The Post’s headline on its Cheney series this morning (in the print, not online edition) is stunning: “The Unseen Path to Cruelty.” I admit that I haven’t read the entire article (life is too busy and too short to spend valuable time reading 200,000 word Post articles) but I’ve read enough to understand that today’s installment concerns the treatment of detainees. “Cruelty?” That is much too freighted a word to appear in a news headline. Surely the editors of the Post realize that the question of how to treat enemy combatants is a complex policy question. If Cheney took the position that the executive has broad constitutional authority in this area, as the article suggests, it was not because he is a cruel man, but out of genuine conviction that this was the best way to protect the American people.
In better Post news, good op-ed piece by Jackson Diehl on the disgrace they call the United Nations Human Rights Council. What does the council have to say about Darfur? China? Zimbabwe? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Russia? Cuba? Nothing. But about the Middle East’s lone democracy? “Eleven resolutions were directed at the Jewish state. None criticized any other government.”
Further, “the council chose to establish one permanent and special agenda item: the ‘human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.’ In other words, Israel (or ‘Palestine,’ in the council’s terminology), alone among the nations of the world, will be subjected to continual and open-ended examination.” Note the terminology: “Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” Let’s not kid ourselves. The nations who signed on to this are in no doubt that “Palestine” in the Arab vocabulary includes Haifa, Tel Aviv, and the rest of Israel.