Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bongo Bongo Bongo We Don't Want to See the Congo

Did you know there's a savage civil war--featuring cannibalism and other assorted atrocities--going on in the Congo, and has been for many years? Well, if you're one who gets his/her info from mainstream sources, the answer to that query may well be "no"? Not that the media are entirely to blame for the Congo conflagration being consigned to a backburner. After all, the "human rights" industry, which should be in the forefront of screaming about this horror, has far more important matters to contend with--for instance, the way Jews are violating the rights of Arabs in the Middle East. Melanie Phillips writes that the obsessive and exclusive focus on Israel, coupled with a reflexive obeisance to moral relativism, has perverted the concept of "human rights" and resulted in the rights types' "moral blindness":

...When pondering the extraordinary obsession with Israel by the ‘human rights’ industry and the way in which it ignores real human rights abuses in the third world, I always recall the conversation I had in the early ‘80s with senior colleagues at the Guardian (where I worked in another life). When I wondered at the double standard which caused the paper to go to town with front page splashes, leading articles and outraged opinion columns whenever Israel killed a handful of Palestinians, but relegated major atrocities such as Syria’s massacre of tens of thousands of Islamic militants over the course of a few days to a few paragraphs buried on the foreign pages and then totally ignored such events, I was told that of course there was a double standard.
Since countries of the third world did not subscribe to western cultural norms of respect for human life, they said, we in the west could not judge such countries’ behaviour by those norms. To do so would be an act of cultural imperialism. But since Israel did subscribe to those norms, it was accordingly judged by them; indeed, they added, since the Jews claimed superior standards to the rest of humanity, they needed to be judged by higher standards than those applied to the rest of the human race.
Leaving to one side the specific prejudice thus voiced towards the Jews, what this amounted to was that, according to this ‘progressive’ cultural relativism, the people of the third world did not have the same right to life and liberty as those in the west. In my book, that’s racism pure and simple. And that’s what we are hearing in the silence of the ‘human rights’ industry over the Congo...

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