Accuracy in Media

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has said that he was joking when he said on his radio show that he wished that a flood had hit the United Nations building in New York. A left-wing group called this “hate speech” and Tim Wirth of the U.N. Foundation demanded an O’Reilly apology. Perhaps we need fewer jokes and more factual reporting about the U.N. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that two-thirds of the American people lack confidence in the world body, up from half, a decade ago. But despite the oil-for-food and U.N.-peacekeeper sex-abuse scandals, the world organization came out of its recent World Summit more powerful than ever.

I covered the event and may be one of the few journalists who actually read the 40-page World Summit document that President Bush and other world leaders endorsed. It demonstrates that the U.N. continues down the road to world government, financed by global taxes.

An objective review of the summit reveals that the U.N. lobby and its media allies got most of what they wanted. The question is why. Some suspect the State Department leaned on our new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton to “compromise.” Bolton’s problems also include John Kerry’s sister Peggy, who is employed by the U.S. Mission as a liaison to the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that constantly undercut the U.S. position on most foreign policy issues. Kerry, one of many career employees at the U.S. mission, took time off from her job last year to campaign for her brother for president. The U.S. Mission is consistently outmaneuvered by the NGOs, working hand-in-glove with the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA), a group of mostly pro-U.N. journalists. One of them, Ian Williams of The Nation magazine, actually takes money from the U.N. to train U.N. officials on how to deal with the press. He is a former UNCA president. Our special AIM Report on this scandal is available at

Despite Bolton’s objections, the final summit document includes references to using global taxes to finance more foreign aid spending. The “contribution on airline tickets,” an international tax on airline travel, has been slightly watered down so that it is said to be an initiative of “some countries” that will implement it “utilizing their national authorities” and not through the U.N. or a global facility. But France and other countries still want the tax to be imposed on the U.S. The document also endorses “innovative sources of financing” for the U.N., another euphemism for global taxes. 

In an unprecedented move, the document endorses the so-called “Responsibility to Protect,” a doctrine urged by radical NGOs such as the World Federalists, and the government of Canada. It calls for the U.N. Security Council to “help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” This represents a dramatic expansion of U.N. power that gives the world body the right to intervene in the internal affairs of member states.

In another surprise to conservatives, the document urges member states to adopt the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that justifies U.N. interference in how families raise their children and has been interpreted to prohibit spanking.

At first, the U.S. had objected to references in the document to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because they suggested the U.S. had to meet U.N. demands to spend a certain percentage of Gross National Product on foreign aid. U.N. adviser Jeffrey Sachs says the MDGs obligate the U.S. to spend an additional $845 billion on foreign aid. But the MDGs stayed in the document and President Bush, in his U.N. speech, declared that “We are committed to the Millennium Development goals.” The U.S. position is that it supports “the development goals of the Millennium Declaration” but not the detailed and mandatory “Millennium Development Goals,” which were cooked up by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and never formally adopted by member states. This is apparently why, in the President’s speech, the “g” in goals was lower case. Almost a trillion dollars may hinge on a capital letter.

In his speech to the summit, President Bush also endorsed a U.N. “Democracy Fund,” which sounds good. But the notion that the fund will support or promote U.S.-style democracy has already been shot down. Annan says that “democracy does not belong to any single country or region.”

Conceivably, therefore, the U.N. “Democracy Fund” could underwrite the phony “peoples’ democracies” we saw under communist dictatorships.

In another major controversy, the document advocates “equal access to reproductive health,” a euphemism for abortion rights, and calls for “Achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015.” In this case, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. issued a statement after the fact saying that the U.S. does not agree that the phrase “reproductive health” means abortion rights.

On Capitol Hill, some conservatives want to quit fiddling around over words and phrases and reduce or cut off the money. This may be the only language the U.N. understands. 

The Republican Study Committee, in trying to find some federal funds to pay for hurricane relief, proposes cutting $37 billion in foreign aid, including money for U.N. peacekeeping, over 10 years. Measures are also moving through Congress that would use U.S. financial leverage at the organization to stop the world body from pushing global taxes on the American people.

If the Congress doesn’t follow through, it may enjoy less confidence among the American people than the U.N.

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