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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kuwait will fit right in

In an earlier post, I reported that the United Nations has been spared the embarrassment of having Bashar al-Assad's Syria appointed to the 'Human Rights Council' next week at exactly the moment they are shooting at innocent civilian demonstrators. Instead, Kuwait will be taking Syria's place on the Council.

Anne Bayefsky reports that - surprise! - Kuwait will fit right into a Council that includes such human rights paragons as China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. In fact, as can be seen in the picture at top left, the Emir of Kuwait is quite comfortable with Bashar al-Assad of Syria. They govern in similar ways.
Kuwait is hardly qualified to serve on the Human Rights Council. According to recent reports of Freedom House and the State Department, there is no rule of law in Kuwait. There is no independent judiciary. The emir appoints all judges. The emir has the authority to dissolve the National Assembly at will. Formal political parties are banned. Women are required to have a male guardian in order to marry. Women are eligible for a half of their brother’s inheritance. Spousal rape is not a crime. The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence. Vacationers have spent months in jails if airport officials hear them “insulting the emir.”

In other words, Kuwait will fit right in with current Human Rights Council member Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading example of a gender apartheid state, with its entire female population subjected to male domination and grotesque forms of subservience. Not to mention the periodic beheadings which are part of the Saudi judicial system and the illegality of any public display of a religion other than Islam.
And there may be payoffs to Syria and the Arab League for sparing Barack Hussein Obama the embarrassment of having Syria be part of his pet project.
Iran wanted to run for a seat on the Human Rights Council during the last election in 2010. The solution to the delicate problem at that time – with the approval of the Obama administration – was to give Iran a seat on the U.N.’s top women’s rights body instead. As of March 2011, Iran is happily ensconced as a member of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

Nobody is saying what consolation prize Syria will be awarded for withdrawing its Council bid, under the U.N.’s twisted notions of entitlement and desert. The Arab League likely also had a hand in crafting the Kuwait-for-Syria deal. But there is a deafening silence about what the Obama administration might have offered the Arab League for its role. Regardless, the diplomatic endgame appears to have been all smoke and mirrors.
And the Council continues to be dominated by Muslim countries.

What could go wrong?

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