The Catholic Thing
Hilary’s Return and What it Means Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Thursday, 04 December 2008

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Ray Flynn tells the story that before the Cairo Conference in 1994 Pope John Paul II personally asked him to arrange a telephone conversation with President Bill Clinton. Flynn asked the White House but got no response. He called and called.

Flynn was stalled so long that he flew from Rome to Washington to make a personal appeal. As in the heyday of divine-right monarchs, Flynn cooled his heels in the president’s antechamber for days. Finally, former Senator Tim Wirth, then Assistant Secretary of State, told Flynn there was to be no phone call for the pope; that no one was going to lobby the president on the Cairo Conference. Flynn said this was not a lobbying request; this was a request for a meeting from the pope himself. A short conversation was allowed.

A year later, the United Nations held the Beijing Women’s Conference. Prior to that event, Vice President Gore requested a meeting with the Holy See delegation and asked for their assurances that they would negotiate in good faith, meaning that they would not singlehandedly block consensus, something they could have done, stand against the whole world and stop anything. The Holy See delegates assured Gore that they would negotiate in good faith and would not singlehandedly block consensus. Gore said he was satisfied. Within hours, Gore held a press conference at which he said he had met with the Holy See delegation and had concluded it would not negotiate in good faith.

In subsequent years, the Clintons virtually led the charge at the United Nations on behalf of advancing a right to reproductive health. They deny it to this day, but reproductive health means almost exclusively a right to U.N.-style family planning, including abortion.

The Clintons’ main enforcer was the afore-mentioned Tim Wirth who famously kept a big bowl of condoms on his desk at the State Department. This was the man who at the Cairo Conference told Egyptian security forces that a particular pro-lifer was a terrorist. The “terrorist” was subsequently arrested by the Egyptians. In the Bush years, Wirth decamped to the U.N. Foundation, the place where Ted Turner parked a billion dollars to fund U.N. activities.

Though outnumbered a few thousand to one and outspent a billion to one, pro-lifers had a good record going up against the Clintons at the United Nations. The Clintons and their allies tried to get an explicit right to abortion and the pro-lifers stopped them. The Clintons tried to redefine the family and the pro-lifers stopped them.

Clinton’s ongoing chief negotiator was a tough-as-nails, smart-as-a-whip, heavy-set radical feminist with a slate-grey bowl haircut and a photographic memory for U.N documents named Margaret Pollack. What’s more, Pollack has an iron keister. She sat in that negotiating chair for hours, days, weeks, months, and years and never waivered from Hilary Clinton’s assertion that “human rights are women’s right and women’s right are human rights,” which, translated from the UN-ese, means that women have an unalloyed right to abortion.

At Beijing+5 the United Nations accredited several thousand pro-abortion NGO lobbyists. They accredited only 30 pro-lifers. A radical feminist from Turkey named Yakin Erturk refused more than that. Erturk was rewarded with a cushy job as U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

Pollack fought to the very end. At 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning, after two weeks of intense negotiating, she finally threw in the towel. One by one, Pollack backed down on the Clinton demands.

Arrayed across the back of the room stood a line of angry bulls, ambassadors from a number of Muslim states who never come to these types of negotiations and certainly never come at 5 in the morning. But they were angered that the Clinton feministas were refusing to admit they had been beaten on abortion and other issues. Pro-lifers know the key to winning is getting the Muslims in full-throated outrage at the radical feminists. Yet here is the real key to our victory then and now. In the NGO gallery only a few NGO personnel were left. Out of thousands, only four feminist lobbyists remained. Out of 30 pro-lifers who were accredited, 26 remained. I know. I was there. I counted.

Letters are circulating from various conservative religious folks, and columns are being written, saying to the Obamas and now the Clintons, “come let us reason together.” Horse merde. Hilary is back. Margaret Pollack will be back. Tim Wirth will be back, and their whole crew. We know what that means. As for my colleagues and me, to paraphrase the great Midge Decter, we are going to the United Nations not to build bridges to the Obamas and the Clintons; we are going to destroy their ideas.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy.

(c) 2008 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights write to: info at thecatholicthing dot org

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Comments (9)Add Comment
written by Virginia Hoyns, December 05, 2008
How do we stop these Clintons and their gang? Perhaps the only I can think of is daily prayer invoking the Holy Spirit to help us.

Thanks you for the enlightenment in this article
written by Michael, December 05, 2008
These Clinton allies do sound scary.
The author raises a very interesting point about Muslim opposition to abortion, I'd like to see an article explaining more about that and how we may work with them on this issue.
My one criticism of the article is this: why bother telling us what Pollack looks like? Paranoid feminists seize on that kind of thing as evidence of sexism.
written by Ed Mechmann, December 05, 2008
I can''t even imagine why one would need condoms at the State Department. Oh, well, actually maybe I can...
written by William H. Phelan, December 05, 2008
It is assuring that Mr. Ruse and others are in the trenches fighting the good fight. Muslims are willing to fight and die for their beliefs; something most Catholics and other "Christians" would never consider. There is also hope from the Episcopalians as the branch which objects to the ordination of openly sodomite men to the "episcopacy" and blessing sodomite unions just withdrew from the Anglican Communion. Benedicamus Domino!
written by Bill, December 05, 2008
Keep on fighting, Austin. It is interesting to note the dropoff in terms of support on the pro-abortion side as the fight drags on. I have noticed a similar dwindling of their numbers at a local planned parenthood facility. We are there at the rosary every single week. The counter-demonstrators on the pro-abortion side come and go, but never stay for more than a few weeks. Perhaps this is an important sign of hope for those who "persevere to the end."
written by Austin Ruse, December 05, 2008
I will be writing more in the future about our relationship with the Muslims. Just know that without them, abortion would be recognized as a human right in UN documents.
written by Lynne Addair, December 06, 2008
It is sad that Cathholics voted for economy instead of security with the military and pro life. I see births almost every day. They are a true miracle. I see small ones not live. I guess, I do not understand how a baby, regardless of the week in the womb is not a human sure looks like one to me. I guess, many people did not take biology in high school. I am frustrated for our future. Yes, I am a catholic. I am a Director of Nursing and a reitred Army Colonel.
Not Paranoia
written by Ron, December 06, 2008
Mr. Ruse delivers a fascinating insider's view. But when I read the obviously mysogynist description of Ms. Pollack it certainly gives me pause concerning how accurate the rest of his information is. I'm sure it was not the intention to perpetuate the notion of gender bias among the church establishment, but here it is. I don't agree with Ms Pollack but we need better tools than physical ridicule and French vulgarity.
written by Gunnar Gundersen, December 07, 2008
So much for hopechange.

Keep letting us know how we can help.

This evil ideology must be stopped.

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