The Terrible Hypocrisy of the UN on Syria (and Much Else)

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If the double-veto last week by Russia and China of a Security Council resolution condemning Syria isn't enough to prove to you that the UN is a swamp of moral corruption and ostentatious hypocrisy, I'm not sure what will. From my Bloomberg View column:

A distressingly large number of governments represented at the UN rule without the consent of their people. China and Russia, each with veto power at the Security Council, are committed to protecting anti-democratic regimes around the globe for reasons of basic self-preservation. Just as the 22 states that comprise the Arab League look after Palestinian interests at the UN, China and Russia look after the interests of autocrats and fascists. (There is significant overlap, of course, between the Arab League and the more informally organized but still potent League of Autocrats.)
What's most maddening about the UN is that even its democratic members sometimes crumple before the diktats of autocrats. South Africa -- home of Nelson Mandela! -- abstained on the Syria vote. South Africa, in fact, is becoming an expert at caving to China, its largest trading partner. On Oct.4, the Dalai Lama said that he had canceled a trip to South Africa, which he had hoped to visit to celebrate Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday, because its government "seems to find it inconvenient to issue a visa." China's influence was clear.
In a talk a few days later, the Dalai Lama noted that "for the communist totalitarian system," hypocrisy and "telling lies has unfortunately become part of their lives."

I suggest you read the whole thing, as they say.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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