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The UN and the Terrorism Trade

The Human Rights Council is a body more zealously devoted to chronic criticism of democratic Israel than condemnation of major human rights offenders -- some of which hold seats on the Council (for instance, Cuba, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia). This same Human Rights Council is effectively a ward of the 193-member General Assembly, where a similar bias prevails.

Add to that the problem that the UN over the years has proven eager to get involved in quite a number of issues where it then becomes a bureaucratic toll collector -- providing services as an erstwhile "neutral" monitor, or arbiter, while substantially protected from public scrutiny by its immunities, far-flung cross-border operations, and byzantine, eye-glazing procedures.

More immediately, consider that this is the same UN that despite its vast array of inspectors, peace-keepers, rapporteurs, monitors, special envoys, and so forth, has failed to stop the carnage of the Syrian regime, failed to stop the nuclear pursuits of Iran and North Korea, failed to stop the rearming of Hezbollah in Lebanon, failed to stop the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, and tolerated such stuff as one of its own under-secretaries, Sha Zukang, presenting an award two years ago to the Chinese general who was operational commander of the troops during the crushing of the 1989 protests centered in Tiananmen  Square.

Also, there is the huge matter that terrorist attacks in our time have largely been acts of war, not simply criminal offenses. That need not obviate the rights of victims to seek redress via the courts. But there is the danger here that a UN system of global "compensation" would become a fig leaf for trying to shovel terrorism, generally, toward the courts.

As it now stands, the UN has no definition of terrorism, but it appears ready to dabble in the flows of money that might attend upon redress for terrorist atrocities.There may be plenty that individual governments, or coalitions of the decent, can do, if they are willing, both to help victims of terrorism, and deter practitioners of terrorism from doing more of it. But to funnel such efforts through the UN is a losing game.