Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Human Rights Watch Watch: Self Reflection

If you take human rights watchers seriously - which used to be the right thing to do but gets ever harder - perhaps their single most important goal must be to get their targets to reflect, and change their ways. One way or the other, the point of the exercise should be to make things better, by having the human rights transgressors stop being transgressors. This can happen after external pressure, but mostly it's hoped to come from within. (The founding impetus for the whole phenomenon, the Helsinki Accords in 1975, was intended to force the Soviets to better their ways).

What happens when the watchers themselves are called upon to reflect? They don't.



Anonymous said...

Hudson New York have published that Mr. Robert Bernstein, founder of HRW, have expressed his explicitly concern about HRW's biased opinion in the Middle East conflict in the New York Times recently.
Whether HRW would eventually take his criticism into consideration for a important change in their behaviour is certainly written on a different sheet of paper.



Barry Meislin said...

Of course they don't.

And I'm not sure why they should be expected to, given that the current definition of Human Rights is, "Bash Israel until it gives the Palestinians what the Palestinians Want" (which is, of course, Israel's disappearance---even if many Human Rights devotees would prefer to deny this, no matter how vociferously, no matter how dishonestly).

The amount of prevarication and misrepresentation committed and being committed by HRW and similar organizations, including the media, requires a "Tikkun" (in the sense of correction, e.g., financial correction) so large that it will have to be on the scale of the results of those other "low and dishonest decade[s]" of the Nazi and Communist eras.

HRW has helped mioghtily to create this situation; and they have every intention of continuing on this "virtuous" path until they achieve their goal.

Which (as in those ideologies mentioned previously) must result in conflagration.