Joseph A. Klein

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Most Recent Articles by Joseph A. Klein:

United Nations Continues Pattern of Irresponsible Actions and Non-Transparency

May 20, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations finds itself in one embarrassing situation after the other. Here are just a handful of recent examples.

The United Nations has been serving as an enabler of North Korea’s chemical program, according to a recent exclusive report by Fox News.  “For more than a year,” Fox News reported, “a United Nations agency in Geneva has been helping North Korea prepare an international patent application for production of sodium cyanide—a chemical used to make the nerve gas Tabun—which has been on a list of materials banned from shipment to that country by the U.N. Security Council since 2006.”

The UN-affiliated agency involved in this fiasco is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which apparently neglected to mention the patent application to the appropriate UN bodies involved in monitoring North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and compliance with UN Security Council sanctions resolutions.

UN Interference with Efforts to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Apr 27, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The United Nations is once again sticking its nose into the domestic affairs of the United States in violation of the UN Charter (Article 2, para. 7).  The Washington Post has uncovered a transmittal letter dated February 2, 2017 from the UN Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights, forwarding to the then acting U.S. Secretary of State, Thomas Shannon, Jr., a complaint from one of the UN’s Special Rapporteurs about plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.  This Special Rapporteur “on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” Dainius Puras, believes it is within his mandate to intervene in the internal debate going on within the U.S. Congress and the executive branch as to what to do about Obamacare.

UN Ambassador Haley Correctly Calls Iran the “Chief Culprit” in the Middle East

Apr 24, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, chaired the UN Security Council’s latest perennial debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on April 20th. I have attended many of these sessions in the past, and they have always degenerated quickly into the usual pattern of hatefests against Israel. Not this time, however. Ambassador Haley, serving as the president of the Security Council for the month of April, wanted to take the Council in a different direction.

While acknowledging the importance of reaching a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she noted during the remarks she made to the Security Council in her national capacity that endless Security Council debates on the subject have proven to be a waste of time and even counter-productive.

President Trump Acts Against Syrian Regime while UN Security Council Dithers

Apr 8, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

On April 4th dozens of people, including children, died in a horrific way as a result of a chemical attack in a northern rebel-held area of Syria. Intelligence sources point to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad as responsible for the attack, which was carried out by relatively sophisticated aircraft and followed up by an air attack on a hospital treating the wounded. The United States, the United Kingdom and France promptly called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to consider a draft resolution condemning the attack and demanding a thorough impartial investigation by the UN’s Joint Investigative Mechanism. Russia balked at such a resolution, and, along with the Syrian regime itself, blamed terrorists for the attack. More than a day of negotiations in an attempt to reach agreement on a consensus resolution proved to be futile. On Thursday evening, President Trump decided to launch a missile attack against the airbase within Syria said to have been the staging ground from where the chemical attack was launched.  President Trump had declared his red line just the day before and, unlike former President Barack Obama, swiftly followed through with a narrowly targeted, proportionate attack to deter Assad from any further use of deadly chemical weapons.

Israeli-Sponsored Anti-BDS Conference Held at the United Nations

Mar 31, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Anne Frank has been quoted as saying, “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”  That is precisely what happened for one rare day this week at the United Nations, the international body that was once instrumental in creating the state of Israel but is now being used by Israel’s enemies as an instrument to destroy the Jewish state. A ray of light shone through the darkness of anti-Semitism that too often descends on the UN’s chambers.

Over 2,000 representatives from organizations, pro-Israel activists, diplomats and students filled the United Nations General Assembly hall on March 29th to speak out against the unrelenting campaign of hatred launched against Israel at the United Nations and on college campuses around the world. The event was sponsored by Israel’s Mission to the UN, the World Jewish Congress and various pro-Israel organizations. The event focused in particular on the evils of the so-called boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel.

Trump Administration Boycotts UN Human Rights Council’s Anti-Israel Hatefest

Mar 23, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The Trump administration decided to boycott the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special session bashing Israel this week. The Council is devoting time, during its regular annual month-long meeting in March, to take up ‘Agenda Item 7’ dealing with the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” Israel is the only country in the world that is targeted under such a special agenda item during the Council’s regular sessions, held three times a year. The Human Rights Council uses this vehicle to concentrate its venom on Israel, with the objective of delegitimizing the Jewish state. Later this year, the Council plans to follow up on its request for production of a database of businesses involved with West Bank settlements, for the purpose of creating a blacklist of firms that countries and the UN itself will be pressured to boycott.

The misnamed Human Rights Council counts among its members such human rights abusing Islamic countries as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Under pressure from the Palestinians and the Islamic states supporting them, it is the Jewish state of Israel that captures the Council’s obsessive attention. In fact, the Human Rights Council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than all of the other 192 member states of the United Nations combined. At last year’s month-long meeting, held around this same time, the Human Rights Council sought fit to issue five resolutions against Israel, while Syria, North Korea and Iran were the subject of only one resolution each. Saudi Arabia got off scot-free.

Maddow and MSNBC make fools of themselves on live TV

Mar 16, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Bombthrowers: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow went on Twitter Tuesday (March 14th) to hype her “breaking story”: “We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).” This no doubt sent the Left into a state of delirium. Then, Maddow followed up with another tweet, lowering expectations slightly: “What we’ve got is from 2005… the President’s 1040 form… details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.”  That was not quite accurate either. What Maddow finally revealed on her show, after all of her self-promotion, were only two leaked pages from President Trump’s 2005 tax return that she had received from former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston. Johnston claimed he just happened to receive them in his mailbox. And all that Maddow managed to prove was that President Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, at an effective rate of 24.5 percent, as compared to the Obamas’ payment of federal income taxes on their reported income at an effective tax rate of 18.7 percent in 2015. In anticipation of Maddow’s attempted “scoop,” the White House scooped her and released information on President Trump’s 2005 taxes before Maddow did.

Assessing China’s Proposal for International Cooperation on Cyberspace

Mar 16, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The arcane issue of cybersecurity has received front page media attention of late. Most recently, WikiLeaks published documents which purport to show, according to WikiLeaks, “the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program.” The program is comprised of a “malware arsenal and dozens of ‘zero day’ weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products…which are turned into covert microphones.” Smart TVs, iPhones, Windows PCs, and Internet routers, including routers supplied by Chinese vendors, were apparently targets of the CIA’s product weaponization program.

Even more shocking is news from WikiLeaks that the CIA itself has been hacked. WikiLeaks reported that “the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized ‘zero day’ exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation.”

UN Human Rights Head Hurls Hypocritical Charges Against Trump

Mar 11, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian, assumed his functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 1, 2014. He has recently been obsessed with criticizing the Trump administration for a variety of alleged human rights sins. Considering the sorry human rights record in his home country of Jordan, Zeid Hussein’s obsession smacks of utter hypocrisy. His charges are also baseless.

In a speech that Zeid Al Hussein delivered in Geneva on March 8th, he had this to say about the Trump administration:

Vetoes Sink Latest UN Security Council Resolution on Syrian Chemical Weapons

Feb 28, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which was established in August 2015 under a unanimously approved Security Council resolution, was assigned the responsibility to determine who was responsible for a series of chemical attacks since 2013 that killed Syrian civilians. The independent expert panel concluded that there was sufficient evidence to determine that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on three separate occasions from 2014 to 2015, while ISIS had used them at least once. With that conclusion in hand, the United States, United Kingdom and France introduced a draft resolution on February 28th imposing sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter on Syrian government officials and entities linked to the chemical weapons attacks; placing an embargo on arms sales and chemicals intended to be used as weapons; and establishing a sanctions committee and panel of experts to monitor the implementation of these measures. Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution, which blocked its adoption. Bolivia also voted no. Nine Security Council members voted yes, and three abstained.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Says it’s Time to End the UN’s Anti-Israel Bias

Feb 21, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

The Trump administration’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has hit the ground running.  She spoke truth to power by strongly calling out the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias and double standards. Her predecessor, Samantha Power, never came close.

After attending her first regular meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to the Middle East, including the Palestinian-Israeli situation, Ambassador Haley remarked to reporters, “The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there.” Calling the meeting “a bit strange,” Ambassador Haley noted the Security Council’s obsession with singling out Israel for condemnation.

UN Secretary General Guterres Misspeaks on President Trump’s Entry Suspensions

Feb 2, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres told reporters at UN headquarters Wednesday that President Trump’s measures to restrict the entry of visitors to the United States from seven listed Muslim majority countries “should be removed sooner rather than later.” He added that those measures “violate our basic principles.”

Ending Business as Usual at the United Nations

Jan 28, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Bureaucrats and diplomats at the United Nations are scrambling to adjust to the new Trump administration. One thing seems certain. The Obama days of wine and roses for the UN are over. The new U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told reporters on Friday, upon entering UN headquarters for the first time in her new role, “you are going to see a change in the way we do business.”  She added that the Trump administration “is prepared and ready to go in – to have me go in, look at the UN, and everything that’s working, we’re going to make it better; everything that’s not working, we’re going to try and fix; and anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we’re going to do away with.” For anyone whom might doubt that the Trump administration means business, Ambassador Haley made it clear that the administration would be “taking names” of “those who don’t have our back.”

Ambassador Samantha Power’s Swan Song at the United Nations

Jan 14, 2017 — Joseph A. Klein

Samantha Power held her farewell press conference as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on January 13th. She used the press conference to follow up on the themes she had previously laid out in her detailed cabinet exit memo and in her remarks at the Security Council’s January 10th open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security.

Ambassador Power trumpeted her view of the importance of the United Nations in addressing global crises and the Obama administration’s purported accomplishments in taking the lead, as she put it in her exit memo, to “leverage UN capabilities in service of international security, making the United States safer and stronger.” In a veiled warning to the incoming Trump administration and to a Congress increasingly disenchanted with the United Nations, Ambassador Power claimed that cutting U.S. funding to the United Nations would be “extremely detrimental” to U.S. interests

Failures of the UN “Talking Club”

Dec 31, 2016 — Joseph A. Klein

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted the sad truth about the United Nations on the day after Christmas, saying it was “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

Not long after the president-elect’s tweet appeared, the UN propaganda machine churned out a rebuttal, tweeting the following image listing its Pollyannaish version of its major accomplishments: (See Image Right)

Other than its valuable work in supporting and coordinating the delivery by aid workers of food, medical and other humanitarian supplies to areas of the world beset by natural disasters or conflict, the United Nations has failed, or has been largely irrelevant, in key areas for which it seeks to take credit. This article will focus on peacekeeping, poverty reduction, protection of human rights, help in alleviating the plight of refugees and migrants, and use of diplomacy to prevent conflict.

For example, the UN boasts about its peacekeeping missions, which it says keep peace on four continents. What the UN narrative leaves out is the cholera its peacekeepers brought to Haiti, killing nearly 10,000 people, for which the UN has very belatedly accepted some responsibility. The narrative also leaves out the continuing sexual abuse and exploitation scandal involving UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, which UN senior officials tried initially to cover up.