@BretStephensNYT on the trouble with the UN, as apologetic cover for his Hysterical Nationalist Fellow Traveler. American Writer comments

Mr. Stephens is an almost a canny propagandist! Its not that his comments on the UN’s unseemly waste, fraud and abuse couldn’t serve the purpose of an impetus for reform. But it isn’t that, but an effort to place his fellow Neo-Conservative hysteric John Bolton, in the background, so as to highlight those UN evils: as a kind of pseudo-apologetic for his bellicose political ally Mr. Bolton. Mr. Stephens offers the mildest political analgesic to his New York Times readers.

In the meantime, we’ll all have a collective freak-out over the next national security adviser. I agree with Bolton about some things and disagree about others. But on the U.N. he’s been right all along. If his presence in the White House helps to scare the organization into real reform, so much the better.

The comparison between Bolton and the UN, and his appointment as a way of striking fear in the corrupt UN, that is argued as a kind of blackmail to induce ‘reform’ is the very comfortable authoritarian territory of Trump,Bolton and most importantly Mr. Stephens.

But Mr. Stephens makes a misstep here, in his quote from Haitian lawyer Mario Joseph, about Human Rights not just being the territorial claim of white privilege.

Except it isn’t trivial. “Imagine if the U.N. was going to the United States and raping children and bringing cholera,” Mario Joseph, a Haitian lawyer seeking compensation for the U.N.’s victims, told the A.P. “Human rights aren’t just for rich white people.” That point ought to resonate with the U.N.’s usual defenders, whose idealism rarely seems dented, and only occasionally informed, by experience.

As a committed, not speak of rabid Zionist, how would Stephens defend this startling comment by Israel’s Chief Rabbi:

22 March 2018

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, condemns the racism by Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef who during his recent weekly sermon compared African people to monkeys.

In footage aired by the Israeli media house, Ynet news, Yosef (who is one of two Israeli state-elected rabbis) can be seen referring to black people by the word “kushi,” which in modern Hebrew has derogatory connotations, and comparing Africans to “monkeys.” Click here.

This is not the first time that Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yosef has used his position to justify and legitimize discrimination. In a sermon delivered in May 2017, he suggested that secular woman behave like animals because of the way they dress. In March 2016 Yosef declared that non-Jews should not live in Israel.

The Israeli Rabbi’s views are vile but, sadly, also a reflection of Israel’s ongoing and wide-spread racism against Africans as well as the indigenous Palestinian people.


Or consider this news report from France 24:

Headline: Israel to expel some 40,000 illegal African migrants

Sub-headline: Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay.

“This plan will get under way today,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave.

Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest.

Holot, an open facility in Israel’s desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work during the day, is also set to be closed.

It currently holds 970 people, the interior ministry said this week.

The plan was originally approved by the cabinet in November, drawing concern from the UN refugee agency.

Wednesday’s cabinet session marked the programme’s transition from the planning stage to action, migrant aid worker Adi Drori-Avraham told AFP.

“We see here the implementation of the decision,” said Drori-Avraham of the Tel Aviv-based Aid Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel (ASSAF).

The Africans currently hold short-term residence visas which must be renewed every two months.

“From today when a person goes to request an extension to their visa, if he does not have a pending asylum application… his visa will not be renewed and he will be given a deportation order,” she added.

She said that under the new regulations there was also an option for the authorities “not even to threaten them with a choice of voluntary departure or jail, simply to seize them and take them to a plane”.

“At the moment there are exceptions for women, children, parents of children and victims of human trafficking, but the procedural rules make it clear that those exemptions are only temporary,” she added.


If your going to adopt the rhetorical pose of Caesar’s wife , as Mr. Stephens does in his essay, you must be above reproach, on the vexing question of white privilege! Or is it that that pose of moral uprightness describes the substance of the Stephens polemic as sub rosa Bolton apologetic?

American Writer



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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