Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guess who missed Iran's atrocities?



by Steve Huntley


For months, the streets of Tehran ran red with blood. After June's fraudulent presidential election, Iran's security forces and paramilitary thugs arrested, beat, shot and murdered protesters whose only crime was to be fed up with dictatorial rule. Those unfortunate enough to land in prison were raped, forced to lick toilet bowls, tortured by, for example, having their fingernails ripped out, and killed, some from abuse and some from show executions. All this is common knowledge because the whole world is watching, right?


Well, not exactly. Though the horrors of a theocratic-military regime brutally crushing dissent were spread via media around the world, all that has happened in Iran seems to have escaped the notice of the U.N. Human Rights Council.


Thanks to a just-released report by U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based monitor of the United Nations, we know the council has not introduced, much less adopted, a single resolution condemning Iran. Nor has it held a single special session on the crisis. Nor has it mandated any investigations.


As reprehensible as the council's neglect of innocent Iranians is, it is not an isolated case. An analysis of 30 council resolutions showed that a majority, 18 of them, "turned a blind eye to the world's worst violations" of human rights, reports U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.


For instance, the U.N.'s rights agency cited Sudan in 2009 for "progress" on human rights -- you know, Sudan, home of the Dafur genocide. It ignored such infamous human rights abusers as Russia, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Nicaragua and Egypt, among others. In one resolution, the council launched a frontal attack on free speech by defining any discussion of terrorism committed in the name of Islam as a form of "defamation of religion" and "Islamophobia."


It's not that the council doesn't see bad actors in the world, it's just that the bad actor nearly always turns out to be -- you guessed it -- Israel. More than 80 percent of its condemnatory resolutions -- 27 out of 33 -- have been aimed at the Jewish state. A council double-standard offers cover to Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist murderers.


The most notorious slander against Israel was the 2009 Goldstone Report, a "fact-finding" mission about last winter's Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. That was the response forced on Israel to combat thousands of rockets fired from Gaza in a Hamas campaign of terror.


In an unprecedented effort to limit civilian casualties, Israel used hundreds of thousands of cell phone calls and leaflets to warn innocent Palestinians of danger zones. That foreshadowed the tactics used by the United States in announcing beforehand the current military offensive in Marja in Afghanistan. Just as Americans occasionally kill civilians there, the Israeli Gaza operation inadvertently killed some civilians, but mostly it took out Hamas terrorists and their allies.


The Goldstone report seized on the civilian casualties and baseless accusations from Hamas to accuse Israel of war crimes; the council promptly sent the report to the U.N. General Assembly. Last November the assembly recommended the U.N. Security Council take action, but it has mostly ignored the report. The assembly meets today and, since it hasn't, in Neuer's words, "figured out a way to clobber Israel," it is expected to again ask the Security Council to take action.


The best action would be a complete rejection of Goldstone because it is nothing less than an attempt to repudiate the way civilized nations are forced to fight back against terrorist cowards who plot and commit their atrocities from behind human shields.


U.N. Watch offers a long list of ways to improve the human rights council. Given its sorry record on Iran, Israel and free speech, I'd say it should be consigned to the same place as the Goldstone report -- a trash can.




Steve Huntley

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.




No comments:

Post a Comment