Friday, May 27, 2005

Amnesty International's Political Agenda

First, from National Review:

Amnesty International’s 2005 “Report” on worldwide human rights was released this week, and its contents have justly outraged Americans who support U.S. efforts in the war on terror — including the Washington Post which noted that Amnesty had “lost its bearings” and joined “in the partisan fracas that nowadays passes for political discourse.” Among other things, the report accuses the United States of “war crimes,” and openly compares the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the Gulag Archipelago.

In addition, the executive director of Amnesty International USA has called on foreign governments to seize and prosecute American officials traveling abroad, just as a Spanish judge attempted to prosecute former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998. In fact, the report says much more about the nature of Amnesty International — and the agenda of similar left-wing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — than it does about the human-rights record of the United States.

First and foremost, Amnesty’s report is emphatically not an honest assessment of American compliance with international law. Rather, it is an assessment of how well the United States complies with Amnesty International’s political and ideological agenda — equivalent to the grading of individual members of Congress by domestic advocacy groups.

This is obvious from the report’s three fundamental measures of a good human-rights record, which are applied to every included state:

(1) whether the death penalty has been retained;

(2) whether the International Criminal Court treaty has been ratified; and

(3) whether the U.N. Women’s Convention, and its Optional Protocol, has been ratified.

All of these criteria involve controversial political issues where there is fundamental disagreement between right and left and — from Amnesty’s perspective — George Bush’s America fails on all counts. This, of course, is what you would expect, since the president is a conservative, elected by increasingly conservative American voters.

Go read the rest.