IN DEFENSE OF THE UNITED NATIONS….Suzanne Nossel suggests that UN bashers should take a look at its role in investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri:

Without a broadly mandated UN, how could the Hariri case have moved beyond finger pointing? The Lebanese government could never have been trusted to investigate. There’s no way the US itself could have interfered. The Arab League could not have been objective. The EU would never have waded in. The International Criminal Court would not have had jurisdiction. Without the UN, its hard to envision how the investigation, particularly given its depth and breadth, could have been carried out.

She’s right. The UN report has given a huge boost to calls for reform in both Lebanon and Syria, and it wouldn’t have happened if the report had come from anywhere else. Are you listening, John Bolton?

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