The daily newspaper in Finland’s capital of Helsinki, the Helsingin Sanomat, contains a couple of op-eds today, that characterizes the usual standard for that paper. One editorializes the “new and improved” UN Human Rights Council, that its not the failure that the US and Israel make it out to be. In the other, a guest pen editorial takes a swipe at US president G.W.Bush, concerning the inability of the NSA to understand the difference between the prayerful talk of a faithful Muslim, from the talk of a potential terrorist.
In the op-ed “A lot is expected from the UN Human Rights Council”, the author sets the tone straight away.
“Since the expectations have been set way too high, any differences between the ‘spittoon reputation’ of the Human Rights Commission will be meaningless.”
In other words, the bar that has been set, should have been lowered considerably enough in order for the new council to easily ‘hop over’ it. MIKO LEMPINEN, of the Finnish Human Rights League, acknowledges the points for the need of reform, but argues that we shouldn’t ‘nit pick’ the newly founded council. While he admits that “the council would be better off, if politics were kept out of the council, by keeping governments out”, he nonetheless contradicts himself by saying that the new HR council’s “political character is a strength, not a weakness”. Supposedly because “they (the new council) would be in the future, acting as open forum for the issues of human rights, the inclusion of states that violate human rights would not detract from its overall importance.”
It seems that Lempinen hasn’t learned from UN history, where these UN political elements have been used by the different regions in the world, that contain the worst human rights violators (Middle East, E. Asia and Africa). These undemocratic ‘block groups’ have learned to guide the debate over human rights to the extent that, the democracies of both the US and Israel are deemed by the world as the chief violators of human rights, while state after undemocratic state commit gross violations go almost unnoticed, and barely ever warranting a sanction from the UN body. The former UN Human Rights Commission’s fetish for Israel was noted for its anti-Semitism, and was extremely counter productive. Not only allowing Arab regimes almost complete immunity from any General Body resolution, but forced Israel to bear the brunt of most of its voting decisions, while China has acted as the protector of the Sudanese (oil producing) regime for decades, securing for Khartoum the freedom to commit their policy of genocide for decades.
Then there is the guest pen op-ed by Mohammad Ali Salih, who thinks that the US’s surveillance of telephone communications is a bit too severe, that the daily language of his father could be misconstrued to be the talk of terrorist, since its contains the words of “Allahu akbar, jihad and infidel”. I guess Mr. Salih is “dumb struck” with the recent revelations of terrorism connections between individuals in Canada, Bosnia, Sweden, Norway, England, Bangladesh and the US. The fact that 17 individuals (all Muslims) were apprehended before they could carry out a massive terrorist attack on Canadian soil, a country by the way not actively pursuing terrorism on foreign soil) tells me that Mr.Salih is in denial. The culture of shame and honor will not permit him to consider that its Islam that’s at fault…..but the West’s understanding of Islam and Western decadence.
Shame on the Helsingin Sanomat for pandering to such nonsensical meanderings, because it fits nicely into its anti-Bush agenda. The HS has been against the US led “war on terror” from the very beginning, and has an openly antagonistic policy directed at the US through its editorial and foreign news depts. This is just one day out of many that sees the HS plodding along on its truly deluded path, that refuses to see the trees from the forest. My only consolation is that this paper is of little significance on the larger international scene. KGS
UPDATE: The HS mistranslated the Arab word Dar al-Harbin, it means non-Muslim lands, (which includes all of North and South America, Africa and East Asia and elsewhere) …….not Western countries. HS: [Dar al-Harbin eli “sodan maan” (länsimaat) ja palaan Dar al-Salamiin eli “rauhan maahan” (muslimimaihin).]