Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Amnesty International and Afghanistan

I had to laugh this morning when I was reading Amnesty's latest magazine. For a start, I had a look at the back cover where a photo of some Amnesty members was shown. I've always enjoyed trying to read faces to discern attitudes and many of these faces were absolutely transparent. The bien-pensant, pacifist, liberal-lefty, we-can-get-on-with-everyone, all-you-need-is-love, naivety was plastered all over them. What a collection of gullible, useful idiots they looked.

I read an article inside about the plight of Afghan women pending the withdrawal of coalition troops. The article spoke of the many advances for women in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted from large areas of the country from 2001 onwards. It spoke of the brutality of the Taliban and how they violated human rights for everyone but especially women. Now, as the Obama-led coalition seeks a speedy exit and is holding negotiations with the Taliban, fears about the consequences for many Afghans are rising.

All understandable enough, and I'm right behind anyone who wants to uphold universal human rights but this is really where the cultural relativists of the Left have got their (or rather the poor Afghans') comeuppance. Having pooh-poohed the efforts of coalition forces to bring order and justice to Afghanistan ever since they started and having done all in their power to bring the troops home (under whatever pretext), they are now crying for the Afghans because the enemy that they don't want to fight, and whom they have busily tried to define as a non-enemy in their usual sneering manner, is positioning itself for a return to power. Dress it up how you like, we will put the Taliban back in power when we leave.

What the likes of Amnesty need to understand is that universal human rights cannot be upheld universally all the time. If a group of people is violating the human rights of another group and they can only be stopped by force, you have to violate their human rights to stop them: you have to kill them.

But those people on the back cover of Amnesty's magazine just won't accept this unpleasant reality.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Citizen's Journal 070911

"Let there be no compulsion in religion." Surely, the religion consists of nothing but compulsion: believers are compelled to conform to thousands of rules and non-believers are compelled to become believers. Where exactly is the lack of compulsion?

The Malisites locally are increasingly numerous and increasingly asserting themselves. More of the women cover their faces and more of the men grow their ugly beards. A walk through the town is an act of stoicism. I feel a strange sort of exile; I don't seem to belong here anymore; my world is being being removed around me. The familiarity of homeliness is disappearing; I can't relate to most of those people I encounter on the street.  Fortunately my fellow passengers on the train are still english in some meaningful sense; we are like the workers coming into the city to do the jobs that pay the taxes that keep the society from going completely broke in too short a time. We are though a dwindling proportion of the population. What will society look like when Malisites are 60,70, or 80 percent?

There are small things that seem to point to a more widespread malaise: on the train there are many passengers (generally pretty young) with their feet on the seats. The "train managers" often don't challenge them; nor do the passengers - we feel it's almost a certainty that we'll be sworn at or even assaulted so why bother taking the flak? Those with their feet on the seats are undoubtedly pretty foul-mouthed.

I cancelled an appointment at the vet. He was very appreciative that I had phoned to inform them. This made me think of the number of appointments that are made and not kept; and not only not kept but not properly cancelled. Another symptom of a society where all manner of standards are being eroded. Just like the feet on the seats, many of us are too exhausted to make a stand.