Aug 23 2008

Does USA have right to speak out about abuse elsewhere?

Category: freedom,liberty,media,tortureharmonicminer @ 9:15 am

Some people say that since the USA’s record on human rights protection is not perfect, we have no right to comment on or criticize the human rights record of any other nation.

This is a phony objection, of course; since no nation (or person) has a perfect record on anything whatsoever, adherence to such a ridiculous prerequisite for commentary would result in no one ever criticizing anyone for anything.

Nevertheless, it seems useful to make some distinctions between nations on some of these matters, just to make the point.

Abu Ghraib was an aberration. The abusers went to jail. It was not official US policy, before, then or since. Guantanamo gets enormous coverage, simply because the US government has revealed its existence, and details about it. Have you checked the list of political prisoners in Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, or Cuba, or China, or Russia lately? I didn’t think so. It would be hard to do, wouldn’t it? After all, they don’t exactly publish a complete list, do they?

China’s official policies are incredibly abusive and brutal. It is unrepentant, because it has nothing to repent for, in its own eyes. Ditto for Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, and too many others.

Our media holds our government’s feet to the fire. Members of any dissenting media in those other places wind up dead. Or just “disappeared”. In the USA you get a Peabody award, or a Pulitzer.

Sadly, our media spend hugely more time reporting on US abuse than on abuse by other nations…. that’s because it’s news, of the man bites dog variety. It is not news in those other places, it’s daily business, utterly unremarkable, virtually unworthy of comment. It would seem our own national media agrees; when was the last time you read a story about the political prisons of Cuba? It is, after all, just down the street from Guantanamo. Maybe Michael Moore will make a movie about it.

This is not an excuse for bad behavior on the part of the USA. But a little realism, please. Citizens of those other places would love to come here and take the risk of abuse… if, that is, they aren’t totally misled by the lies told by their own government run media organs. Read PRAVDA lately?

If we, imperfect as we are, fail to speak out, and loudly, about human rights abuses elsewhere, who else, exactly, will qualify to speak? Sweden? Lichtenstein? Now, THAT will make a real dent in world opinion.

Read some books by Sharansky, or Solzhenitsyn, to get a feel for just how critical it is that the USA speak out, and often, and loudly, imperfect as it is. We are, literally, the only earthly hope some people in bad situations have. It’s hard to understand how anyone with good motives would want us to be quiet about abuse, despite their protestations of great concern for the victims of the world.


One Response to “Does USA have right to speak out about abuse elsewhere?”

  1. amuzikman says:

    And what was the torture, the inhuman abuse inflicted upon those helpless prisoners at Abu Ghraib? Humiliation. Kinda pales in comparison to beheading, public flogging and re-education camps, doesn’t it? Doesn’t excuse it, but PLEASE! a little perspective….

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