Rules of War, UN-Style
Among top officials of the United Nations, the conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorists of Gaza has inspired plenty of commentary, much of it ranging from effectively anti-Semitic to utterly imbecilic. But for an astounding mix of those two qualities, it's hard to beat the comment this week of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay -- summed up by the Breitbart headline, "UN Condemns Israel's Latest War Crime: Not Sharing Iron Dome With Hamas."
To be fair, there's a bit of shorthand in that headline, since Pillay's condemnation in the matter of not sharing Iron Dome with terrorists was aimed not only at Israel, but at the U.S. The Breitbart report draws on Pillay's remarks Thursday to reporters in Geneva, as quoted by the Israeli news service Haaretz.com. Having denounced Israel up, down and sideways, Pillay turned her attention to the U.S.: "They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they've also provided almost $1 billion in providing the 'Iron Domes' to protect Israel from rocket attacks.... But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling."
Even for the UN, this is a novel notion of "proportionality" -- that a country whose ally is under attack by terrorists should even the battlefield by providing defensive military technology to the terrorists. But Navi Pillay is now rounding out a four year tenure as the UN's "principal human rights official," so presumably we should take seriously what she says.
What she's basically advocating is a redistribution of military technology, to ensure that terrorists have the same defenses as the country they are attacking. By these lights, we stand on the threshold of a fascinating new era in warfare. There's no reason this new UN principle should stop with deploring the failure of the U.S. and Israel to provide an Iron Dome to Hamas. Why not provide the same defenses to Iran's terrorist mascots in Lebanon, Hezbollah? They, too, might benefit from such a system when they launch their next attack on Israel.
For that matter, why limit this UN-inspired exercise in neutrality and human rights to Israel and the terrorist groups in its immediate vicinity? Surely, in this philosophy, the U.S. should start sharing its defensive technology with al Qaeda and its affiliates, worldwide?
It also seems unfair to limit such sharing to terrorist organizations. The UN is, after all, an institution devoted to upholding and treating equally the rights of all sovereign states. Why not save South Korea from its unfair military edge over North Korea, by demanding that Seoul turn over to Pyongyang enough advanced military technology to even the balance? For the sake of world peace, the U.S. could deliver to China any military secrets China hasn't stolen already; likewise, give Russia its fair share. And it almost goes without saying that the U.S. and other world powers should stop dickering with Iran over its nuclear program, and just give Tehran the bomb.
Actually, once this redistribution really gets underway, there are quite a number of UN member states, plus an array of terrorist groups, around the globe, which could more safely threaten or attack the world's developed democracies if only advanced military technology were to be included in the UN roster of aid entitlements. Though, the myriad transfers and accompanying funding could become complex. Maybe it would be more efficient to simply require that all developed democracies turn over all advanced military technology to the UN, along with the requisite cash, to be redistributed to terrorist groups and rogue states as UN human rights officials deem proportionately appropriate. One more step toward the UN dream of a more equitable world.