Here’s why Amnesty International is so hard to take seriously. Saddam Hussein is a mass murderer. It’s a matter of history–in fact, it’s the foundation to understanding anything about Iraq since pretty much its founding. The new Iraqi government put Saddam on trial, carried the thing out for a year, and focused only on one of the bloodier charges against him. He was found guilty.
He’s sentenced to death. Amnesty International is opposed to the death penalty. Fine–that’s a perfectly defensible position. (It’s not mine, but that’s not the point.) So instead of saying simply that even Saddam should not be executed, they say his trial was flawed–and that this is why he shouldn’t be executed.
When those on the left, and those throat-deep in the human rights movement, wonder why they find such little support in the mainstream, they should look back on days like today. Hey, Amnesty International: remember that victims have human rights, too. Put in a word of sympathy for them. And give as much benefit of your doubt to the fact of their suffering as you do to the likelihood that some utterly trivial technicality went unobserved. When you go around defending thugs like Saddam over technicalities–abandoning making the case on your principles–and making no mention of their victims, well. Your interest in human rights is a doubtful thing indeed.
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