Lying despots make a mockery of UN
by Salim Mansur
Every year around this time the world witnesses a parade of heads of state arriving in New York.
This marks the opening of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly when free people of open democratic societies are deluged with advice or insults by dictators and despots from around the world.
This year is no different than previous years ever since the failed League of Nations was given a new lease under the banner of the United Nations.
Those individuals who can recall history will remember the League was the grand scheme of progressive politicians, such as Woodrow Wilson of the U.S., who ardently believed fine speeches, lofty ideals and covenants devised by an assembly of representatives from sovereign nations could go a long way to outlaw war and herald a new age of peace.
There was urgency then, for the First World War of 1914-18 had bled the nations of Europe of its young and its able, and few doubted the genuine commitment of Wilson and his peers to never allow another such war to break out.
But the hyenas and jackals of Europe gnawed at the entrails of the League, made a mockery of its ideals, preyed upon the weak, uncorked the toxin of racial bigotry, and unleashed another war in Europe and beyond — a war far more cataclysmic than the one that had barely ended 20 years earlier.
The problem then, as it is now, was ideals are insufficient to contend with lies — lies spouted by dictators and despots from the pulpit of the assembled nations whether in Geneva or in New York.
These lies infect the healthy bodies of open democratic societies and what inevitably follows is leaders of the free world, fearful of conflicts instead of repudiating the lies, engage in the politics of appeasement.
Right from the outset of the UN's founding, open societies were confronted with a barrage of lies from leaders of totalitarian powers — the former Soviet Union, its satellite states of Eastern Europe and Communist China.
It was not the UN that kept peace during the Cold War years between the free world and the totalitarian states, and neither did the UN contribute to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and liberation of its European satellites.
Since the implosion of the Soviet Union, the largest voting bloc in the UN consists of countries from the Arab-Muslim world.
This is a bloc of countries that excels in the manufacture and promotion of half-truths and outright lies to compensate for its abject failure in meeting the basic needs of its own population.
In this bloc is Turkey that denies the genocide its rulers unleashed against Armenians, or Pakistan where military dictators ordered the rape and murder of their own people in former East Pakistan, or Syria where a despot sends tanks against unarmed civilians, or Iran whose rulers loudly deny the Holocaust and crush domestic opposition with hired thugs. The list goes on.
This year's UN General Assembly session — or a carnival of lies — will once again rehash lies about Israel and claims about Palestinian rights as Western leaders engage in appeasing the hyenas and jackals of the Arab-Muslim world in our time.