Friday, December 01, 2006

the politics of human rights

Sajad Hejazi/Iran

In language that would have made George Orwell shudder, one of the world's leading organisations for the protection of human rights ignored the continuing violation of the Palestinians' right to security and a roof over their heads and argued instead: "There is no excuse for calling [Palestinian] civilians to the scene of a planned [Israeli] attack. Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm's way is unlawful."

There is good reason to believe that this reading of international law is wrong, if not Kafkaesque. Popular and peaceful resistance to the oppressive policies of occupying powers and autocratic rulers, in India and South Africa for example, has always been, by its very nature, a risky venture in which civilians are liable to be killed or injured. Responsibility for those deaths must fall on those doing the oppressing, not those resisting, particularly when they are employing non-violent means. On Human Rights Watch's interpretation, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela would be war criminals.

more here

1 comment(s):

  • It should be noted that there is indeed a strategic isolation of the Islamic voice. In a sense Bush's war campaign has attempted to castrate Muslim intellectuals by cutting off the critical analysis of Islamist and Islamic political thought. This was done when he declared the ontological rightness of the U.S. and Democracy thereby equally identifying an "other" as an ontological wrong. Although, Huntington has suggested theories that do not work toward Islamic and Western solidarity he has voiced strong ideas that should also be noted such as,

    "Democracy is promoted bu not if it brings Islamic fundamentalists to power; nonproliferation is preached for Iran and Iraq but not for Israel; free trade is the elixir of economic growth but not for agriculture [or steel, it now appears]; human rights are an issue with China but not with Saudi Arabia; aggression against oil-owning Kuwaitis is massively repulsed but not against non-oil owning Bosnians."

    The truth of the matter here is that without the ability to challenge U.S. and Western immanence of global foreign, economic or military policy there is not only a national security state in the U.S. but global security state to protect only the national intersts of the U.S. and its constituents, even if only in applied politically.

    Abu Sahajj

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2006 09:13:00 AM  

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