Stephen Pollard is right to get angry about Amnesty International’s reaction to Jack Straw’s dossier on human rights abuses in Iraq.
Amnesty UK’s general secretary Irene Khan, says: “This selective attention to human rights is nothing but a cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists”. BBC report.
Amnesty used to stand up for human rights whether it was fashionable or not in a given place and they managed to do so without taking sides in conflicts but stood up for what Gorbachev used to call “general human values”.
Would it really have been beyond Amnesty to simply agree that there are human rights abuses in Iraq (a mild understatement in itself)? No-one would have expected them to give their support to military action – they would just have been doing their job.
They could still have pointed out how in the past they were supporting human rights in Iraq while the US and UK were undermining them.
Amnesty seem to be saying that if the UK and US were wrong to ignore/tacitly support Saddam’s abuses in the past (and they were) that means they should continue to be wrong forever? What muddled thinking is this?