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Advantage: Jonah!
By Ed Driscoll · December 21, 2004 09:53 PM · War And Anti-War

I've linked a few times (most recently here) to this December 2002 essay by Jonah Goldberg titled "Hypocrophobia", his name for liberals' fear that they'll be taken seriously:

Feminists demanded that "something" be done about the Taliban's treatment of women for years. Conservatives scoffed. But when the Bush administration saw fit to liberate the women of Afghanistan for reasons larger than merely their freedom feminists drew circles in the floor with their open-toed shoes and grumbled about how they didn't like war. But I guarantee you if Bill Clinton had unleashed the 10th Mountain Division on Kabul to ensure reproductive choice for Afghan women, Gloria Steinem would have done cartwheels.

Amnesty International couldn't dispute the facts of the British dossier because the British dossier was, in fact, largely a reprint of information gathered by Amnesty International. So, it attacked the motives of the British government.

"There's no question that the regime has an appalling human rights record," Kamal Samari, a spokesman for Amnesty International, told the Washington Post. He admitted, for example, that the group had collected the names of as many as 170,000 Iraqis who had "disappeared." "But what we don't want to see for Iraq or any other country is that the human rights record is used selectively in order to achieve political goals."

What? . . . What!?

I could have sworn the whole reason Amnesty International existed was to make fixing human-rights problems a "political goal." When Amnesty talks of using the record "selectively," it means that the U.S. and its allies are being hypocritical by not taking a uniform line around the world on human rights. Ms. Khan complains, "Let us not forget that these same governments turned a blind eye to reports of widespread violations in Iraq before the Gulf War."

In Wednesday's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes:
One of the most conservative, religious, fascinating - and, in many ways, admirable - politicians in America today is Sam Brownback, the senator from Kansas who is a leader of the Christian right.

Sure, Mr. Brownback is to the right of Attila the Hun, and I disagree with him on just about every major issue. But 'tis the season for brotherly love, so let me point to reasons for hope. Members of the Christian right, exemplified by Mr. Brownback, are the new internationalists, increasingly engaged in humanitarian causes abroad - thus creating opportunities for common ground between left and right on issues we all care about.

So Democrats should clamber down from the window ledges, roll up their sleeves and get to work on some of these issues. Because I'm embarrassed to say that Democrats have been so suspicious of Republicans that they haven't contributed much on those human rights issues where the Christian right has already staked out its ground.

Gee, there's a thought.

Update: Wow, an InstaCornerLanche! Welcome readers of Glenn Reynolds and National Review's Corner. Jonah's description is a classic:

Ed Driscoll does the important, difficult, work of keeping Western civilization afloat by remembering what I wrote a long time ago and holding other columnists accountable to it.
Yes, that's our job here: doing the important, difficult, work of keeping Western civilization afloat...



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