Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Amnesty International and the Gulag

In this day and age there is no cheaper shot to take than one against the United States. In the last week, AI showed its anti-Americanism proudly by declaring the detention center at GTMO to be the Gulag of our times.

This is hyperbole on par with comparisons to Hitler, the Holocaust, etc., and it dilutes the whole concept of those earlier atrocities. AI should be ashamed. I won't hold out hope for a public apology, of course.

It is estimated that some 24 million people went to the gulag from the 1920s to the 1940s. That's more than twice the current population of Cuba. Thus far there have been no reports of detainees dying of exposure or forced labor at Guantanamo, quite unlike the many unfortunate souls who passed away in Siberia. There was Newsweek's irresponsibly published allegation of a Koranflush, since retracted. A former detainee did claim that he 'witnessed two people get beaten so badly that I believe it caused their deaths.' Then again, an al Qaeda training manual discovered by police at a software company tells, in section XII to always claim mistreatment, even torture while in custody.

In this light, can any of these claims be taken at face value? Unless you are part of the Dead Tree Media, of course, still trying hard to turn the present conflict against violent Islamism into Vietnam II, the answer should be "no".

No comments: