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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Lileks in the Times-Picayune

Shall we grovel?

. . . Kerry repeated his constant campaign theme: his intention to drop to one knee, Jolson-style, in the United Nations General Assembly and beg for forgiveness. "Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world."

It plays to the base. The left is terribly worried about what the popular kids are saying about them in the United Nations. "We've alienated the world! For heaven's sake, we've alienated China! Oh, and Free Tibet!" The right couldn't care less, but what can you expect out of a party that would rather get married to Great Britain than have an affair with France? The undecided middle -- defined at this point as "people who aren't paying attention" -- is waiting to learn why we'd be safer trusting an organization whose response to Rwanda was to send not armies, but condolences. And even that took years.

One suspects that the number of undecided Americans may be fewer this week than the last -- at least if they heard about the U.N. reaction to Israel's ballistic dismissal of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas' leader-of-the-week. What a loathsome man he was. A architect of death and terror. Religious bigot, child-killer, slaughterer of fellow Arabs. Israel finally takes him out. The United Nations springs into action -- to consider a resolution to condemn the attack.

It was "extra-judicial," you see. Contrary to "international law." In the mind of a Eurocrat, whose paycheck demands belief in these ephemeral concepts, these are grave charges. To your average American, however, the strike on Rantisi was like a strike on Osama bin Laden. Anyone whose main objection to the death of a terrorist is its "extra-judicial" nature has odd priorities, particularly in wartime.

It's as if U.N. groupies think we should prop up "international law" so it'll be our shield when the tides turn against the West. As if a triumphant Hamas would petition The Hague for the right to exterminate the Jews before the final pogrom began.