My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, May 27, 2005

Why Amnesty International disgusts me...

Hard to believe this was in the Toronto Star, but it echoes my beliefs. Shame on Amnesty for their incredible bias against the US.
It speaks volumes that Amnesty International, in its 308-page annual report for 2005 — formally released on Wednesday — cannot bring itself to mention terrorism or the war on terrorism without hanging cautionary quotation marks around those words.

This unsubtle, mocking gesture — a hyper-neutrality — suggests terrorism is not a quantifiable fact in our lives and that the war on terrorism is somehow a duplicitous objective, perhaps a conspiracy hatched in the Pentagon rather than a global response to a legitimate threat already unleashed in widespread atrocities, from 9/11 to the bombings in Madrid and Bali.

Terrorism is thornier to define these days than necessary. The United Nations has grappled with it. In its narrowest interpretation, a consensus exists that terrorism is intentional violence against civilians (noncombatants), intended to intimidate or instill fear.

But Amnesty International, once a respected advocate for the human rights of political prisoners around the world, has been so deeply compromised by the relativist exculpation for slaughter and abuse that it can, without a hint of shame, and in the same paragraph, segue from the Sudan to the United States, from the colossal brutality in the Darfur region to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The Sudan and the U.S. are two countries mentioned most notably by the organization's secretary general, Irene Khan, in her forward to the report.

There are 153 countries canvassed in the Amnesty tome, including the most reprehensible of totalitarian regimes. Yet the brunt of the editorial scourge — in the passages most widely cited in news reports — is reserved for America, not just for its rightly condemned mistreatment of suspected terrorists, including the abhorrent torture that was inflicted on detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but for generically and systematically "thumbing its nose at the rule of law and human rights." Such alleged disdain for the rule of law and the preeminence of human rights has, Amnesty contends, provided a green light for tyrants around the world, who need only to cloak their abuse of power within the rubric of the war on terror. As if dictators ever needed the thumbs-up from Washington to oppress their own populations.

This amoral equivalency would put the U.S. on a par with, oh, Haiti and North Korea.

Amnesty International may be loath to validate the "so-called war on terrorism," hence its careful expression of language. But there's no such restraint in its rhetorical assaults on the U.S.

Guantanamo Bay, as an example, "has become the gulag of our times.''

The American military base in Cuba may indeed be a rotten place where mostly Muslim detainees have been ill-treated and humiliated. But a gulag? As in the Soviet forced labour camps, which some 20 million miserable souls passed through during the Stalinist era, their existence not even acknowledged, their fate largely unknown?