room for improvement...
May 31, 2005 4:26 PM   Subscribe

The Amnesty International Report 2005 was released recently, detailing both the abuses and positive changes for 149 countries, including the Americas. Meanwhile...
posted by exlotuseater (11 comments total)
1 2.
posted by dobbs at 5:19 PM on May 31, 2005

oopsie. sorry folks. I swear I googled this and missed 'em.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:49 PM on May 31, 2005

You know, the Shrub is right.

I used to admire Amnesty International for bringing attention to abuses all over the world. But, to put Gitmo and the Gulags in the same sentence is wrong.

Let's see: Gitmo. 100s of prisoners. A few deaths at most.
Let's see: the Gulag system: 20 million prisoners sent to die in the camps. A few 10+ million deaths at most.

posted by davebarnes at 7:02 PM on May 31, 2005

Gitmo - we kill fewer prisoners than Stalin did - come have an adventure with us.
posted by caddis at 8:31 PM on May 31, 2005

Meanwhile, just pre-invasion of Iraq, they quoted Amnesty Intl all the time to prove how horrible Iraq was. Funny how now it's "absurd", huh?

And gulags were actually a place where sentenced prisoners were punished and kept, after trials, not without trials. Many survived gulags, including Dostoevsky.
posted by amberglow at 10:04 PM on May 31, 2005

amberglow - The "gulag" being a 20th century concept, I assume you meant Solzhenitsyn as a gulag survivor...
posted by numbskeleton at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2005

numbskeleton: amberglow - The "gulag" being a 20th century concept, I assume you meant Solzhenitsyn as a gulag survivor...

Nah. Stalin just took the Tsarist remote forced labor camps and made them bigger. He wasn't exactly the most original thinker of his time.
posted by graymouser at 8:24 AM on June 1, 2005

amberglow - I'm willing to bet that the Stalinist judge's pot is about as black as a CIA paramilitary's kettle. If anything it was probably darker because the trials provided a thin veneer of legitimacy ... a veneer that you obviously bought into.

Gitmo is bad enough as an affront to American values that you don't need to bring the gulag metaphor in (or, worse yet, whitewash the history of the camps) to illustrate its offensiveness.

Pick your battles more wisely than that.
posted by bl1nk at 9:19 AM on June 1, 2005

You know davebarnes is right about the Shrub being right

We should focus on this one single detail that is essentially a throw away analogy used to grab people's attention and direct it on the problem.
Clearly while Amnesty Intenational is right in everything they said about Iraq and Russia and China, when the same methodologies are applied to the U.S. they suddenly become wrong.

Let's see: Stalin - evil dictator who slaughtered millions of his own oppressed people for which we simply glared at him instead of driving our booted toes up his ass while we still had an A-bomb advantage and our guys were on his doorstep as Patton said we should have.
Let's see: G.W. Bush - a democratically elected representative of a free people who appears to have defied their will (but there hasn't been an investigation has there) and using deception launched into a war on a relatively harmless country who's former dictator Bush's father sold chemical weapons to, and who 'gassed his own people' only a few tens of thousand at most while the war to 'liberate' them has killed many more and who has imprisoned an American citizen as well as citizens of other countries without trial ---- yadda yadda yadda, etc. etc.
blah blah blah.
Ah, what's the point?
You point your finger at the moon and say "See?" and some people still argue about the length of your cuticles.

I suppose it'd be better if instead of a gulag we had thunderdome?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:07 PM on June 1, 2005

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