Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Economist rebukes Amnesty International over Estonia campaign

In a story I bookmarked a few days back entitled "an excess of conscience" the Economist hammers Amnesty for leading a campaign against Estonia's cultural laws by saying they were going after the little guys who were doing their best anyway on ideological grounds while letting the real offenders (like Estonia's former occupier) off the hook and alienating those non-leftists who used to form a large part of its support.

It's facile to say 1st and 2nd world countries shouldn't be held to high standards - of those who achieve much, more is expected and rightly so - but too often the atrocities of the third world are written off as solely the product of colonialism and that if only people felt guilty enough about the sins of their forefathers that would help more than criticising the parade of despots that litter the African landscape for instance, particularly that homophobic racist headcase in Harare.
To save Jüri Kukk and other inmates of the gulag, people of all political views and none joined Amnesty’s campaigns. That wouldn’t happen now.

Amnesty should take the warning seriously or risk becoming a marginalised force rather than a relevant, much needed one.
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