The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Human Rights

Just when you think Jimmy Carter has decided to enter a quiet retirement, he reappears to castigate his own country as a human rights violator and worse, as the cause for human rights violations in other countries:
Since then [September 11, 2001], while Americans continue to espouse freedom and democracy, our government's abusive practices have undermined struggles for freedom in many parts of the world. As the gross abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were revealed, the United States lost its mantle as a champion of human rights, eliminating our national ability to speak credibly on the subject, let alone restrain or gain concessions from oppressors. Tragically, a global backlash against democracy and rights activists, who are now the targets of abuse, has followed.

Carter’s moral preening is predictable and despicable at the same time. In his delusional world view, he believes that the closure of Guantanamo would somehow have led to a cessation of brutality and genocide in places like “Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan's Darfur region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo” not to mention rogue regimes like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and many, many others. Yeah, the world’s brutal dictatorships all look at the “horrors” of detention in Guantanamo—you know, three halal meals a day, warm showers, a soft bed, toilets, a notable lack of brutality (except in the fevered minds of those on the far Left) and say, heck, if the US would just close that camp down, I’d reform. You betcha.

And who, pray tell, does Carter and other critics of American policy look to to enforce human rights? The United Nations, of course. The utter hypocrisy of this is overwhelming. Joseph Loconte comments on the UN’s ability to defend “human rights” across the globe::
In the international community. More than half of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, the principal U.N. body charged with promoting human rights, fail to uphold basic democratic freedoms in their own countries. Using the canards of anti-colonialism and anti-Americanism, they block resolutions that might embarrass them on the world stage. Thus, some of the most egregious offenders of human rights--including China, Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe--typically evade censure. Last week, for example, the Human Rights Council approved a resolution praising the Kinshasa government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose military stands accused of mass rape and murder.

Meanwhile, U.N. preparations for a world conference against racism, a follow-up to a controversial 2001 event in Durban, carry the familiar stigmata of moral cynicism. The U.N. planning committee includes nations such as Libya, Iran, Pakistan, and Cuba. What exactly can Iran--which defends policies that criminalize and brutalize its gay community--teach the world about combating racism? Safely inoculated against self-examination, the U.N. committee has produced a draft declaration suggesting that the United States, Western Europe and other liberal democracies are discriminatory against Islam and fundamentally racist.

Strident anti-Israel criticism, of course, remains the norm. Last month the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, called for a global campaign of "boycott, divestment, and sanctions" against Israel for its policies in the Occupied Territories. There was no mention in Brockmann's speech of terrorist attacks against Israel, the wretched fate of political prisoners in the Arab world, or the absence of democratic freedoms in the Middle East.

The UN cares little for human rights. It is corrupt and venal. Possibly that’s why Carter looks to it as an arbiter of human rights.

Over the years, I’ve written about reaction formation—a psychological phenomenon in which a person when faced with a horrifying or unpleasant situation applies a “defense mechanism in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions are replaced by their direct opposites.” [Wikipedia] Carter and his acolytes cannot face the barbaric behavior that brutal regimes perpetrate on their own people and their enemies. Instead, the Carters of the world blame the USA in a delusional effort to make things better. It does nothing to solve the problem, but it allows Jimmy Cater to feel morally superior to those of us that care more about reality than delusion.