My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Is Obama trying to limit free speech....

I trust Anne Bayefsky...Obama should not be working with the Egyptians...
The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.

President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.

For more than a decade, a UN resolution on the freedom of expression was shepherded through the Council, and the now defunct Commission on Human Rights which it replaced, by Canada. Over the years, Canada tried mightily to garner consensus on certain minimum standards, but the "reformed" Council changed the distribution of seats on the UN's lead human rights body. In 2008, against the backdrop of the publication of images of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, Cuba and various Islamic countries destroyed the consensus and rammed through an amendment which introduced a limit on any speech they claimed was an "abuse . . . [that] constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."

The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.

Privately, other Western governments were taken aback and watched the weeks of negotiations with dismay as it became clear that American negotiators wanted consensus at all costs. In introducing the resolution on Thursday, October 1--adopted by consensus the following day--the ranking U.S. diplomat, Chargé d'Affaires Douglas Griffiths, crowed:

"The United States is very pleased to present this joint project with Egypt. This initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration's commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."

His Egyptian counterpart, Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased--for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that "freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused," insisting on limits consistent with the "true nature of this right" and demanding that the "the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner."

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."


Anonymous Philanthropist said...

Sounds just like the kind of language our 'Human Rights Commissions' use to prosecute people who speak out in this country. 'Progressives' are fascists in trendy clothing.

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Fred,
Thank you for picking up this story. It has, of course, gotten no coverage in the MSM.
I am appalled at America's, and Americans' complete abdication of responsibility to champion one of the most basic human freedoms of all - the right to freely communicate the thoughts of one's heart to other human beings.
Here in the US, from where I am writing, we may think the constitution will protect us no matter what happens abroad. What people do not realize is that, once the political will to enforce it has evaporated, words written on a scrap of paper have no power at all. The 10th amendment, for example (which purports to protect State power against Federal encroachment) is a dead letter. In practice, it does not function in any way at all. It was never repealed; there is just no will to enforce its protections.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous rom said...

Here is what the late anti-islamic writer and activist Oriana Fallaci had to say on that freedom-of-speech-topic and on the many attempts by the EU, UN and islamic organisations to limit it: "... i say what i want, and you go fuck yourself....Basta...!

Exactly my opinion too....rom

5:57 AM  
Anonymous DoorHold said...

Being able to prosecute people for expressing an opinion will lead to world peace. I nominate Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Uh-hem. :\

2:50 PM  

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