Sunday, January 01, 2006


"If you're a thug, you want to be on the committee that tries to condemn thugs."
Kenneth Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch.
Lest you missed it, an article in today's New York Times points out that officials in the U.N. are anxious to replace the Human Rights Council, and "redeem its credibility in 06." Putting the irony of the word "redeem" aside, for a moment, it seems to me that one way to address the absurdity of having the inmates run the farm, or the most egregious "thugs," to borrow Roth's term, sitting on the council such as those nations in which human rights abuses proliferate, e.g., Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Libya, is by showing impartiality to world domination and power, and being sure to add the greatest rogue state of all, alas, the United States into the mix. Those suffering from that rupture of reason that goes by the unfortunate name of "the rapture" need to understand that torture is torture regardless of what credentials the torturer happens to carry just as murder is murder whether it is practiced by a member of a street gang, or by means of lethal injection administered by the state. What kind of moral paralysis are we, as a civilization, brewing when we hold those world leaders harmless who do the gravest injury to the Magna Carta, international law, and centuries of fair, and humane treatment of prisoners of war. We can only hope that the United Nations has the chutzpah to speak out against human rights abuses practiced by all thugs great or small.