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November 28, 2004
UN Warned To Outlaw Terrorism Or Risk Irrelevancy

The London Telegraph reports that a blue-ribbon panel of "wise men" appointed by Kofi Annan will deliver a report on Thursday warning the United Nations to outlaw terrorism and define it as any attacks intended to target civilians:

After decades of argument over whether one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, a group of international "wise men" will this week tell the United Nations to outlaw all terror attacks on civilians or risk losing its moral authority.

In a report to be unveiled on Thursday, seen in part by The Telegraph, a panel appointed to reform the UN said it must send "an unequivocal message that terrorism is never an acceptable tactic, even for the most defensible of causes".

One would think that the UN would already have defined terrorism, but in fact the General Assembly has refused to pass a definition of terrorism -- out of support for the Palestinians and other Islamist causes. They see legitimacy in killing civilians for the excuse of anti-colonialism and have stalled a bill which would define terrorism and expressly make it illegal.

The new report comes from an international panel of diplomats, including Brent Scowcroft, whose sympathies sometimes also lie with the Palestinians. One of the signatories is Amr Mousa, president of the Arab League, whose endorsement is expected to make ignoring the report difficult for the Arab states in the UN. The introduction of the report will create some political pressure, especially from the US, UK, and Russia to quickly adopt the convention on terror that has been held up for eight years.

Don't bet on it getting any new life soon. Too many of the UN's dictatorships and kleptocrats have too much invested in these terrorist causes as a distraction for the multitudes they oppress to allow such a measure to pass. Its failure, however, may finally wake Americans to the irrelevancy the UN has long become and of which the report specifically predicts. If the UN cannot even bring itself to recognize the greatest danger facing the civilization it supposedly represents, it only confirms its own uselessness.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 28, 2004 9:34 PM

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» Defining terrorism from The Shape of Days
Captain Ed calls attention to the fact that the UN has never condemned terrorism because that body has never adopted a definition of terrorism. Defining terrorism is tricky business. I'm not saying it's difficult; in fact, I think it's very [Read More]

Tracked on November 28, 2004 11:13 PM

» Caption Captain Analogy Contest from damnum absque injuria
Analogy contest! The UN is risks losing its moral authority like ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2004 12:48 AM

» Captain Ed one, UN zero from The House Of Wheels
...And who would commit the most acts of terrorism under any reasonable definition of terrorism? Palestine, Iran, Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah etc. And who are their main enemies? The United States and Israel. Who do the UN consistently try and smack do... [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2004 7:00 AM

» Daily Dish from The Cool Blue Blog
Tomorrow, President Bush will visit our neighbor to the North. A coalition of anti-war protesters, left-wing lawyers and anti-capitalists have decided to protest the visit and have not ruled out violent protest. Some want to indict the President for War [Read More]

Tracked on November 29, 2004 9:41 AM

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