Human Rights

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Hungry_Ghost, May 26, 2005.

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  1. Hungry_Ghost Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2005
    star 2
    The Amnesty International Report 2005 survey of the state of human rights around the world is out. It's not a pretty picture. Standouts include the international community for abandoning Darfur, the treatment of women around the world, terrorism in Chechnya, Iraq and Spain, the government of Russia, and the US for Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
    During 2004, the human rights of ordinary men, women and children were disregarded or grossly abused in every corner of the globe. Economic interests, political hypocrisy and socially orchestrated discrimination continued to fan the flames of conflict around the world. The ?war on terror? appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international ?terrorism?. The millions of women who suffered gender-based violence in the home, in the community or in war zones were largely ignored. The economic, social and cultural rights of marginalized communities were almost entirely neglected.

    My biggest problems with the report is the implication that other nations follow the US's example. Nations, like individuals, are responsible for their own actions, IMO, except perhaps in cases of extraordinary rendition where the US is directly encouraging their behavior. Overall, it's a depressing picture of how malicious human beings so often are. What do you think of the report and the state of the world?
  2. WLDB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2004
    star 4
    Im not surprised. The US did support many dictatorships in the past.

    Human rights are being violated by many countries, yet no one does anything about it because we want to trade with those countries.
  3. Tion_Meddon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 4
  4. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    From Amnisty International...The report also acknowledges the opportunities for positive change that emerged in 2004, often spearheaded by human rights activists and civil society groups. Calls to reform the UN human rights machinery grew in strength, and there were vibrant campaigns to make corporations more accountable, strengthen international justice, control the arms trade and stop violence against women.

    Whether in a high profile conflict or a forgotten crisis, Amnesty International campaigns for justice and freedom for all and seeks to galvanize public support to build a better world.


    This is how ignorant they are. They somehow believe that Interantional rule will increase "justice and freedom for all."

    We can start with an international tax to pay for it all. Boy I can feel the freedom growing already! Then we can use that money, my money, to take away all guns owned by law abiding citizens! I'm gettin' pretty excited! What am I gonna do with all this justice?!

    Whatta joke! The fact that they use Abu Gharab and torture in the same sentence and weren't challenged lets you know what side the press is on.

    Mistreatment? Sure. Harrassment? Yes. But torture? Prove it!These guys are nothing but a bunch of left-wing wack jobs.


  5. SKSeven Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 1
    Woohoo! Joined earlier today and already I'm heading into the fray.

    I think there's an overall feeling of apathy. While I'm not proud of everything America's ever done, I don't think it's right to imply that America is at fault. Countries should be self-sufficient enough, for the most part, to make their own decisions- and they do. America, unfortunatly, has opened itself up for critcism, and for better or worse, that's the way it's going to be. It's easy to point fingers at the obvious thing when really, there are so many factors involved. It's a matter of taking responsiblity, but in today's society, people and countries alike are unwilling to shoulder even their part of the blame for situations.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Mistreatment? Sure. Harrassment? Yes. But torture? Prove it!These guys are nothing but a bunch of left-wing wack jobs.

    You know, J-Rod, your kind of posting is exactly the kind I would love to see less of in the future. You are utterly incapable of providing a decent argument, and instead of the rational you go for the emotional response - the knee jerk. They said back stuff about America, you've been brought up to believe America is perfect, thus you MUST attack and defend the motherland! [face_flag]

    Not so. Abu Grahib was certainly an act of torture; the problem isn't with Amnesty but with yourself, as you appear to be fundamentally rooted in the Hollywood version of torture. (I would wager Rambo II is an important film in your life; what with the one-man-winning-a-war, Reagan friendly politics and the tough guy scenes, I'm sure it's shaped alot of your political views. ;) )


    If you read the Qu'ran, you'll find that in Book IV, it says, "21. And if two (men) of you commit it, then hurt them both; but if they turn again and amend, leave them alone, verily, God is easily turned, compassionate"

    Like the message of forgiveness in Christianity being forgiven in favour of fundamentalist hatred, some of the more extreme Muslims like to ignore the bit about God forgiving homosexuals and instead focus upon the "hurt them both" bit.

    Homosexuality, and indeed sexually-related acts (esp in front of clothed women), the likes of which were photographed at Abu Grahib, fun contrary to much of what Muslims believe to be decent. To give you a lesson in empathy; the outrage we in the west felt about the beheading of Nick Berg on video is probably comparable to the outrage most Muslims felt at seeing those people. To both cultures, these were unforgivable acts of barbarism.

    To make matters worse, you and many of your compatriots tried to rationalise your way out of accepting Abu Grahib as an unmitigated evil by noting that what Saddam did there was far worse; as if that somehow excused the abuses in light that far worse things happen. These from the same people who bemoan left wing "moral relativism" - morally bankrupt cowards who can't admit, like responsible adults, that the US' name was sullied by torture.

    Now, as I suggested earlier, your definition of torture ostensibly is rooted in the way it's shown on film; that is, you expect beatings, bambo under the nails and Chinese water torture, ostensibly at least. Because if you'd checked up on what constitutes torture under International Law, you'd see that Abu Grahib, clearly and sadly, constituted torture:

    Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984

    Article 1


    For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

    This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.


    I draw your attention, J-Rod, to the lines I placed in bold and italics within the text.

    I then expect, after you've read them, you will admit that the acts at Abu Grahib clearly constituted acts of torture; and that such acts sully the name of the United States and it is not unpatriotic to say this
  7. Hungry_Ghost Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2005
    star 2
    Human rights are being violated by many countries, yet no one does anything about it because we want to trade with those countries.

    It's particularly odious when we're selling weapons to human rights violators, as defined by our own State Department. [face_frustrated]
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    God, I hate saying this...

    But at least the neocons had principles in this area.

    There. I said it. Happy? ;)

    E_S
  9. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    E_S said...Not so. Abu Grahib was certainly an act of torture; the problem isn't with Amnesty but with yourself, as you appear to be fundamentally rooted in the Hollywood version of torture. (I would wager Rambo II is an important film in your life; what with the one-man-winning-a-war, Reagan friendly politics and the tough guy scenes, I'm sure it's shaped alot of your political views.

    Yeah baby! Or how about the scene in Lethal Weapon where Mel Gibson was hung by his hands in a running shower and shocked with jumper cables hooked to car batteries? That's torture! ;)

    Seriously, then by your strict interpretation of international law, sleep depravation is also torture. But it ain't.

    And I've been one of the harsher conservative critics of Abu Gharib. But it just isn't torture.

    Hell, many guys pay good money to be treated like that. ;)



  10. SKSeven Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 1
    I think it was more mental, emotional, and psychological torture than physical torture, but it was depraved nonetheless.

    Besides the obvious disrepect for life and peace of mind [or as much of peace of mind as one can get whilst a POW], there was blatant disrepect for the culture as well. Additionally, while they were enemy soldiers, they were a]human beings and b]citizens of that country. When you say you're trying to save a country, it's generally not considered good form to humiliate citizens that way. There's now mistrust- it's viewed by some as saying "We'll do this if you step out of line." Well, what's stepping out of line? Being loud about your opinions which go against the majority?

    Bottom line, it shouldn't have happened. Both sides have committed atrocities, and those responsible have been, will be, or should be punished severely. I think people in general need to learn a little more respect for human life.

    Edited for spelling.
  11. AnakinsGirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 4
    humanitarianism is all too often misconstrued as the radical, weird, irrational actions of liberals or catholics, two things the world right now just doesn't want to support.

    people have been cruel to one another since the beginning of time, and every generation says it is worse than the one before it, when really the next generation just got more creative. actively risking political and social status for the betterment of the community is a new development. a development which i support but have little faith in its effectiveness sometimes. its hard to tell.
  12. The Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 1999
    star 4
    How do you threaten or persuade someone who is so fanatical they have no fear of man or death because they believe their reward is in the after-life? In ALL debreifings, coersion is used. With criminals it's tough talk and threats of long prison terms.

    The only way you can effectivley get an extremist to devulge information (that saves lives) is by challenging and threatining their reward. That's what was done at Abu Gharib. They were humiliated and made to sin in the name of getting information.

    I personally find it distasteful, but that's why others do the work. I have no problem with it. No one was killed, no permenent injuries or disabilities were caused.

    Additionally, calling Gitmo a Gulag minimizes what survivors of Soviet era gulags suffered through.
  13. Hungry_Ghost Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2005
    star 2
    But at least the neocons had principles in this area.

    And now the neocons have become huge supporters of energy independence and alternative fuels, so I find myself agreeing with them a lot these days. It's surreal! Maybe I'm really a closet neocon... [face_thinking]

    Additionally, calling Gitmo a Gulag minimizes what survivors of Soviet era gulags suffered through.

    I agree. There are gulags in the world today, but they're in North Korea.

    That said, I'm still disgusted by Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Gitmo. I hold the US to a much higher standard.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Seriously, then by your strict interpretation of international law, sleep depravation is also torture. But it ain't.

    And I've been one of the harsher conservative critics of Abu Gharib. But it just isn't torture.

    Hell, many guys pay good money to be treated like that.


    Firstly, it's not "MY" strict definition; it's the worlds. It existed based upon international consensus by nation-states for global application. Thus; it's the defintion of torture.

    Secondly; it is. Prove it's not. I already showed how it was; I want to you to refute this.

    Thirdly; guys paying money to get beat up by S&M types isn't normal! ;) :D

    The only way you can effectivley get an extremist to devulge information (that saves lives) is by challenging and threatining their reward. That's what was done at Abu Gharib. They were humiliated and made to sin in the name of getting information.

    Really? Wow, thanks for the insight...

    For the most part the people at Abu Grahib weren't extremist types but thank you for trying.

    Additionally, calling Gitmo a Gulag minimizes what survivors of Soviet era gulags suffered through.

    What was Lenin's definition of a gulag?

    And now the neocons have become huge supporters of energy independence and alternative fuels, so I find myself agreeing with them a lot these days. It's surreal! Maybe I'm really a closet neocon...

    You know I was starting to respect you, please don't ruin it! ;)

    My main gripe with neocons is and always will be their one-sided idealism; in that they cannot let themselves think like anything but Americans and assume the world thinks more or less like an American would, with American values and American wants. Iraq proved this wasn't exactly the case...

    I hold the US to a much higher standard.

    Same.

    But I think that trying to pretend they weren't morally bankrupt acts of evil, as some do, is unfair, unjust and untenable.

    E_S
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    But torture is morally defensible, isn't it?

    http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,15325290,00.html
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well, that's problematic. I mean, I disagree with the notion that torture should be condoned, but I hate the Greens (Esp. Kerry Nettle) even more... :(

    E_S
  17. Hungry_Ghost Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2005
    star 2
  18. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    Hell, many guys pay good money to be treated like that.

    Statements like this frighten me. Joking about humiliating, degrading, offensive, deliberate sexual acts perpetuates the view that this behaviour is acceptable.

    Those that inflicted this on the prisoners are sick, in my opinion. To do that to another human being, whatever they may be guilty of, speaks more about the perpetrator.

    I know many war veterans, I know that morals sometimes fall to the wayside, but this was premeditated and calculated to cause the highest possible humiliation.
  19. cal_silverstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 4
    Secondly; it is. Prove it's not. I already showed how it was; I want to you to refute this.

    If you're referring to sleep deprivation, I consider it a psychological torture, which is permissible. Cops use it to interrogate suspects. The military uses it to train troops to adapt to harsh battlefield conditions. By all means we should use it on terrorist prisoners to divulge info.

    When I went through a bad bout of insomnia a few years ago, I thought it was the worst torture in the world. I would have done almost anything to get some sleep. I can see how this can be effective without being sadistic.
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Torture is torture, cal, in that the law doesn't distinguish.

    But no, I was asking him to prove the acts which transpired at the Abu Grahib prison, at the hands of American reservists, did not constitute torture under the 1984 convention.

    E_S
  21. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Seriously, then by your strict interpretation of international law, sleep depravation is also torture. But it ain't.

    Sleep deprivation is not torture? Right now I'm thinking of the two Spanish ETA members they're holding here in Belgium. They get awakened every 15 minutes, every night, for the last year. Is this not torture? They're psychologically breaking down to the point of commiting suicide.

    This is cruel and it most definitly constitutes torture. You're not even THINKING about what this means, being awakend every 15 minutes.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Frankly, for alot of people, those three words - "You're not thinking" - applies in alot of cases. Especially when you consider that those people who have said sleep depravation isn't torture would have said it was if, say, Saddam was doing it; or, more importnaly, they would call it torture if it was being done to Americans.

    E_S

  23. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    This is cruel and it most definitly constitutes torture. You're not even THINKING about what this means, being awakend every 15 minutes.

    Sorry, guys. But it is legal and thus not legally torture, reguardless of what you think.
  24. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Sorry, guys. But it is legal and thus not legally torture, reguardless of what you think.

    That made me laugh.

    So, simply because something is legal makes it okay, and/or not torture?

    All righty then. That means a great many things in American history were okay, even if they were later declared unconstitutional or otherwise unacceptable.

    Sleep deprivation is so obviously torture that it barely merits discussion.
  25. Neo-Paladin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2004
    star 4
    When I went through a bad bout of insomnia a few years ago, I thought it was the worst torture in the world. I would have done almost anything to get some sleep. I can see how this can be effective without being sadistic.

    So, would you have lied, or told someone what they wanted to hear to get some sleep? This is why torture is an ineffective method of getting information. They just want the torture to stop and will say whatever they can to make it stop.
    Torture is not only wrong, it's stupid.

    I fail to see how depriving anyone of their necessities is not torture. Food, water, shelter, sleep, these are all necessities.

    However, I am a little skeptical of your report GrandAdmiralPelleaon. From what I recall in a book I read a few years back, before 36 hours with zero sleep dementia begins to set in. Maybe the ~15 minutes of sleep helps, but I couldn't see a session like that lasting for more than a week before some serious dementia made them completely unresponsive.
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