Sunday, March 22, 2009

Where is it easy?

Robert Fisk’s World: I told him I admired his refusal to sign the death sentences by Robert Fisk in The Independent.

I told him I always admired him for refusing to sign the death sentences on two condemned men. He smiled faintly and pointed out to me that as soon as Rafiq Hariri became prime minister – yes, the same supposedly saintly Hariri who was cruelly murdered in Beirut just over four years ago – Hariri signed the death sentences and the two men were hanged. Word has it that even then, the executioners messed up their work and at least one of the two had to be throttled to death by policemen who pulled on his legs. Did they ever, in their brief extension of life, thank the prime minister who tried to save them? "They didn't have time," Dr el-Hoss replied. Defenders of human rights have a tough time in the Middle East.

OK, where in the world do 'defenders of human rights' have it easy?

Or, another question that comes to mind. America was one of the few great powers left after World War II. America had a 'sphere of influence' over which it had a great deal to say about what happened there. Around about 1990, the other great superpower, the Soviet Union, collapsed, leaving America as the world's only remaining superpower.

Given that we've been the world's only superpower for nearly 20 years, and were one of only two or so for fifty years before that, lets ask this question again. Where in the world is it easy for defenders of human rights? Not just merely less awful than some other place, but what places in the world truly respect human rights? And, did America have anything to do with its creation?

Since America has been fighting to defend freedom for fifty years now, and since the country that was supposed to be our main opponent left the field 20 years ago, isn't it worth asking just how well we are doing?

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