Saturday, October 22, 2005

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

This is old news, but worth mentioning. A UN investigation concluded that high-ranking members of the Syrian government and military establishment were behind the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon. To anyone with even the most cursory understanding of the Lebanon-Syrian relationship, this conclusion is not surprising. Syria ruled Lebanon as a satellite state until its withdrawal last year, and nothing serious went on in the country without, at least, Syrian approval.

The surprise is the willingness of the UN to actually criticize a country not named Israel (or the United States). For years, the UN has served as a mouthpiece for dictators and thugs, spending most of its time attacking democracies for actions far more benign than those committed by genocidal states (Sudan comes to mind).

But coupled with the report on the Oil-For-Food debacle, maybe things are looking up. It would be great if the UN actually started to serve its purpose, which was to provide a forum for states to work out difficulties and for cooperation in solving global problems.

Two good omens in only a few months. I wonder if a certain US ambassador is having some influence after all.

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