Friday, June 03, 2005

The silver lining 

One good thing about Amnesty International's Irene Khan calling Gunatanamo Bay facility a gulag: having mined the rich vein of Nazi analogies to tar the modern day's center-right (you know, America is a fascist state, Bush is Hitler, etc.), the international left is now adopting communist analogies to bash the Republicans, thus both expanding their moral vocabulary and implicitly acknowledging that, yes, communism was bad. In fact, as bad as conservatism. It's progress of sorts, but pity that the left can't now retrospectively start campaigning for human rights, freedom and democracy behind the Iron Curtain.

Khan, meanwhile, keeps digging:
"The administration's response has been that our report is absurd, that our allegations have no basis, and our answer is very simple: if that is so, open up these detention centers, allow us and others to visit them... Transparency is the best antidote to misinformation and incorrect facts."
This is what lawyers call a fishing expedition and journalists the "so when did you stop beating your wife?" tactic, and is tantamount to saying: we don't have to prove anything -– you have to prove us wrong. One could also add that some other good antidotes to misinformation and incorrect fact are decent research, judgment, objectivity, and sense of perspective and proportion; qualities still in short supply at AI, if Khan's other statement is anything to go by:
"What we wanted to do was to send a strong message that ... this sort of network of detention centers that has been created as part of this war on terrorism is actually undermining human rights in a dramatic way which can only evoke some of the worst features of human rights scandals of the past."
Which ones? Name them. Gas chambers? Crematoria? Sub-Arctic labor camps where millions were worked to death? Mass graves in the forests? Executions in prison basements?


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?