The U.N.’s continued silence on Iran is deafening. Yes, eventually we had a handful of statements by Ban Ki-moon and rights chief Navi Pillay, but the system as a whole — especially compared to how they treat certain other regions in the Mideast — has effectively ignored the men and women being beaten, brutalized and shot in the streets of Tehran.

The Security Council is silent; the Human Rights Council is silent; and no member state nor U.N. official has dared to call for an emergency session of either body. Why is the U.N. abandoning Iran’s hundreds and thousands of brutalized victims? Would the young woman Neda have been killed if the U.N. had put the Mullahs on notice, and expressed the world’s outrage?

Inaction on Iran is not only the fault of the repressive regimes. The most enlightened circles have been promoting the most surreal apologetics.

The worst offender, as I wrote here in calling for his resignation, was Roger Cohen of The New York Times. Jonathan Tobin in Contentions similarly notes how Cohen has yet to fess up to his actions.

In the same forum, Emanuele Ottolenghi compares Cohen vs. Cohen:

Roger Cohen, on March 1, 2009:

The June presidential election pitting the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, against Mohammad Khatami (a former president who once spoke in a synagogue) will be a genuine contest as compared to the charades that pass for elections in many Arab states.

Roger Cohen, on June 24, 2009:

Numbers have ceased to mean anything here. All the evidence is that percentages were simply allotted to each candidate and the votes cast backward-engineered from there. The Interior Ministry took 10 days to divulge results for all provinces. Such engineering takes time.

Roger Cohen on March 1, 2009:

Iran is an un-free society with a keen, intermittently brutal apparatus of repression, but it’s far from meeting [the criteria of a totalitarian state]. Significant margins of liberty, even democracy, exist. Anything but mad, the mullahs have proved malleable.

Roger Cohen on June 24, 2009:

All the fudge that allowed a modern society to coexist with a theocracy inspired by an imam occulted in the 9th century has been swept away, leaving two Irans at war. 

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