Monday, October 01, 2007

Human Rights

As usual, Mark Steyn explains why Human Rights has become so - well - NUANCED. It used to be so easy - if the bad guys didn't behave themselves around civilized (i.e., non-threatening) people, well, then, John Wayne (or his real-life equivalent) would ride into town and smack them around until they DID behave themselves. At least in public.

No concerns about how the bully was feeling. Or what his/her psychological issues might be. Just behave properly, durnit, or get slapped upside the head.
The other day National Review’s Jay Nordlinger was musing about our habit of referring to some benighted part of the world’s “humanitarian needs”, and wondered when we’d stopped using the term “human needs”, which is, after all, what food, water and shelter are. And his readers wrote in to state the obvious: That “humanitarian” prioritizes not the distant Third World victim but the generous western donor — the “humanitarian” relief effort, the “humanitarian” organizations, the NGOs, the western charities: it’s about us, not them. Bill Clinton’s new bestseller on charity is called Giving — because it’s better to give than to receive, and that’s certainly true if the giver is busying himself with some ineffectual feel-good “Save Darfur” fundraiser while the recipient is on the receiving end of the Janjaweed’s machetes. The Sudanese government appreciates that, as long as we’re allowed to feel good about ourselves and to participate in “humanitarian relief,” the killing can go on until there’s no one left to kill.
Now, where's John Wayne? Someone named Ahmadinejad needs some slapping around.

No comments: