Every time you think that the Age of Hyperbolic Smear has reached its zenith, you’re wrong.
Reviewing a book called Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through War and Peace at West Point, by an English professor named Elizabeth Samet, I came across Amnesty International’s labeling of the U. S. Guantanamo detention center as “the Gulag of our time.”
Yes, the Gulag of our time. I blinked, too.
As you’ve seen in previous posts (here and here, for example), I often wonder whether those who toss around accusations of “fascism” and “Nazi tactics” in our politics have ever cracked a history book or have any idea why names like Hitler, Himmler and Goering live on in infamy today. Now, to the list of the historically amnesiac, we must add Amnesty International.
Ask them: Would it have not been possible to condemn Bush/Cheney/Gonzales/Ashcroft/Guantanamo in strong, acidic, paint-stripping terms without making such a naive, wildly off-base comparison?
If you don’t know anything about the real, historical Gulag, do a quick check on Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. Or glance over this article here about the millions killed in the real Gulag.
Amnesty, which has done real good in the world by decrying horrible abuses in various failed states and dictatorships, squanders its credibility when it strains to make such dishonest comparisons. And this headline-hungry rhetoric dishonors the millions who died at the hands of Stalin. Just ask Alexander Solzhenitzyn.