Monday, November 22, 2004

Arbour, then and now

In today’s Washington Post, columnist Jackson Diehl cautiously criticizes the US military’s all-out assault on Fallujah, not because it killed people and broke things, but because it made the US look bad on TV. Well, he is an interventionist.

Diehl describes the footage of a Marine shooting a wounded Iraqi as a “spectacle,” and argues that an “understandable enough” response for Americans is “rage at the vicious anti-Americanism that drives the popular media of the Middle East, and at the milder variety that informs [UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise] Arbour, a Canadian, and many of her European counterparts.”

Here’s the funny part. Diehl, or any of his colleagues in the mainstream punditocracy, wasn't bothered by Louise Arbour in the least back in 1999, when she was the chief prosecutor of the kangaroo court known as the ICTY.

As such, she had issued an indictment against Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in the midst of NATO’s aggression against his country. The indictment came after several very embarrassing “mistakes” by NATO bombers, and made Louise an instant hero in NATOland. For her dedicated service to the Imperial cause, she was later rewarded by a position on Canada’s supreme court, and eventually her present UN post.

While I don’t remember Diehl’s opinions during the Kosovo war itself, he endorsed the Official Truth in a subsequent column discussing the war in Macedonia, in which he also fawned over Kosovo war’s principal criminal, Gen. Wesley Clark. So I don’t suppose he thought back then that Arbour or America’s European accomplices in NATO were “informed” by any sort of “anti-Americanism.”

But I guess the shoe is on the other foot now, and it fits.

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