Good Riddance to You, Mrs. Robinson.(EDITORIALS)

Article excerpt


As she prepared to leave office on September 11, U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson waxed indignant over the fallout from the atrocities that took place on American soil one year earlier. But Mrs. Robinson's primary displeasure wasn't directed at Osama bin Laden or the terrorists he sent to kill approximately 3,000 Americans. She was upset with U.S. efforts to prevent terrorists from committing future acts of mass murder.

According to Mrs. Robinson, the United States has been giving "human rights" short shrift in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Everything is justified by that T-word [terrorism]," Mrs. Robinson complains. Most upsetting to her is the U.S. military's detention of suspected al Qaeda and Taliban operatives at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mrs. Robinson seems blissfully unaware that terrorism itself constitutes a major threat to human rights. When she was president of Ireland in the 1990s, Mrs. Robinson and other European leaders routinely did nothing when Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat diverted international aid money intended to better the lives of the Palestinian people to pay for his terrorist infrastructure. As Michael Rubin, a visiting fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, wrote on National Review Online: "The sad fact is that aid given by Robinson helped build the organizations that now kill children at pizzerias, teen-agers at discos, and pensioners at Passover seders . …