Amnesty International and Iraq- I just don't get it

My wife just came back from an anti-war march and we had an -umm- ‘discussion’ about why she supports human rights abuses in Iraq. After this discussion I thought I’d clarify some of the points made and went to the Amnesty International website (http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/countries/iraq?OpenView&Start=1&Count=30&Expandall). I would have thought that they would be cheerleading any regime change in an oppressive nation but guess again. What the hell is wrong with these people? I thought the whole basis of this organisation was to support political prisoners and be a human rights watchdog. Did they really think that if they got enough school teachers to write nagging letters to Saddam that he would lay off the thuggery? Here is a chance to actually nail a terrible offender and they suddenly start bleating about the US coopting their information. Jeezus.
Isn’t it possible to be pro-humanitarian and pro-war at the same time? Would they rather have dissident’s families raped and tortured or Republican Guards getting their due? At the moment they’re opting for letting people get tortured and whining about it.

A) WAR is more clear cut. There’s PEACE and WAR, black and white. Torture and political imprisonment is harder to prove/see. You can’t ‘spin’ war into something else, but you can ‘spin’ torturing a political prisoner into rehabilitating a potentially dangerous member of society. This way the peacenicks can’t be argued against.
B) They won’t be on TV!!
C) ‘End War’ fits easier on a picket sign than ‘End the Regime of This Horrible Man Who Commits Atrocities From His Waking Hour Until It’s Time For Bed’
D) You can stop war by being loud, you can’t stop a murderous thug by yelling nasty names at him.

Interesting stance, to support human rights abuses. :wink:

I think Amnesty International is against this because they know that the US will just install another dictator, and with any such regime change there will be the “consolidating power” issues. I mean, do you see democratically elected officials in Afghanistan?

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, mmmmmmm”

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Maybe, but are human rights in Afghanistan better now? If they are, then AI should be taking a longer term view.

Peter Frazier wrote:
…why she supports human rights abuses in Iraq…

Interesting stance, to support human rights abuses.

Well, that’s what I said she does. The discussion went downhill from there. Chasm-like, actually.

That’s a great Valentine’s Day.

It is pretty fucking romantic. Did she hit you with a protest sign? Did you smack her back with a heart-shaped tin of chocolates?

I’ve given up on Amnesty International. If you feel the need to support the cause, give to Human Rights Watch. They’re at least agnostic about removing brutal dictators by force.

It’s actually the day after Valentine’s down here, we did the romantic child-free dinner last night. Today was back to the usual routine.

I knew something was up with you Australians!

So the flesh of human children is more of an everyday meat. Not suitable for holidays and special occasions. Something to remember if I ever make it down that way…

I think they take the long-term view of being against invading anywhere, since that probably doesn’t lead to stability in the long term.

I think Amnesty International is against this because they know that the US will just install another dictator, and with any such regime change there will be the “consolidating power” issues. I mean, do you see democratically elected officials in Afghanistan?

Well, they don’t “know”, but they suspect.

Imagine this: you spend years and years complaining about human rights abuses in Iraq. During those years, Washington actively aids the regime committing the abuses; hell, Reagan knocked down a resolution condemning genocide in Iraq.

Fast forward ten years: now, all of a sudden, the exact same people (Bush II has a lot of holdovers from Bush I and Reagan with dirty hands, especially Rumsfeld) who supported the regime you complained about so much are criticizing Saddam for human rights abuses. Hell, Rumsfeld led a delegation to supply Iraq with anthrax.

Now, for the first time ever, them and their ideological friends care deeply about human rights abuses in this specific region. Curiously, when you try to bring up abuses elsewhere, such as Indonesia, Checanya, Tibet, Syria, or just about any other country, they have a tin ear.

What conclusions would you draw?

Edit: I forgot, they refuse to admit they ever did anything naughty. I think Rumsfeld was telling lies on CNN a few weeks ago about how he “warned Saddam against using WMD.” Right. Why’d we give them anthrax then?

Countries the United States has invaded that are stable democracies today:

Germany
Japan
South Korea
Grenada
Panama

All of the above are currently ranked as “free” by Freedom House.

Countries the United States has invaded that are not stable democracies today:

Vietnam (we lost)
Iraq (we left the existing government in power)
Afghanistan (elections are scheduled for next year)

All of the above are ranked as “Not Free” by Freedom House.

I’d bet money that Afghanistan will move up to the first list within the next ten years. And I think it’s more likely than not that Iraq will join it.

http://www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/library/wonderful/index.php

Umm, North Korea was the nation that invaded South Korea.

Being wary about US intentions past and present should not mean that they shouldn’t be wishing for a regime change. Their reason for being is to supply information about human rights abuses and be advocates for dissidents- any new regime will be less oppressive than what is there now, and that should be a Good Thing.
As I said, I don’t get it.
Maybe whilst they were practicing their rights to protest on the streets of London and Berlin yesterday, they reflected on the irony that if they tried doing that in Baghdad against Saddam, they would get a long stint in a cell where they could watch their mothers, fathers, spouses and children being raped and tortured.

As I said, I don’t get it.

In other words, why don’t they trust Bush’s intentions? After all, conservatives only completely fucked them for a decade; forgive and forget, I say!

Japan and Germany were not invasions, but response to attacks from the countries (being allies) in question, which is a whole different scenario. South Korea was coming to the aid of an invaded country.
Grenada and Panama… while probably being quite good at civil liberties and the like, I am (though I have not nearly examined the situation deeply) not so sure about the positives of the US action there. A world where countries respond to for example economic drawbacks is not something that should be encouraged. As I said though, I’m not quite sure that was the case with Grenada and Panama.
One thing I wonder is how new democracies will handle the fact that land reforms and suchlike will be necessary for improving the situation for a large majority of their population, and the fact that the US and likely not Europe either will like it very much (say US or Europe-based companies lose land, or something like that).

Countries the United States has invaded that are not stable democracies today:

Vietnam (we lost)
Iraq (we left the existing government in power)
Afghanistan (elections are scheduled for next year)

Vietnam was such a mess that it’s hard to say anything about it, really.
In the case of Iraq, the US and the UN came to the aid of an invaded nation and Afghanistan… Afghanistan is difficult (when considering just the rightness of invading), since Al-Quaida wasn’t a direct part of the regime in that country.

And don’t misunderstand me, I’m positive to a regime change, pretty much any regime change in Afghanistan, am positive to the notion of regime change in Iraq, but I am very wary of using military force to make it happen, since it might 1) promote a use of force which in the long term is detrimental to a more peaceful sitation the world over, 2) mean that the changes will not affect the basic spirit of the people in the country, once changed with a gun to their heads, what will keep them from changing again when someone else is holding the gun? and 3) war should be avoided.

Afghanistan is difficult (when considering just the rightness of invading), since Al-Quaida wasn’t a direct part of the regime in that country.

They might as well have been. Osama was providing ludicrous amounts of their government and war financing.