Sunday, January 29, 2006

Human rights watch annual review

When Human Rights Watch, a respected organization that has been monitoring the world's behavior since 1978, focuses its annual review on America's use of torture and inhumane treatment, every American should feel a sense of shame. And everyone who has believed in the United States as the staunchest protector of human rights in history should be worried.



Many nations - Belarus, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Cuba, Sudan and China to name only some of the worst - routinely trample on human rights in a way that neither the United States nor any of its allies would ever countenance. But the United States wrote the book on human rights; it defined the alternative to tyranny and injustice. So when the vice president of the United States actually lobbies against a bill that bans "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment," Human Rights Watch is justified in delivering harsh criticism.

The report does not let anyone else off the hook. The massacre of hundreds of demonstrators in Uzbekistan, the ethnic cleansing in Darfur, the restrictions on civil society in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in Chechnya and all the other familiar episodes of human-rights abuse are reported and condemned.

But in the introduction by the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, the United States is singled out not only because it has raised the heinous practice of torture to a "serious policy option," but also because in so doing it is sacrificing its ability to champion human rights in other countries. America is not the worst violator, Roth writes, but it is the most influential. Now, when Americans accuse Iraqi Shiites of torturing Sunni prisoners, the messenger's reputation taints the message.

The report says that 2005 made clear that abuse of detainees has become a "deliberate, central part of the Bush administration's strategy for interrogating terrorist suspects," and it accuses Britain of complicity in the practice. We have no illusion that the administration will pay any more heed to Human Rights Watch than they have to anyone else on this issue. But the report is also an indictment of the rest of the United States for failing to stop the destruction of its most cherished values.

Source : Here

55 Comments:

Blogger syarizan said...

i couldn't agree more

January 29, 2006 7:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is with all the antiamercanism in the media and elsewhere. yeah we mess up every once in a while - we are human after all. but at least we trying to set the standard higher. we are lit. the ONLY ones doing anythign to help the underprivileged.

January 29, 2006 8:02 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

Anti-Americanism? What is that? What it is, of course, is a term that is used to try to silence anyone who dares to challenge the actions of the government of the United States of America. Thus I say to you what is with your worship of the American government?

And, no, the American government is doing more to create underprivileged people by trying to create overprivileged people than any other nation. There are, however, plenty of "ones" out there trying to help the underprivileged - Counterpart International and Nicco being two examples.

January 29, 2006 9:44 am  
Blogger Mea said...

Respects to both, but anonymous and djeb, I believe we can do more than this banter, can't we? (I mean, really- you are anti american, no you made up the word...I mean, come on- what is this accomplishing?)

To be blunt, anonymous, we mess up much more than ONCE in a while but I agree our successes are rarely counted... with great power comes great responsibility.

As for djeb's definition of anti-americanism: I believe it a label attached to any sentiment that is in direct opposition to a core value of American culture (be it political, social, economic, etc.)- thus making it overtly vague and ambiguous; point being- what the term is used for and what it means are two different things. Note djeb: careful with the accusations, the very article posted cites Director Roth stating that the US is NOT the worst violator.

However, to each their own.

I am personally not about to get into an argument over which goverment is the worst. Historical accounts are fickle in such ways- for example, Hitler and WWII were huge issues, but no one seems to be as committed to remembering all that were abused/killed under Mao- thousands and thousands more. My point being, I choose not to play a game of comparison, but instead looking at each case and treating each with due process and justice and comparing cases in such ways to either illuminate a preferred future path or to create comity in law.

As for HRW's report- great job on thoroughness and getting information out there. I strongly agree that Americans must do more to hold our government accountable.

January 29, 2006 11:58 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

Ok, show me what I have ever posted anywhere on anyforum that was anti-American. Here's to you humming and hawwing and providing no link. What you will find is plenty of citicism of U.S. povernment policy and plenty of defense of American people.

Now, when people throw out the word, it is almost always in response to criticism of U.S. government action. In fact you would be hard pressed to find any other example on this blog.

As for what I said, I can back it up. The U.S. government is the lead promoter, though not the only player, in a long-debunked, crackpot economic model that, as I said, creates underprivileged people around the globe for the purposes of enriching the overprivileged.

January 29, 2006 2:18 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

And thank your lucky stars that I'm not a moderator here because I would have deleted your crap as a warrantless personal attack.

January 29, 2006 2:19 pm  
Blogger Will Powers said...

All governments are corrupt. Give people power and they abuse it, give people power and they try to contol every one else, give America power and they try to take over the world. America don't understand the meaning of Human Rights!

January 29, 2006 2:38 pm  
Blogger Mea said...

Look, I am not trying to attack you. And it was not a personal attack- I was dealing strictly with issues. I am disappointed you are offended so easily- attack the issues- that is what I have been doing (esp. after your colleague _H_ and I had such an indepth convo over it). I attacked the fact that you two were doing what is tantamount to name calling and I think such a tactic does nothing to further the issues in a debate.

I did not once say you were Anti-american- I don't use that ridiculous label. Plus, I have been called one myself many a time and am quite familiar with the word.

Also, I did not say that you were wrong, I said to be careful. Your concept of the economic model is your personal opinion. I know many lead economists and the like that would say the complete opposite.

I beg you to read my comments for their value and less as something volatile or insinuating something cynical. Like I explained to _H_ I am intense and tear arguments apart.

*_H_, sorry this is long- but how I could not respond?

January 29, 2006 6:32 pm  
Blogger Haldan said...

Anyone who thinks of the us as the "staunchest defender of human rights" is silly. we don't sign 50% of the human rights treaties signed by almost the rest of the world. We never ratified the human rights treaty to Unionize, we never ratified the No Child Labor treaty (because of our military's policy of recruiting 16 year olds) - and countless others.

Since the formation of the UN, the US has always acted this way... we never defended human rights. Its not the American way. We've been torturing detainees since 1919 in the phillipines. Our influence, as you say, is much larger now than it was then, but the practices have pretty much stayed the same. During WWII we opposed the treatment of my people, the Jews, but in the meantime we let IBM technicians travel to Nazi Germany to service the IBM punchcard machines used to organize and barcode the prisoners. We continued to allow CocaCola to sell soda (under the name Fanta) to the Germans... modern America is a rhetorical beast - And you can expect it to be every single time.

January 29, 2006 10:06 pm  
Blogger DareDevil said...

nice post

January 29, 2006 11:43 pm  
Blogger James Whitley said...

This stuff is hilarious. Do you actually think that you know what is going on? In fifty years MAYBE we will know. Everyone, from one person's perspective or another, is a terrorist. It just depends on what you beleive.

January 30, 2006 1:08 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

M, after rereading and rereading, your comment, I see that your statement "you are anti american" was used to describe the dialogue between myself and the anonymous poster. Sorry I snapped at you. Communication via text is difficult at best and intentions are not always easy to see.

On the economists, point me to one. If it is a neo-classical economist, then his or her opinion is about as good as any snake oil salesman - the supply-theory side of the discipline was demonstarted to be false in 1926 by Pierro Sraffa; the demand-theory side was debunked by their own H.R. Varian in 1992. My concept of the economic model is based on economic history and observable data. Opinion is unsubstantiated assertion.




James, there is nothing about the Abu Graib scandal that is a matter of perspective. Prisoners were mistreated. The passage of fifty years will not change that. The prisoners at Gitmo have denyied habeus corpus in defiance of court order. The passage of fifty years will not change this. The U.S. government had Maher Arar send to Syria for torture. The passage of fifty years will not change this. These are factual statements, not matters of faith as you suggest.

January 30, 2006 1:38 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

M

I have to admit that i got a little confused by your comment and had to read it three times before I understood that you were not calling Djeb anti American. The sentence (I mean, really- you are anti american...) was read by me to imply that you were talking to Djeb.Now that you have clarified I can see that you were merely paraphrasing the comment by anonymous at the top of this thread.

As you may have noticed by now , many people pass through this site taking full advantage of the option to leave anonymous comments criticising our posts and never bothering to return to find out if their view was as factual and exact as they perceived it was when they posted itI would say 8 times out of 10 its the same questions , "anti American" , "helping the terrorists" , "why not nuke Iran"etc and it does become tedious to say the least.

In many ways it is my own fault. I want to encourage constructive dissent on this site so I try not to delete the comment that says 'your anti American' hence Djeb and I have probably lost count of the amount of times we have had to respond to the same old rhetorical questions . But the visitor may not have been here before and may not perceive that there question is a bit naive and lacking in any serious substance for debate.

So you will find us giving quick answers (often their own 'logic' fired back at them) as a quick an simple way of processing the anonymous quote so that it has got some kind of response.

In my view Djeb is quite justified to throw back at someone who simply just threw in a sentence and left. If that person made the choice to come back and reply to Djeb's answer then a more detailed discussion could take place and if you check through the site you will see dozens of examples where we will post again day or so later saying 'anonymous we are still waiting for an answer ?'

we are not going to waste our time each day responding in detail to mute points that probably wont be read by the person who posted it . Those that genuinely seek our views will hang around a little longer than that.

Halden

Nice comment thank you for your thoughts

James

I am trying to work out what your point is ? this is a report from human rights watch are you trying to claim it is not true ?

January 30, 2006 1:39 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

Oh it tugs at the heart strings to see how conserned left-winger are when it
comes to human-rights.

Hey, i have an idea!!

How about we invade the countries where the worst human-rights abusers are in
charge and remove them from power??

Oh shoot! That would be in violation of "international law", sorry i mentioned it.

January 30, 2006 2:29 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

Hey eveningblogger, I have an idea, how about getting the powerful nations to quit supporting thugs like Islam Karimov. You know - the guy who boils his opponents to death. Or they could stop supporting guys like Saparmurat Niyazov, or Teodoro Obiang, or nations like Saudi Arabia whose courts do things like ordering peoples eyes be gouged out. No need to invade anyone - just stop helping them.

January 30, 2006 2:57 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Evening blogger

I have an idea instead why don't you spend a week in a Chinese prison or maybe in gitmo and then tell us what you feel about human rights.Maybe you could offer yourself as a willing captive and after a few hours of electric shocks on your testicles you may find you have a slightly different view.

Still along as it is not you and your family that are being boiled to death ?

January 30, 2006 3:19 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

"No need to invade anyone - just stop helping them."

Ehehe.Again, why not invade them, and kill them?

"why don't you spend a week in a Chinese prison or maybe in gitmo"

Why should i spend any time there? Why not someone who whines about "international law"
when someone decides to take out vermin like saddamn hussein?

"along as it is not you and your family that are being boiled to death ?"

If it was me and my family i recon i could count on you to come to my rescue, guns blazing?

January 30, 2006 3:41 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

well as long as your just as happy to take out vermin like George bush then your clearly not a hypocrite.

He is certainly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents so he is clearly vermin in your eyes

does vermin only mean other vermin or are you just as willing to put our own vermin to death ?

January 30, 2006 3:41 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

Eveningblogger. Again, why help them? They won't get very far if they stop receiving military aid and diplomatic support.

And vermin like Saddam Hussein? He was just like the others I mentioned only he stopped following orders.

And if it were your family? Were we in a position of power to make the decisions, we would not be funding those people.

January 30, 2006 4:00 am  
Blogger Mea said...

Djeb- as for stopping aid, etc.-
What about the risks a failed State/State in transition poses to the international community? Or threat to their own people? Who then should step in? Is it better to aid and try to fix at the same time, or wait for it to fall and then deal with that?

Perhaps our aid is not sent to "fix" things- which we could get into a long debate over. I guess I am simply asking you to elaborate your thoughts on the matter.

January 30, 2006 4:09 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

I do not accept as a fact that George Bush or coalition troops
are delibaretly targeting and murdering innocents by the thousands.

What we do know is that iraqi "insurgents" have conducted operations
that could be nothing else than intentionally murdering random iraqis,
like blowing up bombs where soldiers are giving out candy to iraqi
children.

The "insurgents", who are not "rebels" or "nationalist" and often not
even iraqis, are muslim terrorsts doing their usual killing infidels thing.

January 30, 2006 4:14 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

"Again, why help them? They won't get very far if they stop receiving military aid and diplomatic support"

I personally have no interest in helping them.
I guess the US have made many strategic decisions which are basically like "we'll support this asshole
over the other worse asshole", since rooting out all the assholes in societies which are infested with
assholes and where no powerful dissent exists is very difficult.

As for "they wont get very far" that is just nonsense.Opressive regimes can remain in power for ages no
matter how isolated they are and no matter how many trade sanctions and boycots are put upon them.

"And if it were your family? Were we in a position of power to make the decisions, we would not be funding those people."

If i was still being tortured i couldn't care less.

January 30, 2006 4:28 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

sorry for the blatant plagirism here Djeb but we need to get some facts straight to start with evening blogger

George bush is a war criminal , that's your starting point , there are plenty of studies and research and reports that will confirm that you have a misguided view of events in Iraq especially on the conduct (under orders) of the US forces within the country and once we have a basic understanding of reality I will gladly allow you to attempt to discredit any sources provided ,

I would ask if you have ever been to iraq considering the view you hold so strongly ?

but let us begin at the start for if you refute that GWB is a war criminal and hence claim he should not be treated as 'vermin' then I ask you to refute the evidence that says he is a war criminal , if we can get to first base then maybe we could manage to hold a debate with you on any of the details you wish ...

these are the facts as we claim them . if you wish to deny them then please supply accurate international laws (your favorite word) that refute these crimes thus removing GWB from the classification of war criminal


DJEB said...

The man's power aside, he violated Articles 33 and 39 of the UN Charter and the The General Treaty for the Renunciation of War (AKA the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928) (and the Geneva conventions as _H_ mentioned) thereby violating Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of America.

With regards to Articles 33 and 39 of the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, I think the judgement of the International Court of Justice in the Corfu Channel case of 1949 fits:

The Court can only regard the alleged right of intervention as the manifestation of a policy of force, such as has, in the past, given rise to most serious abuses and such as cannot, whatever be the defects in international organization, find a place in international law. Intervention is still less admissible in the particular form it would take here; for, from the nature of things, it would be reserved for the most powerful states and might easily lead to perverting the administration of international justice itself.

The judgement at Nuremburg was also instructive as it pertains to violations of the Kellogg-Briand Pact:

The charges in the Indictment that the defendants planned and waged aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent States alone, but affect the whole world.

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

If you're not up to speed on the Kellogg-Briand Pact, it was summed up by Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson in 1932:

War between nations was renounced by the signatories of the Kellog-Briand Treaty. This means that it has become throughout practically the entire world... an illegal thing. Hereafter, when engaged in armed conflict, either one or both of them must be termed violators of this general treaty law... We denounce them as law breakers.

GW ordered the invasion. GW thereby violated the Kellogg-Briand Pact and Articles 32 and 39 of the UN Charter. GW initiated "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." The other day, someone posted something about a duck. It goes something like this: if it looks like a duck. walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then George Bush is a war criminal even if he has too much power to ever stand trial.

awaiting your detailed rebuttal eveningblogger ?

January 30, 2006 4:28 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

oh I should also add article 2 of the United nations charter for your detailed attempt at denying

The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and. justice, are not endangered.

4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.

6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

January 30, 2006 4:39 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

then of course you could ask the UN itself if the war was illigal why not ask Kofi Annan (video) if the invasion of Iraq was legal or not

January 30, 2006 4:43 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

M, that would be assuming that military aid that is currently being used to oppress people would somehow switch to be used to help people. I can't imagine how that would happen.

EB, Who here said that "are delibaretly targeting and murdering innocents by the thousands"? Thanks for the straw man fallacy, but no thanks.

Yes, the insurgents have committed terrorist acts. This was predicted by the FBI and other terrorism experts before the war. In other words, it's a good reason not to use war as a means of solving problems.

You have made your racist thoughts known on another thread (and been deleted for your trouble). Considering your hatred of Muslims, why then the concern for their human rights? This is inconsistent.

"I guess the US have made many strategic decisions which are basically like 'we'll support this asshole
over the other worse asshole'..."


Yes. Guess. Exactly. Your opinions are just opinions. They are not based on fact. The initial support for Saddam was not to avoid supporting a "worse asshole." The same goes for support of Karimov (as if there could be anyone worse than a man who has people boiled to death). And "no powerful dissent"? Again, ignorance. There was HUGE protest against Karimov last year, but the man had the army shoot down those protesting. Again, the army. The very institution that the U.S. and UK are supporting, not to avoid a "worse asshole," but to avoid a government that is responsive to the interests of the citizens over the interests of the West.

And again on the your family rhetoric, your family and others would likely not have to live under an unwanted government if it was not being propped up by powerful foreign interests.

January 30, 2006 4:46 am  
Blogger Mea said...

I believe it time for me to add a little sidenote. Everything about the USA is not WRONG and HORRID and DESTRUCTIVE.

Am I against torture? Yes. Do I believe international treaties shold be followed? Yes (Article 6 of our Constitution supports that). Do I believe our military has taken actions causing irreprable harm? Yes. Do I believe there is not one good thing our military has done? NO.

The Marines, believe it or not, have played an intricate role in almost all of the recent peacebuilding and community building missions in Africa. Did you know they have helped repatriate THOUSANDS of refugees all over Africa? The chances are little that they would have been able to get back without US military protection. Maybe its not in the news...but it would be futile for us to believe the media knows all- most of the significant decisions being made by our military are clandestine (yes that is debatable). Sometimes, difficult decisions must be made. Sometimes, one person's life is lost to save 100 more. I am not saying it's morally right. I am saying that the decisions being made at that level are astoundingly difficult and not black and white as we perceive them to be.

I am merely saying, there is a larger picture- with many angles. Alas, I know this is a "terrorism" blog- but I think it would be in line to say- 'Marines protect 3,000 refugees from terrorists and get them back safely to their country.'

January 30, 2006 5:07 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

A law, when it comes to any legal system, could very well be defined like this:
"Something someone has scribbled down on a piece of paper and decide to call a law"

If i were in power and decided to make a law which stated that everyone who have
ever written anything on the internet (except me of course) should be tracked down
and executed you wouldnt think that was right.

And you wouldn't think it was right even if i had persuaded the majority to accept
it (democracy), or if a team of international experts and lawyers and politicians
and historians etc had "found it right" to introduce such a law.

Or am i going out on a limb here? Do you accept anything as long it is labelled "law"?

Acceptable laws must have a rational foundation, there shouldn't be any laws which prevents
people to do anything which is not proven to be of any physical harm to others.
So in short, i couldn't give a rats ass about most international laws.

"War is essentially an evil thing"

No it isn't.
And "evil" is a moral consept, not a legal one.
Initiating the use of force on innocents is evil, it is not evil to use force in return.
But this moral relativity is very normal among left wingers, you see it especially in their
love and admiration of convicted murderers on death row.

"GW ordered the invasion."

Yes he did.
And the only thing i care about is the fact that there are plenty of evidence
of the brutality and atrocities committed by saddam and his cronies.

And finally.
If there can be provided evidence that Bush has given orders to kill or torture
people he KNOWS are completely innocent then he can be put on trial like anyone else,
but even that doesn't remove the fact that it was morally right to remove saddam.

January 30, 2006 5:27 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

"Who here said that "are delibaretly targeting and murdering innocents by the thousands"?"

_H_ said...

well as long as your just as happy to take out vermin like George bush then your clearly not a hypocrite.

He is certainly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents so he is clearly vermin in your eyes

January 30, 2006 5:31 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

"Everything about the USA is not WRONG and HORRID and DESTRUCTIVE. "

Who said it was? You come after me for being sensitive? This is not the first time you have come rushing to the defense of the U.S. when we dare to question some particular U.S. policy.

EB, we are certainly thankful that you are not in power. More to say when time permits. Running off to work.

January 30, 2006 5:34 am  
Blogger Mea said...

I am making a statement. I don't need a precursor statement to state my belief.

What is the point of telling me I rush to defense? For the record, I wasn't. You said "that would be assuming that military aid that is currently being used to oppress people would somehow switch to be used to help people. I can't imagine how that would happen" so I demonstrated how that could happen- I just made it a statement, instead of a cut at you. But next time, I will make sure I direct my comments to you. And what if I was coming to the defense? Am I not allowed to do that?

January 30, 2006 5:39 am  
Blogger Mea said...

eveningblogger-
While I do not share the same views as you, I can see where you are coming from. Thanks for your comments- this blog needs the commentary and dialogue- makes all of us see a different point of view. Without differing points of view the world would be a scary place.

January 30, 2006 5:41 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Please learn to read the other threads EB

i said "He is certainly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents so he is clearly vermin in your eyes "

I did not use the words deliberate at all . neither did I claim anybody was targetting anyone , feel free to twist your own words but mine are my own.

as for your very strange view on laws being bits of paper , are you for real ? that has to go in the scrapbook for one of the more amusing points of view ever expressed on this site ..

the US has signed and agreed to abide by those laws if you dont want to apply them then the US should remove itself from the treaties that it refuses to honour

maybe i should try you warped logic when i get stopped for speeding in my car ..

its ok officer the law is only a bit of paper .

The US has no choice but to abide by the treaties it has signed and so you can argue that the US government should be pushed to remove itself from the treaties but it would still have broken them whilst bound by them and hence GWB would still be a war criminal

or , you can still take up the offer of disputting the laws placed before you


how about the law that says that someone can not come into your home and steal all your things , is that just a bit of paper too ?

should the criminal be allowed to keep all your stuff and face no penelty due to the law being a simple bit of paper .

by all means judge laws that the US has not signed as being of no concern

but treaties signed by the US are international law and the breaking of them makes the subsequent action illigal ..

how strange .

do you refuse to pay taxes ? thats just a law , would your governemnt accept your wonder of logic if you just said I am not going to play along , of course they would not

you would be in jail , as should those that break international law and especially if those laws make the 'vermin' a war criminal

It seems the power of your 'logic' is starting to come through

you miss quote me and you things international agreeements and laws between nations are just bits of paper to ignore as you please.

January 30, 2006 5:44 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

M , this site gets this kind of debate often....

so far its a very silly debate , international laws dont matter
accurate quotes dont matter
facts dont matter

of course it is fun for a while but without any facts and with the above views in mind which include racism , hatred of muslims and other twisted sickness that have already been deleted from this site

EB has refrained from using such language since (as two comments have been deleted) but encouraging a racist does not do you any justice at all.

unless you think we should have more racists on this site ?

January 30, 2006 5:50 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

DELETED

sorry EB you did it again if you are willing to email me your full qualifactions as a muslim scholar I will consider putting your comment back

but calling peoples faith an ' evil doctrine' as a mild example from what you just wrote without showing any relgious qualifications make such a statement is not going to be allowed here

so are you a muslim scholar , which mosque's did you study at ?
and what internationaly recognised qualifications do you have to make such a sweeping statement ?

January 30, 2006 5:57 am  
Blogger Mea said...

_H_ -
In concern to racism, I like to hear everyone's opinions quite honestly. It is even more crucial to discuss topics with racists, because there is a larger bridge to be build. I would not delete anything except if it had no relevance to the issue at all. But, you are the moderator- you do as you wish.

January 30, 2006 5:57 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

as i do , and som opinions are far to stupid to debate with ..

I have spent a great deal of time in the middle east and talked at length with genuine muslim scholars and I certainly will not allow racism on this site ..

if we can not use words like evil and make sweeping statements about muslims and arabs that have no base in reality then I am fine with such a thing

I run this site from the United Kingdom where to print the comment I just deleted is a criminal act.

to make such statements will get you put into jail , which is where such views belong

doubt me , check out the current court case taking place with the leader of the british national party in the UK it is all over the press .

I will not have people commiting what is a crime in my country , nor would I allow people to encourgage such a sick act.

January 30, 2006 6:02 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

"i said "He is certainly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents so he is clearly vermin in your eyes "

I did not use the words deliberate at all . neither did I claim anybody was targetting anyone ,
feel free to twist your own words but mine are my own."

-----

I was using the words "intentionally" and "deliberately" because i thought it was something
which was indirectly understood.

There are things called collateral damage you know, and it is fundametally different
from intentionally murdering someone.

January 30, 2006 6:04 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

"I was using the words "intentionally" and "deliberately" because i thought it was something
which was indirectly understood. "

well clearly it wasnt . maybe you should check next time

if i wanted to use those words I would have , It is not for you to decide for me .

January 30, 2006 6:04 am  
Blogger Mea said...

Wow- cultural divide. So making racist remarks is illegal in the UK!? To what extent exactly? If it is what I have assumed from your post, I had no idea.

Here, we have clear and present danger tests and the like- basically saying that unless there is imminent physical harm, one may voice an opinion as they wish...mostly we view it quite liberally here and it sits very well with me- although I personally disagree vehemently with racism.

January 30, 2006 6:11 am  
Blogger EveningBlogger said...

"to make such statements will get you put into jail , which is where such views belong "

Oh the lovely left-wing free speech supporters, how i have gotten to know and love them.
Well i have no interest in "debating" anymore on a site which uses censorship, and
this is very common on sites controlled by people who cannot grasp the consept
of "racism".

buh-bye.

January 30, 2006 6:15 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

bye bye EB


M

It is currently passing through parliament in its latest form .. some answers for you , or at least some more questions

Government proposals for a law on religious hatred are complicated

What is the government proposing?

The government says it wants to extend protection to people so they cannot be harmed because of their religious beliefs. The proposals include some subtle and complex arguments but boil down to whether society should protect people from hatred because of what they believe.

The proposal would essentially extend the concept of the UK's race hate laws to cover belief; it would become illegal to knowingly use words or behaviour which are threatening, insulting or abusive in a way that stirs up hatred against an individual because of what they believe.

Give us an example?

Take these two theoretical statements:

Statement one: "I hate Buddhism/Christianity/Islam, it's a nonsense religion that serves no good."
Statement two: "I hate Buddhists/Christians/Muslims - their ideas are dangerous and we need to do something about them."

It is the second type of statement which ministers have indicated they want the law to target. The law's supporters say the first statement would not fall foul of the law because for a prosecution to go ahead the words need to be abusive and intended to stir up hated.

so calling a faith 'evil' would clearly apply

January 30, 2006 6:23 am  
Blogger Mea said...

Interesting. So one is a statement of fact as the speaker perceives it and one is a statement of the speaker's intention to act. However, can you discern that an illegal act will follow statement two? I think there are many actions that could be insinuated by this remark that could be legal in nature.

It is basically changing the way you are allowed to speak about issues. I don't like it.

January 30, 2006 6:32 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

well you have to have some censorship in a moral society

the point is that this is a public forum and calling a faith 'evil' is an attempt at justification of religous hatred.

should I put the instructions on how to make a nuclear bomb on my site ?

should I allow people to arrange a time and place to go and murder christians ?

I have had the Islam is evil line pulled so many times and it is based on picking random quotes from the quran taken out of context

Islam is a religion of peace , for example Osama bin laden is not a muslim cleric and has no authority within the faith to say the things he does , he (and other extremists like him) do not speak for islam and hence you can not judge islam by their words..

any muslim will tell you that

I would not judge catholics by the actions of some priests to molest young children

Islam and terrorism have no connection apart from the fools that comit such acts believe they have the right within Islam to do so .


Now if EB had been more specific and claimed that extremists like osama are evil I would have had no problem

to call an entire faith of billions evil is as sick as the mind of people like hitler

if he was alive should I allow hitler to peddle his hatred of the jews on this site ?

the fact you dont like it is of course noted , but it has no significance in the context of what your defending .


would you defend hitler ?
would you defend people who wish to drop a nuke on the millions in Iran ?
would you defend those who wanted take out israel ?

if you would allow such people to comment then i would see you as just as guilty as them ,for allowing them a platform to spread their hatred.

January 30, 2006 6:45 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Lets make it even easier for you M

I assume that it is against the law to possess a terrorist training manual in your country ?


it matters not if you plan to use it , just that its in your possesion is that right ?


if so we are looking at the same thing from the other side ..

why would it be a crime to possess means of encouraging others to attack the state , but fail to provide any protection for the individual

calling billions of people evil can clearly incite hatred in others and hence should be a crime.

you already protect black people in your country , and women , so why not belief ?

or do you think you should remove the protection of minorities ?

January 30, 2006 6:55 am  
Blogger Mea said...

_H_ -
First off, I did not share the same views as EB- so that is moot.

"it has no significance in the context of what your defending":
it has everything to do with what I defending. There will always be actions taken in contradiciton to other value systems- its what diversity breeds. As long as the actions are legal, I have no problem.

"would you defend hitler ?":
In what context? If you mean do I think he should have been able to talk about the final solution- no. It was directly linked to illegal actions.

"if you would allow such people to comment then i would see you as just as guilty as them ,for allowing them a platform to spread their hatred":
I disagree with this logic. It is not the same thing to stand by and do nothing and to actually commit a wrong act. I would not want an accomplice to murder and a murderer be tried for the same crime and the same sentence.

I see what you are saying- the regulation of moral concern/behavior in society. I hold law in ery high regard, because I believe people are entitled to their own morality to a certain extent. However, I think government power should be limited to the largest extent possible, while continuing to protect. If we are talking about Hitler- the always famous question is- how did this happen? How did all of the Germans follow along, how did he get support? This whole groupthink psychoanalytical theory is quite evasive. If you want citizens to make responsible decisions, focus on their education, focus on limiting frivolous media accounts, focus on those things. The point being, you want citizens to act without the coaxing of the government- limit the actions they can take by making actions illegal, not words- after all the most beautiful enactment of freedom is when an individual chooses to do right and to be moral because he/she wishes to- not because they were told to.

January 30, 2006 6:59 am  
Blogger Mea said...

Alright, you have successfully pinned me. This is an issue I wrestle with daily- where to draw the line between legal and moral.

For example- Nuremberg- do I believe the trials were valid although they were tried for laws that never before existed? Yes, I do believe in the Nuremberg codes. But ask me how I think about post facto law in the US- no I do not think you should be tried for a law this is now in force, but was not when you committed the act.

Bottom line is, under different circumstances, different methods must be employed. I try my best not to support laws limiting such a fundamental right as freedom of speech unless there is absolutely nothing else I should and could target appropriately first and unless it was absolutely necessary. Best I can come up with at this point.

January 30, 2006 7:11 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

First off, I did not share the same views as EB- so that is moot.

well EB wanted to express his hatred of billions of people where as you think i should allow anyone who has a hatred of billions to express such views

his crime is singular

yours could be classed as multiple

it has everything to do with what I defending. There will always be actions taken in contradiction to other value systems- its what diversity breeds. As long as the actions are legal, I have no problem.

and hatred of billions is of course allowed even though it is a very sick thought nobody tells people what to think , but by allowing such a thought to be put on my site I which is a public forum would be clearly wrong .I do not deny his right to think what he wants , i do deny his right to come here and spread a view of the hatred of billions , where as you think i should allow that


"would you defend Hitler ?":

In what context?


would you allow Hitler to come here and say all Jews are evil and of course the follow on comments you would get that by allowing such a statement ?



I disagree with this logic. It is not the same thing to stand by and do nothing and to actually commit a wrong act. I would not want an accomplice to murder and a murderer be tried for the same crime and the same sentence.

I agree , but if five people went out and murdered someone due to reading a comment that you allowed then each one of them is completely responsible for a single murder

where as (if you knew you were inciting hatred ) you would be partly responsible for each one of the murdersthat is why hitler is seen as the evil he is , but each German soldier would only be judged by his actions

by allowing such a comment to be repeated and enter into the minds of others , just as Hitlers sickness was embedded into the minds of the German people , you are in many ways committing a greater crime .


as for the rest of your comment I agree , I do not monitor peoples thoughts , I do and will monitor what kind of hatred is placed on this site .we have already discussed my refusal to allow the direct attack of people who comment and you seem to understand that . well billions of Muslims are people too and just because none of them are on this site right now does not mean I will allow hatred of billions to take place within my responsibility

it is the same as the ignorant senior officers at abu graahb who claimed they had no idea what was happening , it is their job to know and if they don't know then they too are accountable

on this site I am responsible for what is printed on these pages , anybody who wishes to peddle hatred can do so , i can;t stop them , but i can and will prevent such sickness here.

---

reply to second comment

I agree , its a tough call and you must have noticed I dont remove much from this site (lately the rate has increased)

but you have to draw the line somewhere.

funny if his comment would have been against black people and i left it I would be getting angry emails for months (and rightly so)

but when it comes to faith for some reason that doesnt apply ?

like i say . EB is free to think what he wishes , he brought (in my mind ) not a single fact or source to debate and they normally come much better armed then that ...

there is a difference in my mind between the hatred someone has in their own mind and the allowing such hatred to be projected through me and my site

absolutely no denial of freedom of speach has taken place , for nobody is free to say anything they want here anyway . all visitors are aware we have rules and either abide by them or express there freedom of speach somewhere else .

I see your view has moved on a litte in the second comment so forgive me if this comes across as strong , most of it was written before reading your second comment..

January 30, 2006 7:24 am  
Blogger Mea said...

I am not sure to what extent EB's comments had reached. But I will give you an example of why I think racism to an extent should be shared.

I have friends who are racist (loyalty is not the reason- just hear me out). I am part-Hawaiian and so are these friends of mine. Well, the Hawaiian issue is incredibly volatile, seeing as the Hawaiian Monarchy was illegally overthrown by the US government only a century ago. Hawaiians are still fighting for reparation and a level of independence. These friends of mine have racist views against white people- Hawaiian values are very unique and they believe white people have often corrupted these values. They seek to save their culture, their tradition. Why do I say they? Because I do not agree with them. I am part-Hawaiian but I do not look as people as black, or asian, or white. The views they have expressed are sometimes in anger and they have sometimes said some vile things, similar to that you mentioned. Did I agree? Of course not. But after I was able to debate the topics with them, a level of brevity was attained...we connected and had a level of empathy. Yes they are still quite opinionated, but no they are not actually harming innocent white people. So you see, limiting what one can say can adversely affect debate- if we want to effect the minds of people we have to start with their hearts and we can't do that if we don't even listen to what they have to say.

January 30, 2006 7:39 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

"I am part Hawaiian"

I kind of guessed you were by your location .IP adress etc etc

In a one on one debate I would agree with you. this site is not a one on one debate , you will note it is read by people all around the world (see map on right) and some of them are muslims , some are american , some are racist , some are not , some are children some are adult .

you can not apply the logic you suggest here , you can in a private conversation , you cant in a public forum .

If such a view is expressed to me in private (and it has been) i will debate the opinion with the racist / fascist or whatever you wish to call them and try to convince them of their error .

In public we have standards and I am sure you would object if I put pornograhy images here but you 'may' not do so if I sent you such images in private.

I am not the state I am an individual and this is a controlled environemnt that anybody with the internet is able to access (unless I have banned them and I have not yet banned anybody ever)

I know you agree with me M , this is not about supression of freedom of opinion , this is about protection of those who are not here to defend themselves. the muslims of the world are not a government or a country they share a faith and that faith will be respected here as is all faiths

(personally I dont have any faith nor would I want one )

January 30, 2006 7:53 am  
Blogger Mea said...

I agree- defending those who are not available to do so. However, you can do that and also put your beliefs out there...

This is the difference between you and I. I have naive optimism- I worry less about how I am viewed and such, and more about making sure my point gets across. It gets messy at times, but its my method. I see where you are coming from, though.

And I would not complain if you posted porn (remember, we agree I don't tell you what to post), although I would question why because it is a terorrism site :)

January 30, 2006 8:02 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

well by keeping an eye on how you are viewed you end up with a much larger audience to put your point across too

by allowing such remarks I would be offending large numbers of peace loving people , by refusing such remarks I am offending racists and fascists .

there is no doubt removing hate speach is the right call to make

as for the porn , you sound like you want me too ... but others wouldnt .


I am happy to lose any racist readership for I have nothing that will convince them of anything

and as you say , your friends are still racist .....

January 30, 2006 8:19 am  
Blogger Mea said...

HAHA. Don't read that the wrong way. My comment was made in a purely non-judgmental fashion. If I wanted porn I could just as easily be accessing it on another site.

I think we understand each other, otherwise.

January 30, 2006 8:35 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

:-)

January 30, 2006 8:36 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

54 comments. Well, I missed quite a bit by going to work...

I shall respond to what was addressed to me and make afew other comments as well.

M, you are certainly entitled to make any comments, non sequitur or otherwise, you like. I don't think there is much risk of you insulting others or making racist statements, so your comments aren't too likely to enter the digital void.

However, there is no need that I can see to rush to the defense of the U.S. military listing benign or even helpful action. A pro-government Cuban poster shouldn't feel the need to list the efficacy of the Hurricane Ivan evacuations on a thread that is (in part) critical of Cuba's human rights record. It would be as if a criminal with overwhelming evidence of his/her guilt in a murder case saw the need to present evidence that he/she was kind to his/her neighbour's cat. That's nice for the cat, but we're not talking about the cat.



EB, glad you and your racist opinions are gone. It's the best news I've had all day.

A law, when it comes to any legal system, could very well be defined like this:
"Something someone has scribbled down on a piece of paper and decide to call a law"


If you mean to say that your approach to the law is entirely cynical, I find that exceedingly easy to believe.

What that 'scribbling' usually is, though, is an attempt to make society just.

If i were in power

Yikes! I can envision the concentration camps already.

and decided to make a law which stated that everyone who have
ever written anything on the internet (except me of course) should be tracked down
and executed you wouldnt think that was right.


Well of course not. It would not be a law aimed at achieving justice, now would it. It would, by definition, be an unjust law. For your faulty analogy to fit, the laws the _H_ quoted me saying would have to be unjust, which they are not.

Or am i going out on a limb here?

As far as faulty analogies go, you are on the ground with a concussion. The limb broke a long time ago.

Acceptable laws must have a rational foundation, there shouldn't be any laws which prevents
people to do anything which is not proven to be of any physical harm to others.


Thus the Kellogg-Briand Pact fits along with Articles 32 and 39 of the UN Charter.

"War is essentially an evil thing"

No it isn't.


Yes it is. The attacked people of Iraq are fighting back, but often in ways that are entirely unjust. Sorry, your dig on the left just backfired.

And the only thing i care about is the fact that there are plenty of evidence
of the brutality and atrocities committed by saddam and his cronies.


Because you are cynical and don't care about Iraqi loss of life. We can all be sure that you didn't say "Boo!" when the U.S. was busy increasing its support for the Butcher of Baghdad by more than 100% for the licences of dual-use items after the Halabja massacre. You never said "Boo!" about the military and diplomatic aid to Uzbekistan by Britain and the U.S. even the though the government there is known to have boiled several men to death and boiled one man's hand until the flesh sloughed off the bone to torture him. No, I feel no shame being a "left winger."

If there can be provided evidence that Bush has given orders to kill or torture
people he KNOWS are completely innocent then he can be put on trial like anyone else


Interesting. For anyone with a moral compass, innocent is presumed and guilt must be proven. If you have followed the news for the past several years, you would know that Maher Arar was send for torture despite his innocence, and most of the prisoners in Iraqi prisons as well as Abu Graib are held without charge. Again, innocent until proven guilty.

Regarding the flap about what _H_ didn't say, what is your plee, poor reading skills or lame straw man attempt?

And finally, no one is prohibitting your speech. You can say whatever you like (not on your blog, Google can take that away from you - you don't own it) on your own site. We, however, not only do not have to tolerate hate speech here, we don't have to endanger the site by having it risked getting flagged and possibly removed by the owners (Google).

January 30, 2006 2:29 pm  

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