The Wages of Multilateralism


This is what happens when you give charlatans, thugs and murderers equal moral and political weight with their betters.

JERUSALEM — Iran’s outspoken President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sent a UN conference on human rights into chaos yesterday as he branded Israel a “cruel and repressive racist regime,” and described the Holocaust as a “pretext” for Jews to “render an entire nation [Palestinians] homeless.”

The remarks sent a collective shiver down the spine of Israelis as they prepared to mark Holocaust Memorial Day beginning at sundown last night.

Representatives of 23 European nations walked out of the Geneva conference as Mr. Ahmadinejad, the only head of state at the meeting, spoke first.

“He ascribed all the problems relating to racism in the modern world to Israel and the Jewish state, and that was enough for me to walk out,” British Ambassador Peter Gooderham said.

The 23 countries joined eight others, including Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, that had chosen to boycott the conference from the start.

— Patrick Martin.  “Iranian leader’s ‘hateful’ tirade causes chaos at UN summit“, Globe & Mail, April 21st, 2009.

Yet some—who will receive absolutely no credit from pundits nor their opponents, and have their clairvoyance described as mocking I-told-you-so schadenfreude by our media—predicted this from the outset:

“Our government is leading the world, not following it,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday, in a conference call from Kingston, Jamaica, where he was holding talks with his Jamaican counterpart, Bruce Golding. “We observed clear, unmistakable signs this conference will again scapegoat the Jewish people.

— Oakland Ross. “Told you so, Harper says as Iran stirs UN uproar“, Toronto Star, April 21st, 2009.

The clear, unmistakable sign to the non-muddle-headed being that nations like Iran, who have repeatedly called for the eradication of the Jewish people, are given any official podium time whatsoever.  If Iran wants to fund and preach this nonsense at their own “anti-racism” conference, so be it.  That they should be given time to clown about and harangue democracies of the world, eager for actual progress, is repugnant.  The right of free speech does not entail a right to address international bodies at their expense.

One cannot bring justice to a city, no matter how diligent the police, if the criminals sit on city council.  Crime does not diminish by engaging in dialogue and commerce with the perpetrators, nor by letting them toy with the mechanisms of our civilisational social contract; it is lessened by keeping the venal and murderous incapable of performing their life’s labour on the public.  Yet this basic truth continues to elude diplomats and politicians (not to mention judges and officers of the court) around the globe.

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