Wednesday, December 08, 2004

my beef

Last week there was an event in the university organised by a few organisations like People & Planet and Amnesty International. It was called One World Week. Its basically a campaign trying to expose the ignorant Western world to other cultures and let people know what else is going on around the world.

What's wrong with that? Nothing. Its a good thing to teach idiots new things. There was a photo exhibition organised by People & Planet in conjunction with World Aids Week and a exhibition booths showcasing other cultures. You get the idea. I was walking around the photo exhibition when I bumped into some weird booth with postcards pasted around.

I saw that that booth was manned by Amnesty International, so I decided to get the fuck away from there.

Why? I hate them.
Why? I'll tell you later.

Before I could get out of there, a chick manning the booth approached me. Blonde, tall, long legs. Nicee. Too bad she's involved in such crap. Anyways, she tries talking to me :

Blondie : Hi....would you like to write a postcard to a victim of human rights abuse in under-developed countries?

Vincent : *stares at her long and hard*

Blondie : We were very lucky to grow in a normal live, but many unfortunate people, some kids are forced into child labour.

Vincent : *stares at all the other postcards*

Blondie : So, would you like to sign a postcard?

Vincent : No. *and walks away*

Q : So Vincent, what's your beef with Amnesty International?
A : Amnesty International is an organisation started by whitemen to fight and condemn human rights abuse around the world.

Q : Precisely, whats wrong with that?
A : They are hypocrites. Whitemen with their industrial development are the chief pollutors of the environment. They have a rich 500 year old history of conquering lands, and making slaves out of natives whose lands they intruded. They too, in their Industrial Revolutions resorted to child labour to get the job done. Now that they are rich and developed, they have the balls to tell the poor people what's right and what's not?

Q : Come on, loads of people are hypocrites. Its not the organisation's fault of what their governments did in the past and might currently be doing. And you know that, so tell me now, why do you really hate them?
A : Ok, they pissed me off with that issue with Thailand's War on Drugs. Basically, Thailand has a fucked up problem with drugs in their society. When they declared a war on drugs, the police went around shooting anybody so much as suspected to be drug dealers. Needless to say, just shooting people on the spot is not a very good idea, and results in a shit load of innocent people dying. Amnesty International then raised a big hoo-hah about this 'abuse of human rights' by not giving suspects a fair trial. They even went as far as trying to get the UN to impose sanctions on Thailand (which never worked out).

Now, there are two arguments to the story, and to be honest, I still can't decide whether its right to shoot people in the spot. Either way, Amnesty still looks like a dick to me.

First one, the more logical approach says that you can't go around shooting people you SUSPECT. Its not fair and if you are an idiot who got framed, then you are fucked. So, you might argue that that War on Drugs is a wrong approach, unjustified and immoral.

But hey, does that sound familiar? Oh yes, Vincent, that sounds very much like a certain War on Terror. Where people are suspected and shot. Innocent civilians died too. Of course, in that case, those innocent civilians are known by another name 'Collaterals'. I know that Amnesty International are indeed doing something for the POWs, but if similar treatments should be meted out, then those scammers should call for UN sanctions on the US and Britian. Which of course is a fucking ridiculous thing to suggest. So it basically means that you can try to get people to put sanctions on Thailand cause they are a small country. Hypocrites.

The other more radical approach makes sense too. Everybody agrees that in a war, collaterals are unavoidable. You try to minimise the loss of innocent lives, but it is impossible to totally avoid it if you do indeed declare a war. Whether it is right or wrong, that's not the issue. What I am saying is that its unavoidable.

Now, you have to look from the point of view on the Thai government. Drugs in Thailand are a scrouge. I know a bunch of Thai dudes in my class who happily admit that they have tried some kinda drugs before. Its like negotiating with terrorist - you can't. By the time you are done with one group, ten more groups spring up elsewhere. Its like that with drugs in Thailand. By the time you rehabilitate 1 drug addict, 10 more drug addicts srping up. So, you declare a war, and the point I made earlier, in a war, collaterals are unavoidable.

If you take this stand point, Amnesty still looks like a dick, because they take no effort into understanding the severity of the situation and the necessary actions that were taken.

Q : But surely its commendable for them to condemn stuffs like child labour?
A : That depends. Condemning child labour in rich developed countries are a correct thing to do. But condemning child labour in poor countries or poor communities is just fucking ignorant. In those communities, child labour is essential for their economy. Either the children help their parents work, or the whole family starves. As simple as that. Sure, it would be nice to have the kids go to school, and to play with other kids. But its not as simple as that, and ignorant people have to understand that before fighting for something.

The sad thing is that most people who get involved in that scam organisation (like the blonde chick) think that they are helping poor sods who are victims of human rights abuse. They actually don't know what the fuck they are fighting for.


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