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January 17, 2005

Human Rights Watch Jumps The Shark

According to The Diplomad, Human Rights Watch is giving Asshats Amnesty International a real run for their money:

It seems that for the guys and the gals at HRW, whenever something "negative" happens in the world, it's ultimate source is something the USA has done or failed to do. If Egypt adopts restrictive legislation it's because it imitates the US post-9/11 Patriot Act; if Britain does, it's because of the US-induced "climate of fear" after 9/11; if Cuba has a bad human rights record, the U.S. economic embargo is partially to blame, etc. No other country gets as much attention as the USA in HRW's reports: go look for yourselves.

Anything "positive" -- on the rare occasions HRW recognizes any such development -- is the result of brave activists, or lawyers, or the far-seeing HRW, itself. HRW's dominant theme, and it grows more strident by the year under Executive Director Kenneth Roth, is that essentially the US Constitution is a mandatory suicide pact, in fact, Western civilization can only live up to its ideals by committing suicide; and concern over terrorism is just an excuse to deprive poor Third Worlders of their rights, including the right of radical Islamists to emigrate to the West and seek to destroy it.

Apparently lack of intellectual consistency presents no problem for these folks. Commenting on the genocide in Darfur, they piously intone:

Continued inaction risks undermining a fundamental human rights principle that the nations of the world will never let sovereignty stand in the way of their responsibility to protect people from mass atrocities.
Despite countless denunciations and endless professions of concern, little has been done to protect the people of Darfur. A failure of this magnitude challenges the fundamental human rights principle that the governments of the world will not turn their backs on people facing mass atrocities. For if the nations of the world cannot act here, when will they act?

Well if you're are waiting on the UN, I wouldn't hold my breath...

If you're thinking (as I was) that HRW might apply this lofty 'human rights principle' to the situation in Iraq, don't bother. Saddam's slaughter of the Kurds and oppression of his own people didn't even make it onto HRW's radar screen:

There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a murderous despot, but few consider that alone enough to warrant humanitarian intervention.

No, boys and girls, unless Saddam agrees to let the world stop him from murdering his countrymen by the hundreds of thousands, I'm afraid we must all be content to watch the bodies stack up until the "mass slaughter or imminent genocide" level has been reached:

In our view, as a threshold matter, humanitarian intervention that occurs without the consent of the relevant government can be justified only in the face of ongoing or imminent genocide, or comparable mass slaughter or loss of life. <...> Only large-scale murder, we believe, can justify the death, destruction, and disorder that so often are inherent in war and its aftermath. <...>

As HRW itself is quick to note, what's a mere 290,000 buried in mass graves? And anyway, if they were doing their jobs, the US Marine Corps would be protecting corpses instead of wasting time trying to rescue the living from further abuse.

Thanks to JW for the Diplomad link.

Posted by Cassandra at January 17, 2005 08:47 AM

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Is it news that so-called "human rights" groups are left-wing commies with a virulent hatred of the US? This has been obvious for decades.

Remember when they would criticize the US endlessly for any minor misdeed, but give the Soviets a free pass for the Gulag system? They have never had any credibility except for the anti-american lunatic left fringe.

Posted by: a former european at January 18, 2005 07:50 PM

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