Sep 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 01 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
During the siege of Bastogne in December 1944, the German general Heinrich von Lüttwitz sent his American adversaries a note, explaining how “the fortune of war is changing” and that “there is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town.”
The note was received by Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the U.S. Army, who famously replied: “NUTS!” The siege went on, but the Americans prevailed.
It’s fortunate the commander under attack was not from the United Nations. For when a U.N. peacekeeping contingent recently found itself outnumbered and surrounded by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, the commander in charge ordered his troops to lay down their arms and surrender.
But the peacekeepers, who are all part of the Philippine military, had other thoughts. As General Gregorio Pio Catapang explained to the Associated Press, “I told them not to follow the order because that is a violation of our regulation, that we do not surrender our firearms, and, at the same time, there is no assurance that you will be safe after you give your firearms.” (The unit was able to escape, although fighting between the rebels and U.N. peacekeepers is ongoing.)
The head of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force had his reasons: Syrian rebels were already holding 45 other peacekeepers from Fiji. But delivering one group of hostages in hopes that the terrorists would release the others simply didn’t make any sense to Catapang (or to The Scrapbook, for that matter). And considering the vast majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic (more than 80 percent of the country’s population), there’s a good chance the terrorists would not have taken kindly to this fresh batch of prisoners.
The Philippine armed forces have faced such perils in the past—and much worse. It is estimated that 5,000 Filipinos perished during the Bataan Death March in 1942 (along with 750 Americans). In Ghost Soldiers, author Hampton Sides mentions “one notable mass execution in which 350 members of the Philippine 91st Army Division were herded up, tied with telephone wire, and systematically beheaded by sword.”
Clearly General Catapang was not about to let that happen again.
12:29 PM, Aug 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The man who is described by his mouthpiece as “the constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office” is increasingly bored with the routine demands of his job (so much so that even Maureen Dowd has noticed) and finds the Constitution a darned nuisance and an obstacle.
3:06 PM, Aug 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Bolton, in a fundraising email, makes the case for defunding UNRWA--and more:
As the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, my eyes have long been open to the dangerous biases and political agendas in play at the U.N. It is at the core of my mission to share these facts with the American people, and why I am writing today.
The United Nations has lost its way, and now we MUST take action.
7:02 AM, Apr 11, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While crises continue in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, and the Central African Republic, the United Nations turned its attention to a different kind of crisis
10:18 AM, Apr 3, 2014 • By NOAH POLLAK
It is a cliché at this point to remark that John Kerry is operating in a fantasy world. But sometimes there is no other word to describe the enormous distance between his perception of what is happening and what is actually happening.
Courtesy of the U.N.Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By CLAUDIA ROSETT
It's well over a year since the United Nations intellectual property agency got caught undermining the U.N.’s own sanctions—shipping U.S.-origin computers and related high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran. In classic U.N. fashion, the World Intellectual Property Organization, known as WIPO, stiffed congressional inquiries and arranged its own narrow and “independent” investigation of itself. Thanks to U.N. privileges and immunities, WIPO was ultimately judged by the U.N. to have stayed within the letter, if not the spirit, of U.N. sanctions.
Saudi Arabia would prefer not to. Nov 4, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 08 • By JOHN BOLTON
On October 17, Saudi Arabia was elected by the United Nations General Assembly to a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council.
Behind the curtain at the IPCC.Oct 14, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 06 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
Thought experiment: Imagine you are a national security reporter, covering the release of a massive, 2,000-page report on domestic intelligence gathering activities and future threat assessment from the National Security Agency. But instead of issuing the full report, the NSA issues a 30-page “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM) written by political appointees at the Justice Department, promising that the full 2,000-page report will be released a few days later. Would you print a front-page story based only on the 30-page summary, or would you demand to see the full report?
7:35 AM, Oct 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
Oct 7, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 05 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In his big speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week, President Obama pointedly avoided one particular subject: himself. Just kidding! The famously self-regarding Obama alluded to himself almost 50 times in his remarks. (That’s 7 mys, and 42 Is for those keeping track at home.)
12:15 PM, Sep 24, 2013 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
In his speech today at the United Nations, President Obama continued his administration’s odd and somewhat schizophrenic policy with respect to freedom, human rights, and democracy.
Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Syria has receded from the front pages. A long and winding road of failed diplomacy lies ahead, and who wants to bother covering that? Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad is more firmly in power than before, al Qaeda is stronger among the Syrian rebels, the United States has lost credibility, and Iran and Russia have gained in stature and influence. This is the product of an irresolute president—and of shortsighted behavior by representatives of both parties in Congress.
How not to be a war president.Sep 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 03 • By FRED BARNES
When President Obama abruptly called off the bombing strike on Syria and decided to seek the approval of Congress, he surprised no one more than French president François Hollande. France, the only country set to join the United States in the raid, was left in the lurch. Hollande was humiliated and isolated. Now, if an assault on Syria occurs, France is unlikely to participate.
10:36 AM, Sep 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama said that the U.S. talk of military action in Syria is bypassing the "hocus pocus" of the U.N.: