UN’s Human Rights Council requested the database back in early 2016, Palestinian leaders are increasingly fearful that it has been permanently shelved.

That was exactly what Israel hoped for. When efforts were first made to publish the list in 2017, Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, warned: “We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day.”

He added that penalising the settlements was “an expression of modern antisemitism”.

Both Israel and the US pulled out of the Human Rights Council last year, claiming that Israel was being singled out.

Israel has good reason to fear greater transparency. Bad publicity would most likely drive many of these firms, a few of them household names, out of the settlements under threat of a consumer backlash and a withdrawal of investments by religious organisations and pension funds.

The UN has reportedly already warned Coca-Cola, Teva Pharmaceuticals, the defence electronics company Elbit Systems and Africa Israel Investments of their likely inclusion. Israeli telecoms and utility companies are particularly exposed because grids serving the settlements are integrated with those in Israel.

There is an added danger that the firms might be vulnerable to prosecutions, should the International Criminal Court at The Hague eventually open an investigation into whether the settlements constitute a war crime, as the Palestinian leadership has demanded.

The exodus of these firms from the West Bank would, in turn, make it much harder for Israel to sustain its colonies on stolen Palestinian land. As a result, efforts to advance a Palestinian state would be strengthened.

Many of the settlements – contrary to widely held impressions of them – have grown into large towns. Their inhabitants expect all the comforts of modern life, from local bank branches to fast-food restaurants and high-street clothing chains.

Nowadays, a significant proportion of Israel’s 750,000 settlers barely understand that their communities violate international law.

The settlements are also gradually being integrated into the global economy, as was highlighted by a row late last year when Airbnb, an accommodation-bookings website, announced a plan to de-list properties in West Bank settlements.

The company was possibly seeking to avoid inclusion on the database, but instead it faced a severe backlash from Israel’s supporters.

This month the US state of Texas approved a ban on all contracts with Airbnb, arguing that the online company’s action was “antisemitic”.

As both sides understand, a lot hangs on the blacklist being made public.

If Israel and the US succeed, and western corporations are left free to ignore the Palestinians’ dispossession and suffering, the settlements will sink their roots even deeper into the West Bank. Israel’s occupation will become ever more irreversible, and the prospect of a Palestinian state ever more distant.

A 2013 report on the ties between big business and the settlements noted the impact on the rights of Palestinians was “pervasive and devastating”.

Sadly, the UN leadership’s cowardice on what should be a straightforward matter – the settlements violate international law, and firms should not assist in such criminal enterprises – is part of a pattern.

Repeatedly, Israel has exerted great pressure on the UN to keep its army off a “shame list” of serious violators of children’s rights. Israel even avoided a listing in 2015 following its 50-day attack on Gaza the previous year, which left more than 500 Palestinian children dead. Dozens of armies and militias are named each year.

The Hague court has also been dragging its feet for years over whether to open a proper war crimes investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza, as well as the settlements.

The battle to hold Israel to account is likely to rage again this year, after the publication last month of a damning report by UN legal experts into the killing of Palestinian protesters at Gaza’s perimeter fence by Israeli snipers.

Conditions for Gaza’s two million Palestinians have grown dire since Israel imposed a blockade, preventing movement of goods and people, more than a decade ago.

The UN report found that nearly all of those killed by the snipers – 154 out of 183 – were unarmed. Some 35 Palestinian children were among the dead, and of the 6,000 wounded more than 900 were minors. Other casualties included journalists, medical personnel and people with disabilities.

The legal experts concluded that there was evidence of war crimes. Any identifiable commanders and snipers, it added, should face arrest if they visited UN member states.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, dismissed the report as “lies” born out of “an obsessive hatred of Israel”.

Certainly, it has caused few ripples in western capitals. Britain’s opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was a lone voice in calling for an arms embargo on Israel in response.

It is this Israeli exceptionalism that is so striking. The more violent Israel becomes towards the Palestinians and the more intransigent in rejecting peace, the less pressure is exerted upon it.

Not only does Israel continue to enjoy generous financial, military and diplomatic support from the US and Europe, both are working ever harder to silence criticisms of its actions by their own citizens.

As the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement grows larger, western capitals have casually thrown aside commitments to free speech in a bid to crush it.

France has already criminalised support for a boycott of Israel, and its president Emmanuel Macron recently proposed making it illegal to criticise Zionism, the ideology that underpins Israel’s rule over Palestinians.

More than two dozen US states have passed anti-BDS legislation, denying companies and individual contractors dealing with the government of that particular state the right to boycott Israel. In every case, Israel is the only country protected by these laws. Last month, the US Senate passed a bill that adds federal weight to this state-level campaign of intimidation.

The hypocrisy of these states – urging peace in the region while doing their best to subvert it – is clear. Now the danger is that UN leaders will join them.

March 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Delaying publication of the settlement blacklist exposes the UN’s false narratives on human rights

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 7, 2019

The UN is openly flaunting its priorities and, sadly, human rights are far from a major concern for the international organisation. Since its creation post-World War Two, and having established itself as the platform which determines what constitutes a human rights violation and which countries can be considered as perpetrators, several trends have emerged within the UN which reduces the seriousness of people being deprived of their legitimate rights.

This has been achieved by creating ample space for reports on human rights violations to be disseminated, while refusing to insist upon accountability and justice. Ironically, the increasing awareness regarding human rights violations is actually creating widespread impunity, as the UN promotes itself as a platform for reporting about violations while intentionally failing to take action.

Last month, for example, a UN report said that Israel “may have” committed war crimes against Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return demonstrations; it was publicised heavily, despite a predictable outcome. Israel will not be held accountable and those celebrating the UN’s recognition of Israel having possibly committed war crimes will not be vindicated by a thorough follow-up and prosecution. Another wave of silence will descend until the UN issues another report that reaches the same conclusion. We will never see an international court having the opportunity to test the evidence from both sides to judge whether “may have” is to become “has”, and appropriate action is to be taken.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has delayed the publication of a report exposing companies and institutions that do business with Israeli settlements due to “factual complexity”. According to Bachelet, “Further consideration is necessary to fully respond to the [human rights] council’s request.”

In response to Bachelet’s decision, PLO Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi noted, “The issue of corporate responsibility to respect human rights is neither a novelty nor an anomaly in the rules-based international system.”

Publishing the UN blacklist of companies had already been delayed by Bachelet’s predecessor in 2017. Israel has lobbied extensively for the report to remain unpublished, fearing the repercussions if firms listed in the report were to be targeted by boycotts.

The Times of Israel described the report as “highly controversial”, yet neither Israel nor its apologists deem colonialism and its nefarious activities to be controversial, which is the least that can be said about the shocking level of violence unleashed by the Israelis on Palestine and the Palestinians. The truth is that there is nothing at all “controversial” about publishing a report detailing how companies and colonialism thrive upon human rights violations, unless you have something to hide.

What is controversial, though, is Bachelet’s decision to delay publication. The former President of Chile is no stranger to controversy when it comes to her country’s human rights record, despite her own suffering at the hands of the Pinochet dictatorship. The application of the anti-terror laws to the indigenous Mapuche communities was most widespread during her two terms of office. As UN High Commissioner, she also failed to voice any substantive statement over the murder of Mapuche youth Camilo Catrillanca, killed on his own land by a special force known as the Comando Jungla.

Israel might find it has an ally at the UN in Bachelet, who is clearly no novice when it comes to the targeting of indigenous populations. Her expression of “regret” at Israel’s dismissal of the UN report documenting Israel’s use of violence at the Great March of Return protests is meaningless.

When it comes to human rights violations, rhetoric stands alone, especially when it comes to premeditated violence. There is no other institution like the UN that can create a spectacle out of violence and human rights rhetoric which fuels international attention, knowing full well that any reactions — any expressions of “regret” — will be temporary and have no effect.

The blacklist is another matter altogether. Bachelet is contributing to the impunity desired by Israel in order to retain its economic benefits from the occupation of Palestine. Settlements and human rights violations are an acceptable rhetorical subject, whereas settlements and the profits for the state therefrom as collaborators in violations are a red line for Israel and the UN. By delaying publication of this report, Bachelet is sending a clear message to the Palestinians: Israel and its business links are to be protected at all costs, even if that means sacrificing more of the indigenous Palestinian population.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four Young Palestinian Lives Snuffed Out Every Month for The Past Year at The Hands of Israeli Soldiers

By CJ Werleman | American Herald Tribune | February 28, 2019

Last Friday, Yousef a-Dava, a 15-year old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli snipers, becoming the 48th child slain in Gaza by Israeli security forces since the Great Return March began nearly 12 months ago.

“He was peacefully protesting for a better future, raising the Palestinian flag, is the Palestinian flag a weapon?” asked his grief-stricken sister, Nariman al-Daya, in an interview with Middle East Eye.

His death was every bit as gruesome as it was unjustifiably atrocious, with eyewitnesses explaining how he “tried to stand up, walk a couple more steps” before falling to the ground again, after the bullet fired by an Israeli sniper “entered Yousef’s body, exploded hear his heart, exited from his back” and injured another man who was standing behind him.

Less than one hour later he was pronounced dead at al-Shifa Hospital after an emergency operation failed to revive him.

What other democratic ally do we allow 48 unarmed children to be shot and killed for flying a flag or kite in an open field, one that is ring-fenced by high-voltage electric currents, spot-and-strike machine gun posts, armored tanks and dozens of the world’s most lethal military marksmen?

If this were happening in Poland, Spain, or Portugal, both the United States and United Nations would’ve moved quickly to impose economic sanctions, while calls to invade and bomb would be heard far louder than a mere whisper, but this is Israel, the “Middle East’s only democracy,” so the entirely erroneous propaganda tagline goes.

48 murdered children equates to four young lives snuffed out every month for the past year at the hands of Israeli soldiers, who in no way felt threatened by these now slain youngsters. Unless, of course, you think children throwing rocks from inside a cage at armored vehicles positioned hundreds of meters away on the other side fortified fences and barricades is a threat to anyone or anything, which it clearly it isn’t!

Thus these deaths are to be identified for what they truly are: the cold-blooded murder of innocent and non-threatening children.

Of course, nowhere in the Western media is this reality framed in this accurate way. Instead we are fed headlines, or rather footnotes from the likes of The New York Times that read, “15-year-old boy killed in Gaza today,” without identifying the benign circumstances that led to his death, with newspaper editors doing their very best to falsely portray flag waving and rock-throwing protesters to be on equal footing to the most sophisticated military force in the Middle East.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that if a population of 2 million predominately Jews or Christians were held in an open-air prison, which is precisely what Gaza is, and then bombed, strafed, droned, and shelled periodically, with children shot dead by snipers wearing the flag of a Muslim majority country, then there’d be no other issue the Western media would be talking about.

On Thursday, the United Nations published a report concluding, “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” adding that “some of those violations may constitute war crimes of crimes against humanity.”

“Many young person’s lives have been altered forever,” contends the United Nations Human Rights Council. “122 people have had a limb amputated since March 30 last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

Moreover, these deaths scratch only the surface of Israel’s savage war on Palestinian children. When Israel invaded Gaza in the summer of 2014, Palestinian children represented 25% of all civilians killed, with human rights groups documenting the deaths of 504 are under the age of 18.

Then there are the 500-700 Palestinian children who are detained each year in the Israeli military court system, some indefinitely, with most held and prosecuted on the charge of stone throwing.

It is in these Israeli military detention centers where some of the most egregious crimes against Palestinian children take place, with two-thirds reporting Israeli soldiers subjected them to violence and physical abuse.

Several years ago, UNICEF published a report that documented Israel’s systematic and systemic abuse of detained Palestinian children, concluding that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest to indictment of the child, the conviction and issuing of the verdict.”

The authors of the report also observed how child detainees were often arrested in the middle of the night, denied access to a lawyer or parents prior or during interrogation, denied right to remain silent, alongside credible claims Palestinian children were raped or threatened with rape or execution.

Ultimately Israel gets away with these atrocities because its violence and crimes against the Palestinian people takes place inside a media vacuum, with mainstream networks and publications giving a head glance towards the occupation and conflict only in moments where Palestinians, who are denied the right to resist Israel’s violence and illegalities peacefully, respond with violence of their own.

Until such time the world’s media and international community holds Israel accountable for its violations of international law and denial of human rights to the Palestinian people, it’ll continue to murder children as young as 2 years of age with total and complete impunity.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

UN chief launches global push against ‘hate’ speech

Press TV – February 25, 2019

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday launched a new global strategy to combat hate speech, a growing scourge he said has “poisoned” debate on crucial challenges like migration.

Guterres announced the effort, which will be led by his special adviser on genocide prevention Adama Dieng, at the UN Human Rights Council.

“Hate is moving into the mainstream – in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike,” he said in a speech at the opening of the council’s 40th session.

“Some major political parties and leaders are cutting and pasting ideas from the fringes into their own propaganda and electoral campaigns,” he added.

Governments across the world have watched with concern as racist and other hate speech have coarsened the political climate.

France and Germany have raised particular alarm in recent weeks over resurgent anti-Semitism.

Guterres targeted his rebuke at the vast campaign he said was mobilized against the UN’s Global Compact on Migration, a non-binding text that aimed to set out best practices for managing refugee and migrant flows.

“We have seen how the debate on human mobility, for example, has been poisoned with false narratives linking refugees and migrants to terrorism and scapegoating them for many of society’s ills,” Guterres said.

He condemned “an insidious campaign sought to drown the Global Compact on Migration in a flood of lies about the nature and scope of the agreement.”

The UN chief noted that the campaign “failed.”

But 17 countries either abstained or voted against the compact at the General Assembly in December and debate over the text fuelled bitter political debate especially in Europe.

Guterres said Dieng, a Senegalese lawyer and veteran UN diplomat, will “define a system-wide strategy and present a global plan of action” to combat hate speech.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Venezuela: An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General

Alfred de Zayas, human rights lawyer & UN independent expert on international order. His report on Venezuela has been buried by the MSM.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES

AND TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MICHELLE BACHELET

from Alfred de Zayas, 23 February 2019

Dear Michelle Bachelet,

Dear Antonio Guterres

As former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (2012-2018) I would like to urge you to once again make your voices heard and make concrete proposals for mediation and peace in the context of the Venezuelan crisis.

The most noble task of the United Nations is to create the conditions conducive to local, regional and international peace, to work preventively and tirelessly to avoid armed conflicts, to mediate and negotiate to reach peaceful solutions, so that all human beings can live in human dignity and in the enjoyment of the human right to peace and all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. I am particularly worried by the Orwellian corruption of language, the instrumentalization and weaponization of human rights and now even of humanitarian assistance.

I look back at my UN mission to Venezuela in November/December 2017 as a modest contribution to facilitate the cooperation between the United Nations and the Venezuelan government and to open the door to the visits of other rapporteurs. See my report to the UN Human Rights Council and the relevant recommendations.

I believe that it would be timely and necessary for both of you to issue a statement reaffirming General Assembly Resolutions 2625 and 3314 and the 23 Principles of International Order that I formulated in my 2018 report to the Human Rights Council. See para 14 of [the report].

It would be appropriate to recognize the fact that the government of Venezuela has put into effect some of the recommendations contained in my report — and in the six page confidential memo that I personally gave to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza upon my departure.

Indeed, first the Venezuelan government released 80 detainees — including Roberto Picón and 23 others whose release I had specifically requested — that was on 23 December 2017, followed by other releases in the course of 2018. Alas, there has been practically no information about this in the mainstream media, although it is easily accessible in the internet. See also the comments of Venezuela on my report.

In particular paragraph 46(xvi):

As a result of this on 23 December 2017, 80 people arrested for acts of violence during the protests in the country were released; and on 1 June 2018, 39 more people were released.

And paragraph 46(xviii):

In this regard, the Venezuelan Government values the willingness and disposition of the Independent Expert, who was pleased to inform the competent authorities of the requests he received from some relatives of the persons deprived of their liberty. His recommendations were accepted.

Shortly after my visit Venezuelan authorities met with the UN agencies and made additional cooperation accords, thanks to the valuable efforts Peter Grohmann, the UNDP representative in Caracas.

Now the government of Venezuela has formally asked the United Nations for humanitarian assistance in connection with the current crisis. We must not let them down.

I think that the US should turn over all the humanitarian assistance and medical supplies it has flown into Colombia and have them distributed as soon as possible with the help of the United Nations and other neutral organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Another item of information that is sorely missing from the mainstream media is the delivery last week of 933 tons of food and medicines at port La Guaira — coming from China, Cuba, India, Turkey etc.

Moreover an additional 300 tons of medicines and medical supplies provided by Russia arrived by air.

As I know from my conversations with Venezuelan ministers during my visit in 2017 and the recent conversations I have had with Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Jorge Valero – Venezuela has always welcomed and repeatedly asked for assistance from neutral and friendly governments so as to overcome the adverse human rights impacts of the financial blockade and the sanctions. Such help should be offered in good faith, without strings attached.

I believe that this is the moment for Michelle Bachelet to accept the invitation of the government of Venezuela, extended to her in December 2018, to visit Venezuela personally. Her presence in Venezuela should ban the growing danger of a military intervention by foreign entities. She should endorse the efforts at mediation launched by Mexico and Uruguay at the Montevideo mechanism.

There are ominous parallels with the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003 — an illegal war, as Kofi Annan said on repeated occasions.

It is obvious to any first year law student that the constant threats against Venezuela are contrary to article 2(4) of the UN Charter. What many do not realize is that the threats, the economic war, the financial blockade and the sanctions violate the principles contained in Article 3 of the OAS Charter

e. Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State. Subject to the foregoing, the American States shall cooperate fully among themselves, independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems; f. The American States condemn war of aggression: victory does not give rights; g. An act of aggression against one American State is an act of aggression against all the other American States; h. Controversies of an international character arising between two or more American States shall be settled by peaceful procedures; I. Social justice and social security are bases of lasting peace…

Moreover, they violate numerous articles of Chapter 4 of the OAS Charter,

Article 17

Each State has the right to develop its cultural, political, and economic life freely and naturally. In this free development, the State shall respect the rights of the individual and the principles of universal morality.

Article 18

Respect for and the faithful observance of treaties constitute standards for the development of peaceful relations among States. International treaties and agreements should be public.

Article 19

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.

Article 20

No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind.

Dear Michelle Bachelet, dear Antonio Guterres: The world looks up to you in the hope that you can avert even greater suffering to the peoples of Venezuela. They need international solidarity as expressed in the report of Virginia Dandan, the then independent expert on human rights and international solidarity.

I remain respectfully yours

Professor Dr. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Was climate change alarmism always about fears of overpopulation?

By Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak | Watts Up With That? | February 11, 2019

[Note: The following text is adapted from the authors’ recently published book Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change in which the validity of the belief in the inherent unsustainability of economic growth is challenged more thoroughly.]

Numerous population control advocates have linked anthropogenic climate change to population growth, or tried to revive interest in invoking anthropogenic climate change as the key negative outcome of continued economic growth linked to, foremost among causes, an increasing population. One pioneer of establishing and cultivating population growth – anthropogenic climate change linkage was the “Population Bomber” himself, Paul Ehrlich, who during a conference in 1968 identified anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions as a “serious limiting factor” to economic growth.[1] By the 1970s, Ehrlich, his wife Anne and his collaborator John Holdren raised fears that carbon dioxide “produced by combustion of fossil fuels in quantities too large to contain” may “already be influencing climate” and, as such, constituted one of the “gravest threats to human well-being. . . [i.e.] the loss of natural services now provided by biogeochemical processes.”

What motivated the Ehrlichs and Holdren to worry about a looming disaster threatening humanity just twenty years after the end of the Second World War (1939-1945)? After all, the war had brought with it wholesale destruction of infrastructure and loss of life throughout the world on a previously unparalleled scale. Was it the tension of the Cold War? Was it a specific epidemic or a natural event? We argue that no specific trigger events were necessary to spark the anxieties of these activists as they already espoused a neo-Malthusian eco-catastrophist mindset that is part of a wider pessimist perspective.

Among others, the ecological economics theorist John S. Dryzek recognized at least two distinctive perspectives on the understanding of the nature, role, and future of humanity – the pessimist, and the Promethean or optimist – each possessing a distinct set of assumptions, narratives, values and ultimate goals.[2] The pessimists, like the Ehrlichs and Holdren, apply a limit-driven narrative to define the place and goals of humanity on earth. According to the pessimist view, the earth’s resources are severely limited while the balance between planetary health and disrepair is exceedingly tenuous. The pessimists model people as bacteria that, in their Malthusian exponential growth, tend to quickly outstrip the resources of their “test-tube earth,” swiftly destroying both themselves and their environment. Only – perhaps – the timely intervention of top-down expert planning may avert this preordained debacle. The optimists see resources as limited primarily by human ingenuity and ability to utilize them, and humanity itself as a gathering of creative individuals, each capable of being much more than a mouth to feed. Optimist individuals may be driven by seemingly local needs, such as the replacement of a scarce resource or the improvement of the efficiency of a process, but the outcomes of their individual efforts benefit others in a spontaneous diffusion process.

Thus, the Ehrlichs’ and Holdren’s preoccupation with human population numbers and their impact on global development or resource use did not need a specific cause or trigger. Population and resource use anxiety were part of their pessimist perspective that had them always on the lookout for humanity’s confrontation with the inflexible natural limits of the finite earth. The late 1960s and early 1970s belonged to an era when other pessimist scientists like the climatologist Stephen Schneider, a Stanford colleague of Ehrlich, were theorizing about impending glaciation caused by anthropogenic atmospheric pollution reflecting sunlight. The Ehrlichs – who, truth be told, were also worried about every possible (and always negative) impact of increasing human population numbers, including, for a time, the effects of population growth on global cooling – were casting about for a development-related scourge of humanity that would be, perhaps, less easy to redress with fundamentally optimist fixes than global cooling was thanks to technologies such as smokestack scrubbers. For this reason, anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions were the ideal villain – or, pun intended, windmill to tilt at – as their neutralization does require a fundamental reworking and re-thinking of humanity’s key stable technologies – including its electrical power grid – on a scale that, thanks to the quickly mounting “scientific consensus” and political pressure, poses a significant challenge to human innovation.

While admitting he was not a climate specialist – thus just as “qualified” as Ehrlich, a biologist specializing in entomology, to theorize about climate – the economist Julian Simon suspected over two decades ago that global warming was a dubious pessimist scare mostly rooted in older neo-Malthusian concerns about population growth. He observed then that the “latest environmental justification for slowing or halting population growth is supposed global warming.” Simon cited a World Bank paper on the new “global negative externality” represented by greenhouse gas emissions, which he summarized as follows: “[The] old rationales for World Bank population control programs – economic growth, resource conservation, and the like – having been discredited, a new ‘rationale’ has been developed on the basis of speculative assumptions about global warming’s economic effects derived from controversial climatological science.”

Simon then summarized the position of most environmentalists as follows: “But isn’t obvious. . . that additional people and additional economic growth will cause us to use more energy and hence emit more greenhouse gases? Therefore, even if we can’t be sure of the greenhouse effect, wouldn’t it be prudent to cut back on growth?” The economist Jacqueline Kasun similarly believed at the time that “by the 1990s the doomsayers had shifted their attack” as they could no longer invoke resource depletion as the key growth-limiting issue. As she wrote, “the alarmists didn’t miss a step. The problem, they now said, was that people were using too much energy and were causing Global Warming.”[3] Both Kasun and Simon thus identified pessimist limits-based thinking as the chief impetus behind the elevation of anthropogenic CO2-caused climate change to the status of a global catastrophe.

Closer in time to us, retired Canadian academic Michael Hart has commented that “for alarmists, climate mitigation policy is as much a means of achieving their larger goals as it is a matter of addressing a possibly serious issue.”[4] As another retired Canadian academic, historical climatologist Tim Ball, has long argued, the climate change policy agenda is based on certain assumptions ultimately related to a fear of reaching another terrestrial set of limits through overpopulation. Indeed, Dr. Ball goes so far as to argue that while global warming is a “contrived problem,” most of those “who know it is contrived still believe overpopulation is a problem.” It is indeed remarkably easy to find influential climate bureaucrats and scientists who will either admit this much or else acknowledge their neo-Malthusian pessimist stance rooted in enforcing limits to human (population) growth.

Maurice Strong (1929–2015), who was described by business journalist Peter Foster as “[m]ore than any other individual. . . responsible for promoting the [UN] climate agenda,” is the most obvious case in point. Strong first achieved some degree of notoriety in Canada as young deputy minister – a high-ranking civil servant – when he ended up on the record by stating that “with a growing global population, we will have to recognise that having children is not just a personal issue but a societal issue and at a certain point we may be faced with a need to have a permit to have a child.” He also referred to the need for “national population policies” in his opening speech at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Strong reportedly stated the following Malthusian prediction at the 1992 Earth Summit: “Either we reduce the world’s population voluntarily or nature will do this for us, but brutally.”

Having started with the idea of limits to population growth, Strong eventually connected it to the limits of economic growth problem as defined by climate change. At the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, Strong declared: “The climate change issue and the economic issue come from the same roots. And that is the gross inequity and the inadequacy of our economic model. We now know that we have to change that model. We cannot do all of this in one stroke. But we have to design a process that would produce agreement at a much more radical level.” In one of his last extended interviews, Strong said that “growth in the world population has increased the pressures on the Earth’s resources and life-support systems.” He added that “China’s one-child policy is not a perfect policy by any means, but, on the other hand, how do you control growth in your population?” Strong viewed widespread aspirations for a better life as problematic, for if everyone “enjoyed the same patterns of consumption that we in the West do, then we would have an unsustainable situation, and we’re actually on the way to that now. We are in a situation that is unsustainable.” Thus, for Strong, the issue of population growth was clearly part of the pessimist narrative and a clear issue of limits to growth.

The first chairman of the IPCC (1988-1997), Bert Bolin, was not only an early convert to the alleged catastrophic impact of CO2 emissions,[5] but also a pessimist on population and resources issues, as evidenced in his stance on the controversy surrounding the 2001 publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist by the Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg. Bolin later wrote he “largely share[d] the gist of the . . . analyses” of Lomborg’s critics John Holdren and John Bongaarts.[6] Bongaarts, a demographer long associated with the Population Council and a former chair of the Panel on Population Projections of the National Academy of Sciences, had then opined: “Population is not the main cause of the world’s social, economic and environmental problems, but it contributes substantially to many of them. If population had grown less rapidly in the past, we would be better off now. And if future growth can be slowed, future generations will be better off.”[7] For his part, John Holdren contradicted many of his earlier warnings of imminent resource depletion by arguing that while the world was not “running out of energy,” it was “running out of environment,” by which he meant “running out of the capacity of air, water, soil and biota to absorb, without intolerable consequences for human well-being, the effects of energy extraction, transport, transformation and use.”[8]

The second chairman of the IPCC (1997–2002), Robert Watson, would later go on the record with the following line of reasoning: “The more people we have on the Earth and the richer they are, the more they can demand resources. There’s more demand for food, more demand for water, more demand for energy. . . So, there’s no question the threats on the Earth today are far more than, say, 50 years ago and in 50 years’ time, there will even be more threats.”

The third chairman of the IPCC (2002-2015), Rajendra K. Pachauri, was even more explicit when he stated in 2007 that humanity has “been so drunk with this desire to produce and consume more and more whatever the cost to the environment that we’re on a totally unsustainable path.” He was “not going to rest easy until [he has] articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it” (our italics). When asked why Indians shouldn’t aspire to the same standard of living as westerners, Pachauri answered: “Gandhi was asked if he wanted India to reach the same level of prosperity as the United Kingdom. He replied: “It took Britain half the resources of the planet to reach its level of prosperity. How many planets would India require?” In his IPCC resignation letter (apparently no longer available on the IPCC website) Pachauri admitted that, for him, “the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

In Pachauri’s statements, and in others we have quoted so far, there is ample evidence of a passionate commitment towards the protection of the planet,but there is no sign of recognition that humanity can do, and has done, more than simply consume resources. At no point do neo-Malthusians like Pachauri admit the possibility that technological innovations and human creativity have a place among the things that deserve a place on Earth. What pessimist activists desire is a consensus on the classification of humanity as out of control and inherently driven by destructive greed, thus in need of top-down regulation by the few remaining clear-thinking and benign autocrats – that is, functionaries – of the global government.

Another important figure in the anthropogenic climate change institutional apparatus is former American senator Timothy E. Wirth, one of the main organizers of the 1988 James Hansen hearing on climate change, and from 1998 to 2013 president of the (hardcore Malthusian) Ted Turner-funded United Nations Foundation. While no longer in the news or on the frontlines of the US government, Wirth is still actively promoting a population control agenda. He is on the record as stating in 1993: “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”[9]

Needless to say, many other influential politicians and bureaucrats share a similar outlook. In 1998 Christine Stewart, then Canadian Minister of the Environment, when speaking before editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald said: “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits… Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”[10] More recently, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010–2014), argued that the European Union policy on climate change was right even if the science was not. As she put it:

Say that 30 years from now, science came back and said, “wow, we were mistaken then; now we have some new information so we think it is something else”. In a world with nine billion people, even 10 billion at the middle of this century, where literally billions of global citizens will still have to get out of poverty and enter the consuming middle classes, don’t you think that anyway it makes a lot of sense to get more energy and resource efficient… Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said “we were wrong, it was not about climate,” would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change? I believe that in a world with still more people, wanting still more growth for good reasons, the demand for energy, raw materials and resources will increase and so, over time, will the prices… I think we have to realise that in the world of the 21st century for us to have the cheapest possible energy is not the answer.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, said “We should make every effort to change the numbers… obviously less [sic] people would exert less pressure on the natural resources,” and humanity is “already exceeding the planet’s planetary carrying capacity, today.” She also added that population control was not enough and that fundamental changes need to be made to our current economic system. Figueres, like Strong, Wirth, Bongaarts, Stewart and Hedegaard, was speaking from the depths of the neo-Malthusian pessimist limit-based perspective.

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and an adviser to the encyclical Laudato Si, has long been on the record as estimating the carrying capacity of the planet at “below 1 billion people.” More recently, researchers associated with the Population Reference Bureau and the Worldwatch Institute stated: “Human population influences and is influenced by climate change and deserves consideration in climate compatible development strategies. Achieving universal access to family planning throughout the world would result in fewer unintended pregnancies, improve the health and well-being of women and their families, and slow population growth – all benefits to climate compatible development.”

Since leaving his academic appointment, prominent Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver has become the leader of the British Columbia Green Party. As could be expected from a pessimist activist, Weaver is on the record as stating: “Technology itself will not solve global warming. Individual behavior and consumption patterns will need to change as well. For too long we have lived by the axiom that growth is great. We strive for economic growth year after year. We drive it by increasing population. But infinite growth cannot occur in a finite system. Collapse is inevitable.”[11]

The late climatologist Stephen Schneider was a leading advocate for major reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Schneider was sometimes derided by his critics for having switched, almost overnight, from being a major proponent of global cooling, as we mentioned earlier, to becoming one of the most prominent supporters of global warming. Less well known about him, however, is the fact that he never changed his Ehrlich-inspired belief in the existence of a “wide consensus that exponential growth, for both economies and human populations, cannot continue indefinitely,” and that “population growth must ultimately be controlled.”

Thus, Schneider was a classic neo-Malthusian pessimist thinker. As he wrote in a 1977 popular book mainly devoted to describing the perils of global cooling, the “obvious point about population growth [that] must be stated and restated” is that “population increases will only dilute the effectiveness” of achieving “rapid improvements in per capita living standards for the present 4 billion people on earth.”[12] Twenty years later, having become a major proponent of global warming, he still believed that “control of population growth has the potential to make a major contribution to raising living standards and to easing environmental problems like greenhouse warming.” Not surprisingly, he urged the United States government to “resume full participation in international programs to slow population growth” and to “contribute its share to their financial and other support.”[13]

Whether its goal was curbing anthropogenic global cooling or global warming, the pessimist narrative’s endgame was always to institute top-down expert controls over population and centrally limit the human impetus to grow, create and aspire to change. In effect, the pessimist goal was to combat and control the optimist narrative through fear and discrediting its foundational impulses.

 


[1] Shelesnyak MC (ed.) (1969). Growth of Population: Consequences and Control. Gordon and Breach, p. 141.

[2] Dryzek, J (2005). The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses. Oxford University Press, 2nd edn.

[3] Kasun J (1999/1988). The War Against Population: The Economics and Ideology of Population Control. Ignatius, rev. edn., p. 49

[4] Hart M (2015). Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change. Compleat Desktops Publishing, p. 289.

[5] Bolin is also on the record as stating in 1959 that the increase in carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations “caused by the burning of fuels by industry and transport” could have an “effect on climate” that “might be radical.” Original quote in Anonymous. “Experts discuss monsters of sea.” New York Times, 28 April 1959.

[6] See Bolin B (2007). A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, pp. 183-185, quote on p. 183.

[7] Bongaarts J (2002). “Population: Ignoring its impact.” Scientific American, 286(1), 67–69, quote on p. 69.

[8] Holdren JP (2002). “Energy: Asking the wrong question.” Scientific American, 286(1), 65–67, quote on p. 65.

[9] Fumento M (1993). Science Under Siege. William Morrow & Co., p. 362.

[10] Original quote in the Calgary Herald, December 14, 1998. See also SEPP December 14-20, 1998.

[11] Weaver, A (2011). Generation Us: The Challenge of Global Warming. Orca Books, p. 108

[12] All quotes from Schneider SH, Mesirow LE (1977). The Genesis Strategy. Climate and Global Survival.

Plenum Books. By order of appearance in the main text, pp. 318, 25 and 318.

[13] Schneider, SH (1997). Laboratory Earth: The Planetary Gamble We Can’t Afford to Lose, HarperCollins, p. 150.

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

US blocks UNSC criticism of Israel’s expulsion from Hebron of international monitors

MEMO | February 7, 2019

The US blocked a draft United Nations Security Council statement yesterday from issuing a statement that would have expressed concerns over Israel’s decision to expel the international observatory task force that has been monitoring the situation in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron for 20 years.

The 15-member UN Security Council discussed Israel’s decision behind closed doors at the request of Kuwait and Indonesia, which also drafted the statement. Such a statement has to be agreed unanimously.

UN diplomats said that the US had blocked the statement saying that they did not believe a council statement on the issue was appropriate.

The draft statement, seen by Reuters, would have also recognised the importance of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) and its “efforts to foster calm in a highly sensitive area and fragile situation on the ground, which risks further deteriorating.”

The proposed statement also intended to express the Security Council’s “regret” about Israel’s “unilateral decision” to eject the force from occupied Hebron and call for “calm and restraint”.

The TIPH was set up after a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians in 1994 at the Ibrahimi Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week he would not renew the mandate of TIPH accusing the observers of unspecified anti-Israel activity. His decision heightened Palestinian concerns over their safety. Palestinian residents of Hebron regularly come under attack from illegal settlers and Israeli occupying forces. They often say that they are living under an apartheid Israeli system. The Old City of Hebron is completely divided through the presence of barriers, closures, military zones and settlements, to accommodate some of Israel’s most extreme settlers.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) echoed the concerns and called for a UN protection force to ensure the safety of Palestinians until Israel ends its “belligerent occupation”. The UN should “guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine” until “the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation,” said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment