Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Amnesty International Report 2004

Amnesty International released their annual report today which summarized the current state of human rights in 155 nations and territories across the globe. There is no question that Amnesty International is a valuable and respected voice with respect to human rights. However, it may come as a surprise to many that the United States seems to be the focus of the 2004 report with respect to human rights abuses. It may be surprising that the global war on terrorism is labeled "bankrupt of vision", and viewed as an excuse to commit abuses rather than an important and noble cause.

How can it be that Amnesty International chastises the United States as the primary villain with respect to human rights? Isn't the US the global champion of human rights? Hasn't this war improved the living conditions of millions of Afghan civilians? Haven't we opened the doors to peace and prosperity in Iraq? Haven't we inflicted major damage on terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda?

The answer to the first question is clear. The organization is now being led by a new breed of leadership under Secretary General Irene Khan, and as a result is mired in the misguided sentiments expressed by the anti-US, Euro-left.

Ms. Kahn is the first woman, the first Asian, and the first Muslim to take the helm of Amnesty international. Ms. Kahn has repeatedly ridiculed governments for their measures related to the "war on terror". She states that nations are jumping on the "anti-terrorism" bandwagon. She has stated the world "does not need a war against 'terrorism'". It seems that Ms. Kahn is the reason why Amnesty International treats "terrorism" as some sort of fantasy conceived by the Bush administration as an excuse to detain, torture, and kill faithful Muslims. This is quite interesting considering that Kahn herself acknowledged in an interview with the BBC on 12/26/2003 that the religion of Islam is now in a period of its history similar to "Christianity in the 14th, 15th century" and that Islam is "an aggressive religion trying to establish itself..(referring back to the 14th century analogy)those were the times when the Crusades took place".

Ms. Kahn acknowledges that Islam today is aggressively trying to expand its influence, and compares the actions of modern day Islam to Christianity during the days of the crusades. With this backdrop, and in light of the thousands of innocent Christians murdered at the hands of Muslim militants over the past 3 years, how can Ms. Kahn fail to see the legitimacy of the "war on terror"?

In her introduction to this year's report, Ms. Kahn states "the global security agenda promulgated by the US Administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle". Kahn cites the following as evidence:

  • "Growing insurgency in Iraq" - gee, Iraq was a model of human rights before the US invaded. The coalitin is working to keep the peace and is being fired upon by insurgents and terrorists. When in doubt, blame the Christians, right Ms. Kahn?
  • "Increasing anarchy in Afghanistan" - It's clear that Ms. Kahn would prefer the former Afghanistan which trained thousands of Muslims on the proper techniques for murdering innocent Christians. The US was apparently unjustified in destroying those terrorist camps.
  • "Unending spiral of violence in the Middle East, the spate of suicide bombings" - Does Kahn believe that the Middle East was peaceful before the US initiated this war on terror? Is she aware that the Muslim world has been conducting a jihad against Christianity since 1979 when Iranian mobs held the American Embassy in Tehran hostage for more than a year? Since then, the US Embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983 killing 63 people, the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut was bombed killing 241 servicemen that same year, and in December of the same year the US Embassy in Kuwait was bombed? Again in 1984, the US Embassy in Beirut was bombed, in April 1985 US servicemen are bombed in a restaurant in Madrid, in August 1985 teh US Air Force Base in Rhein-Main is bombed killing 22 more people. Space does not permit cataloging atrocities at the hands of "aggressive" Muslims against Christians between August 1985 and September 11, 2001. Needless to say, it's been a long and bloody road with thousands dead in the name of jihad.

After reviewing the report's summary of the human rights conditions in Iraq, it is clear that Kahn's influence has infected the entire organization. Amnesty International disguises conjecture as fact, and these facts are then formulated into erroneous conclusions. The report states that "thousands of people were arrested and detained without charge or trial during the year". How would Amnesty International propose that enemy combatants be handled? Are coalition forces supposed to take their guns and tell militia men to go home? Would we be more successful at bring order to Iraq if we waited until trials were completed before detaining anybody? Hardly a recipe for securing the peace.

The report goes on to state "torture and ill-treatment by Coalition forces were widespread". At this point, ill treatment has been limited to Abu Ghraib prison, which hardly constitutes widespread. Then again, I don't think anybody would be surprised that prisoners would be treated roughly in an effort to gather intelligence. Without intelligence, the coalition will never be able to secure the peace.

Here is the kicker. Amnesty International asserts "Coalition forces failed to live up fully to their responsibilities under international humanitarian law as occupying powers, including their duty to restore and maintain public order and safety".

To summarize, the report chastises the coalition for detaining enemy combatants, and for being too rough on those combatants in our efforts to gather intelligence, and then states the coalition failed to restore public order and safety. This is liberal spin at its finest. So which is it, is the coalition too tough on the insurgents and terrorists, or too lenient?

Time doesn't permit an exhaustive critique of this report, but here are a few other gems worth noting:

  • "The US-led 'war on terror' continued to be waged using indiscriminate and disproportionate means." What does this mean? If killing an armed terrorist is "indiscriminate and disproportionate", then I guess we're guilty as charged. If killing chasing Osama Bin Laden all through the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan is "indiscriminate and disproprotionate", guilty as charged.
  • "Authoritative" worldwide opinion condemned the blatant disregard for international and US constitutional standards by the USA". Since when is worldwide opinion authoritative?

As Americans, we need to wake up to the fact that the world has an agenda. Our enemies are everywhere, and wield great influence within the press, within governments, and within organizations like Amnesty International.

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