"Screaming Mary" winner of the this april's United Nations 2006 "Champions of the Earth" awards, could write the final chapter on the hypocrisy of politically correct tributes for all time.
Courtesy of the UN, Screaming Mary's right up there with unofficial Mother Earth champions, like former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whose watch included Chernobyl; the keeping-wandering-animal-off-my-ranch-with-electric-fence fence environment booster Ted Turner and Canadian multi-millionaire UN Poster Boy Maurice Strong, whose self-ascribed duty of saving Mother Earth makes him a lot of money.
The UN Champion of the Earth award of april 21, 2006 is a textbook study in hypocrisy. Intended to honour individuals or groups "for their creativity, vision and leadership, and the potential of their work and ideas for replication across the globe", it was bestowed upon Iranian Massoumeh Ebtekar, aka "Screaming Mary"the face of the 1979 Iranian hostage-takers".
Ms. Ebtekar was vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and head of the department of environment there from 1997-2005.
"Screaming Mary" was the name given to her by the american press during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
"Mary was her nom de guerre and Ebtekar was the hostage-taker's spokesperson." (anne Bayefsky, www.EyeontheUN.org,)
For full details on the character of the UN's latest "champion", look to a December 2004 article in The atlantic Monthly.
"She was especially disliked by many of the hostages in part because of her endless propagandizing, She would saunter through the captured embassy with a camera crew in tow, urging the hostages to describe their ordeal in upbeat terms. `You have been treated well, haven't you?' was her constant refrain. During one such filming session, in the final days of captivity, army Sergeant Regis Regan got so fed up with Ebtekar that he let loose with a stream of invective and was dragged into a hallway for a beating."
The peace-touted UN's peace-loving awardee is on the public record for her feelings towards guns and the killing of hostages. a 1998 New York Times article recounts that she was asked by an aBC News correspondent whether she could see herself picking up a gun and killing the hostages--to which she responded "Yes". When I've seen an american gun being lifted up and killing my brothers and sisters in the streets, of course."
Screaming Mary has no regrets. New York Times journalist Elaine Sciiolino elaborated, in her book Persian Mirrors, on a conversation she had with Ebtekar in 1998: "I asked Ebtekar about the embassy takeover. She offered no apology; she made no excuses. `I wouldn't think that it would be logical for any nation to look back and see any part of its revolution or its movement as negative,' she said. `That was the best direction that could have been taken.' She said the embassy was seized to preserve what she called `the values' of the revolution `the action was a natural consequence of decision that had been taken by the americans.'
Screaming Mary's past was patently ignored in the UN's sanitized biography of her as "Champions of the Earth" winner.
Giddy with rhetoric in her acceptance speech last week, Ebtekar first thanked the UN for the honor and in a heartbeat went on to vocally support the current Iranian regime, castigating the "systematic effort to portray Iran as a source of aggression and violence".
The self-touted dedicated to world peace United Nations brass must be sniggering at the outrage of Screaming Mary as an official "Champion of the Earth". Problem is, in reality it's an expensive kind of sniggering that is paid for by UN nation members.
Meanwhile, politically correct times bring us the most hypocritical awardees.
are you listening, Nobel Peace Prize adjudicators?
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]