Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Letter to the Editor: Mary Robinson

We recently blogged about a speaker who was on campus earlier tonight, one Mary Robinson.

Our post drew a comment from a Political Science colleague that we have decided to treat as a “Letter to the Editor” giving it more visibility that it would have hidden as a comment.
John,

While I don’t completely agree with all your points here I want to raise one issue of political science. The Irish presidency is a non-executive position and as such is generally understood to be ceremonial. In this regard I think that Rubin is being rather unfair in suggesting that Robinson is responsible for EU aid to Palestinians. While it is entirely conceivable (even, perhaps, likely) that she agreed with the general EU policy, given the structure of Irish politics she would have had no say over this issue. It would have been decided by the Prime Minister (Albert Reynolds and/or John Bruton.) Indeed, when Ireland holds the Presidency of the EU, the prime minister or deputy prime minister fulfills the role of President (it was deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring who did this during the period Rubin discusses).

Mark Armstrong
We thank Armstrong for the informative comment, although we have to note that the standard sources (read: blurbs on the Internet) give her credit for radically increasing the importance of what has always been a ceremonial office.

We will defer to Armstrong’s knowledge of Irish politics, but note that he seems to be suggesting that her actual position and power didn’t live up to the hype.

We also note that most of Rubin’s article dealt with her tenure at the United Nations.

But let’s go ahead and answer the question we asked in the title of our post: is this “Human Rights Speaker a Supporter of Terrorism?”

Our answer is: no not directly. But she’s one of the left-leaning apologists for and enablers of terrorism. She takes a conciliatory view toward Hamas. She attacks George Bush when he compares Osama to Hitler. (We wonder if she would attack somebody who compares Bush to Hitler.)

The fact that she parades under the banner “human rights” shows that phrase is often a very partisan one, merely reflecting the ideology of the “human rights advocate.” Do Israelis have a “human right” to live in peace? She doesn’t seem to think so. Do the unborn have a right to life? She doesn’t think so.

She is not, in other words, a disinterested above-the-fray activist for “human rights.” She is merely a political activist.

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