Monday, December 12, 2005

Defending Dissidents vs. Hating Bush

Amir Taheri's latest column is a highly entertaining read, and even features a guest appearance by Bianca Jagger. Taheri, however, makes two very serious points. One is to note Iran's deplorable imprisonment of journalist Akbar Ganji. The second concerns how numerous western leftists are far more interested in opposing the Bush Administration no matter what than they are in consistently supporting human rights:

Together with several colleagues, I had been trying for months to persuade the Western media to take an interest in Ganji, a former Khomeinist revolutionary who is now campaigning for human rights and democracy. But we never got anywhere because of one small hitch: President Bush had spoken publicly in support of Ganji and called for his immediate release.

And that, as far as a good part of the Western media is concerned, amounts to a kiss of death. How could newspapers that portray Bush as the world's biggest "violator of human rights" endorse his call in favor of Ganji?

To overcome that difficulty, some of Ganji's friends had tried to persuade him to make a few anti-American, more specifically anti-Bush, pronouncements so that the Western media could adopt him as a "hero-martyr." Two years ago, similar advice had been given to Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was made to understand one stark fact of contemporary life: You will not be accepted as a champion of human rights unless you attack the United States.

(emphasis in original-DD)

Bianca the Torture Expert

The attitudes described by Taheri are eerily reminiscent of those expressed by some in ALA during the debate over Cuba's independent libraries. Even in a profession that is supposed to stand for intellectual freedom, there are those who believe that opposing the Bush Administration trumps all other principles.


Post a Comment

<< Home