I haven’t written anything about Hamdan, because others on the site have explained it much better than I could. But after reading this AP story about the U.N.’s attempts to condemn Israel for finally responding with force to unrelenting terrorist provocation, the following thought occurred to me:
Is John Bolton the only U.S. official who still gets it?
The United States blocked an Arab-backed resolution Thursday that would have demanded Israel halt its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the first U.N. Security Council veto in nearly two years.
The draft, sponsored by Qatar on behalf of other Arab nations, accused Israel of a “disproportionate use of force” that endangered Palestinian civilians, and demanded Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza.
The United States was alone in voting against the resolution. Ten of the 15 Security Council nations voted in favor, while Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia abstained.
Let’s think about what this means. Hamas terrorists, after launching rocket attacks on civilian areas for months, abducted an Israeli soldier and demanded the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his return. Israel refused and launched a military incursion aimed at pressuring Hamas into releasing the soldier it quite illegitimately took hostage. Hamas refused. During the incursion, Hezbollah terrorists attacked from Lebanon and captured two more soldiers before retreating back across the border. They too attempted to ransom the soldiers. Israel refused to be extorted and widened the war.
Enter the U.N., with its attempted condemnation of Israel for a “disproportionate use of force” – Israel, of course, being disproportionately strong relative to its Arab neighbors, whose U.N. ambassadors tried to help Hamas and Hezbollah fight an asymmetrical war by using the U.N. to weaken Israel.
Tried, that is, until John Bolton brought the whole thing to a screeching halt:
The draft was reworked repeatedly to address concerns that it was too biased against Israel. Language was added calling for the release of an abducted soldier and urging the Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel.
Nonetheless, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said it was still unacceptable because it had been overtaken by events in the region — including the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah militants on Wednesday — and was “unbalanced.”
“It placed demands on one side in the Middle East conflict but not the other,” Bolton said. “This draft resolution would have exacerbated tensions in the region.”
As if Hamas or Hezbollah would respect any demands the U.N. placed upon them anyway. Terrorists are neither governed nor governable by international institutions and treaties. For them these things are objects of manipulation used to weaken their enemies. Terrorists like those currently running the Palestinian Authority don’t really care how bad the humanitarian crisis gets — the worse it gets, the more recruits they have for their cause, and the easier it is to convince the U.N. to pass a resolution condemning Israel. If Hamas really cared about the current suffering of the Palestinian people, Bolton pointed out, they are the ones with the power to do something about it:
Bolton said the United States remains “gravely concerned” at the escalation of the conflict and believes the best way to calm the situation is for Hamas to release Shalit.
But they won’t, because they are counting on moral idiots in the West to condemn Israel for fighting back.
So, to bring Hamdan back into this, here is the message the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.N. have sent to aggrieved political factions this month:
- No tactic is too brutal or target off-limits; your stronger opponents will be made to grant you all the rights and protections due to lawful combatants;
- Hide among civilians and provoke your stronger enemies into inflicting damage upon them; the “world community” will be quick to condemn your enemies, not you.
And then we have John Bolton, fighting the creation of incentives for terrorists. Did I read somewhere that moustaches are making a comeback? All of a sudden I feel like growing a solidarity ‘stache.
UPDATE: Dave Gerstman has Bolton’s statement, in which he essentially calls the Security Council irrelevant. Support Bolton. Grow the ‘stache.