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Resources updated between Monday, January 31, 2011 and Sunday, February 06, 2011

February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Click here here to see the article by Anne Beyefsky today on Fox News..

There is one main reason why the Obama administration misjudged Egypt entirely they cannot get their facts straight. For the last two years they have been busy defending the U.N. as an effective vehicle for promoting U.S. interests, in the name of engagement.

But for the three decades of Hosni Mubarak's reign the U.N. has dedicated its human rights apparatus to demonizing the state of Israel and ignoring the human rights victims in Egypt and across the Arab world. As dissatisfaction and unrest have grown in the region over his presidency, the Obama administration failed to recognize the U.N.'s gross negligence or to take responsibility for ensuring an alternative vehicle to promote democracy. Instead, it legitimized the U.N.'s top human rights body, the Human Rights Council (HRC), by joining it.

Notwithstanding the meltdown in Egypt, Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs picked Tuesday to give her evidence for the success of the Obama foreign policy of engagement with the U.N. and its human rights world.

At a speech to the Brookings Institution she said: "Since the United States joined the Human Rights Council, it has not held a single special session on Israel." Except that the U.S. took its seat on the Council September 14, 2009, and the Council held its sixth special session on Israel on October 15-16, 2009. It was a rather unforgettable session, actually, since it was the occasion the Council endorsed the notorious Goldstone report.

It is a mystery why the person in charge of international organizations in this country has no clue what the actual record is of the Council, but here is a short synopsis for her edification:

There have been twelve country-specific special sessions of the Human Rights Council in its history. Half of them have been directed at Israel alone. Half of all the resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council critical of a specific states' human rights record have been about Israel alone, and half on the rest of the world. There are ten permanent agenda items of the Council which govern all of its business. One of those items is only about condemning Israel and one is about any other "human rights situation that requires the Council's attention" elsewhere on the planet. Ten countries were once subject to a specific human rights investigation, but the Council discontinued them for the likes of Belarus, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Maldives, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Now consider the U.N.'s record on Egypt and what it has meant for any hope of a peaceful and realistic transition to democracy. There has never been a single resolution of the U.N. Human Rights Council on Egypt, the Council having been in operation since 2006. Not a single resolution on human rights in Egypt was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the Council's predecessor in operation from 1946- 2006. Neither the Commission, nor the Council, ever appointed an investigator to report specifically on human rights violations in Egypt.

On the contrary, Egypt was a welcome and powerful member of the U.N. human rights apparatus. It was a member of the U.N. Human Rights Commission for almost half of its half-century in operation, and a member of the Council until just last year.

Moreover, after joining the Council, the Obama administration's first major act was to boost Egypt's human rights bona fides. In September 2009 it chose Egypt as its partner to produce a resolution on freedom of expression and then included references to "special duties and responsibilities" on the exercise of free speech and "voluntary codes of ethical conduct" on the media. State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh heralded the new "universal understanding of freedom of expression." Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labor Michael Posner cooed: "our effort with the government of the Council is emblematic of a new kind of an approach, new kind of alliances, a new level of engagement and participation."

It is not difficult to figure out why the people of Egypt had nowhere else to go. The U.N. human rights authorities devoted their time, attention and (American taxpayer resources) to attacking Israel and enabling Egypt, while the Obama administration spent its capital claiming Jews living on any Arab-claimed land were the key obstacle to Middle East peace and stability.

The Egyptian people were abandoned by the U.N. They were left to their own devices by an Obama administration mired in pro-U.N. rhetoric and basing its judgment about the efficacy of the institution on ill-informed advisors. Today, we are all paying the price for that neglect and ignorance.

February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.

In the name of democratic reform, Mohammed ElBaradei is doing his best to appear as the annointed one to succeed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, should the government fall. In reality, ElBaradei has more in common with Iranian demagogue Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than anything remotely resembling democracy. He is the former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where his primary legacy was running interference for Iran and ensuring that Iran is now on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Year-after-year for a decade, ElBaradei used his position at the IAEA to stall for time on behalf of Iran. In September 2005 ElBaradei helped push the issue off the Security Council table and bragged: "I am encouraged that the issue has not been referred to the Security Council, precisely to give time for diplomacy and negotiation." Typical of his foot-dragging was his February 2006 report: "Although the Agency has not seen any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the Agency is not at this point in time in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran. The process of drawing such a conclusion ... is a time consuming process."

In January 2007, in the midst of growing calls for sanctions against Iran, ElBaradei suggested a "time-out." In September 2007, with stiffer sanctions on the horizon, ElBaradei again called for a "time-out." In January 2008 the IAEA reported: "ElBaradei has repeatedly noted that ... the IAEA has not seen any diversion of material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

As soon as ElBaradei was finally replaced as IAEA head early last year, his successor Yukiya Amano attempted to distance himself from the obvious cover-up. He issued a report in which the IAEA, for the first time, said things like - on the basis of "extensive" and "credible" information the IAEA now has "concerns about the possible existence in Iran of ... current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile," and "concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.''

If El Baradei were ever to become President of Egypt, not only would he have helped Iran acquire nuclear weapons, he would undoubtedly turn around and lead the charge for an Egyptian nuclear weapon. Nobel Prize notwithstanding, his calling card is to cast nuclear proliferation as some kind of equal rights game between developed and developing countries.

Here is the frightening interview he gave to the Financial Times on February 19, 2007 that indicates the kind of Iranian look-alike which is in the making: "Iran sees enrichment... as a strategic goal because they feel that this will bring them power, prestige and influence...[A] lot of that is true. A nuclear capability is a nuclear deterrent in many ways...When you see here in the UK the programme for modernising Trident, which basically gets the UK far into the 21st century with a nuclear deterrent, it is difficult then for us to turn around and tell everybody else that nuclear deterrents are really no good for you..."

Reports out of Egypt directly connecting ElBaradei's political ambitions with Tehran surfaced last September via a political rival, Abdul Mabboud. A story translated from Egyptian Newspaper Al Youm Al Sabeh last September said: "in a communication to the Attorney General of Egypt, Dr. Yasser Najib Abdel Mabboud, has accused Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei...of receiving funds exceeding $7 million (US) from Iran's leadership as support for 'political reform in Egypt'." The story claimed that "the check in the amount of $ 7 million is said to be meant to cover the financial costs of the election campaign and the activities of the Front for Change."

The shoe sure seems to fit. ElBaradei told CNN's Fareed Zakaria Sunday that: "The Muslim Brotherhood ...has nothing to do with extremism...[T]hey have a lot of credibility...And I have been reaching out to them." Actually, ElBaradei's comrade-in-arms is a viciously antisemitic and anti-Western organization that would send Egyptian women back to the stone ages and rupture peace agreements with Israel as a warm-up act.

If the Obama administration throws Mubarek overboard in the immediate future with nothing but an ElBaradei-Muslim Brotherhood front man in the wings, Egyptians will be farther away from democracy than they ever were and the rest of the world will be a far more dangerous place.

January 31, 2011