Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What UN's Humanitarians Forgot

The UN Human Rights Council's report on the Israel-Hezbollah war is out (but not yet posted on the UN Web site) -- and as expected it's weighted against Israel.

Did the investigators -- or in UN lingo, Special Rapporteurs (more on them later) -- forget that Hezbollah started the whole mess by firing rockets into Israel from Lebanon?

Apparently. The Council said Hezbollah may have committed war crimes by targeting civilian populations and "disregarding the principle of distinction," but omitted that they also were guilty of "disregarding the principle of not starting wars by relentlessy provoking a neighboring state into defending its territory." I cheated; that's my principle, not the UN's.

Meanwhile, Israel is tagged with possibly committing war crimes because it failed to differentiate between military and civilian objectives ... but the report appears not to condemn Hezbollah for positioning its military assets in civilian neighborhoods. It also bashed Israel for causing loss of homes and food supplies, as if Hez had no role in this.

About what you'd expect from the UN ... that, and further investigations, which of course are also recommended. The UN is nothing if not self-perpetuating.

Now onto the really important stuff! Here are the Special Rapporteurs involved in the report:
  • Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (Couldn't he be spending his time more productively by investigating al Qaeda in Iraq?)
  • Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Couldn't he be spending his time more productively by investigating North Korea?)
  • Special Rapporteur on the right to food (Couldnt' he be spending his time more productively by investigating the government of Iran, which doesn't pay its workers, making it pretty hard for them to eat well?)
  • Special Rapporteur on adequqate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living (Couldn't he be spending his time more productively by investigating the California Coastal Commission, the major enviro groups, the California State Water Quality Control Board and countless other anti-housing factions that have priced adequate housing out of the reach of so many Californians?) (Or for that matter, the UN itself, for squandering so much tsunami aid that could have gone to rebuilding homes?)
By the way, every one of those titles is real and correct. Apparently the UN issues fold-out business cards.

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