Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/7/13

Asking Amnesty International to Oppose War

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (142 fans)

Some human rights groups, especially Amnesty International, seem to have forgotten an important human right: peace.  A petition has been launched to remind them.


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

pro-war amnesty poster by WarIsACrime.org

These organizations are not the warmongers. They do tremendously great work addressing some of the symptoms of warmaking, including imprisonment and torture.  But, because they avoid taking any position on war, and because of an apparent bias in favor of U.S. military intervention, they sometimes find themselves effectively promoting war and all the horrors that come with it.  At Nuremberg to initiate a war of aggression was called the supreme international crime "encompassing the evil of the whole."  Yet human rights groups are often on the wrong side of the fundamental question of war.

Amnesty International (AI) promoted the babies-taken-from-incubators hoax that helped launch the 1991 war on Iraq.  AI has upheld the pretense that the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan is about women's rights.  And now Amnesty International is highlighting warmaking in Syria's civil war by one side only:

"Our team of researchers on the ground found evidence that government forces bombed entire neighborhoods and targeted residential areas with long-range surface-to-surface missiles," said an AI fundraising email on April 29th that made no mention of abuses committed by Syrian rebels supported by the U.S. and its allies. 

This one-sided treatment by a group supposedly dedicated to all humans fuels the fires of a wider war from which the people of Syria can only suffer.

The email continued: "Amnesty has a strong track record of using our on-the-ground findings to pressure governments and the United Nations Security Council to hold those responsible for the slaughter of civilians accountable."

Does it?  When the United States kills civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya, AI's silence has often been deafening.  Shouldn't a human rights group press for an end to the killing of all humans by all parties?

While many good individuals who work for human rights groups like AI oppose wars, these organizations officially ignore President Eisenhower's warning and a half-century of evidence regarding the power of the military industrial complex -- and they ignore the criminality of war under the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter, the Kellogg-Briand Pact and other laws.

These groups accept the existence of war (when not encouraging it) and then focus on specific crimes and abuses within the larger war-making enterprise. They promote the idea that human rights are governed by two sets of laws, one in peace and another weaker set in war. Voices for the human right to peace are missing and badly needed, as "humanitarianism" and "the right to protect" are used as excuses for war and intervention.

Amnesty International opposes imprisonment without trial and other abuses unless they adhere to the "laws of war," which is why AI is not opposing the outrageous charges leveled against Bradley Manning. Killing is opposed unless it adheres to the "laws of war."  Under this standard, we pretend not to know whether blowing families up with drones is legal or not as long as the memos purporting to legalize it are kept hidden.

Groups like Amnesty oppose particular weapons, including the development of fully autonomous weapons (drones that fly themselves).  No one in their right mind would oppose that step.  But surely the human right not to be blown up does not vanish if the button is pushed by a person instead of an autonomous robot.  Other organizations are pushing to ban all weaponized drones from the world. 

Human rights groups should join the peace movement in targeting war and militarism itself, rather than just some of its symptoms.  Amnesty International and all groups favoring human rights should be asked to oppose a U.S. escalation of war on Syria.

 

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship