Amnesty International Founder Dies
Recently the founder of Amnesty International died. His name was Peter Benenson and I am sure that he was a good and well meaning man.
Amnesty International, however, was (and is) basically “feel-good” politics and didn’t (and doesn’t) make a difference in the world. The Europeans who scold George Bush for “cowboy capitalism” and “unilateralism” love this type of endeavor, where letter writing, sit-ins and other forms of “protest” are used to force change and help freedom. This type of effort makes them feel like they are “making a difference” since, of course, use of arms is off the table as a means to make freedom happen or tyranny disappear (see my “no war” essay).
Amnesty International, bizarrely, is most “effective” in getting out its message against liberal democracies like the United States and European countries. Since their politicians are democratically elected and the rule of law is enforced, it is embarrassing to have a group like this to say terrible things about your leadership. Every year you can count on the US to get scolded for capital punishment and now Guantanamo Bay. In their eyes, we are just as bad as Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iraq under Saddam. By their perverted logic, we are all just “one and the same”.
However, Amnesty International can do nothing to make positive change happen in countries under dictatorship. Amnesty International has accomplished jack squat with regards to Russia, China, and the myriad human rights abusers in Africa. Dictators don’t care what the “public” thinks in rich countries, unless it directly impacts their livelihoods. And in any dictatorship, it takes a LONG time for problems to start to impact people at the top, probably many lifetimes in most circumstances.
It is just astounding to me that they think that brutal dictators can be reasoned with to change their behaviors. I can’t think of any examples where this occurred; without the likely or imminent threat of force, of course. The leftists just keep going back to their “international” beliefs over and over again with nothing, absolutely nothing to show for it.
How has the European policy of “engagement” worked in Iran? Has it stopped them from going nuclear? Has it improved their freedom to have fair elections? Has it improved their women’s rights? No, of course not. And what about Sudan? I am sure that Amnesty International is organizing some sort of letter writing campaign as we speak. But do the brutal thugs in Sudan care? Not a bit.
Amnesty International is for people who profess to care about rights and freedom but don’t want to take any serious steps to make it happen. Without an effective and powerful military, it is just “blowin’ in the wind” to quote Bob Dylan. They should just go back to their mass consumption lifestyle and watch as they become more and more irrelevant in the world, because they have no military capabilities, and their economies are going backwards under socialist murk.
Dan adds: If you don’t believe that AI is irrelevant in today’s world, just look at the front page of their website. Click on the link on the left bottom that says “No turning back…”. It is all about women’s rights all over the world. It is 16 pages of hopeful text, all of which will do nothing for anyone anywhere. They talk about the “Beijing Platform for Action”, which is, again, nothing more than words on paper. Take a gander at this grandiose statement:
“The Beijing Platform for Action calls on governments to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against women; to enact and periodically review domestic legislation to punish and redress violence against women in the home, workplace, community and society. Governments are further
called upon to develop and fund training programs for judicial, medical, social, educational, police and immigration personnel to ensure fair treatment of women victims of violence.”
Whew. This statement is so stupid it isn’t even worth the time to pick it apart, but I just wanted to give you an example of AI’s insanity.
Like Carl said, you can hope and ask all you want but until and unless you physically remove the brutal dictators and oppressors they do not care.
By the way, clicking on the “Control Arms” button on AI’s main page brings you right to IANSA, the UN’s agency that tries to get governments around the world to confiscate the weapons of free peoples everywhere. Imagine, the one thing that could free women from repressive dictators – arms – and AI supports the confiscation of them.