Saturday, June 18, 2005

Amnesty Tries To Recruit Real Gulag Victim, Fails

A devestating portrait of an Amnesty International gone wild with partisanship is painted in today's Washington Post by Pavel Litvinov, who was exiled to Siberia under the Soviet regime. Amnesty attempted to recruit his endorsement of 'Cuba=Gitmo', but Litvinov, no Bush administration apologist, was having none of it.

Earlier today, I took Howard Zinn to task for his ludicrously strained attempt at defining American exceptionalism, and attempted to put forth a more reasonable statement. Litvinov says it better than I:
The most effective way to criticize U.S. behavior is to frankly acknowledge that this country should be held to a higher standard based on its own Constitution, laws and traditions. We cannot fulfill our responsibilities as the world's only superpower without being perceived as a moral authority.
Notice how this former prisoner of conscience rejects the Zinn argument that America has no special claim to morality, and indeed, asserts the contrary quite plainly. The heart of Litvinov's argument is here:
There is ample reason for Amnesty to be critical of certain U.S. actions. But by using hyperbole and muddling the difference between repressive regimes and the imperfections of democracy, Amnesty's spokesmen put its authority at risk. U.S. human rights violations seem almost trifling in comparison with those committed by Cuba, South Korea, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

No comments: