The United Nations was always a joke. It was always an anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-freedom institution masquerading as a dispassionate arbiter of international right and wrong. The U.N. never had much credibility to begin with, but now, it's become a full-blown trip down the Alice-in-Wonderland rabbit hole.
The U.N. has a particularly Kafkaesque body called the Human Rights Council. As you might imagine from its name, the HRC is supposed to monitor human rights around the world and recommend sanctions on grievous human rights violators. Rendering such judgments? Nations with such sterling human rights records as Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Russia, and until a few weeks ago, Libya. I'm not making this up.
The latest member trying to score a seat on this coveted Council? Syria. Again, not making it up.
Now, before we get into why allowing Syria on the UNHRC is simultaneously horrifying and makes perfect sense, let's take a look at the UNHRC's website and check out some of the "Working Groups" they've got going:
HRC Working Groups (Have you noticed that the U.N. Human Rights Council has the same initials as Hillary Rodham Clinton? Just sayin'.)
Open-ended Working Group on the Right to Development
Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
Ad Hoc Committee on the elaboration of complementary standards
Open-ended Working Group on an optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to provide a communications procedure
Open-ended Working Group on the Draft United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training
Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on an international regulatory framework of activities of private military and security companies
Orwellian. Bizarre. Absurd. Rabbit Hole.
Given that this is their "work," let's examine Syria's application to sit on the UNHRC. The Assad regime under both father and current son has been among the world's most brutal. Hafez al-Assad slaughtered between 10,000 and 40,000 people in Hama in the early 1980s. Bashar al-Assad is carrying out a particularly bloody crackdown as we speak, with the military killing hundreds of protesters over the past few weeks of protests. Hafez turned Syria into a police state, building the dreaded secret security force, the mukabarat, into the most feared instrument of his government. His son has maintained the oppression, and taken it up a notch. He has also aligned with Iran, serving as Tehran's pool boy in the region. Syrian control over Lebanon and its support for terrorists groups Hezbollah and Hamas have also been ramped up.
But Syria hopes to score a seat on the UNHRC, and truth be told, it would fit right in among the thugs, gangsters, and terrorists already there. President Bush would have nothing to do with this charade. President Obama, however, thought we could do some "good" sitting among the killers, so there we are. Where is our U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice, on Syria's application to join this theater of the absurd? If we're going to be a party to this ridiculousness, we might as well stand for something. Reports are that she's working behind the scenes to get Syria to withdraw. How about working in front of the scenes?
Unless the U.N. wants to join the League of Nations in the dustbin of history, it needs to reject Syria for the UNHRC. Besides, there's another country bidding to get the seat if Damascus gets booted. Kuwait. Because their record is sooooo much better.