On Sunday, the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on the situation of Palestinian human rights, Richard Falk, wrote a blog post for the online Foreign Policy Journal (not to be confused with Foreign Policy magazine) in which he depicted last week's attacks in Boston as part of an inevitable wave of blowback against American overseas policy since 9/11.
"The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East," Falk wrote.
Although Falk's post made minimal direct reference to the Boston bombings, instead focusing on the author's frustration with the pursuit of American global dominance and relationship with Israel, his comments were enough to draw the reprimand of UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors the U.N.'s performance.
In a letter sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, UN Watch director Hillel C. Neuer condemned Falk's, "affront to the memory of those who were killed last week."
Neuer continued by telling Ki-moon that Falk's comments were, "a violation of your own policy that UN experts live up to the highest standards, which you set forth two years ago when you admirably rebuked Mr. Falk for spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories on his blog."
Responding to UN Watch's letter, an associate U.N. spokesman said that Falk's appointment was made by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and that he is merely an "independent expert."
"The Secretary-General did not appoint him and is not responsible for his views, which he has criticized in the past," said the U.N.'s Farhan Haq.
With the U.N. seemingly content with holding Falk at arm's length, the American press is already showing signs it is less willing to accept his comments.
In a blog post for the National Review Online's "The Corner," Jay Nordlinger said today that, "The United States, I believe, contributes 22 percent of the U.N.'s budget. Now that Jesse Helms is gone, is anyone trying to hold these malevolent clowns accountable? Anyone in Congress, I mean? (We can forget the executive branch for a while.)"
Ending its latest condemnation of Falk with a flourish, UN Watch's Neuer said Tuesday that Ban Ki-moon was being hypocritical in not speaking out against Falk when he had chosen to wade into past controversies, such as as the burning of Qurans by the Florida pastor Terry Jones in 2010.
"Yet here we have a UN-appointed human rights figure – whom the UN itself describes as a 'top UN official' – blatantly justifying terrorism," Neuer said, "insulting the memory of Boston's dead and wounded, insulting the American people, desecrating the founding values of the UN, and there is complete silence, no one is willing to take any responsibility."
UPDATE, 12:35 pm:
At today's daily briefing at the U.N., spokesman Eduardo del Buey appeared unaware of the debate surrounding Falk's comments or that Farhan Haq had responded to UN Watch's letter to the Secretary-General.
After fielding a series of questions from reporters, del Buey reiterated that, "Richard Falk speaks independently."