The U.N.'s top human rights body on Friday began an emergency session on Libya to decide whether to condemn and ostracize the North African country for its crackdown on anti-government protesters.Where to start with this?
It is the first time that the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council has held a special session to scrutinize one of its members.
European nations were leading the effort to condemn the crackdown ordered by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime, order a U.N.-led investigation into possible crimes against humanity and propose suspending Libya from the council.
Observers say African and Asian nations are wary of setting too strong a precedent that could be used against other human rights abusing regimes in future.
Suspending Libya's "rights of membership" under the rules for the council would require two-thirds approval of all the 192 countries in the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Human rights activists said they expect a strongly worded resolution to pass, though it might be watered down by efforts to achieve the broadest possible consensus.
While efforts to ostracize Libya from the council are being driven by Europe, the United States and some Latin American countries, Asian and African nations will be wary of setting a precedent that can be used against them or their allies in future, said Peter Splinter of Amnesty International.
"This is a test of the council and the willingness of some of its more active members, such as Pakistan, South Africa, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, to take a principled stand on human rights," he said.
In Brussels, NATO also planned to hold an emergency meeting Friday to consider the deteriorating situation in Libya. It had received no requests to intervene said it would only do so if it were given a United Nations mandate.
My first thought: the atrocity unfolding in Libya is blindingly obvious and indefensible, and Libya's ordinary people are so clearly in need of substantive help – and yet the organization charged with identifying and leading the response to such abuses is paralyzed by internal dissent. They can't even agree to condemn the atrocity, much less actually do anything about it. It's hard to imagine a clearer demonstration of the utter futility of both the Human Rights Council in particular and the United Nations in general.
Related thought: this is the inevitable result of cultural relativism. Together with its closely related disease (multi-culturalism), cultural relativism has made it impossible for the world to deal effectively with Libya, the Somali pirates, and the innumerable other plagues upon our modern world. Our collective refusal to stand up and say “Yes, our culture is better than theirs!” (for this is the essence of cultural relativism) has left us unable to police the world. And the world dearly needs policing. We need a cop, and these days that cop needs to carry a big, big stick.
Just to pick on one example, how else could we deal with the Somali pirates? Back in the early days of our republic, our founding fathers knew what to do: they sent the Marines to Tripoli to kick some pirate ass (which, of course, they did!). To Thomas Jefferson, their was no doubt whatsoever of the moral superiority of the American culture over that of the pirates. Tripoli needed a cop, and the Americans provided it. Why is this same decision so apparently difficult today? Surely no one actually believes there's a serious military risk for us in kicking some Somali pirate ass? They're armed with AK-47s and RPGs, not M1A1s and nukes.
The world needs a cop. Moreover, the world needs a cop that is unafraid of a declaration of moral superiority.
Now here's a scary thought for you. There are people out there trying very hard to become exactly what I'm asking for: the world's cop, with a clear sense of moral superiority. It's radical Islam.
I don't know about you, but personally, I'd much rather have our cop than their's...
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