Meet the New UN Boss, Same as the Old UN Boss


The title of today’s post refers, of course, to the lyric from The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Those of you who watched last week’s Super Bowl halftime show probably heard the preserved corpses of Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend perform it. Every person in the crowd seemed to know that line. And yet, the world appears very much about to get fooled again.

Once upon a time (5 years ago) there existed the UN  Commission on Human Rights. The Comission, such as it was, was a mockery of its name. It enjoyed the membership of such paragons of human rights as China, Libya, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. In 2006, it was abolished in favor of the UN Human Rights Council.

Now, we introduce you to the new boss, same as the old boss. From its inception, the Human Rights Council has appeared interested in little else other than condemning Israel. As Claudia Rossett, writing in Forbes, notes:

At U.N. Watch, a nongovernmental watchdog in Geneva, executive director Hillel Neuer keeps a tally of activities at the council–where current membership already includes such abusers as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. Neuer says that since the council was launched in mid-2006, it has issued 33 condemnatory resolutions. Of these, half a dozen have concerned Burma and North Korea. The other 27 have focused on condemning Israel, while absolving its attackers, including the Iranian-backed terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Now, the UN is poised to potentially place Iran on the Human Rights Council. Yes, the same Iran that is currently usually any means necessary to supress opposition to its ruling government. The same Iran that employs “the use of torture, including severe beatings and rape, as a routine method for interrogating and punishing prisoners.”

Even as the US hopes to use Iran’s moment in the sun  to shed light on its abuses, Iran continues to deny it has done anything wrong. Rosset writes:

Iran has submitted an Orwellian report of its own, claiming meticulous respect for human rights, as redefined by Tehran’s lights–arguing that because “the system of government in Iran is based on principles of Islam, it is necessary that Islamic standards and criteria prevail in society.”

When the Human Rights Council was formed, then-Secretary General Kofi Annan claimed it would “usher in a new era of decency.” Perhaps it is too much to ask that decency include being on the side of the attacked the oppressed rather than the attackers and the oppressors. Now would be as good a time as any for the UN to start defining decency as the rest of the world sees decency, as not as the Islamofacists would have it. Sending Iran a swift “no” would be a good start in that direction.