The Coastal Post - January, 1997

Deja-vu for Boutros


United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali should have seen it coming. This spring when he personally overrode the frantic lobbying efforts of Israel and the U.S. to suppress that report on Israel's April slaughter in Lebanon, Boutros effectively ended his career, canceling his opportunity for the second term traditionally accorded UN Secretary Generals.

Boutros Ghali came into his Secretaryship with firm support from the U.S. He had all the right credentials. He seemed thoroughly subservient to Washington, had friends around the world and an excellent diplomatic record. Though Egyptian, he has a Jewish wife (sister of Aba Eban's wife). Since it is only U.S. funding which keeps Egypt's fragile economy afloat, Washington felt it had Boutros under control.

Boutros Boutros Ghali's experience parallels that of Kurt Waldheim, who, while Secretary-General, also had the political courage to see that anti-Israel resolutions came to a vote and criticized Israel when indicated. As an example: In 1973 Waldheim made a personal inspection and reported the Jewish destruction of Cuneitra, a Syrian City of 51,000 evacuated during the '67 war and returned to its people following the 1973 negotiations. The returning Syrians found their City in ruins. The pastor of Cuneitra's Greek Orthodox Church publicly charged the Israelis bulldozed the city just days before the population returned, and desecrated and looted Christian churches and their cemeteries just prior to their military withdrawal. "The concrete tombs were opened with machine-gun fire and...with hand grenades. The bodies were brought outside and systematically looted. Hands were broken off to get bracelets, teeth with gold were taken, and parts of the bodies were not put back in the proper coffins... The bullet-ridden 300-bed hospital...was used for target practice... Churches...had been stripped of everything." Waldheim reported these findings to the world. "I was very shocked by what I saw at Cuneitra." Israel never forgave Waldheim for making his inspection a public record, and waited until Waldheim completed his outstanding career at the UN before beginning the character-assassination which is still in progress. Despite thousands of Jewish-initiated invectives against Waldheim in the media, he was next elected president by his loyal Austrian countrymen, continued his career in public service and retired with honor.

Our Congress also has been waging an underhanded campaign against the UN, headed by old Jesse Helms (who was suddenly converted after Jewish money poured into his opponent's campaign almost defeated him in the '94 election) Congress accuses the Organization of inefficiency, of wasteful expenditures, and Boutros of ineffectual leadership.

Two years ago under pressure from the Clinton administration, Joseph Connor, former chairman of Price-Waterhouse, was named Under-Secretary for management. Connor helped Boutrous further reduce the secretariat staff (now 9,000, down from 12,000 in 1985) and helped modernize both staff and equipment. In fact, the UN, which today services 185 nations on this planet, has fewer employees than our own State of Nebraska (with 10,600). The present annual UN budget runs $1.3 billion. Recent attempts to trim staff with early retirement failed for lack of funds. As The Economist noted (December 7), "Connor cannot manage the UN efficiently because it is financially unstable; and this financial instability is caused by his own government. America owes the UN $1.5 billion, a sum that accounts for 55% of the arrears owed by UN members." Recently the U.S. was actually booted off the UN budget committee. Besides Congress, two other groups feed the anti-UN campaign: our military-industrial complex, which with the Cold War dead still lobbies to keep UN's competitor, NATO, alive because that dinosaur devours many more military dollars than the UN and the Israel lobby.

The Clinton Administration denied Boutros a second term though all other 14 members of the Security Council disagreed. Many at the UN had hoped there was still a chance Boutros could be reelected. There is an interesting precedent: In the 1950s, when the U.S.-sponsored Tryge Lie was our candidate for Secretary-General, (the Security Council voting with us), Russia used her veto to block his appointment. That deadlock was broken by taking the vote to the General Assembly, where Tryve won hands down. This time that scenario failed, when under intense U.S. pressure, Egypt's President Mubarak removed support from her native son, leaving Boutros naked to his enemies. As a result, Washington is again seen by the world as both a bully and Israel's puppet. The situation is not new. The U.S. has managed to politically control the UN since that Organization's inception.

The late international columnist and radio-commentator Colin Edwards, as a fledgling journalist in November, 1947, reported: "The UN voted down...a Resolution that would have granted most of the best lands in Palestine to a separate state for the European Jewish minority without obtaining the approval of the Arab majority of the population."

The U.S. at once, under strong Zionist pressure, moved politically to reverse this vote. As Colin Edwards reported: "...threats to certain delegates, vulnerable to economic pressure, began. The war-devastated Philippines was reminded that the economic aid it would need for recovery might not come if it did not change its vote. It was made clear to the French that the expected Marshall Plan aid could dry up before it began to flow across the Atlantic. Similar pressure was put on Haiti, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Luxembourg. The Liberian government got the message from Harvey Firestone upon whose vast rubber plantations the Liberian economy was dependent... The Greek government was the only government under pressure that stood by its vote. All the others gave in or abstained. Thus did the U.S. make clear to the world who was really going to be running the UN. The destruction of the integrity of this body had begun within two years of the signing of the charter that created it."

This episode was the first Zionist attempt to manipulate the UN. A subsequent action was more direct; "On September 17, 1848, UN Palestinian mediator Count Folke Bernadotto, nephew of King Gustav V and his aide, Colonel Ande Pierre Serot, were assassinated by members of the Stern Gang while driving in the Israeli-controlled sector of Jerusalem... Menachem Begin, leader of the Stern Gang, and later Prime Minister of Israel, "shortly after he took over as chief of state...issued a postage stamp honoring Abraham Stern, whose group had masterminded...the assassination." Thus Israel warned the UN not to meddle in the Mideast.

In his departing speech, Boutros Boutros Ghali warned, "The holder of this office must never be seen as acting out of fear or in an attempt to curry favor with one state or a group of states." He said the financial crisis was the direct result of the U.S. not meeting its financial obligations, not UN mismanagement, and that problems with the UN campaigns both in Somalia and Bosnia were the direct result of the failure of the Security Council nations both to make policy and then decisively support the UN command in carrying it out.

The newly-elected (December 17) Secretary-General, a Ghanaian, Kofti Annan, who has for some time been in charge of peace-keeping operations, has had 32 years of UN experience and is well-liked in the organization. Whether he will have the political and personal courage to manage the Secretaryship without becoming Washington's errand boy remains to be seen.