Still trying to catch up with what's going on in the world. Lots of talk about Amnesty International's harsh report on the way the U.S. in treating its prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere. I don't suppose I can add all that much intelligent commentary to what's out there, but it did cause a rare domestic disagreement. I normally don't take on Jim about politics, usually because disagreement on my part will ends up with my being on the receiving end of an hour-long lecture on why I'm wrong, naive, etc. (It's a family joke; my kids have noted the same trait in their dad. I don't lecture on such things; I just blog. :-)) However, after watching O'Reilly, the topic naturally came up, and I said that the Third World dictators that Anmesty takes on over their human rights abuses probably aren't real fond of that organization, either, and say it's unfair, absurd, etc. But Americans are just fine with having those guys roasted; we just don't want the same standard applied to us.
Just like one of Amnesty's representatives said:
Amnesty has fired right back, pointing out that the administration often cites its reports when that suits its purposes. "If our reports are so 'absurd,' why did the administration repeatedly cite our findings about Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war?" wrote William F. Schultz, executive director of the group's United States branch, in a letter to the editor being published Saturday in The New York Times. "Why does it welcome our criticisms of Cuba, China and North Korea? And why does it cite our research in its own annual human rights reports?"
Depends on whose ox is being gored. The rest of the article is here.
Jim launched into a big lecture about how Anmesty International is a lot like the ACLU -- an organization that started out doing good things, but came under the influence of far-left radicals and went off the deep end, yada, yada, yada. Instead of my normal tack of ignoring that stuff, I interrupted him and said "You know, that's bullshit. I don't give a damn about their politics. The question is 'Is our military torturing and mistreating people or is it not?' And if they are, it's wrong, and that's all there is to it." Jim still thinks it's all just a matter of a handful of people going too far, and not a systemic thing. I think that's bullshit, too, but was disinclined to cry "Bullshit!" twice in the same conversation.
O'Reilly also took on a mom who is opposed to military recruitment in schools, and definitely doesn't want her son serving. Actually, he wasn't as nasty as I've seen him be to some people, but it still was the old "How can you not support the military when you've got young guys fighting for your freedom out there?" This mom responded, like I would have, that the soldiers in Iraq aren't doing a whole lot for our freedom, then O'Reilly just dodged towards talking about the War on Terror in general. Maybe, if they're short on soldiers, and really interested in getting the thugs who attacked us, maybe they should have more soldiers doing that, rather than messing around in Iraq? Why should we trust a government that lied to us, and isn't making us any safer?