Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Also Known As Yesbuttery.

Our good friend Ben Cohen, in Huffpo, on the doctrine of equivalence and its sadly endless possibilities:

The whataboutery dispute, therefore, comes down to this. One side subscribes to the universality of human rights and urges two conclusions. Firstly, more equitable distribution of popular concern across the myriad human rights crises in the world. Secondly, greater awareness that the internal character of a regime -- whether it's a democracy or a tyranny -- will tell you a great deal about how responsive it will be to human rights complaints.

The other side filters everything through the idea of Empire -- including the ICC. If you regard the ICC as a tool of a sinister global conspiracy, there is no need to examine its status as a "court of last resort," and therefore particularly appropriate for those states which lack robust, transparent judicial systems.

But if you inhabit a universe where there is no difference between despots and democrats -- as the UN Human Rights Council does -- then the doctrine of equivalence reigns supreme and the possibilities for pointless whataboutery are, sadly, endless. . .


Post a Comment

<< Home