Friday, October 29, 2004

How Kerry will harm Israel

Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs is a must-read. Yesterday he posted a large part of Martin Peretz's New Republic (subscription req'd) article on how Kerry is likely to treat Israel, how Kerry would be obsequious toward the UN and how Kerry fundamentally misunderstands the world. Peretz was a huge supporter of Al Gore and an adviser to the Gore campaign in 2000. Here are some excerpts:

The United Nations is bloated and corrupt, and its putrescence extends to the secretary-general’s very family and his inner office. Were its headquarters located in Lagos or Beijing, it would disappear because no one would come.

But, of course, the United Nations is located in New York City, where it is planning a multibillion-dollar physical rehabilitation and expansion. It instinctively grasps where its make-believe destiny lies. Yet, intrinsically and practically, it is following the path of the League of Nations . . . And, in a sense, the U.N.’s culpability is even greater, since it often has a presence in the countries where [] killings take place. As hundreds of thousands of noncombatants are slaughtered, the United Nations watches on the ground and dithers in New York while its diplomats dine out on their importance at the city’s elegant salons and eateries.

Of course, there is one place where the United Nations does act reflexively and quickly: Israel. Hardly a week goes by that the secretary-general or one of his flunkies does not severely reproach Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s democratically elected government. You can pass a sweeping resolution condemning Israel anytime, anywhere at the United Nations (except in the Security Council, where the United States has a veto). Indeed, much of the U.N.’s public business concerns the supposed depredations of the Jewish state—given the numerical prowess of Arab and Muslim states in the organization and its agencies. But, listening to Kerry talk about the United Nations, you would not think its very routines are at all problematic. (And, since he has so much esteem for the United Nations and the “world community,” who can be sure that Kerry would employ the “permanent member” veto power on Israel’s behalf?)

* * *
Now, another Kerry eminence, Zbigniew Brzezinski, habitually cavalier about Israel’s perils, has put out a hash of tattered ideas that include bringing European and Muslim troops to Iraq—and perhaps even persuading Iran to foreclose its nuclear option and ending U.S. isolation in the struggle against Islamist terrorism. All that, and just by leaving Israel in the lurch. Kerry’s longtime foreign policy aide, Nancy Stetson, has been heard pooh-poohing his vague “only politics” assurances that he won’t do something like that. . .

. . . Kerry himself is in denial. He is in denial about the United Nations. He is in denial about the Australian election that returned to office for an unprecedented fourth term its prime minister who has been, with his country, a pillar of the Iraq coalition. He is in denial about Japan, whose government, unlike Germany’s and France’s, does not carp at the United States. He is in denial about Afghanistan, where, for the first time in history, men and women, riding on donkeys and walking barefoot across great distances, have exercised the right to choose those who govern them. He is in denial about Iraq itself.

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