Amnesty International is one of those organised hypocrisies to which the BBC swears fealty and so when Secretary General Irene “Gulag of our times”Khan decides to grace the State Broadcaster with an interview, you know that she is going to get an easy time. And so it was this morning, with her 7.25am interview on Today. Ostensibly there to chastise “the world” for its failure to meet the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the conversation naturally turned to that great abuser of Human Rights – the United States and provided the fragrant Irene with an opportunity to once more call for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. To add emphasis, the BBC illustrate these global human rights abuses on its news page with a picture of..Zimbabwe? NO. China? No? Iran? No? Guantanamo? YES. Come to think of it, seeing as how UN peacekeepers are quite keen to gang-rape kids in foreign lands, wonder why the BBC didn’t ask Irene how she felt about the UN not meeting the UN’s Human Rights obligations? Must have slipped their mind, I guess….
THE WRATH OF KHAN.
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I’ve just had a look at the report itself and compared the “At a glance” version to the BBC online news.
The BBC online version has 20 paragraphs in which 6 condemn the USA (just under a third). The Amnesty version has 13 paragraphs of which only ONE condemns the USA.
How on earth can anyone with an ounce of sanity claim that this is not biased?
On the BBC’s chum, IRENE KHAN, Amnesty International and her BANGLADESH:-
“It will be interesting to see if
Irene Khan, herself of Muslim Bangladeshi descent and the Secretary-General of that now heavily politicized organization, Amnesty International, (which is normally so exercised about the ‘war crimes’ of the United States and, bien sur, Israel), will forthrightly take the lead in denouncing, again and again, the massacres of Christians and especially of Hindus in Bangladesh. She was recently there, and what seemed to exercise her the most was the declaration that Ahmadiyyas were not legitimate Muslims.
“One would like Irene Khan to discuss what it was about the redefinition of the status of Ahmadiyyas was so worrying. Why would it matter, if they are called ‘Muslims’ or not, if Islam itself is the religion of peace and tolerance we hear that it is? Why would being declared ‘not-Muslim’ affect the wellbeing, in Bangladesh, of Ahmadiyyas? Irene Khan knows the answer. But she persists in refusing to join Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, and others. Instead she pretends that the problem is not Islam, not the words of Qur’an and hadith — no, no, that will never do — but the ‘cultural’ or ‘civilizational’ attitudes that, for some reason, are remarkably coincident in time and space with Islam.
“Meanwhile, let’s keep a close watch on Bangladesh. Make no mistake: it is an unpleasant place, made unpleasant by the aggressions of Islam. No Tales of a Bengal Lancer, and no verses by the once-celebrated Rabindranath Tagore (not a Muslim, so disliked very much in Bangladesh), are part of present-day Bangladesh, or to make it more pleasingly exotic, Bangla Desh. The massacres of millions of insufficiently loyal, or insufficiently Muslim, Bangladeshis by the army of West Pakistan seems to have left little impression. One might, under the circumstances, have thought that that little display of murderous aggression, with the stated aim of restoring the right rule of Allah to a wavering Bengali population, might have had long-term effects of fervor. This does not seem to have happened — always excepting the handful of skeptical freedom-lovers who, through the Internet, are learning the disastrous effects Islam has had on the intellect, and on human potential, everywhere it has imposed its will. ”
Extract of article by HUGH FITZGERALD:
Was it Radio 4’s “Thinking Allowed” the other day that spent part of the programme analysing torture, or rather “the USA’s use and encouragement of the use of torture by other countries”. It’s the brazenness of the presentation that gets me – as if torture by the USA is the only significant aspect deserving of analysis by the BBC.
John Tomlinson: are you the great Wagnerian bass John Tomlinson, the greatest Wotan of our era?
If so, I bow before you and agree with everything you wrote above.
If not, I nevertheless agree with everything you wrote above.
Interested to see how the usual defenders of the BBC spin this one.
Interested to see how the usual defenders of the BBC spin this one.
gharqad tree | 28.05.08 – 9:55 am |
John Reith’s spin is that the US is the most powerful country and the others deserve far less scrutiny.
Another free ride given to Amnesty by Naughtie on the Today programme. The man is a disgrace.
Did he ask her about about human rights abuses in China, VietNam, the ‘Stans’, Africa (Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Congo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, etc), the Maldives, the murder and illegal imprisonment of Christians in many muslim countries (Egypt, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, N. Nigeria), frightful prisons and arbitrary detention in many third world countries …. etc, etc, etc.
No. This was another delightful opportunity to lambast the United States for Guantanamo Bay and, by the way, to ask how Britain could improve its own human rights!
The imbalance would be shocking were it not so commonplace on the Today programme.
rtypeleo, I’ll let Reith make that case himself – hardly fair to put words in his mouth!
My spin on that spin would be that the powerfulness of the US is not much comfort to a raped woman awaiting execution or a homosexual rotting in jail in Iran.
I similarly imagine that as the machetes swung towards their necks, those insufficiently sharia-crazed Darfurians consoled themselves with the knowledge that at least they weren’t putting on weight in Guantanamo Bay or weeping in front of cameras stood by the Israeli “apartheid wall”.
Yes, these victims in Darfur, Iran, Syria, or North Korea must have reflected gratefully – that at least the people murdering or stoning or imprisoning them had the ethics to be less globally powerful than the evil USA.
The bogus human rights organization — it’s like a plane with two left wings.
HUGH FITZGERALD criticises Amnesty International (the BBC’s uncriticised chum) on its Middle East pronouncements as a “nauseating display of moral idiocy”:-
As an Amnesty International member, I am a little perplexed by your criticisms. Over the past year I have been sent a lot of campaign material and the vast majority of campaigning literature I have received have been about China and Iran. I can’t remember a single US based mailshot in the past twelve months.
Dont feed the troll.
You may be perplexed, but you don’t attempt to answer the criticism of Amnesty International’s prominent anti-US, anti-Israel prejudices outlined here.
Bangladeshi Ms. Khan of Amnesty International was given much propaganda space by the BBC on the ‘Today’ programme this morning to single out, prominently, as usual, the US, for special criticism. That was rather more than a ‘mail-shot’. (Of course, the subsidised NGO, is given ‘open-house’ treatment at the BBC today, so the propaganda continues via Khan on BBC News channel.)
Is Ms. Khan able to prominently and forthrightly criticise Islamic regimes, or does her Bangladeshi Muslim origin prevent this?
Whilst some on these boards would be critical of Amnesty, my viewpoint is that they provide a valuable service in the world and their report is, for the most part, unbiased. I did not hear Irene Khan on the Today programme so cannot comment there however the BBC online report on this matter concentrates in words and pictures too much on the criticisms of the USA and does not reflect the balance shown in the summary of the Amnesty report. Others, I’m sure, will disagree.
Anti US propaganda and the BBC go hand and hand. It never ceases to amaze me that they will pick interviewees with themost anti US sentiments they can find.
Yesterday I listened to BBC radio Ulsters’ Nolan show tell us about the human rights of a gold fish?????
As long as the criminals (particularly criminals in Northern Ireland, have their human rights everything will be well in BBC world.
Well done David Vance – keep up the good work.
And how does Al Beeb report Iran?
The latest example here, on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, gives under 10% of the space to the UN nuclear agency position, and over 90% to uncritical report of Iranian government representative. That seems about par for Al Beeb’s course.
“Iran’s speaker warns nuclear agency?”
A Tangled Wed, I think you’ll find Nolan was talking about this story:
No Joel, it was not the chimp story I’m afraid, but the feelings and housing of a goldfish. Apparently Nolan is to host a programme on Channel 5 and they have a goldfish bowl on the set. A letter was written that the goldfish bowl was much too small, and infringed the fish’s human rights, because it had no where to go to hide ( I’m not kidding!!). But on a lighter note, the good ole NI public gave him a dose of common sense, telling him to go get a life. With all the bad news in the world this is what BBC radio ulster provides us with.
No doubt Nolan will be interviewing the likes of Khan on channel 5 when he stands in for the holidaying presenters, but wait…..this is Nolan after all!! That guy is a chimp.
the BBC online report on this matter concentrates in words and pictures too much on the criticisms of the USA and does not reflect the balance shown in the summary of the Amnesty report. Others, I’m sure, will disagree.
John Tomlinson | 28.05.08 – 11:20 am
Well anticipated, John. The AA person was interviewed on Sky News & was of the opinion that criticism of China should be muted due to their role in Darfur.
Perhaps we should be grateful that the BBC is very selective about just which ‘political’ prisoners it chooses to concentrates on. If the corporation were to give every one in the world as much attention as the few held in the US camp on Cuba then they’d demand a vast increase in the TV tax to do the work.
I’d rather the BBC display its sixth form revolutionary rebelliousness by being biased and selective than by charging us an even higher TV tax and being scrupulously fair.
Inverted racism… the US (and Israel) are ‘Western’ – or more pertinently seen as white countries.
The standards of behaviour for countries like this are expected to be both much higher (or internationale) and more based on assumptions about that weird concept of marxist morality than those of other countries – when they call it cultural differences they really mean those countries are more backward and thus should have more tolerance afforded them.
It’s the same when Radio 5 Simon Mayo has Bianca Jagger on (he does at least twice a year). She always spouts on about the number of people on death row in America but I’ve never had any of my questions such as those below read out or answered.
How many people are on death row in Saudi Arabia
How many people are on death row in China
How many people are executed in Africa
(You all get the idea)
And the famous incident when interviewing two Americans mothers about their sons being on death row in Texas (of course) Mayo launched an attack on the cruelty of George W Bush for allowing these executions to go through, blah blah blah. To which the women pointed out he wasn’t Governor then, but President and had nothing to do with the cases. No apology from Mayo of course.
Also interesting that no one at the BBC ever picks up on the famous Madeleine Albright comment about the death of Iraqi children being worthwhile to keep Saddam under control. Funny that. Could it be because she was Bill Clinton’s right hand woman?
Could you imagine the horror from the BBC if such a comment had come from Condi Rice?
“Also interesting that no one at the BBC ever picks up on the famous Madeleine Albright comment about the death of Iraqi children being worthwhile to keep Saddam under control.”
That was one of the sickest things I ever heard.
WoAD: But the BBC don’t ever really point it out when talking about Iraq.
But you just know that the BBC would have been all over it if Bush or Rice had uttered such a phrase.
Where all the BBC aologists on this one then? Cat got their tongue?
This kind of thing is why I just laugh when people say the US has lost its moral authority. If Guantanamo is considered on a par with what’s going in North Korea, China, the Sudan, or countless other places, then Amnesty International has lost its own moral authority, as far as I’m concerned, regardless of the content of any newsletters they send to party members.
If Guantanamo is considered on a par with what’s going in North Korea, China, the Sudan, or countless other places, then Amnesty International has lost its own moral authority
Bingo. But Shamnesty is so twisted that they have to find a bogus “immoral equivalence” because the have a extreme Leftist agenda to protect.
So the beheaders and the savages are just the same as Club Gitmo… where illegal combatants receive superior treatment than that demanded by the Laws of War for legitimate armed combatants.
So Abu Grabass and a few Iraqis photographed wearing knickers on their head, is the same as Danny Pearl having his actual head cut off on camera for the amusement of You Tube.
And so on. It would be amusing if it wan’t so disgusting.
Jack and David,
Totally agree with you – Shamnesty sicken me – I have debated them on-air when they were once again shilling for ex-Gitmo UK jihadists.
Broadcast to the world, picked up in France this morning, courtesy of “The BBC from London”, main item of world news was this this denouncement of the US by Amnesty International. “World News” from the BBC? Its not just in this country you have to vomit. The BBC shames itself by puporting to make this squalid press release the major news item in the whole world.
No amnesty international US based stuff in the last 12 months.
Are you having a laugh?
Amnesty International always runs far more anti American stuff than anyone else.
Or are you saying Amnesty International did not run these and many many more on their own website…
14th May 2008
8th May 2008
18th April 2008
14th March 2008
I could go on, but you get the idea…
Debate on WHYS on Amnesty last night with Khan as guest, dressing her bias up in fine words and lofty principles. Two Israelis who share the widespread distaste for Amnesty called in, but weren’t given much of a say, constantly interrupted by Ros Atkins, the host. In the case of the second caller, Gerald Steinberg, they appeared to fade his volume out, but of course that could have just been the phone connection, hmmmm.
WHYS: 28 May 08: Human Rights at 60. Whose rights? Whose responsibility?
Darfur, Zimbabwe, Gaza , Burma and Iraq are named as places where immediate action is called for – but just what should the world do ? And should Amnesty itself stop talking and start encouraging direct action ? Or are human rights getting in the way of that?
(I like the way they lump Gaza in with a bunch of despicable rogue states, obviously intending Israel to be viewed as a rogue state oppressing Gazans rather than pointing the finger, as it should be pointed, at Hamas.)
Link’ll be good for six days.
Main article and comments, quite a flood of them:
I’m a very regular browser, but don’t comment often, but here’s my $0.02 worth.
There is a risk of confusing issues in my opinion. I heard the report by Amnesty, and found it really irritating and repulsive. There is no way there can be any equivalence between the countries mentioned already, and the U.S, UK, Israel etc.
Still though, we DO expect a higher standard of behavior from ‘Westerners’. I think that the US, UK, European, Israeli armies should have a high moral standard and should be called to account, irrespective of the actions of other states and armies, simply because they should not be comparable. We hold them to our standards.
Amnesty do have a right though to highlight injustices everywhere. The BBC though, should not let Amnesty compare publicly any moral equivalence.
Still though, we DO expect a higher standard of behavior from ‘Westerners’.
Err, no, ‘we’ don’t. You may do, but you don’t speak for everybody else.
I expect (in the sense that I regard it as a moral imperative) the same standard of behaviour from everybody. True, I don’t expect it from certain groups of savages – Islamo-Nazis, for example – in the sense that I think it is realistically going to happen. But that’s not what the debate it about. It’s about whether AI should make this distinction in the criteria it applies. It doesn’t. This makes it racist.
Amnesty do have a right though to highlight injustices everywhere.
Legally, yes. Morally, they have lost it long ago by becoming politicised, discriminatory and racist. Quite a bit like Al Beeb, in fact.
I do agree with you, except that what I might like to expect, morally, and what I do expect are different.
NO and JK
You are both right in that all human beings are bound by certain ethical standards and that we* alone hold ourselves to them.
Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden” expresses this well.
Where I differ from Amnesty and the BBC is that in their book this is never to be alluded to.
* I leave to you to interpret what “we” means. Nothing to do with skin colour of course.
If this report is true, where was Khan’s reference to it on her free publicity ‘open-day’ at the BBC?
And where is the BBC’s reporting of the plight of Mr. FOULADVAND, a British citizen, in Iran?
It couldn’t be that the BBC doesn’t want to offend Ahmadinejad by refusing to report the case, could it?
“Qur’an critic to be executed in Iran within days”