Most egregious of all, perhaps, is the bold grab the Draft Outcome Document makes for “globotaxes” – the authority to raise revenues for UN functions by levying taxes on various international transactions. Obviously aware of the radioactive nature of such an idea with most tax-averse Americans, the drafters have come up with a variety of euphemisms to obscure what they are about: “innovative and additional sources of financing for development on a public, private, domestic or external basis”; “solidarity contributions on plane tickets to finance development projects”; and “other solidarity contributions that would be nationally applied and internationally coordinated.”
If ever there were proof that President Bush was right to insist on having a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who represented him and the American people, this document is it. Although press reports and Senate critics of Amb. Bolton claimed that the job was being competently done by Foreign Service professionals, none of them (in New York or Washington) seemed to have any problem with these myriad assaults on this country’s policies and interests.
Now that John Bolton is on the job, he is demanding that changes be made to the Outcome Document. The howls can be heard from Turtle Bay to Foggy Bottom. On August 17, Reuters ran as a news article what sounded like a press release issued by the UN Association, suggesting that Mr. Bolton is vindicating his critics’ complaints about his inability to work-and-play-well-with-others at the UN. It quoted diplomats as upset that the United States is trying to “return to square one and launch line-by-line negotiations on the document.”
No less to his credit is the UN crockery Amb. Bolton broke last week by decrying the direct role played by the organization’s Development Program (UNDP) in inciting further Palestinian aggression against Israel. UNDP logos were actually placed on everything from banners to bumper-stickers to T-shirts distributed in the Gaza Strip that declared: “Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem.” As the man most responsible for getting the UN to repeal its odious resolution equating Zionism with racism, Mr. Bolton is all-too-familiar with the so-called world body’s virulent anti-Israel bias and absolutely right to denounce this use, in part, of U.S. taxpayer funds as “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
If the UN’s planned September AmBush is to be wholly avoided, however, John Bolton will require reinforcements. The House Majority Whip Roy Blunt helped when he secured unanimous agreement in that chamber last month to oppose any UN taxes. This legislative prohibition should be enacted as a first order of business when the Senate returns after Labor Day. And, if there is to be an Outcome Document, it had better reflect the sorts of real reforms called for in a House-approved bill sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde – and leave out new commitments to development, disarmament and environmental initiatives contrary to this country’s interests and, properly, unacceptable to its President.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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