Tuesday, May 04, 2004

United Nations

Q: What do you give to a government that wages a scorched earth campaign, displacing one million of its own civilians?

A: A third term on the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Canada, Finland and France were elected from the Western group. Incidentally, the US representatives were the only ones to protest with their feet. In response, the Sudanese representative equated the Sudanese governments' massacre, rape and abduction of tens of thousands of Sudanese civilians with US army prisoner abuse in Iraq.

The allegations surrounding prisoner abuse in Iraq are horrific and deserve to be investigated thoroughly. However they do not deserve the global media frenzy that has developed around them. The result of this journalistic circus is that a Sudanese representative can actually compare his country's atrocities to the prisoner's abuse in Iraq and not be laughed out of the room. Other wide-spread human rights abuses are ignored. Any sense of perspective has been completely lost. As a blogger noted in a slightly different context, "You should know that the life of a Muslim is cheap when it is taken by another Muslim as long as it is in the name of Allah." One might say more generally that lives are cheap these days unless an American has taken them.