Can Someone Explain this Syria Thing to Me?

No, not the civil war there. I think I have a hold on that.

I’m talking about the shadowy, backroomy shenanigans by which Syria is voted unanimously onto UN human rights groups.

Most recently, their almost certain entry into the UN Human Rights Council, despite the US’s campaign to prevent it.

Apparently, some countries don’t want to be blackballed themselves someday. So they vote for a regime that has been slaughtering its own people for months to legislate enforcement of global human rights standards.

From the Jerusalem Post article, via Goldblog:

Last November Syria won unanimous election to two human rights committees of UNESCO, the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Despite the suspension of the Assad’s regime from the Arab League, the same nations’ UNESCO ambassadors in Paris refused to allow objections to a country’s human rights record to interfere with their backroom rotation deals, lest one day the precedent be used against them, UN Watch said. They nominated Syria, and it was duly elected.

And according to the statements by other countries (“Brazil argued that the reference to council membership was ‘outside the scope of the resolution,'” etc.) it looks like Syria will join the highest human rights body in the world.

Rendering it absurd.

Um, this is a legit use of the term irony. In fact, we can just lock into our heads: Sarcasm is not irony. Bad luck is not irony. Something funny or dumb happening to you is not irony.

Syria on the UNHRC is irony.

Embedded links aren’t working right now on my WordPress interface, so I’ll do it all ugly URLy:

J Post article: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=276479

NYT Syria blotter: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/syria/index.html

Goldblog: http://www.theatlantic.com/jeffrey-goldberg/

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