WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The man was heckled, jeered and taunted --
all but spat upon -- by representatives attending the United Nations World
Conference on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The target of this visceral ire wasn't Tariq Aziz, the
mouthpiece for Iraqi terrorist Saddam Hussein. Aziz, representing a regime
that has committed genocide with chemical weapons, consistently demonstrated
disdain for U.N. resolutions and now threatens more widespread terror, was
applauded. Nor was there anger displayed toward Zimbabwe's aging despot,
Robert Mugabe, who arrived at the "Earth Summit" shortly after his racist
regime in Harare seized scores of food-producing farms from white
landowners. Mugabe was enthusiastically embraced and granted the respect of
an elder statesman.
Instead of criticizing Messer's Mugabe or Aziz, the
U.N.-attendees launched a vicious attack on the senior representative of the
most generous nation on earth -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. And
when the delegates finished hurling epithets, insults and invective, the
world's leading statesmen went back to work -- dedicated to eliminating the
dark shadow over mankind's future: Not global terrorism or weapons of mass
destruction in the hands of a despot. No, by consensus, the world's common
enemy is: fossil fuel.
My colleagues Tom Kilgannon and Fred Gedrich of Freedom Alliance
traveled to Johannesburg to monitor the global gabfest. Reporting back to my
radio audience, they summed up the 10-day session in a single word:
"surreal." Their daily reports described a litany of rhetorical attacks on
the United States and our president: Nelson Mandela, wearing the mantle of
"Nobel Laureate," whined that he'd called former President Bush because his
son wouldn't return a phone call; and French President Jacque Chirac
castigated Americans for their "ravenous appetite for natural resources,"
while insisting that there was "no reason" for military action against Iraq.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, predicting that U.S. energy
use was contributing to "the perilous state of the earth," all but insisted
that the U.N. Security Council would have to "authorize" any "further
military operations in Iraq."
On the eve of the first anniversary of the terror attacks that
killed 3,052 people in the United States, there wasn't a peep from
Johannesburg about further efforts to help fight the war on terrorism.
Kilgannon said it was like "attending a meeting of the League of Nation's
during the late 1930s, with the Japanese Imperial Army marching through
China, Hitler's legions in Czechoslovakia and Mussolini's military killing
barefoot Ethiopian soldiers.
"The League," continued Kilgannon, "was supposed to prevent
these horrors. But it couldn't. And today, while radical Islamic terrorists
are plotting their next attack and Saddam is harboring terrorists and
building weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the U.N. is prescribing solar
and wind power as an elixir for 'sustainable development.'"
Few of the nearly 60,000 "official participants" in Johannesburg
wanted to listen to U.S. concerns about Iraq's WMD production. Instead, when
they weren't attending soirees, cocktail receptions and late-night parties,
they were excoriating the United States and concocting schemes for extorting
more money from American taxpayers.
Former California Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown and Rep. Dennis
Kucinich, D-Ohio, who were in Johannesburg, called for a $50 billion solar
energy fund. Brown told Freedom Alliance's Gedrich that because "the U.S.
generates 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions," it should cough up "25
percent of the solar energy fund's cost."
Harvard University economist Jeffrey Sachs, architect of the
International Monetary Fund's "shock therapy" treatment for ailing overseas
economies, denounced President Bush for adopting a tax cut rather than
increasing foreign aid. French President Chirac urged the creation of
"international solidarity taxes" to be imposed on wealthy nations and
distributed to poorer ones, and lobbied for the creation of a "World
Environmental Organization" to be modeled after, of all things, the World
Trade Organization (WTO).
This is, of course, the same U.N.-created WTO that ruled on Aug.
30 that the European Union is entitled to impose over $4 billion in trade
sanctions as retaliation against the Foreign Sales Corporation -- a U.S.
government entity designed to stimulate the sale of U.S.-made goods and
services in overseas markets.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick immediately struck
colors on the ship of state and announced unconditional capitulation,
saying, "The executive branch will work with Congress to fully comply with
our WTO obligations."
If this determination remains unchallenged, Congress will have
ceded its constitutional responsibility for establishing tax rates for
American corporations to the WTO, a secretive international body of 550
unelected functionaries in Geneva, Switzerland.
This week, a day after he pays eloquent homage to the 3,052
people killed on Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush is scheduled to address the
U.N. General Assembly. It's an invitation to add injury to the Johannesburg
This is the same crowd that, last week, castigated America's
farmers -- the world's most productive -- for growing genetically altered
foods while passionately applauding Robert Mugabe as he boasted of
confiscating white-owned farms.
Kofi Annan and his merry minions don't deserve our president's
presence. They don't want us to defend ourselves or combat terrorism. They
don't see Saddam as a threat, and they don't respect the enterprise,
industry and sacrifices of the American people. Venturing forth to the
United Nations is worse than a waste of time. It's a self-inflicted wound.