Monday, March 25, 2002
But just give them a chance to criticize Israel...The Washington Post has just come to the shocking conclusion that Europeans don't care about human rights. Well, not exactly; the Post says that Europeans "risk" sending that message.
Apparently now that the United States is no longer a member of the incredibly pointless United Nations Human Rights Commission, having been kicked off by the French, the UNHRC can't even be bothered to make a token effort to criticize Russia, or China, or even Cuba.
Though the U.N. commission has no real authority, Beijing has gone to great lengths to avoid the passage of resolutions in recent years, threatening would-be sponsors with economic and political retaliation. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations pressed resolutions anyway; with the United States gone this year, the European Union released its members to take action if they so choose. But so far none has done so -- not Britain, or Germany, or Italy or Spain -- and not France, or Sweden or Austria, the three countries that combined to muscle the United States off the commission last year. If that passivity continues, the message to China's Communist regime will be clear: Europe has no will to resist its suppression of political freedom, its torture and murder of the Falun Gong and other religious believers, its campaign against independent intellectuals or its crackdowns in Tibet and Muslim-populated Xinjiang province.Europeans like to think of themselves as superior to the United States. And they like to think of the European Union as a vehicle to create a superpower to balance the United States' influence in the world. But if you want to have influence, you have to be willing to use it. America doesn't always make the right decisions, but at least we're willing to take a stand. The Europeans seem to be more willing to criticize America for it than they are to criticize dictators -- even in a forum where they can act "multilaterally."
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