Moral equivalence is the hallmark of the United Nations. Equating American troops with Arab terrorists is child?s play for an organization that places Sudan on the Human Rights Commission. Listening to a human rights organization that includes Sudan lecturing American troops on war crimes is somewhat like listening to Ted Bundy lecturing Mother Teresa on acts of violence.
Mr. Annan and his brethren do not rely on simple statements of moral equivalence. They back them up by citing international law. While Saddam Hussein slew thousands of his own people, supported terrorists throughout the Middle East, and routinely violated the terms of his 1991 cease-fire agreement, the United Nations did nothing except coquettishly lisp at him occasionally. Yet when America invaded Iraq with the help of over 30 countries, Annan denounced the action as ?illegal.? His latest charade? He sent an angry letter to President Bush, Tony Blair, and Iyad Allawi complaining that the ?threat or actual use of force not only risks deepening the sense of alienation ? but would also reinforce perceptions ? of a continued military occupation.?
That?s the beauty of international law: it means whatever Kofi Annan wants it to mean. For some strange reason, many Americans buy into the concept of international law because it supposedly provides ?consensus.? But consensus is no indication of whether a policy is worth following. Anyone who believes American foreign policy should be bound by the imperious, faux-moralistic dictates of nations like France should be forced to contemplate the meaning of consensus morality from the middle of Saudi Arabia.
International law isn?t just foolish, it?s dangerous. This week an American soldier shot an apparently unarmed, wounded Iraqi terrorist in a mosque in Fallujah after the terrorist pretended he was dead. Only the day before, the soldier?s comrade had been killed by a dead, booby-trapped terrorist. The UN will undoubtedly call for the American soldier?s head. Meanwhile, Iraqi terrorists murdered aid worker Margaret Hassan. The UN will undoubtedly call for restraint by American military forces.
In April 2003, I wrote: ?international law consists of nice-sounding sentiments, which, when carried out, contradict basic moral sense. International law might mean more deaths in Iraq than otherwise would have occurred.? If Kofi Annan has his way, innocents and American troops will pay a terrible price.