Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Bigger Job for the UN's Chief Propagandist?

The UN's Israel-basher-in-chief is angling for a promotion

Remember Shashi Tharoor? He's a slimy career bureaucrat who heads the UN's bloated propaganda ministry. His chief claim to fame is that he personally organized an Israel-bashing conference in 2001 featuring the noted anti-Semite Israel Shamir, and more recently gave a podium to the anti-Israel polemicist Ilan Pappe. Well, you'll be pleased to know that Tharoor is up for a big promotion -- and may replace Kofi Annan!

Tharoor has tossed his hat in the ring as the UN's No. 2 man or even secretary general, once Annan's term expires at yearend. That was the word around the UN a few months ago, and there's a new round of reports saying the same thing, the latest of which is this article in a Pakistani newspaper, the Daily Times.

The newspaper names Tharoor as a candidate for either deputy secretary general or the top job itself -- though it says that the Indian government may push someone else for secretary general. The newspaper describes Tharoor as "a credible UN insider to become not only the deputy secretary general but even succeed Annan."

Tharoor is certainly qualified. As I pointed out in my item last May, his Department of Public Information employs a whopping seven hundred full-time propagandists worldwide, four hundred of them in New York alone. And according to the transcript of the UN press briefing at which this issue was raised, Tharoor "has been unable to identify a single post in DPI that he doesn’t think is essential for the continuation of DPI."

Asked about that at the May press conference, a UN spokesman said weakly that Tharoor "has revamped the Department and is trying to maximize its resources within the mandates that are imposed on it by the Committee on Information."

Then came this exchange:

Question: "Were you to have flexibility, would the UN significantly cut back, for example, on the number of employees in DPI?"

UN Flack: "I will get you figures on the DPI post mandated jobs." (Translation: Drop dead.)

The spokesman (a DPI employee, natch) also ducked and weaved in response to a correspondent's assertion that Tharoor "has admittedly himself said that the United Nations has failed and DPI basically, he said, failed in, what you call, containing the bad image the United Nations has. What has he to say about that? That you have such a big staff and a budget, but you have not been able to function properly."

The response: "I think we have been able to function properly. I don’t know where you got that quote from, but we can talk later." (Out of earshot, that is.)

The above is excerpted from my item in May, but I've been following Tharoor's career a lot, so let's see if I can sum up his qualfications: He runs a bloated bureaucracy; he sponsors Israel-bashing "media seminars," he sanitized the minutes of the Israel-bashing conference, he slacks off so much that even UN-lovers can't stand him.

Sounds like a perfect Kofi replacement to me! For his campaign literature, he can excerpt from a CAMERA report on the Ilan Pappe hate-fest that he organized:
"Just like the U.N.’s 2001 Durban Conference Against Racism itself became a racist anti-Israel hate fest, the U.N.’s media seminar this week supposedly promoting sober, factual journalism about the conflict turned into a platform for anti-Israel distortions and incitement."

Hopefully John Bolton will be on the case, and decisively squash this nincompoop's overblown ambitions. Might also be a good idea for our ambassador to do something about Tharoor's little propaganda empire. The word "eliminate" comes to mind.


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