Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has been deploying military forces to murder his own people. Unarmed demonstrators have been gunned down. Tanks are rolling into major cities. Don’t believe the official death tolls of three or four hundred Syrians – the real butcher’s bill is over twice that high.
And Syria is about to get a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
No, that’s not a joke. It’s really going to happen. In fact, the politics of the United Nations mean “Syria is virtually guaranteed a seat,” when the votes are counted on May 20, according to Fox News. Why not? Libya had a seat, until a resolution of the U.N. General Assembly suspended them at the beginning of March.
When U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was asked about blocking Syria from leaving a trail of bloody footprints into the Human Rights Council, a spokesman replied, “That’s not really for the Secretary General to suggest to a member state.” He apparently didn’t even bring it up in conversation with Assad during a phone call two weeks ago.
There will be some outspoken opposition to this appointment, and much of it will come from the United States. Syria’s elevation to the Human Rights council would be a devastating blow to the same “smart power” that was deployed to hail Assad as a “reformer” only a few weeks ago. That’s one reason so many U.N. member states will be eager to vote for Syria. Egg on the face is the preferred breakfast for Uncle Sam at the United Nations.
Besides Syria, the current candidates for the Asia Group seat on the Human Rights Council are India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The best way for U.S. diplomacy to head Bashar Assad off at the pass could be to introduce a fifth candidate that bleeds away Syrian votes, assuming the Asia Group cannot be pressured into dropping Syria altogether.
If that doesn’t work, this outrageous appointment should be the beginning of American withdrawal from the United Nations, and the civilized nations of the Earth should come with us. Anne Bayefsky of the Hudson Institute had the right idea when she told Fox News, “Syria knows a good deal when it sees it, and the like-minded countries in the Asian regional group that nominated Syria are just as enthusiastic about the U.N.’s idea of a ‘human rights’ body. So the question for the Obama administration is not how do we keep Syria out, but why is the United States in?”
An organization that sweeps in all the worst rogues and tyrants of the world, ignoring their evil to grant them seats at the same table as the great and the good, will inevitably bring people down instead of raising them up. The U.N. spends its days churning out “international laws” that only the better nations consider obeying, to their cost. It has become an engine for the re-distribution of both wealth and honor. Its greatest “achievements” have been constructed of American bone and muscle, while its many failures are funded with American tax money. Is there anything worthwhile the United Nations has done, which the United States could not have accomplished more efficiently on its own? How often has the U.N. broadcast our values with greater clarity, to a world that desperately needs to hear of them? How much villainy has the U.N. actually stopped?
Syria is rolling into a seat on a “Human Rights Council” that spends much of its time condemning Israel. The Israelis must often ask them to repeat those condemnations louder, as they cannot easily be heard over the sound of Hamas rockets tearing into school buses. If the Syrian appointment is successfully blocked, it should be the first of many great reforms to a global parliament that does not spend nearly enough time feeling ashamed of itself.
All of these Arab democracy movements turn out to be mixed bags. Bashar Assad is firing machine guns into his mixed bag, and the blood of innocents leaks from the bullet holes. We can’t conquer Syria or eliminate Assad, but we can be the clear voice of freedom and human dignity. Once upon a time, we spoke with that voice into the rusted shadows beyond the Iron Curtain, and history took note of our words.
It is time to speak again, by forcefully declaring Bashar Assad an illegitimate leader who should step down immediately… and withdrawing with equal speed from any organization determined to confer a shred of legitimacy upon him. No human rights council endorsed by the United States of America should have any seats for murderous tyrants.