Friday, March 30, 2007

The useless UN, part 1700+

Bowing to the "international community" the UK took its case against Iran's illegal seizure of UK marines and sailors to the UN and suffered diplomatic humiliation. The UN issued only a "press statement" that expressed "serious concern" -- not "grave concern" and not claiming to "deplore" Iran's acts.

As Fox News noted,
"A press statement is the weakest action the council can take . . ."

Meanwhile, a lovely measure of Britain's lack of resolve (or at least a summary thereof) is in Matthew Norman's column in The Independent, titled "We've Lost the Authority to Lecture Iran" which naturally includes these bits of relativism and idiocy:

. . . although Leading Seaman [Faye] Turney seemed stressed, naturally enough, she also looked healthy. There were no overt signs of any physical violence, and her hands were not cuffed. She was wearing civilian clothes, and was allowed to smoke. So on hearing Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, saying that it is "totally unacceptable to parade our people in this way", the image that flashes to mind is that of other people being paraded for a global television audience, their legs and hands chained together, their bodies immersed in lurid orange boiler suits.

The British Government wasn't directly responsible for Guantanamo Bay, but it colluded in the illegal seizure of suspects taken there and mistreated to an unimaginably worse degree than appears the case with LS Turney. It assisted the Americans in their pioneering extension of the concept of outsourcing to take in torture, allowing CIA jets to refuel at British airports while transporting suspects to countries with a similarly unCyrus-like approach to human rights as modern Iran.

And it never raised a squeak about such criminal acts as the kidnap of Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, an EU citizen who was walking down a Milanese street in February 2003 when CIA operatives snatched him, bundled him into the back of a white van, and flew him to Cairo for interrogation.

None of this is to suggest, of course, that one nation's collusion in the illegal seizure of foreign nationals in any way justifies the use of the same indefensible tactics by another, or diminishes the seriousness of the offence. But British complicity in these American crimes raises questions about the source of the moral authority fuelling the current outrage about LS Turney's television appearance.

As one comment board poster wondered:

Where's the nation that crushed the Ottoman Empire? Yoo-hoo! Brits - do something! We are by your side! What are you waiting for?

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