Disproportion and double standards

Below I invoke the memory of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and his Commentary essay “THe United States in opposition.” In the subhead of their NRO column on Israel’s war on Hezbollah, Bill Bennett and Seth Leibsohn allude to “Dictatorships and double standards,” the Commentary essay by the great Jeane Kirkpatrick that brought her to the attention of Ronald Reagan and led to her appointment as the American ambassador to the UN during President Reagan’s first term: “Israel, the model.”

Bennett and Leibsohn discuss Israel’s current war in the context of the Bush administration’s promotion of democracy in the Arab world. In its promotion of “democracy” that is compatible with the participation of terrorist groups as political parties, the Bush administration has diplomatically overlooked one of the most basic teachings of the American founding. Pursuing the theme of “disproportion,” also touched on by Bennett and Leibsohn, Alan Dershowitz and Mitch Webber respond to a Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorial in an excellent column: “Hezbollah incursion warrants Israeli reprisal.”

UPDATE: In a column for the Chicago Tribune today, Alan Dershowitz addresses the peculiar contribution of the United Nations to the phenomena of double standards and moral equivalence: “How the UN legitimizes terrorists.” Dershowitz recalls the observation of the late Abba Eban:

Annan heads an organization that is so anti-Israel that as the late Abba Eban, the early Israeli ambassador to the UN, once put it: “If Algeria proposed a resolution that the Earth was flat and that Israel has flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 120 to 3, with 27 abstentions.”

And the New York Times would blame the lopsided defeat on John Bolton and the Bush administration. (Thanks to RealClearPolitics.)

Which reminds me: I meant to alert readers yesterday to Benny Avni’s important New York Sun article on Ambassador Bolton: “Bolton battle on tap.” Avni writes:

Anyone who hopes the United Nations can muzzle America’s world power, including its lonely support of Israel, should oppose Mr. Bolton’s nomination. Then there are the rest, who yearn for more sane policies than those Turtle Bay produces.


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