By Stuart Littlewood – London
Mention Richard Falk and you think of an honourable man who cares deeply about injustice, particularly the trampled rights of Palestinians under the evil jackboot.
Mention Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, and what comes to mind?
The BBC reported in December 2008: “During her stint in the Clinton White House, she was described as ‘brilliant’ but also ‘authoritarian’ and ‘brash’. According to the New York Times, she acknowledges ‘a certain impatience at times’.”
She is also said to be "unwilling to consider opinions that differ from her own".
Ambassador Rice has just demanded that Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur in the Palestinian territories, step down from his UN position. “In my view, Mr. Falk’s latest commentary [an entry in his blog about the media and 9/11] is so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position on behalf of the UN.”
Falk’s crime was saying that the US administration’s reluctance to address the awkward gaps and contradictions identified by several scholars in the official explanations of 9/11, only fuels suspicions of a conspiracy. And he suggested that "what may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials".
Fair comment, you might think. And carefully worded to cause no offence.
But Reuters reported that UN Watch, an advocacy group affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, had written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon similarly demanding that he "strongly condemn Mr. Falk’s offensive remarks — and … immediately remove him from his post".
The report added that UN Watch had targeted Falk in the past and frequently criticised the Human Rights Council for berating Israel while ignoring rights violations by developing countries.
The American Jewish Committee also called on the UN to immediately dismiss Falk for publicly endorsing “the slander of conspiracy theorists”. Executive Director David Harris said: “We agree wholeheartedly with the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan Rice, who stated that Mr Falk’s comments are ‘despicable and offensive’ and, like her, urge the UN to remove him from his position. Falk has long been a conspiracy-ridden and harmful figure who surely does not serve the best interests of the UN.”
UN Watch claims to have won “global condemnation” of Falk. Its website trumpets: “After UN Watch exposes noxious remarks, UN official Richard Falk [is] roundly condemned by UN Chief, US Gov’t, and media worldwide.”
“Noxious”… that’s Rice’s word. Could they be sharing the same scriptwriter?
UN Watch diligently sets down who said what…
Thursday, Jan. 20: UN Watch takes action and files complaint with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, demanding he condemn Richard Falk, the U.N Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator on "Israel’s violations of the principles of international law," for his latest remarks suggesting that the US government — and not Al Qaeda terrorists — destroyed the World Trade Center. The protest came as part of UN Watch’s 3-year campaign to expose and combat Falk’s denial and justification of Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorism, and his material support for 9/11 conspiracy theorists. At the daily U.N. press briefing, when Matthew Lee of Inner City Press asks for a response, the Secretary-General’s spokesman says they don’t comment on independent experts.
Friday, Jan. 21: The New York Daily News picks up the story and publishes editorial: "When will the lunacy reach such heights that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon realizes his so-called Human Rights Council is wrecking what little reputation the world body has left? … Ignore those jetliners crashing into the towers, is Falk’s advice. Who are you going to believe, your own eyes or him and his friends? Ban should ring down the curtain on this grotesque buffoonery. He should force out Falk forthwith…"
Monday, Jan. 24: The United Nations sends letter to UN Watch with unprecedented condemnation of a UN Human Rights Council official: "The Secretary-General condemns [Falk’s] remarks. He has repeatedly stated his view that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack." UN Watch immediately releases the letter to the public, and calls for the UN to fire Falk.
Tuesday, Jan. 25: US Ambassador Susan Rice condemns Falk and echoes UN Watch’s call for him to be fired: "Mr. Falk’s comments are despicable and deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms… The United States is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and believes that cause will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create." Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe, the US envoy to the Human Rights Council, also speaks out.
On the same day, in a Geneva address to the member and observer states of the Human Rights Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeats his condemnation of Falk: "Recently, there was a Special Rapporteur who suggested there was an ‘apparent cover-up’ in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. I want to tell you, clearly and directly. I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric. It is preposterous – an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in that tragic terrorist attack.” Click for Video
SUCCESS: UN Watch’s campaign led to the unprecedented international condemation of Richard Falk, who exploits his UN position to justify and deny Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorism. It sparked dozens of news stories worldwide, as shown in the sample below. All of this succeeded in finally puncturing Falk’s undeserved halo as a "human rights expert." For the first time ever, the UN itself had condemned Falk, and in the strongest terms. As a result, Falk’s credibility in the international arena is now at zero.
What’s remarkable is how twitchy these people get at the slightest possibility that someone will lift the lid on 9/11, their hysterical protests serving only to deepen already serious suspicions.
Incidentally UN Watch’s founder, chairman and executive director are all Jewish, the latter having worked at Israel’s Supreme Court.
Let’s go back to July 14 last year and remarks made by Ambassador Rice during a reception for Israeli Ambassadors Gabriela Shalev and Daniel Carmon held by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
"Today, I mostly want to talk about my very dear friend, Ambassador Gabriela Shalev,” said Rice. “She’s truly one of my favorite people…
"Gabi and I had the opportunity to work closely together on a series of important issues, from dealing with the deeply flawed Goldstone Report to seeing through the passage by the Security Council of the toughest sanctions resolution to date against Iran. She has been a lioness in defense of Israel’s security and its legitimacy — working tirelessly to ensure that Israel has the same rights and enjoys the same responsibilities as any other UN member state.
"We will continue to work together to seek a lasting and comprehensive peace that meets Israel’s security needs and creates a viable, sovereign Palestinian state. We will continue to strengthen Israel’s qualitative military advantage so that Israel can always defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats. And, as the President pledged, we will continue US efforts to combat all international attempts to challenge the legitimacy of Israel — including and especially at the United Nations."
Having revealed herself as another handmaiden to the Zionist cause, Rice’s attack on Falk for breaking the ridiculous taboo and questioning the US administration’s refusal to hold a proper independent inquiry into 9/11 only raises questions about her own suitability for an important position at the UN.
Meanwhile, there are millions of us out here who are right behind Richard Falk because he stands for justice. We are not amused by growing indications that the official story of 9/11 doesn’t add up. Nor are we too pleased by the realisation that it was used to prod our own governments into sacrificing troops and treasure to a couple of unlawful, unwinnable wars that have caused mega-deaths and endless suffering to innocent civilians, trashed our good name abroad and made us vulnerable to reprisals at home… just to advance the crazed ambitions of the US-Israeli axis.
In short, if there’s the slightest doubt we want to know the truth.
– Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.