I saw this over at The Wall Street Journal and thought I would share it with y'all.
Imho the good folks at AI don't have a clue, and get their talking points from a T-1 direct link from the Netroots of BDS fame.
Yesterday we noted that Amnesty International, the anti-American outfit that styles itself a human-rights group, was holding an online poll asking "Who's got the worst human rights record?" The choices: Darth Vader, Hobgoblin and Dick Cheney. (The first two are villains from "Star Wars" and "Spider-Man" respectively; the third is vice president of the United States.)
Reader David Reed argues that Amnesty wanted Cheney to "win" this vote:
The Amnesty human rights poll seems doubly rigged against Cheney. First, a literal reading of the question requires the "Cheney" answer, because Vader and Hobgoblin directed their "crimes" against Wookiees, Alderaanians and Spider-Men, rather than humans. (And, although I have not yet seen "Spider-Man 3," I'll assume that the filmmakers did not actually gas any civilian human populations in the making of the flick.) Thus, even the mildest transgression against human rights by the Vice President (say, hurting Sen. Pat Leahy's feelings) makes him the correct answer.
The second way the poll is rigged is more telling. Other than Cheney, the contestants in the poll are fictional. Rather than putting Cheney up against real human rights violators such as Hitler, Pol Pot or even someone like John Kerry, who merely claimed--probably falsely--to have violated human rights in Vietnam, Amnesty compares him to movie characters. Here again, a literal reading of the question compels the Cheney answer if he has ever done anything at all to impinge upon a human's human rights. Nevertheless, it is telling that Amnesty couldn't think of a single human being to run in the poll against Cheney. In fact, it seems like a huge concession--that Amnesty couldn't come up with anybody with a human rights record so obviously worse than Cheney's so as to guarantee a Cheney win.
I never thought I'd see Amnesty asserting the moral equivalence of Mother Teresa and Dick Cheney. But that's one way to read it.
Despite all this, the last time we checked, Cheney was a distant third with 16% of the vote, far behind Hobgoblin and Vader. Apparently this wasn't the result Amnesty was looking for, because the group proceeded to pull the poll from its Web site, which now redirects to this announcement:
Thanks to everyone who took our poll!
We've gotten a terrific response. Thanks to everyone who shared it with their friends. Take action to restore the America you believe in »
And learn more about human rights abuses worldwide and what you can do to stop them »
So who won the poll, Amnesty International? They don't say. Like a military junta desperately clinging to power, they simply suppress the result of the vote. Human rights group our foot!
Some readers also noted that Amnesty had slandered Darth Vader. This is from Jeffrey Schallert:
Amnesty International is mistaken about Darth Vader. The war against the Wookiees was begun long before Anakin Skywalker had turned to the dark side of the Force, and it was Governor Tarkin who ordered the destruction of Alderaan; Vader just happened to be on the Death Star at the time, that's all.
Would I not be justified in wondering whether AI's accusations against the malevolent Dick Cheney are as sloppily researched as those against the Dark Lord of the Sith?
Adds Brian Gates:
Amnesty Internationale's poll is badly flawed. It should include Princess Leia, whose refusal to negotiate with the Empire was directly responsible for the deaths of millions on Alderaan.
Darth Vader, of course, was at one time a realist, seeking to "end . . . destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy" by stamping out all resistance. In the end, though, he decided to (literally) overthrow a totalitarian ruler at the cost of his own life. No wonder AI doesn't like him.
And Michael Goldberg adds:
I looked at Amnesty Internationale's stunning "Who's got the worst human rights record?" web page, and sent them an e-mail wondering if, say, Kim Jong-Il was a worse offender. When I checked out their commentary about North Korea's human rights record, I was somewhat amused to note that they referred to the secretary of state as "Condolence Rice."
It is interesting to see their view of who the bad guys are.
We've had some laughs at the expense of Amnesty International, but they are still taken seriously in some quarters, even if they have squandered some of their credibility with this juvenile stunt. Their attacks on America (and Israel) do have the potential to do serious damage by diverting attention from genuine human-rights violators. Never underestimate the dark side of the farce.
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