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The Truth about AI

Reader comment on item: To Profile or Not to Profile? [The Abdullah al-Kidd Case]

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (Taiwan), Sep 21, 2004 at 20:10

Indeed, a poor man's dirty bomb detonated on Manhattan is a lot worse than a handful of innocents briefly detained, then released for lack of evidence. I myself have reached the conclusion that groups like Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union have indeed, in the words of a former Supreme Court justice, turned the Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.

Our human rights organizations are the fruit of a Western world that had spawned a non-coercive Christianity giving its blessing to the political ideals of rule of law and consent of the governed. Outside of its prisons, the Western world had also done away with the time-honored practices of slavery and killing prisoners for minor crimes or even as a form of cheap, public entertainment. More importantly, AI and ACLU were born in a world dominated by a concert of states steeped in the above ideals. Certainly the colonialist West was overbearing and arrogant in the "civilizing mission" it sought to spread across an unwilling and bewildered non-Western world; certainly the West, at times, failed in humane race relations in the New World and in practicing a compassionate use of wealth. Yet the West's "civilizing mission" allowed the concepts of liberty and a law other than the capricious whim of a human sovereign to spread; and inculcated ideals of justice that the rest of the world uses to indict it.

The tactic that the West's enemies have adopted to fight it is that of the "People's War"--which is simply a reversion to the old Hurons vs. Iroquois way of warfare in which everyone's fair game whether armed or not, and the losers are literally lunch (or at least slaves who may be killed at the master's whim). Frankly, if there are whole peoples who will immolate themselves and their minor children to destroy our balance of law and liberty, extending to them the protections of our human rights regime is a recipe for civilizational suicide.
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