Breaking Promises and Betraying an Ally at the U.N.

The American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, lobbied for the United States to join the egregious United Nations Human Rights Council -- a body dedicated to bashing America and Israel and shielding true human rights violators around the world (many of whom have sat as members of the council for years). She promised a new direction for the council, pledged that America would use its prestige to change the council's nature, and specifically promised that the U.S. would battle "the anti-Israel crap."

In the wake of Rice's arrival at the U.N. comes the Goldstone Report, which severely and unfairly condemns Israel for its operations to halt Gazan rocket attacks. Meanwhile, Hamas was given all but a free pass. In all fairness, the wheels were already in motion to create the Goldstone report when Rice joined. But there are several steps America could take, but has not taken, to minimize the impact. The report was sent for debate to the U.N. General Assembly. The assembly will vote to endorse the report after the debate. Where is America? Is Susan Rice debating the merits of the report? Is she battling the "anti-Israel crap"?*
The United States on Wednesday openly eschewed a United Nations General Assembly debate on a resolution that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate charges of war crimes during the Gaza war detailed in the Goldstone Commission's report.

The nonbinding resolution on the Goldstone report, which looked certain to be approved by the 192-nation assembly, also requests that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submit the 575-page report to the Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice skipped the discussion and sent her deputy, Alejandro Wolff, as an observer instead.

Israel's ally the United States was one of a small number of countries expected to vote against the resolution. In a clear warning to the administration, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to oppose UN endorsement of Goldstone's findings (emphasis mine). (Haaretz)

Why would the administration need such a "warning"? After all, Susan Rice promised in her lobbying to "fight the anti-Israel crap." Debating, dissuading, citing bias and factual errors, siding with a long-time ally, "speaking truth to power"...that is how one fights, not by sending an observer. It is the equivalent of voting present. A disgrace is unfolding as America watches. Where is Pat Moynihan when you need him? This is a Democrat who once served as Ambassador to the United Nations, who understood that the basic principles of America include standing up for our values and our allies, not to mention defending them against calumnies and assaults from tyrants. While America stood mute, the General Assembly endorsed the Goldstone report. This is a body dominated by the sort of thugocracies toward which the Obama team has one stance: servility.

Israel may yet again be confronted with the spectacle of its leaders and brave soldiers being dragged to (and lynched at) the International Criminal Court -- as may America and our allies. Does the administration look ahead at all? Maybe it does, but only for ways to constrain American autonomy, sovereignty, and power.

This is shameful and dangerous, but it gets worse. If it continues along its present path, the Goldstone report could serve as a Trojan Horse against America. The report's arguments can be used against America and our allies when we battle terrorists overseas (say, in Afghanistan). This might be one reason why our adversaries are promoting it with such fervor.
If it is taken seriously, the Goldstone logic could (and eventually will) be applied to NATO tactics in Afghanistan, where civilians are also sometimes killed in the course of anti-Taliban operations. This may well be a U.N. goal-the preamble in a process that could lead to, say, Director Leon Panetta in the dock at the Hague.
The Wall Street Journal from, which the above excerpt was drawn, also stated that "having now joined the Human Rights Council -- a point the president underscored, to applause, in his speech yesterday at the U.N. -- it now has an obligation to police that body and call it out on its charades, lest it become complicit." Complicit we appear to be.

The Goldstone report may constrain American actions to defend ourselves from terrorism. It may protect and empower our adversaries, who will be able to spread violence and death around the world with impunity. The latest presidential outreach to Iran makes it clear that apathy toward danger will be our operative principle. This week, our president betrayed reform-minded Iranian protestors' cries for help by promising the mullahs of Iran that we do not "interfere in the internal affairs of Iran."

Cutting off funding for Iranian opposition groups -- even human rights groups that merely want to remember the victims of the regime or promote democracy -- is a strategy following this brutal, cold-hearted logic.

Does Obama's refusal to interfere in another nation's internal affairs also apply to Darfur?

We take such steps backwards at our -- and the world's -- peril. The Bush preemption doctrine is dead, and terror groups can now proliferate in friendly host nations around the world. John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, and every president for the past few generations, Republican and Democrat alike, stood up for the oppressed and endangered of the world.  

We can take pride that at one time America had a leader who symbolized our idealism and our creed with these words:
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world!

(John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, 1961)
Were those "just words" to Barack Obama? Apparently so. We are not just betraying an ally; we are betraying our own principles.

*Rice isn't defending America, either. Under her watch, a brand new initiative has come forth: the U.N. Human Rights Council is sending an investigator around America to report back on "housing violations." This "special rapporteur" is focused on discrimination in housing. One of the cities she will visit is Chicago, where Barack Obama worked and failed as a community organizer. Is Obama now hoping to fulfill his mission of securing adequate housing for the poor of Chicago by endorsing an international review of that city's housing policy? Will the special rapporteur deign to visit Atgeld Gardens -- a devastated area that Obama failed to improve during his community organizing years? Will she also find time to inspect the wretched housing that Valerie Jarrett (who headed the Habitat Company, a real estate organization) left behind when she flew off to Washington, D.C. to serve as a special adviser to the President? Methinks not.

Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.