In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 30, 2005 / 21 Iyar, 5765

If you criticize U.S., you must criticize them

By Mitch Albom

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On a weekend when we praise those who serve in our military, you might want to know how that military is being criticized.

Last week, Amnesty International issued its annual report. In it, the United States was criticized for:

Thumbing "its nose at the rule of law and human rights."

Abuse and mistreatment of prisoners.

Not acting quickly enough on legal challenges from detainees.

Attempting to "redefine" torture.

Making a "mockery of justice."

And, in the wallop sentence that Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan knew would make headlines, Guantanamo Bay was called "the gulag of our times."

The gulag of our times? Wow. How embarrassing. You feel like the kid who comes home with a black eye and tells his parents, "Before you say anything, you should see the other guy."

Except that, in the Amnesty International report, we don't see the other guy.

And that's the problem.

We don't see pages devoted to Osama bin Laden, or a call for him to be "fair" to prisoners.

We don't see criticism of Iraqi insurgents' "policies," or a call for them to cease their beheadings because they violate the Geneva Convention.

We don't see the condemning of terror groups for trying to "redefine" torture (and after all, sending jets into buildings certainly redefined things).

We don't see any of that. In fact, when you pull up Amnesty International's report, you can scroll through an alphabetical list of countries and find complaints about each one.

But after "Algeria" comes "Angola," with no "al-Qaida" in sight.

It must be very convenient for Amnesty to send people with clipboards to observe prisoner treatment. (Or, as was the case with Guantnamo, since they couldn't get in, observing a few trials and talking with detainees' relatives in Yemen.)

But there were no Amnesty people present when Daniel Pearl had his head cut off. There were no Amnesty people taking notes when suicide bombers blew up U.S. soldiers.

The attitude of groups like Amnesty International can be summed up by a shrug and a finger wag. The shrug is for the world's evil-mongers who are somehow beyond hope and therefore, apparently, beyond much criticism.

The finger wag they save for us.

Now, I am not defending the abuses in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. They need to be addressed. They are, and should be, an embarrassment.

But like many Americans, when a London-based group, formed in the 1960s to protect the rights of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, wants to apply a standard to this country that is laughably beyond comparison to this country's enemies, well, my sense of balance is insulted.

Last week, I spoke with Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. He said America must adhere to a higher code — if only for the ripple effect. He said in Egypt, for example, Hosni Mubarak's iron fist against dissidents was being buoyed by our behavior.

Donate to JWR

"He's telling people, 'Hey, don't criticize me. I'm just doing what the Americans are doing.'"

Well, no, he's not, for one thing. Secondly, let me get this straight about foreign strongmen. When they attack us, they blame us, and when they attack their own, they blame us, too? Who's making the rules here?

Look. There have certainly been abuses, both military and political, in the "war on terror." But we must remember, on Memorial Day weekend, that this is a different kind of war, that one person can wreak havoc on thousands, that information and communication are now lethal weapons.

This is no longer about taking a soldier's gun away. People die who never donned a uniform. Any shopping mall can become a war zone. Given that, complaining about the speed of a foreign prisoner's legal appeal is a bit puzzling, especially when an American's head may be rolling on a floor, cut off by a knife.

As for Amnesty International's shriek that Guantanamo is "the gulag of our times," well, give it a few months. Times change pretty quickly these days.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

"The Five People You Meet in Heaven"  

A novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it's an answer. Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives