Steven Den Beste deconstructs Amnesty International’s urgent condemnations of the United States coupled with its almost complete silence on the human-rights atrocities being perpetrated by the Iraqi regime. His conclusion: AI’s member base considers anti-Americanism a higher priority than human rights. AI’s record on human rights has been uneven for many years. As a congressional intern in 1981, I attended a party in which an AI official made the preposterous claim that South Korea (at the time, a pro-American dictatorship) had the worst human-rights record on the planet–as if Rumania, Albania, or North Korea were not far worse. Currently, AI is actively supporting the campaign at the U.N. to disarm all civilians, thus preventing civilians from resisting tyranny and genocide. In contrast to AI, Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff is a principled leftist supporter of human rights for all humans, and his latest column argues
that overthrowing the Saddam regime is a human-rights imperative.