Thursday, April 28, 2005


Even an odious bag of filth can be right

Which doesn't change the fact that he's still an odious bag of filth.
Zimbabwe's Role in U.N. Rights Panel Angers U.S.

Zimbabwe was re-elected Wednesday to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, a panel that Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed abolishing because of its practice of naming known rights violators to its membership. Zimbabwe's selection as one of the 15 countries winning three-year terms drew protests from Australia, Canada and the United States, with William J. Brencick, the American representative, saying the United States was "perplexed and dismayed by the decision."

In a speech to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Mr. Brencick said Zimbabwe had repressed political assembly and the news media, harassed civil society groups, conducted fraudulent elections and intimidated government opponents. "How can we expect the government of Zimbabwe to support international human rights standards at the Commission on Human Rights when it has blatantly disregarded the rights of its own people," he said.


Boniface G. Chidyausiku, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the United Nations, said that no country was above reproach when it came to human rights and "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." He said the United States has "a lot of dirt on its hands" because of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Nice bit of misdirection there, Mr. Chidyausiku. The U.S. loves to criticize others, and frequently we're even right. But then you see something like this happen, and suddenly you want to move to Canada.

We are better than the rest of the world only when we really are better, not when we merely assert that we are. George W. Bush thinks that anything he does is by definition holy. Or maybe he just doesn't give a shit. Maybe he's such a rancid sociopathic little turd that no one else is really quite real to him, so their suffering isn't fully real either. (Except his wealthy paymasters, whose groaning need for extra billions he is always ready to address.)

But what's everyone else's excuse? Abu Ghraib is our national disgrace, our national sin, the way slavery was in the 1860s and racism was in the 1950s and '60s. Anyone who turns a blind eye to it, anyone who excuses it, let alone anyone involved in it, has stained themselves all but irremediably.

Which does not excuse Zimbabwe, whose criminally incompetent and brutally inept leadership is a moral garbage pit. They can criticize us all they like, but it won't change a thing about their own human rights morass. That they can serve on a U.N. human rights panel is sadder than sad. Those of us who support the U.N. have to figure out a way to keep this kind of outrage from happening again.
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