The Hypocrites Of Babylon (Ezekiel 17)

Hypocrisy

Who are the hypocrites?

(CNN) The past few weeks have brought a head-spinning display of pronouncements from people claiming to speak on behalf of “freedom.” Of those pretending to defend basic rights for everyone, it’s hard to judge who’s the most egregious and insincere. So here are my nominees for the most hypocritical defenders of human rights of recent days.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei unleashed a barrage of tweets, gleefully rubbing his virtual hands at the anguish in the United States. “Power with cruelty isn’t favored by #Islam. #Police should embody justice and mercy by being potent,” he tweeted.
Clearly, the Ayatollah makes a fine distinction between police and other “law and order” groups such as Iran’s infamous Basij militias, who help the ayatollahs keep control when people protest about, say, stolen elections. The Ayatollah’s worries about abuse of power could be more usefully channeled toward well-documented human rights violations that are endemic in Iran, a place where his power is nearly absolute.
You know who else is worried about the police killing an innocent man in Baltimore? ISIS. Yes, the self-described Islamic State, which slaughters Christians, Yazidis and any Muslim who disagrees with it, posted pictures of black and white jihadis play-sparring to let us know that “In the Islamic state is no difference between black and white.”
ISIS is known for its brutality.

North Korea’s news agency carefully downplayed the notion of protesting against injustice. But its Baltimore story explained that Americans “are human butchers without equals.”
In Turkey, where the increasingly autocratic government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was internationally criticized for its violent suppression of anti-government protests, an Erdogan loyalist, the mayor of Ankara, put on an undiplomatic show of schadenfreude, calling out the State Department’s Marie Harf, “Where are you stupid blonde, who accused Turkish police of using disproportionate force?”
These statements of purported support for targets of reprehensible police actions in the United States have nothing to do with concern for the victims. The hypocrisy is an effort to score political points and blunt criticism against regimes with continuing human rights violations in countries where abuses have triggered no prosecutions, self-examination or change in behavior.
The self-proclaimed free speech defenders who actually promote hate.
When two gunmen opened fire in Garland, Texas, trying to make their way into a hall hosting a cartoon contest about the Prophet Mohammed, there was little doubt what their ideology would turn out to be. The shooters, who were killed, are the ones responsible for the attack. No one should be the target of assassins because of the cartoons they draw or the contests they promote.
That said, the event organizer, Pamela Geller, and her American Freedom Defense Initiative are a study in hypocrisy. They claim to defend free speech — a right worth defending — but instead they foment hatred. Geller holds that all Muslims are potential enemies. Her Stop the Islamization of America group claims that “The U.S. constitution is under attack.”
Her views and tactics have been repudiated by the Anti-Defamation League and even right-wing conservatives are speaking against her.
When Geller compared herself to civil rights hero Rosa Parks, someone — was it Fox’s Martha McCullum or the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue — suggested Geller should act in a “Christian way,” an awkward plea for interfaith tolerance.
The PEN writers who support free speech — unless they don’t like it.
When the respected writers’ group PEN decided to award its Freedom of Expression Courage honor to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it seemed an obvious choice. Charlie Hebdo displayed immeasurable courage when it continued publishing despite an earlier firebombing and threats over cartoons that many Muslims found deeply offensive. The courage was beyond doubt, as was proven in January when Islamic radicals killed a dozen people in the magazine’s offices.
At the time, everyone declared “I am Charlie.” But now six prominent writers — Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey, Rachel Kushner, Taiye Selasi — have decided Charlie should not be honored. It turns out they believe free speech should be respected only when one approves of its content, which is precisely what those who oppose free speech argue.
These critics accuse the magazine of having an anti-Islam agenda. But that is patently false. Ten years of covers prove Charlie’s agenda is opposing dogmatism. Cringe-worthy cartoons mocking Christian and Jewish dogma are just as common. Islam is a less-frequently mocked religion. The president of the anti-racism group SOS Racisme called Charlie “the greatest anti-racist weekly in the country.”
The writer Salman Rushdie — whose writings prompted Iran to issue a fatwa, a religious ruling, which called for his killing — fulminated against the writers who decided to boycott the PEN award event, saying, “I hope nobody ever comes after them.” He called them “Six authors in search of a bit of character.”
Amnesty International defends human rights for most people.
Amnesty International normally acts as a force for good and has arduously defended many against human rights abuses, so it is with no small amount of displeasure that I note its regrettable demonstration of hypocrisy.
When the organization held its annual meeting last month, members raised motions to sharpen the pursuit of its mission to protect human rights around the world. Every one of the proposals won approval — except one.
A motion calling on the group to combat an epidemic of anti-Semitism spiraling in the United Kingdom was the only resolution defeated at the meeting. The proposal would have Amnesty support the recommendations from a British study that found record high and rising levels of anti-Jewish violence. It had nothing to do with Israel or the Palestinians, the usual explanation given for dismissing charges of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Amnesty, which approved motions to defend Colombian trade union members, Guatemalan rule-of-law violations, and other issues, explained, “We can’t campaign on everything.” With that, Amnesty became a finalist in my hypocrites list.

US-India Deal WILL Destabilize Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan Warns U.S.-India Nuclear Ties May Destabilize Region

South-Asian-missiles
by Kartikay MehrotraKamran Haider

1:28 AM MST
January 28, 2015

(Bloomberg) — Pakistan has warned that growing U.S. cooperation with India on its civilian nuclear program could destabilize a region with a quarter of the world’s people.

President Barack Obama announced during a three-day trip to New Delhi this week that the U.S. would support India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. He also said the countries reached a breakthrough that would pave the way for investment in its civilian nuclear power sector.

“The operationalization of Indo-U.S. nuclear deal for political and economic expediencies would have a detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia,” Sartaj Aziz, an adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said in a statement on Tuesday night. “Pakistan reserves the right to safeguard its national security interests.”

Pakistan and China are among nations questioning whether neighboring India deserves to gain further international legitimacy for its nuclear program, putting them at odds with the Obama administration. The Nuclear Suppliers Group, a set of nations exporting atomic reactors and fuel, was created in response to India’s widely denounced nuclear tests in 1974.

Pakistan also objected to Obama’s support for India to get a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, Aziz said. Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The moves may be part of Pakistan’s strategy to build more nuclear reactors with China, said Anit Mukherjee, an assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
India-U.S. Ties

“I don’t think either country understands that by pressurizing India, they’re pushing them to the U.S.,” Mukherjee said on Jan. 28. “China should be afraid of this, as a strong bond between India and the U.S. could threaten their own regional freedom.”

In a joint statement on Jan. 25, Obama said India was ready for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. He agreed to work with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi toward “phased entry” that would include joining three more global non-proliferation assemblies: The Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.

An agreement with the U.S. in 2008 helped India gain a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which barred trade with any nation that hadn’t endorsed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which India has refrained from signing. Pakistan isn’t a member of the group and doesn’t have a waiver.
China noted Obama’s trip to New Delhi and said that India still needs to take more steps to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Jan. 26.

Strategic Balance

“Pakistan values its relations with the United States and expects it to play a constructive role for strategic stability and balance in South Asia,” Aziz said.

Nuclear cooperation highlighted the meetings between Modi and Obama, who was India’s chief guest for its annual Republic Day parade. Among the breakthroughs was an end to a years-long deadlock on obstacles that blocked the U.S. from installing nuclear plants in India, which plans a $182 billion expansion of its nuclear industry.

U.S. technology suppliers have questioned the depth of the agreement between Obama and Modi. Westinghouse Electric Co., the Monroeville, Pennsylvania-based nuclear builder owned by Toshiba Corp., said it would study an offer by India to create an insurance pool to shield suppliers from liability in the event of an accident.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kartikay Mehrotra in New Delhi at kmehrotra2@bloomberg.net; Kamran Haider in Islamabad at khaider2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net Arijit Ghosh