Human Rights Hero

James Taranto
The Wall Street Journal
March 1, 2011

“They love me. All my people with me, they love me,” beleaguered Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour yesterday. “They will die to protect me, my people.”

He seems determined to see to it that as many of them die as possible. “Gadhafi’s forces struck back at his opponents on three fronts Monday, with special operations forces, regular army troops and, rebels said, fighter jets, in an escalation of hostilities that brought Libya a step closer to civil war,” the Associated Press reports from liberated Benghazi.

The Libyan situation ought to occasion some embarrassment at the United Nations. U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization, reports that the U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a 23-page report praising the Gadhafi regime’s human-rights record.

The council has not officially signed off on the report, which, per U.N. Watch, is to be “presented on March 18, and then adopted by the council at the end of the month.” U.N. Watch urges the council to reject it, which it seems likely to do, since it voted yesterday to expel Libya. That recommendation requires ratification by the General Assembly, which is expected today.

We’d say the council should ignore U.N. Watch’s advice and approve the report praising Libya. For it tells us a lot about the U.N. Human Rights Council. U.N. Watch quotes the words of praise from the council’s member nations, a rogue’s gallery of tyrannies:

Sudan noted the country’s positive experience in achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women. The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. . . . North Korea praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its achievements in the protection of human rights. . . . Palestine [sic] commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the consultations held with civil society in the preparation of the national report. . . . Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks. . . . Venezuela acknowledged the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote economic, social and cultural rights, especially those of children. . . . Cuba commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the progress made. . . . Myanmar commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its economic and social progress.

And that’s far from comprehensive. Gadhafi’s regime, of course, did not just start slaughtering and oppressing Libya’s people last week. It has been at it for 42 years. Nonetheless, until just now the regime has been a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The council is a joke, and its actions should be judged by the same standard as any other joke. It ought to approve the report because that would be funnier than rejecting it…

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