- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 8, 2002

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 wasnt Tariq Aziz, the mouthpiece for Iraqi terrorist Saddam Hussein. Mr. 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 Zimbabwes 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. Mr. Mugabe was enthusiastically embraced and granted the respect of an elder statesman.

Instead of criticizing Messrs. 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 worlds leading statesmen went back to work — dedicated to eliminating the dark shadow over mankinds future: Not global terrorism or weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a despot. No, by consensus, the worlds 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 had called former President Bush because his son wouldnt return a phone call; and French President Jacques Chirac castigated Americans for their "ravenous appetite for natural resources," while insisting 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 wasnt a peep from Johannesburg about further efforts to help fight the war on terrorism. Mr. Kilgannon said it was like "attending a meeting of the League of Nations during the late 1930s with the Japanese Imperial Army marching through China, Hitlers legions in Czechoslovakia and Mussolinis military killing barefoot Ethiopian soldiers. The League," said Mr. Kilgannon, "was supposed to prevent these horrors. But it couldnt. 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 Iraqs WMD production. Instead, when they werent 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, Ohio Democrat, who were in Johannesburg, called for a $50 billion solar energy fund. Mr. Brown told Freedom Alliances Fred Gedrich that because "the U.S. generates 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions," it should cough up "25 percent of the solar energy funds cost."

Harvard University economist Jeffrey Sachs, architect of the International Monetary Funds "shock therapy" treatment for ailing overseas economies, denounced President Bush for adopting a tax cut rather than increasing foreign aid. French President Chirac urged creation of "international solidarity taxes" to be imposed on wealthy nations and distributed to poorer ones, and lobbied for 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 more than $4 billion in trade sanctions as retaliation against the Foreign Sales Corp. — 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 September 11, 2001, President Bush is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly. Its an invitation to add injury to the Johannesburg insults. This is the same crowd that, last week, castigated Americas farmers — the worlds 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 dont deserve our presidents presence. They dont want us to defend ourselves or combat terrorism. They dont see Saddam as a threat, and they dont respect the enterprise, industry and sacrifices of the American people. Venturing forth to the United Nations is worse than a waste of time. Its a self-inflicted wound.

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