1/15/2005

This should come as no surprise

From the UK Guardian:
America's human rights abuses have provided a rallying cry for terrorists and set a bad example to regimes seeking to justify their own poor rights records, a leading independent watchdog said yesterday. The torture and degrading treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay have undermined the credibility of the US as a defender of human rights and opponent of terrorism, the New York-based Human Rights Watch says in its annual report.
"The US government is less and less able to push for justice abroad because it is unwilling to see justice done at home," says Kenneth Roth, the group's executive director.
Yesterday's scathing report argues that the US has weakened its own moral authority at a time that authority is most needed: "in the midst of a seeming epidemic of suicide bombings, beheadings, and other attacks on civilians and noncombatants...When the United States disregards human rights, it undermines that human rights culture and thus sabotages one of the most important tools for dissuading potential terrorists. Instead, US abuses have provided a new rallying cry for terrorist recruiters, and the pictures from Abu Ghraib have become the recruiting posters for Terrorism, Inc."
The report says that America's disregard of human rights has encouraged other countries to follow suit:
· Egypt has defended a decision to renew "emergency" laws by referring to US anti-terror legislation
· Malaysia justifies detention without trial by invoking Guantánamo
· Russia cites Abu Ghraib to blame abuse in Chechnya solely on low-ranking soldiers.

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