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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Long overdue 

Efforts that began during the Clinton administration are finally paying off, as 106 nations have formed a Community of Democracies at the United Nations.

By the time the Community of Democracies becomes strong enough to act coherently inside the U.N., it will also be strong enough to act coherently outside the U.N. It will contain most of the world's countries, including most of the strong ones. It will be unencumbered by the vetoes of tin-pot tyrannies. As it gains confidence and skill, it will attract money and authority. It may sprout an aid budget, a relief program, a peacekeeping arm, perhaps treaty powers.
And it will be a nice counterweight to the moral equivalency given to all nations, democracies and totalitarian dictatorships alike, at the U.N.

Today it is absurd for Burma to vote as the moral and legal equivalent of Belgium; more absurd for Cuba and Zimbabwe to be members in good standing of the U.N. Human Rights Commission; and more absurd still for Libya to chair that commission, as it did last year.
Not to mention Iran and Iraq taking turns as chair of the disarmament commission. If the democracies gain enough clout, then maybe that kind of moral equivalency hogwash will stop.
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