In President Obama’s global campaign of “smart” diplomacy, with its stress on reaching out, engaging and resetting, the main evidence of anything genuinely “smart” – in the most shallow, modern sense – is the love of electronic and digital gadgetry:
– A “Reset” button for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (admittedly, not a button actually wired to anything, but the metaphor, at least, is of the digital age).
– DVDs for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (OK, not compatible with British players, but hey, it’s the idea that counts).
– An ipod for the Queen of England.
If this is to be the trend, America can do much better. America is now planning to join the UN’s discredited Human Rights Commission, which spends most of its time, under its fancy $23 million ceiling, condemning Israel and giving a pass to the world’s worst human rights abusers. Maybe America’s delegates should bring along as a gift a sprinkler system to install in that ceiling, programmed to switch on whenever the Council introduces yet another resolution condemning Israel, or hands a pass to the likes of Belarus and Sudan. More on why this would be appropriate, in my column this on Forbes.com , on “Why Not to Join the U.N. Human Rights Council.”