Sunday, May 29, 2005

Amnesty International Ruins Their Credibility

Last week, Amnesty International labeled the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay as ”the gulag of our time.”. This is a crystal clear example of how leftist groups destroy their own credibility in their critique of the War on Terror. A statement like that makes you wonder if Amnesty International is more interested in expressing their rage and embarrassing Bush than they are in improving prisoner conditions.

Guantanamo is not a gulag. And any reasonable American knows that. So when Amnesty International makes this outrageous claim, everything else they have to say becomes questionable. Indeed, all the stories about the Amnesty International report focused on the “gulag” comment and ignored any specific complaint.

But our enemies believe these kinds of comments. When respected groups like Amnesty International compare our actions to the darkest deeds of Soviet Russia, those who wish to destroy us get one more bit of “proof” that their hate is justified. And their crimes against humanity are much, much, much worse than anything that has even been alleged to have happened at Guantanamo. You’d think Amnesty International would want to prevent our enemy’s atrocities as well.

So, the net effect of the gulag remark? Americans ignore it. Our enemies rally around it. I’m not saying Amnesty International shouldn’t criticize our handling of the War on Terror—they definitely should. All I’m saying is, when they do (when any leftist group does) they absolutely must resist the urge to use ridiculous hyperbole. It destroys their credibility and actually reduces their ability to end atrocities around the world.

23 Comments:

At 12:38 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Amnesty International is most likely more interested in expressing their rage and embarrassing our President and the Republican Party than they are in improving anything, period. These leftist groups are so full of it these days that I truly doubt even our enemies believe a word they have to say. Yet these enemies of ours will gladly use whatever they can get to feed the fires of American Hate, all across the world… Compliments of groups like Amnesty International.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous - Art said...

So, if they had not used the term gulag... If they had said that Gitmo and other US prisons have abandoned ethics, morals and any basic human rights, you would agree with them?

...and what is your view of the continuing criticism of US actions and policies by the Red Cross? Are they too a bunch of leftists seeking to "feed the Fires of American Hate"?

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous John said...

Art's question has a simple, one-word answer if he is referring to the International Red Cross and not the American Red Cross: "Yes."

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Art said...

We do not need others to "feed the Fires of American Hate", our own actions do it very well.

We are seeing a continuation of over fifty years of flawed US policies toward the middle east.

The Regan and Bush administration's allies, Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein, are outcomes of those policies.

We supported Sadam when he was killing Iranians with chemical weapons. And provided helicopters that he used to gass the Kurds.

Then when he was no longer our tool we labeled him as the embodiment of evil. Which he was. But we just turn a blind eye to the fact that we provided material support to help him accomplish his evil.

We tell the middle east that they must not tolerate tyrants... and then we support corrupt tyranies such as Egypt and the House of Saud.

Rumsfield and Bush senior nurtured the seeds for this horrible mess. We have reaped a bloody harvest.

Without a change of leadership...

...without a change to an effective policy (terrorism is on the rise, and this administration has tried to lie about the figures and hide the figures).

...those "Fires of American Hate" that we are fanning with our own flawed policies and actions are almost certain to reap a tragedy for future generations of Americans that will make 9/11 seem small by comparison.

Attacking those who comment on the emporer's wardrobe does not address the underlying facts.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Great reply there John!!!
You done good.........

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Mr. B said...

Al Qaeda is not a country or a government. If anything, it is an organized (loosely) gang of thugs, extremists, and outlaws. Nobody expects Al Qaeda to behave itself in a civilized way.

The United States of America should behave itself like a leader of the free world and observe civility and decency in its treatment of prisoners, just as we expect other governments and countries to do. Perhaps we will "suffer unfair criticism" from those who are appalled by our hypocrisy. Hypocritical countries should be criticized. If we can't take it, we have no business "demanding" an investigation into human rights abuses in Uzbekistan or censuring China for its treatment of dissidents. And we ourselves should be morally outraged when our countrymen use unethical practices and adopt unethical policies in our own war against terrorists.

In defending ourselves against criticism, we have no right to invoke the "tu quoque" attitude--well, they did it first!--rather, we should acknowledge our own mistakes and correct them.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

In the news media, we usually only see the bad things going on in Iraq... I guess that's why the World has such a low opinion of America and our men and women of the Armed Forces. I invite you to view this little slide I put together that touches on this very subject. http://www.aubreyj.org/aubreyjorg_011.htm
Don't get me wrong though... I know there's still a lot of horrible things going on over there... No one ever said it was going to be pretty or easy............

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

My view is this: it is fair and even essential to criticize our government when its actions do not live up to America's high ideals. We must be far, far better than our enemy. It's not enough to be a little bit better. We must be an example for the world.

That said, the criticism must have some perspective. Calling Guantanamo a "gulag" is flat-out dishonest and seems more focused on bashing America than on solving any real problems.

Also, despite the fact that some of our prisons have gotten out of hand (Abu Ghraib), we still have the moral authority to criticize China and others. We've done some unseemly acts to prisoners of war and blood-thirsty terrorists. China throws its own people into jails just because they disagree with the government.

If we were anywhere near that bad, then Amnesty International's volunteers wouldn't be openly slamming the U.S. in the press, they'd be in Guantanamo themselves. We absolutely must keep perspective here. And until the left gains that perspective, they're going to find it very hard to be taken seriously.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Phill H-B said...

Amnesty has the respect of the world. Bush does not. Nor does the republican party which has brought this shame and disgrace upon the USA.

The USA is no longer regarded as a defender of liberty or human rights, it is regarded as a regime that endorses the use of torture. Instead of investigating the torture at Abu Ghraib Bush promoted those responsible. Gonzales was made Attorney General.

Bush is the best recruiter that Al Qaeda have got.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Great reply there John!!!
You done good.........

 
At 9:04 PM, Anonymous fr33dom101 said...

So somehow Gonzales is "responsible" for the mistreatment of prisoners? Wow! It is a good thing you have a mind of your own, and don't buy everything CBS news says (or the stellar reporting from the French media for that matter). Good job!

 
At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Nora said...

AubreyJ says:

"Amnesty International is most likely more interested in expressing their rage and embarrassing our President and the Republican Party than they are in improving anything, period. These leftist groups are so full of it these days that I truly doubt even our enemies believe a word they have to say."

I beg to differ. I've been a volunteer worker with Amnesty in Ireland for 30 years. Amnesty is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.

Amnesty criticises human rights abuses wherever it finds them, including in Ireland. Have you read their 2005 annual report? They criticise the UN, among other places. So to characterise Amnesty as "leftist" or out to "embarrass" the Republican party is pure ignorance.

Bush and Co have destroyed the credibility of America in the eyes of the world, because of abuse, torture, denial of due legal process, and gross hypocrisy. How can they claim to be waging a "war on terror" when they are hand in glove with the vicious tyrant in Uzbekistan? Or flying suspects there, and to Egypt, for "interrogation"? Karimov is as bad or worse as Saddam ever was. But Bush has had him to the White House and given him $500 million in military aid. Which is why the White House had a hard time responding when Karimov had between 500 and 1,000 pro-democracy demonstrators shot in cold blood only a week or so ago.

Attacking Amnesty is a diversion. Set your own house in order before you attack an impartial body which is trying to make the world a better place, and allow freedom of speech for any dissident voice, anywhere from China or Burma to the UN itself.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

I rest my case on that one!!!!!!

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Nora said...

That would be which case? I believe I said "I beg to differ"?

Why did the US effectively block Mary Robinson's re-nomination as Human Rights Commissioner at the UN?

The former United Nations human rights envoy to Afghanistan, Cherif Bassiouni, said he lost his job because of pressure from the United States.

The US has always believed it's fine to criticise others regarding human rights but doesn't like the spotlight turned on themselves. Mary Robinson had the "gall" to criticise not only Russia but the US too.

[Natch, I'm speaking as an individual, and not as a spokesperson for AI.]

PS Do you have an answer for me on Uzbekistan -- that is, before you "rest your case" again?

 
At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a 14 yr old Australian..i don't know that much about politics and stuff and don't understand all of your comments. But, i would just like to say "go Nora!" you really shut down aubreyj's ignorant views on amnesty as a "leftist" organisation. pfffff 'leftist...ha!'

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Sorry...
GONE FISHING!!!!

 
At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

soon the wolves (Islamofacists)will be at your (Europe) collective doors. because of the demographic time bomb, you will be subjugated to the will of the Islamobarbariana. Then we'll see how you view America in the context of Human rights. we will laugh

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say:

And their crimes against humanity are much, much, much worse than anything that has even been alleged to have happened at Guantanamo.

Let me ask - how many times do you need to repeat yourself in order to believe your own delusional doublespeak?

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

"And their crimes against humanity are much, much, much worse than anything that has even been alleged to have happened at Guantanamo.
Let me ask - how many times do you need to repeat yourself in order to believe your own delusional doublespeak?"

You're right. Dropping a Quran in a toilet and scaring prisoners with dogs are much worse than beheading civilians, blowing up women and children, dragging bodies through the streets and flying planes into buildings.

Yep, I'm the one that's delusional.

For the record, I've strongly condemned the torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. What I won't do is pretend America is evil.

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Nora said...

"Dropping a Quran in a toilet and scaring prisoners with dogs are much worse than beheading civilians, blowing up women and children, dragging bodies through the streets and flying planes into buildings. Yep, I'm the one that's delusional."

How about killing up to 100,000 innocent Iraqis with hundreds of tons of bombs, and shells in civilain areas? How about contaminating Iraq with depleted uranium? How about an illegal invasion, the rationale for which has changed several times over? Was it WMD you went in for again? Or was it illegal regime-change? Or was it to bring "freedom and democracy" to the thousands of Iraqi dead? While you ally yourselves with Uzbekistan? How about detention without charge or trial? How about some respect for the rule of law which you claimed you were bringing to Iraq?

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

This post was specifically about the allegations that Guantanamo Bay is a gulag. The Iraq war itself is another matter. But don't assume I supported the invasion or that I am supportive of the way the war was conducted. I do believe that, now we are there, we must do everything we can to ensure the longterm stability of Iraq.

But I don't buy the argument that America is some great evil. That's an unjust assessment.

 
At 8:38 PM, Anonymous zipperhead said...

"But I don't buy the argument that America is some great evil. That's an unjust assessment"

True it is unjust. America is just dangerously ignorant, like a retarded child that doesn't know its own strength. That's not evil, thats just stupidity. If any foreign soldiers shot an unarmed American because they felt threatened by his acions, the US would rise in righteous anger. When it happens the other way around and US soldiers shoot unarmed civilians the 'investigations' always seem to find the the US soldier acted with honor in trying to protect his comrades (from unarmed civilians)What a load of whitewash!
As for Guantanamo, it IS a gulag. What else do you call a place where people are imprisoned without trial or legal support and are not only threatened with torture they are flown courtesy of the US taxpayer to a third nation where torture is applied.
Enough of the right-wing doublespeak - TORTURE IS A CRIME

 
At 2:03 AM, Anonymous milind said...

America not so long ago was a country admired, envied and detested in parts of the world. Today it's mostly detested in large parts of the world.

The unforunate part here is that news (real news) gets disseminated in most of the free and not-so-free world. In the US, it's shocking how media (all media) shun from asking tough questions. It is the most fawning, gullibe and gutless media of all democracies. It is this lack of knowledge that make us wonder why we are hated so much by the rest of the world.

Take a trip or two abroad and the scales will fall from your eyes.

 

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