Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am disgusted by my country:
The Obama administration was reelected today for a second three-year term to the U.N.’s top human-rights body, the Human Rights Council, with substantially fewer votes than human-rights heavyweights United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Côte d’Ivoire, Venezuela, and Pakistan.
Also coming out a big winner today was the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which retained the balance of power on the Council. Council membership is divided among five regional groups, and the African and Asian regional groups comprise the majority of members. OIC states will continue to make up the majority on each of the African and Asian regional groups.
None of that fazed Obama U.N. ambassador Susan Rice. She told reporters after the vote that the outcome validated the administration’s decision to join the Council. Actually, the reverse is true. U.S. membership validates the Council as a serious human rights body — despite the fact that it is the U.N. entity chiefly responsible for the demonization of the state of Israel as allegedly the world’s worst human-rights violator. Thirty-eight percent of all the human rights criticism directed at specific countries by the Council in its six-year history has been directed at Israel alone. None has been directed at countries such as Saudi Arabia and China, to name but a few.
I guess you really can tell a man or woman by the company he or she keeps:
With a straight face Pakistani ambassador Masood Khan told the press after his country’s election today, “All forces and all segments of civil society in Pakistan are committed to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.” That would be news to say, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by fellow Pakistanis for advocating girls’ education.
The validation theme paraded by the Obama administration was echoed by the regime of another Council winner, Hugo Chavez. Venezuela ambassador Jorge Valero Brice?o told journalists that his country’s election was a recognition of the quality of democracy in Venezuela and its highly developed human-rights record.
The spectacle may portend an Obama second-term with Rice in a key role. She both bragged to reporters about fictional “strong American leadership” while adding a throw-away line about the “flaw” of “excessive focus on Israel.” Brace yourselves for four more years of such “leadership” and the minor nuisance of Israel’s life-and-death struggle for legitimacy and equality on the world stage.
I kind of mixed up the syntax of my opening. This is the first time today I am disgusted with my country.