Friday, June 1, 2007

Now We've Got Them Right Where They Want Us

This last Wednesday, the UN Security Council voted to establish a “Special Tribunal for Lebanon” to prosecute the murder, two years ago, of Rafik Hariri, a former Prime Minister of that country.

The Syrian government is thought by the present Lebanese government and its supporters to have had Mr. Hariri assassinated – probably a good guess. My own opinion is that our Iranian friends are also to be found back of the business someplace.

This resolution was put through the Security Council by the US, UK, France and others – with the usual suspects, China and Russia in opposition. However, they abstained from blocking the resolution with a veto.

All of the great and good think this resolution is a step forward: and that the Syrians, and whoever else might be responsible, will be “brought to justice.”

I see the situation differently.

First, and most obviously, assuming the UN finds evidence of Syrian responsibility, what exactly is going to happen then ? The UN has no police, no army, no means of enforcement, other than what its member states put up. And we know who will wind up serving the writ on Boy Assad, should it come to that.

More importantly, we are setting up bad, bad precedents for the future. The Chinese, Russians and others maintain that the Security Council is exceeding its authority, and that this whole business amounts to interference in Lebanese internal affairs. Okay, these states aren’t our friends, but in this case, they are exactly right.

This "special tribunal" business is going to boomerang on us. Right off the bat, I can think of a half dozen tyrants, troublemakers and other so called great leaders – all members in good standing of the United Dictators Organization – over whom I'd shed no tears if they came to grisly ends. One day, to put it bluntly, it may well be in the state interest of the United States, or in that of its allies, to have these people bumped off. Do you think maybe that many people (including the US wacko professor set) would then see another "Special Tribunal" as sauce for the goose ?
Similarly, we have used covert and overt means during the war on terror to specifically target persons deemed threatening to the US or its allies. Will we be looking at UN “Special Tribunals” someday for using drones to kill Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, or for the use of “extraordinary rendition” ? Hey, the wacko professors want that too.

Mind you, I am in no way saying the Syrians or whoever might have killed Rafik Harari should be let off scot-free. Far from it: Mr. Harari was a patriot, and by all accounts an honest man, and leader of a faction it would be in the US interest to see running Lebanon. His death should, and must be, avenged. We should talk in the UN and the other talking shops until we’re blue in the face about Syrian injustice – but that’s talk and propaganda.

As far as the UN goes, the Harari matter should be kept political, and not made legal – a matter for sovereign states to work out politically, with, as necessary, the aid of their intelligence agencies and their militaries. It's quite enough that we pay for the UN (truly the least bright idea Franklin Roosevelt ever had) -- let alone that we have to listen to it. If the Syrians want to blow up Lebanese leaders, than they should pay a price: perhaps learning that bombs can move across borders both ways. But don't involve the lawyers ! Americans have no interest in aiding the transnational progressives in the UN and the international law community in placing limits on the sovereignty of nation states. By doing so, American diplomats are (intentionally ?) aiding the Lilliputians in tying down Gulliver.

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